Merrimack Quiets Women's Basketball, 67-60


Hyslip posted her second double-double of the year with a career-high 26 points and season-best 11 rebounds. (PHOTO BY Mike Tureski/SportsPix)

Neild and Werner combine for 34 points with four threes each to lead Warriors

EASTON, Mass. (November 22, 2016) – Merrimack College held Stonehill College to 20-percent shooting in the second half to claim a 67-60 victory in Northeast-10 Conference women's basketball action on Paula Sullivan Court at Merkert Gymnasium tonight.

Sophomores Hannah Neild (Litchfield, New Hampshire/Campbell) and Lindsay Werner (Groton, Massachusetts/Groton-Dunstable) combined for 34 points to lead Merrimack to the win, both connecting on 4-of-8 three-point attempts for the night. Neild totaled a team-high 18 points on 7-of-13 shooting with five rebounds and three blocked shots, while Werner registered 16 points on 5-of-9 shooting, converting both free-throw attempts, to go with three assists and two boards.

Senior Savannah Johnson (Palmdale, California/John F. Kennedy) added 13 points on 6-of-7 shooting with a team-high eight rebounds, five steals and two assists for Merrimack, while sophomore Lexi Martin (Franklin, Massachusetts/Franklin) contributed eight points, seven boards, two assists and a block.

Merrimack finished shooting 46.7-percent (28-for-60) from the field, including 8-for-17 (47.1%) from three-point range. The Warriors were 14-for-28 (50%) from the floor in the first half and the bench outscored the Stonehill reserves 18-7. Stonehill was held to 33.3-percent shooting (19-for-57) overall, including 3-for-8 (37.5%) from beyond the arc, shooting just 6-for-30 (20%) after halftime after connecting on 8-of-15 (53.3%) shots in the opening quarter. The Skyhawks held a 39-33 rebounding edge, leading to a 19-12 advantage in second chance points, and converted 19-of-22 (86.4%) free-throws.

Junior Samantha Hyslip (Westford, Massachusetts/Westford Academy) led Stonehill with her second double-double of the season (fourth career) as she totaled a career-high 26 points on 7-of-14 shooting from the floor, while converting all 12 free-throws, with a season-high 11 rebounds (six offensive). Classmate Courtney Walsh (Windham, New Hampshire/Central Catholic) scored 12 of her 14 points in the first quarter and all 14 of her points in the first half as she made her first five shots, including two three-pointers, to go with three assists and a steal.

Freshman Kelsey Shaw (Bar Harbor, Maine/Mount Desert Island) made her first career start for Stonehill and chipped in seven points, four rebounds, a season-high three steals and two assists. Sophomore Tayler Wornum (Randolph, Massachusetts/Archbishop Williams) collected a career-best nine boards for the Skyhawks.

Walsh netted 14 first half points, including 12 in the opening quarter. (PHOTO BY Mike Tureski/SportsPix)

Stonehill emerged from a back and forth opening quarter which featured four ties and six lead changes with a two-point lead (22-20) after leading by five (20-15) after a Hyslip layup with 1:11 remaining. Merrimack capped the quarter with a three-pointer from Werner and then knotted the score (22-22) with a Johnson layup two minutes into the second quarter.

Stonehill scored the next seven points, started by a three-pointer by Shaw, who capped the run with a layup to open its largest lead of the night (31-24) midway through the second. Merrimack answered again with eight straight points to reclaim the lead (32-31) after a Neild jumper with 16-seconds to play, before Walsh sent the Skyhawks into the intermission with the lead (33-32) on a last second jumper.

Merrimack opened a six-point lead (43-37) on a Neild three 4:13 into the third quarter. The Warriors lead reached eight (48-40) after a Neild layup with 2:54 to play in the frame and was still seven (51-44) after a Neild triple with 1:50 on the clock. Stonehill was able to pull within three (51-48) at the end of the quarter following four straight free-throws by Hyslip.

Hyslip scored the first four points of the fourth quarter as well to put Stonehill back in front (52-51), but Merrimack answered with a Martin layup and jumper by freshman Denia Davis-Stewart (Dorchester, Massachusetts/New Mission) to take a three-point lead (55-52) with eight minutes to play. The Skyhawks grabbed the lead again (56-55) on two Hyslip free-throws with 6:48 left, but the Warriors scored seven straight to regain a six-point lead (62-56) after a jumper by senior My'Asia Alston (Cohoes, New York/Cohoes) with 4:28 remaining.

Sophomore Nicole Rojas (Cromwell, Connecticut/Cromwell) scored a layup to draw Stonehill within four (62-58) with 3:29 left, but the Skyhawks would miss its last six shots from the floor from there, to allow Merrimack to seal the win.

Stonehill (2-3, 1-1 NE-10) is back in action on Sunday when it visits No. 23/25 Saint Anselm College for a Northeast-10 matchup at 1:30 p.m. The Skyhawks don't return home until Wednesday, December 7, to host Southern New Hampshire University here at Merkert Gym at 5:30 p.m. Merrimack (2-3, 1-1 NE-10) visits Division I UMass on Sunday at 2 p.m.

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