NORTH ANDOVER, MASS. – The Merrimack College women’s basketball team secured head coach Monique LeBlanc career victory number 121 in the win over Fairleigh Dickinson on Monday night. LeBlanc surpassed Debbie Cogan for the winningest coach in program history. The Massachusetts native took over the Warrior program in 2011 and has had a winning record four time in her tenure, including a 20-win season in her last year as a Division II coach. LeBlanc played her college basketball at Bucknell University so she is no stranger to Division I. Her Warriors team is currently 12-7 in their first year affiliated with the Division I Northeast Conference (NEC).
Senior forward Denia Davis-Stewart led the way again for the Warriors. She earned her 15th double-double of the season after scoring 19 points and grabbing 12 rebounds. She now ranks second in the country in double-doubles. Freshman point guard Jayme DeCesare ranked second on the team in scoring with 11 points on the night. Both sophomore Kate Mager and freshman Kaylee Thomas chipped in with 10 points during the Warrior win.
Score: Merrimack 62, Fairleigh Dickinson 51
Records: Merrimack (12-6, 5-3 NEC) | Fairleigh Dickinson (7-12, 4-4 NEC)
Location: Hammel Court | North Andover, Mass.
- Merrimack jumped out to an early 5-2 lead after a Mager three ball and a drive and finish by graduate student Courtney Clasen. After some great ball movement by the Warriors, Thomas knocked down a three to give Merrimack a two-point lead with just over four minutes left in the first frame. The Knights took a one-point advantage into the second quarter after Sierra DeAngelo hit two free throws late in the quarter.
- On the first Warrior possession of the quarter, Davis-Stewart hit her second three of the game. Merrimack then went up four after freshman Alana Fursman cut hard in the lane and scored. Both teams went back-and-forth not going up by more then four all quarter. The scored was tied at 28 as both teams headed to the locker rooms.
- To open the third DeCesare and Davis-Stewart went on a 6-0 to put Merrimack up six. The lead was increased to nine after another Mager three with two minutes left in the quarter. With six seconds remaining in the third Davis-Stewart knocked down a three to give Merrimack a 10-point lead heading into the final frame.
- A Clasen fade away jump shot gave the Warriors an advantage of 13 with just over five minutes left in the game. The Knights cut the lead to six after a Jayde Boyd three-pointer. At the end of the game Thomas and DeCesare knocked down their free throws to give the Warriors an 11-point victory.
Notes and Numbers
- The Warriors forced a season-high 22 turnovers against Fairleigh Dickinson
- Merrimack scored 21 of its points off of turnovers
- Davis-Stewart is only 20 rebounds away from have 1,000 on her career
The Warriors continue their homestand on Saturday, February 1st when Long Island visits Hammel Court. The game is set for 1 p.m. Merrimack will also be hosting a women’s basketball alumni game before the Warriors take the court.