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Saint Rose Downs Merrimack Women’s Basketball

ALBANY, N.Y. – The Merrimack College women’s basketball team led by five at halftime on Wednesday against the College of Saint Rose, but the Golden Knights outscored the Warriors by 17 points in the second half to prevail by a 59-47 margin from the Daniel P. Nolan Gymnasium in Northeast-10 Conference play.

The Basics
Saint Rose 59, Merrimack 47
Records: Merrimack (9-8, 7-5 NE10)
| Saint Rose (10-7, 5-6 NE10)
Nolan Gymnasium | Albany, N.Y.

The Turning Point:
Saint Rose’s third-quarter response proved to be the difference in the game. After Merrimack ended the opening stanza on a 16-4 run, the Golden Knights used a 10-0 spurt to turn a 34-30 deficit into a 40-34 lead and never looked back. Staci Barrett scored six points during the stretch, as part of a game-high 21 points for the senior forward.

How It Happened (First Quarter)

  • The cross-divisional programs started the game scoreless over the first 3:18. Senior point guard My’Asia Alston (Cohoes, N.Y.) answered a Saint Rose three-point play with a steal-and-score to score Merrimack’s first points at the 6:23 mark
  • A successful corner trap resulted in a breakaway layup for sophomore Karlee Alves (Ellington, Conn.) to make it an 8-7 game with 2:45 remaining. Saint Rose responded with a bucket of its own before freshman Alyssa Torres (Bohemia, N.Y.) collected her first two points to cut the deficit to one, 10-9, with under 90 seconds left. The Golden Knights tacked on two more points to close the quarter with a three-point lead

How It Happened (Second Quarter)

  • The Golden Knights scored the first four points of the frame to open a 16-9 lead. Layups from sophomore Lexi Martin (Franklin, Mass.) and freshman Denia Davis-Stewart (Dorchester, Mass.) marked four unanswered for Merrimack, making it a 18-15 game approaching the midway point of the frame
  • Those four points began a 16-4 run for the Warriors to end the half. The spurt included an 8-0 stretch that spanned nearly the remainder of the half after free throws from Martin made it a 20-17 contest with 4:03 remaining
  • The Warriors took their first lead at 21-20 at the 2:16 mark – courtesy of a Martin jumper. Davis-Stewart finished the half with a team-high eight points. Her final field goal combined with another swipe and lay-in from Alston made it a 27-22 at halftime

How It Happened (Third Quarter)

  • Both teams shot the ball well to start the third. Sophomore Hannah Neild (Litchfield, N.H.), Alves and senior Savannah Johnson (Palmdale, Calif.) hit long jumpers for the Warriors – including a 3-pointer from Neild. The Golden Knights, however, started the quarter shooting 5-of-8 from the field including four straight makes to take a 36-34 lead through five minutes
  • Saint Rose extended its run to 10 unanswered points, which ended with 2:52 on the clock to take a six-point lead. Davis-Stewart sank a mid-range jumper to halt the stretch and entered double figures with 10 points
  • Two jumpers from Ashley Vanderwall over the final 90 seconds gave the hosts a 44-38 lead entering the final quarter

How It Happened (Fourth Quarter)

  • Two minutes into the last quarter, Alves fired away from the right wing for her first triple, cutting Saint Rose’s six-point deficit in half at 46-43. Four straight Saint Rose points brought the hosts’ lead back to seven before Merrimack answered with a lay-in from Davis-Stewart, prompting a Warriors’ timeout with 5:32 to play
  • The Golden Knights clamped down defensively, preventing the Warriors from making a field goal over the remainder of regulation. Saint Rose’s spurt of seven unanswered points following Davis-Stewart’s bucket salted the game away for the hosts

Inside The Numbers

  • For the fifth time this season, Davis-Stewart reached double figures with a season-high 14 points. The rookie fell one carom short of her third double-double, and tied her season high with five blocks – the fourth such occurrence
  • Alves hit a season high four shots, finishing with the most points of her brief career with the Navy and Gold. She finished second on the team with nine points, playing in 33 minutes
  • Despite not hitting a single 3-pointer, the Golden Knights made 20-of-37 from inside the 3-point arc. Combined, Merrimack and Saint made just three triples on 28 attempts
  • In addition to her game high in scoring, Barrett reached a personal milestone by scoring her 1,000th career point as a Golden Knight
  • The loss snapped the Warriors five-game winning streak which matched the longest during the six-year tenure of head coach Monique LeBlanc

Up Next
The Warriors travel to Garden City, N.Y. to take on the Southwest Division leading No. 11/18 Adelphi University Panthers on Saturday at 1:30 p.m.

Mike McMahon is in his 12th year covering Merrimack College for The Eagle Tribune and is the founder and managing editor of The Mack Report. Mike also serves on staff as a senior writer at College Hockey News. Follow him on Twitter @MikeMcMahonCHN

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