NORTH ANDOVER, Mass. – The Merrimack College women’s basketball program used a 16-2 third-quarter run to turn a three-point lead into a 17-point advantage on Saturday afternoon, and never saw its lead dip below 11 over the remainder of the game in the Warriors’ 77-59 Northeast-10 Conference victory over Saint Michael’s College.
Three members of the Warriors scored in double figures, led by a 19-point performance from sophomore Mayson Kimball. Junior Denia Davis-Stewart contributed a season-best 17 points and a game-high 12 rebounds, her third double-double of the season. The Warriors improved to 2-4 in the Northeast Division, while the Purple Knights dropped to 1-6. As a team, the Warriors connected on 14 3-pointers – the most in a game for the program since Merrimack hit that many against Cal Poly Pomona in 2013.
Score: Merrimack 77, Saint Michael’s 59
Records: Merrimack (6-4, 2-4 NE10) | Saint Michael’s (2-7, 1-6 NE10)
Location: Hammel Court | North Andover, Mass.
- Both offenses clicked in the first 10 minutes, combining for 32 points. Saint Michael’s held one-point leads of 9-8 at the midway point of the quarter and 15-14 ate in the frame, but sophomore Alyssa Casey drilled a last-second 3-pointer to close the quarter, giving Merrimack a 17-15 lead
- The Warriors proceeded to sink seven treys – one off their season average – in the first half, shooting over 40 percent from the field. Down 22-21, the hosts used an 8-0 spurt to take a 29-22 lead with 2:53 remaining until halftime. The run was capped by a left-wing triple by freshman Caroline Wilson. The Warriors held an eight-point lead entering the final possession, but the Purple Knights connected on a late three ball to make it a 32-27 contest at halftime
- A 16-2 run proved to be the turning point in the game, as Merrimack took control in the third quarter. The score sat at 37-34 with 7:21 on the clock, and five minutes later the Warriors built a 17-point advantage. Davis-Stewart and senior Lindsay Werner each had five points apiece during the run as five different Warriors scored during the stretch. Merrimack held a 14-point lead entering the fourth
- Merrimack shot over 50 percent from the field in the final quarter, and hit four more treys to finish the day with 14 3-pointers made. The Warriors’ lead hovered around 14 for most of the final quarter, until Davis-Stewart hit a field goal the brought the advantage to 17 with 3:10 remaining. Casey came off the bench and ended the game with seven straight points, cementing Merrimack’s win
Notes and Numbers
- Merrimack’s 14 triples equaled a mark that had not been reached for the program in over five years. Kimball and Casey combined to hit nine of them, shooting 69.2 percent combined (9-13)
- The Warriors set a season high by shooting 45.8 percent from the field, and as a team, Merrimack shot .438 from distance, its second highest output of the season
- Davis-Stewart’s effort also featured a 50-percent shooting performance (7-14). She set a new season high in field goals, falling one short of her career best
- Kimball and Casey both posted double-digit scoring performances for the second straight game. Alves facilitated the offense with 10 assists, her fourth game with at least 10 helpers this season. All four of those games have happened at Hammel Court
- Head coach Monique LeBlanc registered her 95th career victory, moving within five of becoming the third coach in school history to reach the century mark
Merrimack wraps up its first set of divisional contests on Tuesday evening when the Warriors visit #5/3 Bentley at 6 p.m.