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WBB: Merrimack Heads to Pace For Opening Round of the NE10 Tournament Friday Night

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NORTH ANDOVER, Mass. – Qualifying for the Northeast-10 Championship as the fifth seed in the Northeast Division, the Merrimack College women’s basketball team will play its first postseason game in two years when the Warriors head to Pace University to face the fourth-seeded Setters for the opening round on Friday night. The contest will begin at 7 p.m. in Pleasantville, N.Y.

The Basics
2/24 | 7 p.m.
Records: NE #5 Merrimack (12-14)
| SW #4 Pace (14-14)
Goldstein Fitness Center | Pleasantville, N.Y.

NE10 Championship Schedule
First Round ­// Friday, Feb. 24
Game 1:  Southern Connecticut (#5 seed SW) at Stonehill (#4 seed NE) – 7:00 PM
Game 2:  Merrimack (#5 seed NE) at Pace (#4 seed SW) – 7:00 PM 

Quarterfinals // Sunday, Feb. 26
Game 3:  Game 1 winner at Adelphi (No. 1 seed SW) – 3:00 PM
Game 4:  Game 2 winner at Bentley (No. 1 seed NE) – 3:00 PM
Game 5:  Saint Anselm (No. 3 seed NE) at American International (No. 2 seed SW) – 3:00 PM
Game 6:  Le Moyne (No. 3 seed SW) at Assumption (No. 2 seed NE) – 3:00 PM

Semifinals //­ Thursday, March 2
(at highest remaining seed)
Game 7:  Game 6 winner vs. Game 3 winner (7:00 PM)
Game 8:  Game 5 winner vs. Game 4 winner (7:00 PM)

Championship //­ Sunday, March 5
(at highest remaining seed)
Game 9:  Game 8 winner vs. Game 7 winner (1:00 PM)

Last Time Out:

  • For the second time this season, the Warriors gave No. 15/17 Bentley University – the Northeast Division champions – all they could handle on Tuesday night. Merrimack eventually, faltered, 59-53, but were within one possession of the Falcons for the majority of the fourth quarter
  • Before the game, seniors My’Asia Alston (Cohoes, N.Y.) and Savannah Johnson (Palmdale, Calif.) were honored as part of the Senior Night festivities. Alston finished the night with seven points, eight rebounds, four assists and four steals while Johnson totaled nine points and seven boards
  • Freshman Denia Davis-Stewart (Dorchester, Mass.) set a season high in the regular season finale with eight blocks – the most by an NE10 player in a game this season and tied for 12th most nationally. She finished the year with 77 blocks and led the NE10, ranking eighth in the country in both total blocks and blocking average (2.96)
  • Bentley held a decided advantage on the glass, outrebounding Merrimack by 13 en route to a 27-6 edge in second-chance points

NE10 Championship History

  • Merrimack qualified for the postseason for the third time in six years under head coach Monique LeBlanc, and return to the conference tournament after a one-year hiatus
  • In the Warriors’ first NE10 berth with LeBlanc at the helm, Merrimack made a surprise run to the conference semifinals in 2012-13. That year also began at Pace, where Merrimack upset the Setters by a 75-70 final in overtime.
  • The Warriors own an 11-23 all-time record in championship play, winning their lone conference title in 2004

Earlier This Season vs. Pace:

  • The Navy and Gold triumphed over the Setters, 64-54, earlier this season at Hammel Court. Three Warriors scored in double figures, including a team-high 15 points from sophomore wing Lexi Martin (Franklin, Mass.). Alston and Johnson combined for 25 points
  • Johnson filled up the box score with seven rebounds, five assists and four steals to go along with 11 points. Alston added six assists and hit both of her 3-point attempts
  • Pace was led by a 21-point performance from Jackie DelliSanti, who shot 9-of-13 in 29 minutes

The Setters:

  • Pace knocked off Southern Connecticut in its season finale on Tuesday to earn the fourth seed and the right to host the opening round.
  • The Setters enter the NE10 Championship on a three-game winning streak with victories over Saint Rose and New Haven to go along with their triumph over the Owls
  • Alexandra Monteleone averaged 13.5 points per game to lead Pace, shooting 43.2 percent from the field and 81.2 percent from the charity stripe. Kirsten Dodge mans the frontcourt for the Setters, averaging 10.9 points, 8.0 rebounds and 2.1 blocks per game
  • Over 14 years, the Setters own an 11-14 NE10 Championship record, reaching the semifinals on six occasions

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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