January 15, 2013

WOMEN’S BASKETBALL EDGED BY MERRIMACK, 82-75

North Andover, Mass. – Chloe Rothman scored 24 points to lead Merrimack to an 82-75 win over the Le Moyne College women's basketball team on Tuesday night in Northeast-10 Conference action at Bert Hammel Court.

Senior guard Torie Lee (Fayetteville, N.Y./Fayetteville-Manlius) led the Dolphins with a career-best 22 points, 14 of which came in the second half. Sophomore forward Tessa Pucello (Syracuse, N.Y./Solvay) registered a career-high 16 points and career-best seven rebounds in her first career start. Sophomore forward Emily Greer (Corry, Pa./Corry) recorded 14 points and seven rebounds, while sophomore guard Alex Marple (Wellsboro, Pa./Wellsboro) scored 12 points off the bench.

Rothman added eight assists to her game-high point total, which included 14 in the second half. Kelly Schatzlein registered 18 points (12 in the second half) and nine rebounds, while Ashley Weissmann had 15 points off the bench and Jaclyn Lyons tallied 10 points.

After Schatzlein got the Warriors on the scoreboard six seconds into the game, the Dolphins rattled off 10 of the next 12 points. Greer started the scoring with a three-pointer, Pucello followed with a jumper, Lee then made a lay-up and freshman forward Lauren Price (Humble, Texas/Atascocita) ended the spurt with a free throw and a jumper with 14:07 left.

Following a 12-6 spurt by the Warriors to even the score at 16 apiece with 10:59 remaining in the half, the teams traded runs over the remainder of the half. The Dolphins regained the lead with four straight points, but Merrimack answered with six consecutive points, including a three-pointer by Weissmann, to take its first lead since the opening seconds.

Lee answered with four points in a span of 28 seconds to give the Dolphins the lead again, but Schatzlein made a lay-up to tie the score and Weissmann followed with another three-pointer to give the Warriors their last lead of the half.

Le Moyne (4-10, 2-8 NE-10) countered with eight straight points to take a five point lead. Greer tied the score with a three-pointer and followed with a three-pointer in transition from the top of the key to force a Merrimack timeout. Pucello capped the run with two free throws with 2:59 remaining.

After the teams split the next four points, the Warriors scored the last four points of the half to pull within 34-33 at the intermission.

Schatzlein scored the first two points of the second half, but the Dolphins answered with a 7-2 run to take a four point lead, their largest of the half. Freshman guard/forward Maggie Brown (Cortland, N.Y./Cortland) scored the first four points, while Greer followed with a three-pointer.

The Warriors then recorded a pair of 5-0 runs around a 4-0 spurt by the Dolphins. Schatzlein had a lay-up in each stretch, while Weissmann nailed a three-pointer in the first run and Rothman buried a three-pointer in the second run.

After the teams traded baskets over the next 3:49, resulting in a 53-52 Merrimack lead, the Warriors scored six straight points to open up a seven point advantage. Lyons had four of the points in the 6-0 spurt, while Shelby Secor added a lay-up.

Le Moyne responded with 10 of the next 14 points over a span of 3:26 to cut its deficit to one with 6:08 to play. Lee had three lay-ups in the stretch, while Marple had the other four points.

Merrimack (10-4, 6-4 NE-10) regained its seven point lead on three-pointers by Weissmann and Rothman, but the Dolphins countered once again with a 7-1 run to close within one point with 3:07 left. Lee started the comeback with a traditional three-point play, Marple made a lay-up and then Greer made a lay-up to make the score 70-69.

The Warriors followed with 11 of the next 13 points to take control of the contest. Lyons followed Greer's lay-up with a jumper five seconds later and then Rothman hit two free throws with 1:34 to play. Pucello pulled the Dolphins within 74-71 with 1:23 to go, but Weissmann followed with a three-pointer from the left corner. Rothman then knocked down four free throws in a span of 18 seconds to give the Warriors an 81-71 lead with 28 seconds left.

Pucello then made a pair of put-back lay-ups four seconds apart to make the score 81-75 with three seconds left, but Rothman converted a free throw with two seconds left to end the game's scoring.

Le Moyne, which beat the Warriors in Syracuse last year, returns to action on Saturday against 17th-ranked Stonehill College at 1:00 p.m.