NORTH ANDOVER, Mass. – Playing in the program’s home opener on Wednesday evening, the Merrimack College women’s basketball team received a career-high 28 points on 12-of-24 shooting from freshman Alyssa Casey (Andover, Mass.), but the visiting Stonehill College Skyhawks outscored the Navy and Gold, 22-10, in the fourth quarter to prevail by 62-60 final from Hammel Court.
Score: Stonehill 62, Merrimack 60
Records: Merrimack (3-3, 1-2 NE10) | Stonehill (4-1, 3-1 NE10)
Location: Hammel Court | North Andover, Mass.
- After Merrimack entered the fourth holding a 10-point lead, the Skyhawks opened the quarter on an 18-4 run spanning the first 5:47 of the frame to take a 58-54 advantage
- The Navy and Gold worked their way back to tie things up, 58-all, only to see Stonehill convert on a layup with just 8.6 ticks to play to pull ahead for good
- After both teams combined to score 12 points over the first six minutes of the first, both offenses turned it on late. Casey netted nine first-quarter points, seven of which came in the final three minutes. Her triple with 16 seconds left gave the Warriors a 17-13 lead at the end of the frame
- Four points from Casey brought the rookie to double figures, extending the Warriors’ lead to five, 21-16, with 7:14 remaining in the second
- The Skyhawks responded with their best stretch of the first half, holding Merrimack scoreless for the next 6:33 of game action. During that time, the visitors used a 10-0 run to take a 26-21 lead.
- Merrimack netted the final three points of the quarter, however, including a bucket for sophomore center Kathryn Roberts (Grand Terrace, Calif.)to make it a two-point game at the break
- Consecutive lay-ins from Casey and junior guard Lindsay Werner (Groton, Mass.) gave the Warriors a 33-30 lead. The Skyhawks went on a 8-3 stretch from there, jumping ahead by two at the 3:24 mark of the third
- The Warriors surged forward, ending the frame on a 14-2 run. Casey scored nine of Merrimack’s 14 during the spurt, while freshman Marissa Gattuso (Woburn, Mass.) banked-in an off-balance jumper at the buzzer, giving the Warriors a 10-point lead, 50-40, entering the fourth
- The score sat at 54-48 with 6:51 remaining, until the Skyhawks used a 10-0 run featuring five different scorers to swing the score in the visitors’ favor
Notes and Notables
- Casey posted season highs in nearly every shooting category, totaling a game-high 28 points with career bests in field goals (12) and attempts)
- For the second straight game, junior Karlee Alves (Ellington, Conn.) totaled a team-high nine rebounds. She also led the Warriors with four assists
- The Warriors totaled 12 steals, falling one shy of their season best
- Three Skyhawks finished in double figures, led by a 14-point, nine-rebound, six-assist effort from senior guard Kelly Martin
Merrimack returns home on Saturday to face Saint Anselm at 1 p.m. from Hammel Court.