Syracuse, N.Y. - The Merrimack women's basketball was downed 61-53 on Wednesday night by the Le Moyne Dolphins. The Warriors were not able to hold onto an 11 point halftime lead as their record falls to 3-10 overall and 2-8 in the Northeast-10.
"We struggled in the second half to get a good look tonight," said head coach Monique LeBlanc. "Le Moyne played very hard and with a lot of intensity on defense. We were very careless with the ball, having 16 turnovers in the second half."
Gennifer Roy (Granby, Mass.) led the way offensively once again for the Warriors as she finished the game with 19 points on 6-17 from the field and a season-high eight rebounds. With her performance on Wednesday night, Roy moves into seventh place on the all-time scoring charts at Merrimack College with 1,242 career points. Kelly Schatzlein (Tolland, CT) picked up her seventh double-double of the season in the defeat, scoring 16 on 6-6 from the field and grabbing 11 rebounds. Schatzlein led the Warriors in rebounding for the eleventh time this season.
Le Moyne opened up the game with two free throws to give them the 2-0 early lead before the Warriors went on a 9-0 that was capped with an Allison Wagner (Center Conway, NH) three pointer. Wagner played in her first game after missing the previous two due to injury for the Warriors.
The early Merrimack lead was cut down to two points with 11:27 remaining in the opening half, as Maddy McKnight drained a contested three point shot. Over the next four minutes the Warriors would control the tempo of the game as Chloe Rothman (Newton, Mass.) gave Merrimack the seven point advantage as she cut through the lane for an open layup.
Merrimack would open up its biggest lead of the first half with 3:47 remaining in the half after Roy converted on an old fashion three point play as she was fouled on her layup, giving the Warriors the 30-17 advantage.
Rothman would drain the last shot of the first half for the Warriors, giving them the 35-24 halftime lead over the Dolphins.
Merrimack took the 11 point advantage to the locker-room as they shot 50 percent from the field in the first half. The Warriors held the Dolphins to a minuscule 21.6 percent from the field in the opening 20 minutes of action. Roy played all 20 minutes and scored 10 points for the Warriors while Rothman tallied nine points on 4-7 from the field.
The second half opened up with the Dolphins cutting the deficit to six, as they went on an 8-3 run over the first four minutes of the second half. Schatzlein ended the mini Le Moyne run by scoring four consecutive points of her own to extend the Warriors lead to 10, 42-32 in favor of Merrimack.
The Warriors were in front 46-37 with 11:25 remaining in the second half before the Dolphins went on a 12-0 run over the next six minutes to give them the 49-46 lead. The 12-0 run was capped off with three straight Morgan Rowland points.
Roy finally ended the six minute scoring drought for the Warriors with a mid range jumper to cut the Merrimack deficit to one point, 49-48. The Warriors would not come any closer in the five minutes of the game as Le Moyne's Emily Bayly extended the Dolphins lead to its biggest margin of the game, seven points, with 40 seconds to play.
Roy would make a layup 12 seconds later but the Dolphins would hit their free throws down the stretch to cling to the 61-53 come-from-behind victory in front of their home crowd.
The Warriors shot better from the floor then their opponents as they shot 36.7 percent compared to Le Moyne's 30 percent shooting, but they were unable to come away with the victory. The Warriors committed a season-high 29 turnovers in the loss. The Dolphins were able to take advantage of the Warriors turnovers by winning the points off turnover battle, 27-5 for the game.
Le Moyne had a slim advantage in points in the paint as they outscored Merrimack 22-18 but they dominated the bench scoring, 28-6 in favor of the Dolphins.
Rothman continued her steady play from the point guard spot, scoring 10 points on 4-11 from the field, five rebounds and four assists. Wagner returned from injury, playing 19 minutes and chipping in with six points on 2-5 from three point range. Valerie Avebe (Yaounde, Cameroon) came off the bench and hauled in seven rebounds for the Warriors in 16 minutes of action.
The Dolphins received solid offensive play from Rowland, racking up a team-high 13 points and seven rebounds in the victory. Katie Hart chipped in with 12 points and a team-high eight rebounds for the Dolphins.
Merrimack will return home for a conference showdown with Southern Connecticut State on Saturday. Tip is set for 12 pm as the game time was changed from 2 pm.