WBB: Second Half Surge Pushes Assumption Past Merrimack
NORTH ANDOVER, Mass. – The visiting Assumption College Greyhounds outscored the Merrimack College women’s basketball team by double digits in the second half on Wednesday evening at Hammel Court, turning a nine-point halftime deficit into a 56-42 victory in Northeast-10 Conference action. Despite the loss, the Warriors maintained their spot in fifth place in the Northeast Division with two games to play in the regular season.
Score: Assumption 56, Merrimack 42
Records: Merrimack (11-13, 9-10 NE10) | Assumption (17-7, 12-7 NE10)
Location: Hammel Court | North Andover, Mass.
The Turning Point:
Merrimack entered the locker room with a 27-18 lead, but the visitors roared back in the second half to prevail. The Greyhounds’ defense held the Warriors to 21 percent shooting from the field in the second half, while the visitors shot 57.1 percent in the fourth quarter, outscoring the Navy and Gold, 18-5. After Merrimack took a 22-13 rebounding edge into the locker room, Assumption outrebounded the Warriors by 17 in the second stanza.
NE10 Postseason Outlook:
The top-five teams in the Northeast Division advance to the NE-10 Championship, with the fifth seed playing the fourth seed out of the Southwest in the opening round on Friday, Feb. 24. The Warriors have two games remaining, including the home finale on Tuesday night at 5:30 p.m. against Bentley.
1) Bentley (18-1)
2) Assumption (12-7)
3) Saint Anselm (12-7)
4) Saint Michael’s (10-9)
5) Merrimack (9-10)
6) Stonehill (9-10)
7) Southern New Hampshire (6-13)
8) Franklin Pierce (1-18)
How It Happened (First Quarter)
- Freshman Denia Davis-Stewart (Dorchester, Mass.) scored four of Merrimack’s first six points and sophomore Hannah Neild (Litchfield, N.H.) drilled a 3-pointer to spurn a 9-2 run to start the game for the Warriors, as Merrimack built a seven-point lead at the 4:07 mark of the opener
- The visitors responded with a 7-0 run to tie the game with 1:22 remaining in the frame, but Neild cashed in her second trey of the opening quarter to give the hosts a 12-9 lead entering the second
How It Happened (Second Quarter)
- The 3-pointer started a stretch of nine unanswered points for the Navy and Gold that spanned through the first two minutes of the second quarter. Sophomores Karlee Alves (Ellington, Conn.) and Lexi Martin (Franklin, Mass.) combined for the first six points of the quarter for the Warriors
- After the Greyhounds pulled within four, 18-14, with 4:39 remaining, Merrimack responded with five unanswered points and ended the quarter on a 9-4 stretch. Senior Savannah Johnson (Palmdale, Calif.) converted a three-point play and freshman Alyssa Torres (Bohemia, N.Y.) went coast-to-coast for a fast-break lay-in to highlight the stretch for the Warriors. The Navy and Gold took a 27-18 advantage into the locker room
How It Happened (Third Quarter)
- After a layup from Johnson made it a four-point game at the 6:45 mark of the third quarter, the Greyhounds scored six of the next eight points to tie the game at 33-all following a trey from senior Allison Stoddard
- With 1:46 to go in the frame, Jaclyn Storey converted a lay-in to give the visitors their first lead of the evening, 36-35. The team’s exchanged two free throws apiece over the final 60 seconds, allowing the Greyhounds to take a 38-37 lead into the final quarter
How It Happened (Fourth Quarter)
- The Greyhounds’ defense clamped down over the final 10 minutes, allowing just five points from the Merrimack offense. Assumption went on 13-2 run over the first seven minutes of the fourth to pull away, a stretch that featured six straight points from Jo Impellizeri
- Three straight points from Torres brought the Navy and Gold back within nine points with 1:47 left, but a 5-0 stretch for Stoddard put the game away for Assumption, giving the Greyhounds the 56-42 win
Inside The Numbers
- Johnson finished the game with a team-high 13 rebounds to go along with seven points and a game-high four blocks. Each side finished with six rejections apiece
- Three Greyhounds scored in double figures, led by a 13-poiint effort from Stoddard. Impellizeri collected a double-double with 10 points and 14 rebounds
- The visitors’ ability to transform the rebounding battle proved to be a deciding factor. The Warriors held a 22-13 advantage on the glass over the first 20 minutes, only to have the Greyhounds claim a 29-12 edge over the final 20 minutes
- With Stonehill also losing on Wednesday, the Warriors still sit in playoff positioning with two games remaining. Merrimack trails Saint Michael’s for one game for fourth in the division. The fourth-place finisher in the Northeast hosts the fifth-place unit from the Southwest in the opening round of the NE10 Championship next Friday
The Warriors travel to Franklin Pierce on Saturday afternoon for a 1:30 p.m. contest against the Ravens in Rindge, N.H., marking the final regular-season road game of the season.