DOBBS FERRY, N.Y. – Junior Denia Davis-Stewart registered just the eighth game of at least 20 points and 20 rebounds nationwide this season, guiding the Merrimack College women’s basketball program to its sixth non-conference win in as many tries, 86-61, on Wednesday evening at Mercy College. She finished with a career-best 23 points and a career-high 20 rebounds.
The Dorchester, Mass. native posted 13 rebounds in the first half, and jump-started the Warriors’ third-quarter effort with 13 points on a perfect 4-of-4 shooting to turn a 40-40 game into a 65-51 Merrimack advantage through 30 minutes. Sophomore Mayson Kimball and senior Lindsay Werneraided the effort with 29 points combined, sinking six field goals apiece.
Score: Merrimack 86, Mercy 61
Records: Merrimack (8-5) | Mercy (3-10)
Location: Victory Hall Sports Center | Dobbs Ferry, N.Y.
- Merrimack’s defense held Mercy below 30 percent shooting, and shot over 40 percent themselves to build a first-quarter lead. Three different Warriors scored buckets as part of an 8-2 run to start the night. The hosts chipped away to make it a one-possession game, 14-12, with 1:36 left before the visitors ended with back-to-back field goals including a four-footer from sophomore Alyssa Casey to end the quarter
- Owning an 18-14 lead early in the second, Werner and Kimball sank consecutive triples to bring the Warriors’ lead to double figures for the first time, 24-14. Merrimack’s lead remained an eight, 28-20, before a 6-0 Mercy run trimmed the deficit down to two with four minutes left until halftime
- The program’s then traded 6-0 runs to end the opening stanza. Merrimack’s spurt was first, as Davis-Stewart converted an old-fashion three-point play before another Kimball trey put the Warriors up eight. The Mavericks contained the damage there, however, ending the half by keeping Merrimack scoreless over the final 2:01 to pull within two, 38-36
- Davis-Stewart dominated the third quarter. She scored Merrimack’s first bucket to reach 10 points on the night, already garnering a double-double after 13 first-half rebounds. The third-year center scored 13 points in the quarter, shooting 4-of-4 from the field and 5-of-6 at the free-throw line. Mercy tied that game briefly, 40-40, and trailed by three (46-43) with 5:18 left before the visitors closed the quarter on a 19-8 stretch to make it 65-51 through 30 minutes
- Freshman Kate Mager hit a 3-pointer exactly three minutes into the fourth, ballooning the Warriors’ lead to 21, 74-54, and prompting the hosts’ penultimate timeout. The Warriors started the quarter on a 13-3 run, and ended the frame by outscoring the Mavericks by 11 (21-10).
Notes and Numbers
- Davis-Stewart’s career performance featured 13 rebounds in the first half to along to go along with eight points, followed by a 15-point second half to go along with seven caroms. She did not miss a shot in the second half, and finished the day by shooting 8-of-10 from the field
- In addition to setting career highs in points and rebounds, Davis-Stewart established new personal bests in free throws made (7) and attempted (9). She tied her previous career high with eight field goals made
- The center became the third Northeast-10 Conference student-athlete with a 20-20 game this year, joining Southern Connecticut’s Kiana Steinauer and Saint Anselm’s Shannon Ryan. She’s the first Merrimack player with at least 20 boards since Kelly Schatzlein ’13 recorded 21 in 2013
- Merrimack never trailed in the game, and led by as many as 28 points late in the fourth quarter
- The Warriors owned advantages in points in the paint (46-28), points off turnovers (19-11), fast break points (14-6) and bench points (23-18)
- Head coach Monique LeBlanc picked up her 97th career win, moving within three of becoming the third coach in program history to reach the century mark
Merrimack plays its final non-conference game of the season on Saturday when the Warriors travel to the Nutmeg State, facing the University of Bridgeport at 5 p.m. in Bridgeport, Conn.