NORTH ANDOVER, MA – The Merrimack Warriors women's basketball team was downed in a tight contest the non conference opponent C.W. Post on Monday night at Bert Hammel Court. The loss drops the Warriors record to 3-14 overall and 2-11 in the Northeast-10.
"We played with great effort and intensity tonight," said head coach Monique LeBlanc. "I thought that we handled their pressure well in stretches and we responded to their runs."
Kelly Schatzlein (Tolland, CT) continued her solid play as she recorded her tenth double-double of the season on Monday night as she racked up 19 points and 14 rebounds. Valerie Avebe (Yaounde, Cameroon) had a solid night off the bench as she recorded 10 points and four rebounds in 15 minutes.
The game started off with the Warriors taking the early 7-2 lead as Cassi Amenta (Lynn, Mass.) made a layup with 16:11 remaining in the opening half after a Chloe Rothman (Newton, Mass.) assist.
The Pioneers responded quickly with a run of their own capped off by Kenyatta Sears two point shot from just outside the paint making the score 13-7 in favor of C.W. Post.
The Warriors pulled within one as Avebe completed an old fashion three point play with 9:34 to go in the opening half. Avebe cut the score to 15-14 in favor of the Pioneers.
C.W. Post extended their lead back to five points as Felicia Joyner drove to the basket and made a smooth layup, making the score 25-20. The Warriors would fight back less than three minutes later as Jaclyn Lyons (Reading, Mass.) drilled an open three point jumper to give Merrimack the 29-27 lead.
Merrimack would cling to the 36-35 halftime lead as Avebe would make one of two free throws to end the half. The Warriors shot a better percentage from the field in the first half as they were 41.9 percent from the field. Schatzlein led the way with seven points and eight rebounds in the opening half. There were five lead changes and four ties in the first half.
The Warriors opened up the second half with an 8-3 run over a four minute span to give them the four point lead, 44-40. The Pioneers would take the lead back 51-50 with 12:39 remaining in the game as Alexis Peters got free for a contested jumper that fell.
The Warriors would take their biggest lead of the second half at the 8:07 mark of the second half as Schatzlein got free for a layup in the paint off of a Gennifer Roy (Granby, Mass.) assist. The Merrimack lead was 59-54.
C.W. Post would respond with a run of their own over the next three minutes as they outscored the Warriors 16-2 to give them the nine point lead, 70-61. The nine point advantage would be the biggest advantage for either team all night.
Katie Ganser (Needham, Mass.) would give the Warriors hope with just over a minute to play as she drained a wide open three point jumper from the corner, cutting the Merrimack deficit to four, 72-68. After a Pioneer miss, the Warriors would make it a one point game as freshman Allison Wagner (Center, Conway, NH) hit a clutch three pointer with 53 seconds showing on the clock, forcing C.W. Post to take a timeout.
After another Pioneer miss with 32 seconds to go, the Warriors gave the ball to their captain, Roy, for the chance to take the lead. Roy cut to the basket but was unable to finish in the lane. The Pioneers grabbed the rebounds and made both free throws at the other end of the court, making the score 74-71 in favor of C.W. Post. With one final attempt to tie the game, freshman Rothman missed a straight away three pointer to finish the game.
The Warriors were given strong play by Rothman once again from the point guard spot as she racked up eight points, seven assists and grabbed six rebounds in the loss. Roy had a quiet night on the offensive end of the court only scoring six points but she grabbed six rebounds in 40 minutes of action. Ganser continued her solid play off the bench for the Warriors contributing with nine points on 4-6 from the field.
The Pioneers were given a great effort by Felicia Joyner as she racked up 18 points and dished out four assists in the victory. Nicolette Marciniak played well racking up a double-double as she had 10 points and 12 boards. Kenyatta Sears also played well chipping in with 13 points and six rebounds off the bench.
Merrimack will hit the road for a conference matchup with the Pace Setters at 5:30 pm on Wednesday.