Links: Box Score
HACKENSACK, N.J. – Leading 42-41 entering the final quarter of play on Saturday night at the Rothman Center, the Merrimack College women’s basketball team saw the Fairleigh Dickinson University Knights outscore the Warriors, 19-6, in the fourth quarter to hand Merrimack a 60-48 Northeast Conference (NEC) defeat. The contest marked Merrimack’s first game of the year, as the Warriors fell to 0-1 (0-1 NEC). The Knights improved to 6-4 (2-3 NEC).
The game in New Jersey was the coaching debut on the Merrimack sidelines for head coach Kelly Morrone. Morrone saw her team come out strong in the third quarter to turn a five-point halftime deficit into a lead through 30 minutes. The Warriors grabbed momentum via a 10-0 run in the quarter, while senior Autumn Truesdale converted on an acrobatic put-back to beat the third-quarter buzzer that gave the visitors the aforementioned one-point edge. The Knights triumphed in the fourth, however, using a 7-0 run to break a 44-44 deadlock and take the lead for good.
For the first time in her career, sophomore Diamond Christian led the team in scoring with a career-high 15 points while Truesdale added 10 points and eight rebounds in her team debut. Fairleigh Dickinson had three players score in double figures, led by a game-high 16 points for Madison Stanley. The Warriors shot 36.2 percent from the field (21-58) compared to 40.0 percent shooting (26-65) for the Knights.
Score: FDU 60, Merrimack 48
Records: Merrimack (0-1, 0-1 NEC) | FDU (6-4, 2-3 NEC)
Location: Rothman Center | Hackensack, N.J.
- Merrimack controlled most of the first quarter, but it was the hosts who emerged with a lead after 10 minutes. Senior Mayson Kimball, junior Kate Mager and Truesdale each hit field goals as part of a 7-2 start for the Warriors. Kimball scored six first-quarter points, helping Merrimack gather a 15-10 advantage, but the hosts ended the frame on a 6-0 run to take a one-point lead
- Another close quarter played out in the second. Christian emerged for the Warriors, scoring the first five points of the frame for Merrimack. Freshman Nadeshka Bridgewater followed with a driving layup to tie the game, 22-22, with 6:05 to go in the half. Senior Alyssa Casey entered for the first time one minute later and hit a 3-pointer, propelling Merrimack back in front, 25-24. FDU scored four straight to take the lead back, however, and entered halftime in front, 32-27
- After falling behind by seven, 36-29, the Warriors used an 8-0 run to take a 37-36 lead by the midway point of the third quarter. Truesdale scored four straight during the run, while Christian finished a layup after a feed from Casey to create the lead change. The run extended to 10 straight points before the Knights responded with a 5-0 burst, grabbing a 41-39 advantage with 2:20 until the final quarter. Merrimack had the last laugh though, as Truesdale snatched a missed shot with just a second left and flipped it up and in to beat the buzzer, giving the Warriors a 42-41 lead going into the fourth
- With the score at 44-all, FDU netted seven straight points and kept Merrimack off the scoreboard for a near four-minute span to regain control. The Warriors trimmed their deficit to six, but a 3-pointer with 3:34 remaining increased the Knights’ advantage to nine, 54-45, which proved to be insurmountable for Merrimack
Notes and Numbers
- Christian scored in double figures for the fourth time in her career, and bested her previous career high of 13 points set last season at Illinois. The second-year guard shot 7-of-11 from the field – setting a career-best for field goals made – and also led Merrimack with four assists, the second most of her career
- Truesdale played her first game with the Warriors after transferring from the University of Richmond. Her 10 points and eight rebounds were both career highs, besting the totals she set in 26 career games with the Spiders
- Kimball played for the first time since the 2018-19 season, and nearly registered a double-double with nine points and eight rebounds
- Bridgewater and fellow freshman Teneisia Brown also made their Merrimack debuts
Merrimack is back at the Rothman Center tomorrow, playing the Knights at 4 p.m.