NORTH ANDOVER, Mass. – The Merrimack College women’s basketball team celebrated Alumni Day on Saturday afternoon against the Saint Anselm Hawks, which was highlighted by the return of Joelle Martin ’06 – a two-time All-American and recent inductee to the Northeast-10 Conference Hall of Fame. In the game that followed, the Hawks pulled away in the second half to prevail, 57-43, in a Northeast Division contest from Hammel Court.
Score: Saint Anselm 57, Merrimack 43
Records: Merrimack (10-11, 8-8 NE10) | Saint Anselm (15-7, 10-5 NE10)
Location: Hammel Court | North Andover, Mass.
The Turning Point:
The Warriors made it a one-possession game, 41-38, with six minutes to play in the game before the Hawks embarked on a game-clinching 16-5 run to end the game. Ali Glennon collected the first eight points of the run, while as a team the Hawks hit three 3-pointers over the final 3:40 to secure the victory.
NE-10 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 six games remaining, four of which are at home. Standings reflect the completed games at the time of publication.
1) Bentley (15-1)
2) Saint Anselm (10-6)
3) Assumption (9-7)
4) Stonehill (8-7)
5) Saint Michael’s (8-7)
6) Merrimack (8-8)
7) Southern New Hampshire (5-10)
8) Franklin Pierce (0-15)
How It Happened (First Quarter)
- Saint Anselm jumped out to an 8-3 lead over the first five minutes of the contest. The Hawks hit their first two 3-pointers of the day, courtesy of Caitlyn Abela and Clairee Putnam. Sophomore Karlee Alves (Ellington, Conn.) connected a triple of her own during the stretch for the Warriors
- With 3:40 left, sophomore Lindsay Werner (Groton, Mass.) came off the bench and hit a pair of triples over a 90-second span to bring the Warriors within two at 11-9. Werner’s third trey of the frame sunk bottom with less than a minute left, giving the Navy and Gold a 13-11 lead after 10 minutes
How It Happened (Second Quarter)
- Over the first 1:19 of the second, senior captain My’Asia Alston (Cohoes, N.Y.) banked in a triple, then forced a turnover before feeding to sophomore Lexi Martin (Franklin, Mass.) for a wide-open layup. The Hawks burned a full timeout facing an 18-11 deficit.
- Assisted by a pair of mid-range jumpers from Candace Andrews, the visitors trimmed the deficit to 20-16 at the midway point of the quarter. The Hawks extended the run to an 8-2 stretch, pulling within one at 20-19, before a Alston bucket made it a three-point game with less then three minutes remaining in the half
- Scoring was minimal of the final stretch of the quarter, with the Hawks using a pair of late free throws to take a 24-22 lead into the break
How It Happened (Third Quarter)
- Captains Alston and senior Savannah Johnson (Palmdale, Calif.) started the frame with consecutive lay-ins to give the Warriors a 26-24 lead. Four straight points from Andrews, however, put the Hawks back in front, 28-26, with 6:12 left
- Free throws from sophomore Hannah Neild (Litchfield, Mass.) and a layup from Alston put Merrimack back ahead, 33-30. Over the next 1:33, Saint Anselm embarked on a 7-0 run to grasp the lead back with 2:30 to play
- The run extended to 10 unanswered points after a triple from Abela pushed the lead to seven, 40-33. Alston silenced the run with a triple of her own to cut the deficit to four. The Hawks added one free throw with three seconds left to take a 41-36 advantage into the fourth
How It Happened (Fourth Quarter)
- Neither team scored over the first three-plus minutes until Werner got back into the scoring column with a lay-in to pull the Warriors within three. The Hawks answered immediately with a bucket followed by two free throws to make it a 45-38 game with 5:30 left
- Glennon and Abela struck from distance to extend the visitors’ advantage to 11 with less than two minutes remaining, 52-41, the largest for either side to that point.
- The Hawks hit three triples in total over the final four minutes of the game, contributing to a 16-point fourth quarter and propelling the visitors to the 14-point win
Inside The Numbers
- This past June, Martin became the sixth Warrior in school history to earn induction into the NE10 Hall of Fame. She currently ranks seventh all-time in conference history in scoring, and is the only Warriors to eclipse the 2,000-point plateau in program annals. She owns program records for total points, scoring average, field-goals made and free-throw percentage
- Alston led the Navy and Gold on Saturday afternoon with 16 points that featured 2-of-4 shooting from beyond the arc. She also pulled down seven rebounds, one shy of her season high
- Werner poured in 11 points off the bench, the first time in the last 10 games that the second-year guard has scored in double figures
- Both squads shot 36 percent or lower from the field, with the Hawks forcing the Warriors to shoot just 28.3 percent overall. The Hawks doubled up the Warriors in points-off-turnovers, 22-11
- Four Hawks scored in double figures, led by 16 points from Andrews. Abela finished with 13 and eight rebounds, with all of her field goals coming from beyond the arc
Merrimack hosts Stonehill at 5:30 p.m. on Tuesday night for the second annual RA Challenge. Students across campus are invited to attend the game with their resident assistants to support the Warriors, and the building with the highest attendance will receive a pizza party courtesy of the Office of Residence Life. In-game giveaways will be distributed throughout the night and Fuddruckers will be in attendance handing out complimentary prizes.