Sophomore Mary Louise Dixon led the Skyhawks with 17 points and four assists. (PHOTO BY Gil Talbot)
Skyhawks shoot under 25-percent shooting in second half, while Warriors click at nearly 58-percent to notch win
Junior Kelly Schatzlein (Tolland, Conn./Tolland) led Merrimack as it snapped an eight game skid with a double-double effort of a game-high 25 points and 12 rebounds, shooting 11-of-13 from the field while converting all three free-throw attempts to go with two assists. Freshman Allison Wagner (Center Conway, N.H./Kennett) added 12 points on 4-of-7 shooting, including 1-for-2 from deep, while connecting on 3-of-4 free-throws to go with two steals. Classmate Chloe Rothman (Newton, Mass./Newton South) contributed 11 points, three rebounds, six assists and three steals. Freshman Cassi Amenta (Lynn, Mass./Saint Mary's) chipped in with 11 rebounds.
Sophomore Mary Louise Dixon (Wellesley, Mass./Wellesley) led the way for Stonehill with 17 points as she made 6-of-12 shots from the field, including 3-for-6 from three-point range, while converting both free-throw attempts to go with four assists. Senior Priscilla Dodoo (Worcester, Mass./Burncoat) added 11 points and five rebounds (three offensive), while freshman Tori Faieta (Lynn, Mass./Saint Mary's) finished with ten points, two rebounds, two assists, two steals and a blocked shot.
Senior Priscilla Dodoo added 11 points and five rebounds. (PHOTO BY Bert Lane)
Merrimack shot 57.8-percent (26-for-45) from the field and converted 79.2-percent (19-for-24) of its free-throws for the afternoon. The Warriors dominated the glass, outrebounding Stonehill 41-25, to help offset an 18-8 turnover deficit. The Skyhawks shot 50-percent (14-for-28) from the field in the opening half, but went just 8-for-33 (24.2%) in the second to finish shooting 36.1% (22-61) overall. Stonehill was 4-for-19 (21.1%) from beyond the arc and made 10-of-12 (83.3%) free-throws.
Stonehill led by seven (13-6) after Dixon capped a 9-2 run with a layup off a steal by freshman Amy Pelletier (Beverly, Mass./Bishop Fenwick) four minutes into the second half. Merrimack responded with an 18-5 rush to reverse the lead and open a six point cushion (24-18) with 8:56 remaining in the half with the last four points coming from Schatzlein, who had eight points in all during that stretch.
Merrimack settled for a two-point (35-33) halftime lead and Stonehill drew even twice before regaining the lead (38-37) after a three-point play from Dodoo three minutes in. Merrimack took control from there, reeling off a 16-2 run to take a 13 point lead (53-40) after a Wagner free-throw with 12:14 remaining. Schatzlein led the way again with nine points during that stretch, while Wagner also nailed a three-pointer.
A Rothman three-ball pushed the Merrimack lead to 16 (58-42) with 10:12 to play, but Stonehill closed within ten (60-50) with 6:13 left after a three by sophomore Abbey Lalime (Orleans, Vt./Lake Region Union). The teams traded baskets until the Warriors were able to seal the victory by scoring nine straight points to open a 20 point margin (74-54) on a Wagner jumper with 1:10 on the clock. Faieta's jumper at the buzzer snapped a Stonehill drought of 6:13 without a field goal, as the Skyhawks got outscored 14-8 in that time.
Stonehill (11-10, 7-10 NE-10) returns to action on Wednesday when it visits the University of Massachusetts Lowell at 5:30 p.m. The Skyhawks return home next Saturday, February 11, to host Saint Michael's College on Senior Day at 1:30 p.m. The game will also be Stonehill's annual "Play for Kay" Event to benefit the Kay Yow Fund for breast cancer awareness. Fans can make donations through www.play4kay.org. Fans wearing pink to Saturday's game will be admitted free of charge. Merrimack (4-17, 3-14 NE-10) hosts Saint Anselm College on Wednesday at 5:30 p.m.