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NEC’s Top-Two Offenses Clash when Women’s Basketball Hosts Mount St. Mary’s

Matchup Merrimack (3-8, 3-8 NEC) at Mount St. Mary’s (11-4, 10-2 NEC)
Date/Time Wednesday, Feb. 24, 2021 // 4 p.m.

Thursday, Feb. 25, 2021 // 1 p.m.
Venue North Andover, Mass. // Hammel Court
Links Live Stats // Watch
Media Twitter // Instagram // Merrimack Game Notes

NORTH ANDOVER, Mass. – The Merrimack College women’s basketball team meets Mount St. Mary’s for a pair of games at Hammel Court this week, the final two games at home this season for the Warriors. The Mountaineers will arrive on campus with a 10-2 record in NEC play, sitting in first place in the conference standings. The matchup pits Merrimack’s second-ranked scoring offense in the NEC against the top-ranked Mountaineers. Wednesday’s game begins at 4 p.m. while Thursday’s tips off at 1 p.m. Both contests can be seen live on NEC Front Row and on the NEC On The Run app.


Merrimack has only played once since last Sunday, an overtime contest at Bryant last Wednesday. The Warriors trailed by four points going into the fourth quarter, and were down by three with the last possession when junior Kate Mager hit a game-tying 3-pointer to force overtime against the Bulldogs. Merrimack went on to lose, 83-80, but multiple Warriors put forth impressive performances. Five different players scored in double figures led by senior Mayson Kimball’s 22 points. Sophomore Jayme DeCesare flirted with a triple-double with 14 points, nine rebounds and seven assists. Classmate Alana Fursman hit five of her first six shots to finish with 13 points.


Last season was the first two meetings in program history between Merrimack and Mount St. Mary’s. The home team won on each occasion, with the Warriors claiming a 21-point triumph in January of 2020 before the Mount returned the favor with a nine-point win in Emmitsburg, Md. in February of 2020. In Merrimack’s victory, the Warriors’ 2019-20 freshman class stole the show. Kaylee Thomas enjoyed a career game with 14 points on 4-of-5 shooting and two 3-pointers. Fursman scored 14 points too while DeCesare added 12 points.


Winners of four straight games by margins of at least 20 points, Mount St. Mary’s arrives in North Andover as one of the hottest teams in the NEC. Mount has three of the top-13 scorers in the NEC, led by Kendall Bresee, who ranks second in the conference in scoring at 14.9 points per game. Bresee is also the second best rebounder at 8.9 caroms per contest. Mount boasts the NEC’s top offense at 75.5 points per game, while only relenting 61.0 points per game.

Matchup Comparison

Category Merrimack (3-8, 3-8 NEC) Mount St. Mary’s (11-4, 10-2 NEC)
Scoring Offense 64.8 75.5
Scoring Defense 68.5 61.0
Field-Goal % 40.8%  44.1%
Field-Goal % Defense 40.7% 38.7%
3-PT Field Goal % 35.9% 35.9%
3-PT Field Goal % Defense 31.0% 31.5%
3-PT Field Goals (Made-Attempts) 90-251 133-370
Free-Throw Percentage 65.5% 79.1%
Winning Percentage 3-8 (.273) 11-4 (.733)
Rebounding Margin +0.1 +1.9
Assists/Game 13.2 14.4
Steals/Game 9.5 10.1
Turnovers/Game 18.6 14.9
Blocks/Game 1.6 3.5

Merrimack has a few individuals within striking distance of milestones in 2020-21. Senior Alyssa Casey boasts 952 points and 419 rebounds. She would become the 22nd 1,000-point scorer in school history. Senior Mayson Kimball – who missed last season due to injury – has started in all 11 games this season and is also nearing 1,000 points, sitting on 794. Junior Kate Mager is approaching Merrimack’s 3-pointers made record, needing 18 more to set establish a new mark. She’s hit 172 triples over 70 games.


After missing all of 2019-20 due to injury, senior Mayson Kimball has been on a roll recently for Merrimack. Since February 9 (five games), Kimball is averaging 18.2 points and 5.6 rebounds per game. She’s shooting 46 percent from the field (35-76) and 45 percent from beyond the arc (13-29) over that time frame.

Kelly Morrone begins her tenure as the seventh head coach in the history of the Merrimack College women’s basketball program. Morrone brings 117 career victories with her, spending the past seven seasons at DII John Carroll University in Ohio. Morrone brought that program to new heights, reaching its first three NCAA Tournaments over her seven-year stretch. She boasts plenty of DI experience too, playing at the University of South Carolina while coaching at William & Mary (2012-13), Rhode Island (2010-12), Davidson (2008-10) and Buffalo (2005-08).


Merrimack is among the NEC leaders in a few different areas. After three 80-point games over its last four, Merrimack has risen to second in scoring offense (64.8) and fourth in field goal percentage (.408). The Warriors are tied with the Mount in 3-point field goal percentage (.359). The Warriors are also third in the league in both assists (13.1/game) and steals (9.6/game).


Sophomore Jayme DeCesare has put together a nice run of games recently. Playing in at least 32 minutes in each of the last three games, the second-year guard has averaged 14.7 points, 7.3 rebounds and 5.7 assists per game. DeCesare has recorded at least six rebounds in three straight games including a career-high nine boards last Wednesday at Bryant. She has at least seven assists in two of her last three games, and has shot 40 percent or better from three in two straight, including a 5-of-8 effort vs. Central Connecticut (2/14).

Up Next:

Merrimack will travel to Sacred Heart next week for its final two games of the regular season.  

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