SYRACUSE, N.Y. – The fourth-seeded Merrimack College women’s basketball team outscored top-seeded and Southwest Division champion Le Moyne by 14 in the fourth quarter, but could not complete the comeback in the Warriors’ 74-63 defeat at Ted Grant Court in Syracuse, N.Y. in the quarterfinal round of the 2019 Northeast-10 Conference Championship.
Merrimack saw its conference tournament run end after the Warriors notched their 20th win of the year on Friday in the opening round against Southern Connecticut. The team was ranked ninth in the most recent NCAA Division II East Region poll as released by the NCAA Regional Advisory Committee. The Warriors await where they are ranked in Wednesday’s edition of the poll, with the top-eight finishers reaching the NCAA Tournament. The East Regional will be unveiled on Sunday as part of the NCAA Selection Show.
Sophomore Alyssa Casey led three players in double figures with 17 points, shooting 6-of-8 from the field including five 3-pointers. Junior Denia Davis-Stewart posted a double-double of 14 points and 15 rebounds while sophomore Mayson Kimball added 14 points of her own.
Score: Le Moyne 74, Merrimack 63
Records: Merrimack (20-10) | Le Moyne (22-5)
Location: Ted Grant Court | Syracuse, N.Y.
- With Merrimack within one possession at 7-4, the Dolphins recorded a 13-6 run that turned the first quarter into a 20-10 game with 1:56 left. Senior Lexi Martin added one more bucket for the Warriors in the remainder of the frame, but the Dolphins held a 10-point lead (22-12) after 10 minutes
- The Dolphins’ advantage grew to 16, 30-14, as Merrimack stopped play with a 30-second timeout at the 5:58 mark. Kimball proceeded to keep the Warriors in the game by scoring eight straight points, keeping the visitors within 12, 34-22, with 2:32 until halftime. A 7-0 stretch from there, however, saw the Dolphins build their largest advantage of the half (41-22). Senior Lindsay Werner stopped the run with nine seconds to play, hitting a jumper that made it a 41-24 contest at halftime
- The third quarter saw the Dolphins maintain their advantage, holding a 48-30 edge with 4:37 to go until the final stanza. Merrimack used a 5-0 burst to cut its deficit to 15, 48-35, only to see Le Moyne end the frame on a 12-2 run that gave the Dolphins a 25-point lead to begin the fourth quarter
- Merrimack’s 16-0 run spanning the 9:16 mark to 3:27 on the clock put the Warriors back in the game. Casey hit four 3-pointers during the stretch, accounting for 75 percent of Merrimack’s scoring during the run. Davis-Stewart converted a layup with 2:39 remaining that brought the deficit to single digits for the first time since the opening quarter, but Le Moyne scored seven straight that put the game away. At the end of the run, the Dolphins own a 72-57 edge with just one minute to play
Notes and Numbers
- Casey scored the most points over her last nine game, hitting the second most 3-pointers of her sophomore campaign. Her .750 field-goal percentage was her highest of the season over game’s in which she attempted at least four shots
- Davis-Stewart increased her team lead in double-doubles to 16, seven of which have come in the last 18 games
- The disparity in shooting in the first half enabled the Dolphins to pull out in front. The Warriors were held to under 30 percent (8-29) while Le Moyne hit over half of its field-goal attempts (18-32)
- Junior McKayla Roberts led all scorers with 29 points for Le Moyne, adding nine assists. The combination of Roberts and Liz Millea hit 8-of-13 3-point attempts for the hotsts
Merrimack awaits its NCAA Tournament fate and potential for an at-large berth. The final regional poll will be unveiled on Wednesday, while the NCAA East Regional will be announced during the NCAA Selection Show on Sunday, March 10.