MANCHESTER, N.H. – The Merrimack College women’s basketball team overcame a 13-point halftime deficit on Saturday afternoon as senior Lindsay Werner hit a 3-pointer with 2.1 seconds left in regulation to force overtime at Southern New Hampshire, 65-65, from the Stan Spirou Fieldhouse. The host Penmen prevailed, however, converting a three-point play with 2.1 seconds left in the extra session to collect a 74-73 victory over the Warriors.
Werner and follow senior Karlee Alves combined for 35 points to lead Merrimack’s attack. Junior Denia Davis-Stewart added 12 points and 16 rebounds including 10 points and 11 caroms over the final 25 minutes.
The defeat moved Merrimack into fifth place in the Northeast Division with three games left in the regular season. The Warriors’ 10-8 Northeast-10 Conference record equals the 10-8 mark for the Penmen, but Southern New Hampshire owns the tiebreaker over Merrimack after Saturday’s win. Merrimack needs just one more win to clinch a spot in the NE10 Championship.
Score (OT): SNHU 74, Merrimack 73
Records: Merrimack (17-8, 10-8 NE10) | SNHU (16-9, 10-8 NE10)
Location: Stan Spirou Fieldhouse | Manchester, N.H.
- A quarter of runs unfolded in the first. With SNHU ahead by four early, Merrimack scored seven straight to take a 9-6 lead. The run was bookended by buckets for sophomore Mayson Kimball. SNHU responded, however, with a 9-0 stretch that ended with the hosts in front, 15-9, with 3:23 left in the quarter. Merrimack did close the quarter on a 7-3 stretch, making it a two-point deficit (18-16) entering the second
- The team’s combined for 10 points over the first 5:25 of the quarter, with SNHU maintaining a two-point lead (23-21) out of the under-five media timeout. From there, however, SNHU ended the final 4:35 on a 17-6 run that gave the hosts a 40-27 edge at halftime
- Merrimack dominated the latter half of the third quarter to tie the game going into the fourth. Trailing by nine, 50-41, with 3:44 remaining until the fourth quarter, the Warriors ended the frame with nine unanswered points. Alves, Werner and senior Lexi Martin scored over three straight possessions to pull Merrimack within two, 50-48. Then on the Warriors’ last possession of the quarter, Werner drove to the free-throw line and sank a pull-up jumper to tie the contest at 50-all
- Similar to the second quarter, both offenses started slowly in the fourth. Freshman Kate Mager broke a 53-53 deadlock at the 5:41 mark with a triple to push Merrimack ahead, 56-53. Merrimack maintain a lead until the 3:03 mark, when the Penmen went ahead by one (59-58). The hosts led by as many as five in the final minute, but Merrimack overcame that mark to force overtime. Kimball hit a lefty layup to pull the Warriors within one, 63-62, with 13 seconds left. After the hosts hit two free throws, Werner came down the other way an swished a right-wing trey that knotted the score at 65 and forced OT
- The final five minutes saw Merrimack and SNHU trade buckets early, resulting in a 71-70 edge for the hosts with 2:18 to go. Davis-Stewart answered with a jumper and one point at the line gave the Warriors a 73-71 lead with seven seconds to go. Senior Kyle Lorenzen made the day’s final basket, however, sinking a jumper while being fouled to complete a three-point play
Notes and Numbers
- Davis-Stewart finished with her 12th double-double of the season, 10 of which have come in the last 17 games. She shot 6-of-9 from the field, and 14 of her 16 boards came on the defensive glass
- Werner’s 18 points moved her career total to 1,054, needing just four more to vault into 18th all-time at Merrimack. She also reached 181 career 3-pointers, needing nine more to set a new school record
- Alves’ 17 points were the second most of her career. The senior also eclipsed 200 assists on the season, increasing on her own single-season record. She needs nine more to crack the top 15 in NE10 history
- SNHU’s Lorenzen not only hit the game-winning shot, but broke the school’s all-time scoring record on Saturday. She totaled a game-high 29 points to go along with 13 rebounds
- Outside of Lorenzen, the Warriors’ defense held every other Penmen to just 32 percent shooting (16-50)
- The Penmen owned a 16-7 edge on the offensive glass, and a plus-11 rebounding advantage overall
In another game with playoff implications, the Warriors host Stonehill College at 5:30 p.m. Wednesday evening at Hammel Court. Merrimack needs to win to clinch a spot in the NE10 Championship; a win combined with a SNHU defeat will move the Warriors back into fourth place in the Northeast.