January 18, 2014

MERRIMACK COLLEGE USES LATE PUSH TO EDGE WOMEN'S BASKETBALL, 63-60

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Women's Basketball vs Merrimack 1/18/14



Syracuse, N.Y. – Chloe Rothman scored 20 points to lead Merrimack College to a 63-60 win over the Le Moyne College women's basketball team in Northeast-10 Conference play on Saturday afternoon at Ted Grant Court.

Junior guard Alex Marple (Covington, Pa./Wellsboro) registered a new career-high point total for the third straight game by scoring 24 points, 18 of which came in the second half, while grabbing five rebounds (four offensive) and dishing out three assists. Over the last three games, Marple has posted performances of 22, 23 and 24 points. She is the first Dolphin since Kathleen Gladstone '09 in February 2008 to record three straight games with at least 20 points. Her 12 made free throws are tied with Kim Wagoner '08 for the second-most by a Dolphin over the last 12 seasons. Junior guard Maddie Hahesy (Erie, Pa./McDowell) tallied a career-best 11 points in 22 minutes off the bench, while pulling down five rebounds, handing out two assists and posting two steals.

Rothman, who recorded 13 of her points after halftime, added five rebounds and four rebounds to her team-best scoring total. Aria Johnson posted a double-double with 11 points and a game-best 11 rebounds, eight of which came in the second half. Shelby Secor came off the bench to score 11 points as the third Warrior in double figures.

The Dolphins opened the game with eight of the first 11 points over the opening 3:13. Senior guard Maddy McKnight (Springfield, Pa./Springfield) started the scoring with a three-pointer, Marple followed with a jumper, McKnight made a jump shot and then converted a foul shot.

The Warriors responded with eight straight points for their first lead of the game with 12:14 left. Johnson made a free throw, Tia Scott converted a lay-up and Secor followed with a conventional three-point play and a lay-up.

Le Moyne countered with seven straight points and 13 of the next 17 to take its largest lead of the game with 6:35 remaining. Junior forward Emily Greer (Corry, Pa./Corry) started the run with a lay-up, Hahesy followed with seven straight points on a conventional three-point play and consecutive lay-ups, junior forward Tessa Pucello (Syracuse, N.Y./Solvay) made a lay-up off a feed from Hahesy and then Marple made a pair of foul shots for a 21-15 advantage.

Merrimack (9-6, 5-5 NE-10) answered back with a pair of 6-0 runs around a Le Moyne basket and 16 of the final 20 points in the half to take a 31-25 lead at halftime. After Johnson made a lay-up, Rothman hit a jumper and two foul shots to tie the score at 21. Following a lay-up by graduate student guard Kayla Stroman (Syracuse, N.Y./Christian Brothers Academy/Niagara), Johnson made a lay-up to tie the score at 23 and Madison Ward followed with back-to-back lay-ups to put the Warriors in front. After Marple ended Le Moyne's scoring in the half with a jumper, Cassi Amenta and Ward each scored in the paint for Merrimack.

After Rothman outscored the Dolphins 5-2 over the opening 1:49 of the second half to extend Merrimack's lead to a game-high nine points (36-27), the Dolphins tallied nine of the next 11 points to close within two with 13:31 left. Marple had the first seven points on two baskets and three free throws, while Pucello capped the spurt with a lay-up.

Following baskets by Johnson and Secor around a Marple jumper, the Dolphins scored five straight points to regain the lead. Sophomore forward Maggie Brown (Cortland, N.Y./Cortland) made two free throws, Greer made one foul shot and then Marple converted a fast-break lay-up off a steal by Hahesy.

Amenta scored Merrimack's next five points, around a free throw by Hahesy, to put the Warriors back up by three (47-44) with 6:26 left.

After Stroman made two free throws with 6:15 left and Rothman converted a lay-up with 5:32 to play, Hahesy drilled a three-pointer from the right wing with 4:34 to go to tie the score for the sixth and final time.

Merrimack regained control of the game with six straight points over the next 2:15. Rothman gave the Warriors the lead with two free throws and then hit a jumper with 3:46 to play. Secor capped the run by making two free throws with 2:19 to go.

The teams then traded points over the next 1:54, with the margin either four or six points in favor of the Warriors. Marple had six of Le Moyne's eight points in the span, while Johnson, Secor and Rothman each had baskets for the Warriors. Le Moyne had a chance to make it a one-possession game after Rothman missed two free throws with 24 seconds left, but a three-pointer was off the mark. After tracking down the rebound and getting fouled, Ashley Weissmann connected on two free throws to push the lead back to six with 11 seconds left.

Stroman made a jumper with five seconds to go to make the score 63-59 and Marple connected on a free throw after grabbing an offensive rebound with less than two seconds left, but the Dolphins could not get off a potential game-tying three-pointer after Marple missed her second free throw attempt.

Le Moyne (9-7, 5-5 NE-10), which has dropped back-to-back games for the third time in the last eight games, returns to action on Wednesday against Saint Anselm College (10-7, 6-6 NE-10) at 5:00 p.m.