RINDGE, N.H. – The Merrimack College women’s basketball program increased its winning streak to six games on Wednesday night – the longest in program history in 14 years, since the 2004-05 regional-championship winning season – with an 83-70 triumph over Franklin Pierce from The Fieldhouse in Rindge, N.H. The Warriors forced Franklin Pierce into 23 turnovers, resulting in a 31-11 edge in points off turnovers for the visitors.
Junior Denia Davis-Stewart led the attack with her 11th double-double of the season, totaling 25 points on 11-of-15 shooting to go along with 14 rebounds and a season-high four steals. Senior Lindsay Werner chipped in 22 points on 10-of-22 from the field, her third straight game with at least 20 points, and senior Karlee Alves registered a near double-double of eight points and seven assists.
Merrimack’s win improved the Warriors’ Northeast-10 Conference record to 10-7, and moved Merrimack into sole possession of fourth place in the Northeast Division with four games remaining in the regular season. The Warriors also moved within one game of second place in the division, trailing both Stonehill (11-6) and Saint Anselm (11-6). A top-three finish in the division means a bye until the quarterfinals of the NE10 Championship.
Score: Merrimack 83,Franklin Pierce 70
Records: Merrimack (17-7, 10-7 NE10) | Franklin Pierce (4-18, 2-15 NE10)
Location: The Fieldhouse | Rindge, N.H.
- With Merrimack ahead one, 9-8, through the first half of the first quarter, the Warriors used a 5-0 burst to force a Franklin Pierce timeout. All five points came from junior Denia Davis-Stewart, with the hosts creating a stoppage at the 2:28 mark. Senior Lexi Martin came in off the bench, and put Merrimack ahead, 16-10, only to see the Ravens close within one after a 5-0 run to close the frame
- An 8-0 Merrimack run starting at the 9:01 mark of the second created a 27-18 advantage for the visitors. The burst featured a 3-pointer each from sophomores Alyssa Casey and Mayson Kimball. With 5:09 on the clock, senior Lindsay Werner began a run of scoring nine of Merrimack’s final 11 points of the quarter, shooting 4-for-4 in the half’s final five quarter. The first 20 minutes ended with the Warriors on top, 40-30
- The third quarter started with Merrimack jumping out to a 15-point lead (47-32) behind two more Werner buckets. She hit six straight shots spanning the second and third quarters. From there, however, the Ravens scored nine straight points as part of a 13-2 overall that trimmed Merrimack’s advantage down to four, 49-45. At the 3:39 mark, Merrimack began a 7-2 stretch to close the quarter to build its lead back to nine (61-52). Freshman Kate Mager beat the third-quarter buzzer for her third triple of the night
- Merrimack put the game away with a 10-2 run that lasted four minutes, beginning at the 7:11 mark of the frame. Werner and Davis-Stewart combined for all of Merrimack’s scoring during the run. The stretch ended with 3:01 remaining, and Merrimack ahead by 14, 75-61. The Warriors’ advantage extended to as many as 16 in the waning minutes, with the Warriors leaving Rindge with an 83-70 win
Notes and Numbers
- Merrimack’s six-game winning streak is the longest for the program since a nine-game run that spanned the second half of the 2004-05 regular season. That Merrimack team went on to win its second straight regional title
- The Warriors’ 17th win of the season also equals the most in the eight-year tenure of head coach Monique LeBlanc, joining the win total of the 2012-13 team
- Davis-Stewart brought her season scoring average over 13 points with her effort (13.3), posting her fourth 20-point game of the season. She increased her team lead in double-doubles to 11, as well
- Werner moved into 20th all-time in school history scoring, finishing her 96th career game with 1,036 points. She also closed with 12 3-pointers of setting a new all-time program record after finishing the night with 178 makes
- The 23 turnovers created marked the third most by Merrimack this season, and the ninth time the team has forced at least 20 in a game
Merrimack travels to Southern New Hampshire on Saturday for a 1:30 p.m. tip against the Penmen. Merrimack will now enter the matchup holding a one-game lead on the Penmen for fourth place in the Northeast Division, looking to even the season series at a game apiece.