Women's Basketball Rebounds at Merrimack, 74-62

Junior Kelly Martin paced the Skyhawks with 18 points, eight rebounds, five assists and three steals. (PHOTO BY Peter Buehner)

Martin and Marshall lead four Skyhawks in double-figures 

NORTH ANDOVER, Mass. (November 24, 2015) – Stonehill College, ranked fourth in this week's D2SIDA East Regional poll, bounced back into the win column with a 74-62 victory over Merrimack College in Northeast-10 Conference women's basketball action at Hammel Court this evening.

Junior guard Kelly Martin (Scituate, Massachusetts/Scituate) and senior guard Paige Marshall (Braintree, Massachusetts/Braintree) led the way for Stonehill as they bounced back from a pair of defeats last week with a combined 34 points to lead four Skyhawks in double-figures. Martin filled the stat sheet with 18 points on 8-of-15 shooting, eight rebounds, five assists and three steals, while Marshall added 16 points, six assists and two steals, connecting on 7-of-12 shots from the floor, including 2-for-3 from three-point distance.

Sophomore Samantha Hyslip (Westford, Massachusetts/Westford Academy) and freshman Maty Diabate (Holden, Massachusetts/Wachusett Regional) each contributed 12 points for Stonehill. Hyslip made 5-of-8 shots from the field and converted both free-throws to go with four rebounds, while Diabate was 6-for-11 overall with five boards (three offensive) off the bench.

Senior center Madison Ward (Binghamton, New York/Binghamton) led Merrimack with a game-high 22 points on 10-of-13 shooting, with seven rebounds and two blocked shots. Freshman Lexi Martin (Franklin, Massachusetts/Franklin) added 12 points off the bench on 6-of-9 shooting with three rebounds, while junior My'Asia Alston (Cohoes, New York/Cohoes) contributed ten points and two boards. Junior Savannah Johnson (Palmdale, California/John F. Kennedy) chipped in a game-high nine rebounds with six points, two assists and two blocks.

Senior Paige Marshall added 16 points and six assists for the Skyhawks. (PHOTO BY Peter Buehner)

Stonehill shot 45.7-percent (32-for-70) from the field, including 50% (17-34) during a first half in which it led by as much as 15 points before settling for a seven point halftime lead. The Skyhawks turned the ball over just eight times, compared to 18 for Merrimack, producing a 20-8 advantage in points off turnovers, to go with a 19-10 edge in second chance points as the Skyhawks posted a 39-30 rebounding advantage, posting 19 offensive rebounds compared to nine for the Warriors. Merrimack shot 50.9-percent (28-for-55) overall, including 51.9% (14-for-27) in the second half as the hosts tried to mount a comeback.

Stonehill built a ten point lead at the first intermission (24-14), behind six points from Hyslip, finishing the first quarter with a 13-4 run. Sophomore Courtney Walsh (Windham, New Hampshire/Central Catholic) drilled a three-pointer before freshman Nicole Rojas (Cromwell, Connecticut/Cromwell) capped the quarter with a layup. Marshall also chipped in four points during the run for the Skyhawks.

Martin opened the second quarter with a basket for Merrimack, but Stonehill responded with seven straight points to open a 15 point advantage (31-16) after a Marshall three-pointer midway through the frame. Merrimack drew back within five (35-30) just before the half after two straight baskets from Ward, but Marshall salvaged a seven point halftime lead (37-30) for the Skyhawks with a layup as time expired.

Stonehill quickly pushed its lead back to 11 (41-30) a minute and a half into the second half with buckets from Hyslip and Martin. Leading by nine (45-36) with 6:23 remaining in the third quarter, the Skyhawks reeled off nine straight points to open a game-high 18 point advantage (54-36) on a Marshall triple with 4:20 left. Diabate sparked the run with the first four points, while Martin also chipped in with a basket.

Stonehill took a 15 point (59-44) lead in the fourth quarter and held a 16 point advantage (67-51) with six minutes to go after a Martin jumper. Merrimack got right back in the game with eight straight points to cut the deficit in half (67-59) after a Johnson layup with four minutes still to play. The Skyhawks held there and outscored the Warriors 7-3 the rest of the way to seal the win.

Stonehill (3-2, 1-2 NE-10) is back in action on Sunday when it hosts LIU Post for a non-conference clash at Merkert Gymnasium at 1 p.m. Merrimack (2-3, 0-2 NE-10) hosts University of Indianapolis on Friday at 1 p.m.

For the latest on Stonehill Athletics, follow the Skyhawks via social media on Twitter and Facebook.