NORTH ANDOVER, MASS. – Playing in its final home game of the regular season, the Merrimack College women’s basketball program recognized its three-player senior class from Hammel Court. Seniors Karlee Alves, Lexi Martin and Lindsay Werner were all honored as part of the Senior Day ceremony. In the game the followed, the visiting No. 14/16 Bentley Falcons toppled the Warriors, 67-44.
Merrimack will enter its regular-season finale locked into finishing in either fourth or fifth in the Northeast Division, and play in the NE10 Championship First Round on Friday, March 1. The Warriors need to win and have Southern New Hampshire lose to finish in fourth, which would result in Merrimack hosting the first-round game. If Merrimack finishes in fifth, the Warriors will travel to the fourth seed from the Southwest Division for its opening playoff game.
Score:#14/16 Bentley 67, Merrimack 44
Records: Merrimack (18-9, 11-9 NE10) | #14/16 Bentley (25-2, 19-1 NE10)
Location: Hammel Court | North Andover, Mass.
- The first seven minutes of the first quarter saw the defenses controlled the game, as only nine points were scored between the two teams. The final three minutes saw the Falcons take control, using a 12-0 run to build a 17-point lead (19-2), and led by 15 after 10 minutes
- Merrimack’s offense rebounded in the second quarter, scoring 24 points including eight from freshman Kate Mager. With the score at 37-20 with 3:11 remaining, the Warriors closed the half on an 8-2 run to cut their deficit to 11. Mager hit a layup to start the run, sophomore Alyssa Caseyconnected on a right-wing trey and Alves finished a driving layup to beat the buzzer, making it a 39-28 contest at halftime
- The Falcons built their lead back up as the third quarter progressed. The visitors used a 9-2 run that spanned the first 5:55 of the quarter, increasing their lead to 18 (48-30). Merrimack trimmed it down to 13 via a 5-0 burst from sophomore Mayson Kimball, but the Falcons answered back with a 5-0 stretch of their own
- Bentley’s lead remained in the 20’s for the fourth quarter. Martin generated a scoring chance late in the frame, converting a putback for her first points on Senior Day. Merrimack’s defense held Bentley to 14 percent shooting from three in the half, but the Falcons prevented the hosts from mounting a comeback
Notes and Numbers
- Kimball led the team with 12 points and seven rebounds, shooting 5-of-15 from the field.
- Neither team shot particularly well; Bentley finished with splits of .371/.357/.714 while the Falcons held Merrimack to 27.3 percent shooting from the field and 25.0 percent from beyond the arc
- The Falcons saw four players score in double figures led by 16 points and 10 rebounds from senior Victoria Lux and 14 points and 15 boards for Katie Meriggioli
- Sophomore Marissa Gattuso posted her second straight strong effort off the bench for Merrimack, totaling four points and five assists in 20 minutes off the bench
The regular season concludes for women’s basketball on Tuesday night when the Warriors face Saint Michael’s at 5:30 p.m. up in Colchester, Vt. Merrimack needs a win combined with a SNHU loss to host the opening round of the NE10 Championship on Friday. A SNHU victory will send Merrimack on the road to either American International or the University of New Haven.