Nationally-ranked Stonehill tops Merrimack, 62-51
EASTON, Mass. – The Merrimack College women’s basketball program owned a first-quarter lead at No. 8/20 Stonehill on Wednesday evening, but the host Skyhawks outscored the Warriors by 15 over the final three quarters to prevail, 62-51, in Northeast-10 Conference action from Merkert Gymnasium.
Score: #8/20 Stonehill 62, Merrimack 51
Records: Merrimack (14-10, 10-9 NE10) | #8/20 Stonehill (22-2, 18-1)
Location: Merkert Gym | Easton, Mass.
NE10 Postseason Outlook:
The five postseason qualifiers out of the Northeast Division have already been decided entering the final three games of the regular season. Merrimack can climb as high as third, trailing Saint Anselm and Southern New Hampshire by one game. The third-place finisher earns a bye until the quarterfinals, while the fourth- and fifth-place teams play in the opening round on Friday, Feb. 23.
- Stonehill (22-2, 18-1)
- Bentley (22-3, 16-3)
- Saint Anselm (16-10, 12-7)
- SNHU (15-10, 11-8)
- Merrimack (14-10, 10-9)
- Stonehill’s defense held Merrimack to 8-of-26 shooting in the middle two quarters, outscoring the Navy and Gold by nine during that time to take control of the game
- The Skyhawks scored 21 points in the fourth quarter, only missing two shots (7-9) and hitting 5-of-6 at the line to prevent a Merrimack rally
- Freshman Mayson Kimball and sophomore Emily Houle combined to go 4-of-4 from the field including a trio of three-pointers to stake Merrimack to a 16-12 advantage in the opening quarter. The Warriors held Stonehill to two points over the final five minutes of the frame
- Sophomore Denia Davis-Stewart scored four points and the Navy and Gold held Stonehill scoreless for nearly the first four minutes of the second, building an eight-point lead (20-12). In less than a minute, however, Stonehill answered with a 5-0 burst that trimmed the Warriors’ lead to three with 5:19 left in the frame
- The final five minutes of the half belonged to the hosts, who used an 11-4 stretch to take a 28-26 lead into the locker room
- Kimball hit her fourth bucket of the game midway through the third quarter, which stopped a 9-3 Stonehill run that allowed the Skyhawks to surge ahead, 37-29. Two minutes later and with 2:19 on the clock, junior Lindsay Werner stepped into a wide-open trey to pull the Warriors back within one possession, 39-36, and forced a Stonehill timeout
- Stonehill held a 41-36 lead entering the fourth, and increased their advantage to eight, 50-42, with five minutes remaining in the game. Werner scored seven of her 12 points on the night in the fourth to keep the Warriors close, but Stonehill never let the margin dip below six points in the final quarter
Notes and Notables
- Davis-Stewart flirted with another triple-double, finishing the night with 10 points, eight rebounds and seven blocks
- Kimball led the Warriors with 15 points while Werner was Merrimack’s other double-figure scorer. The latter moved within four three-pointers of setting a new single-season program record
- Three Skyhawks finished in double figures, led by 16 points on 5-of-11 shooting from Courtney Walsh
- Samantha Hyslip finished with 15 points and eight rebounds for the hosts, while Kelly Martin added 12 and nine
- Stonehill owned a 39-30 edge on the glass and a 30-20 advantage in the paint
The Warriors travel to Waltham, Mass. for another test against a nationally ranked foe when Merrimack plays No. 14 Bentley at 12 p.m. from the Dana Center on Saturday.