NORTH ANDOVER, Mass. – The Merrimack College women’s basketball program led throughout during Saturday’s Northeast-10 Conference showdown with visiting Pace University, claiming a 62-49 win over the Setters from Hammel Court. The victory moved the Warriors to 10-6 overall (3-6 NE10), and gave head coach Monique LeBlanc her 99th career win.
Junior Denia Davis-Stewart continued her recent success with a game-high 21 points on 9-of-16 shooting. Freshman Kate Mager excelled, as well, scoring 14 points on a perfect 4-of-4 shooting from beyond the arc. Merrimack’s defense was particularly effective, holding the Setters to 10 percent shooting from beyond the arc (2-20). The 49 points allowed marked a season low for Merrimack.
Score: Merrimack 62, Pace 49
Records: Merrimack (10-6, 3-6 NE10) | Pace (6-10, 3-5 NE10)
Location: Hammel Court | North Andover, Mass.
- Without taking a dribble, Merrimack took a 2-0 lead after Pace was assessed a pregame technical. The Warriors proceeded to open the game on an 18-6 run with every single starter scoring for Merrimack. Not only did Merrimack convert offensively – shooting 60 percent (9-15) in the quarter – but on the defensive end, the Warriors relented just a pair of buckets. Pace shot 11.8 percent from the field (2-17) in the opening quarter
- Merrimack extended its lead to 15, 28-13, before Pace made a run in the latter half of the second quarter. The Setters scored nine unanswered points to pull within six, holding Merrimack scoreless for a near three-minute stretch. The Warriors ended the drought with 2:23 left until halftime
- The third quarter proved to be 10 minutes of runs. The Warriors extended their lead to 11, 39-28, following a bucket for Davis-Stewart. The Setters responded with a 5-0 burst only to see the Warriors score six straight to make it a 45-33 contest with under a minute left in the quarter.
- Merrimack’s defense continued to suffocate Pace in the final quarter. The Setters scored just five points in the first six minutes of the quarter, enabling the Warriors’ attack to build a 21-point lead at 59-38. Despite the Setters ending the game on an 11-3 run, Mager capped off a perfect performance with her fourth triple on four attempts for the Warriors’ final points of the day
Notes and Numbers
- Davis-Stewart has now scored in double figures in six of her last seven, including three games with at least 19 over the last four. Over her last seven, the junior is averaging 14.4 points and 12.4 rebounds per game
- Mager posted her fourth double-figure scoring game of the year and first in her last 10 games. She tied her career high with four 3-pointers made, the third time she’s hit four
- Saturday marked the fourth time this season that Merrimack has allowed two triples our fewer. The 49 points is the fewest allowed by the program since last February (2/10) against SNHU
- Merrimack forced 23 Setters turnovers, leading to 32 points for the hosts. The Warriors forced at least 20 miscues for the sixth time this season
- LeBlanc’s next victory will bring her into rarified territory in women’s basketball history. She’s on the doorstep of becoming just the third coach ever to total 100 career wins, and first in over a decade
The Warriors will look for some revenge on Tuesday night when the Warriors visit Adelphi University for a 5:30 p.m. tip-off in Garden City, N.Y. The Panthers topped Merrimack in the NE10 Championship one year ago, ending the Warriors’ 2017-18 campaign.