January 17, 2007
Basketball Squads Sweep Merrimack In NE-10 Doubleheader
COLCHESTER, Vt. – Saint Michael's College swept Merrimack College in Northeast-10 Conference basketball action on Wednesday at the Ross Sports Center. In the opener, the Purple Knight women earned a 67-56 win versus the Warriors, and in the nightcap, the Saint Michael's men held off Merrimack, 67-62.
In the women's contest, Saint Michael's (9-8, 6-7 NE-10) opened up a 37-24 halftime lead and never looked back in earning its second straight victory, and first home win since Dec. 9. For the Purple Knights, sophomore Anna Florent (Fort Wayne, Ind./Snider) led a balanced scoring attack with a career-high 16 points, while freshman Michelle Otey (Southborough, Mass./Algonquin Regional) came off the bench to post season-best totals of 12 points and nine rebounds. Junior Allison Dunn (Whippany, N.J./Morris Catholic) added 10 points as the Purple Knights made 5-of-13 3-pointers and handed out 16 assists, compared to just 12 turnovers.
For Merrimack (4-14, 2-11 NE-10), junior Ashley Brownlee (Portland, Maine) had a game-high 22 points, 10 rebounds and three blocks. Freshman Casey Miller (Fairbanks, Alaska) and junior Kara Borelli (Westbrook, Maine) netted 11 and 10 points, respectively, as the Warriors connected on just 1-of-13 3-pointers in suffering the loss.
Merrimack held a 10-9 lead eight minutes into the contest, but a lay-up by senior Jevy Rayner (Westminster, Vt./Bellows Falls Union) gave Saint Michael's the lead for good, and sparked a 28-14 run to close the half. Merrimack pulled to within 41-34 early in the second half on a pair of free throws from Borelli, but the Purple Knights scored the next nine points to open up a game-best 16-point lead, and effectively clinch the victory.
In the men's game, Saint Michael's (12-6, 9-4 NE-10) committed just four turnovers in posting its fifth win in its last six contests. For the Purple Knights, junior Brian Monahan (Kinderhook, N.Y./Christian Brothers Academy) had a game-high 23 points and 14 rebounds, his seventh double-double of the season. Classmate James Sorrentine (Pawtucket, R.I./Saint Raphael Academy) added 17 points, hitting four 3-pointers, while senior Brendan Mullins (Downers Grove, Ill./Downers Grove South) tallied 12 points and a career-high 10 assists. Saint Michael's made 10-of-29 3-pointers as a team, overcoming 37 percent shooting from the field.
For Merrimack (4-14, 3-10 NE-10), senior Kenny Jones (Norwich, Conn.) posted 19 points and nine rebounds. Freshman Darren Duncan (Briarwood, N.Y.) added 18 points and six assists for the Warriors, who shot just 21 percent from the field in the first half, and could never climb out of a 34-20 halftime deficit.
The Purple Knights still held a 58-45 lead with 7:30 remaining, before Merrimack went on a 15-5 run to cut its deficit to 63-60 with 2:05 remaining. During a full time out at the 2:05 mark, a fire alarm went off in the building, culminating in a 35-minute delay. When play resumed, both teams failed on their next possession, before Monahan's lay-up with 23 seconds left gave the hosts a 65-60 advantage. A lay-up by Merrimack sophomore David Kennedy (East Northport, N.Y.) with 14 seconds to go pulled the visitors to within 65-62, but Mullins sealed the win with two free throws with eight seconds to go.
Saint Michael's returns to action on Saturday with an NE-10 doubleheader at the University of Massachusetts Lowell (women at 2 p.m., men at 4 p.m.). The Purple Knights return home to host league-rival American International College on Saturday, Jan. 27 (women at 1:30 p.m., men at 3:30 p.m.). Merrimack returns to action on Saturday with a home doubleheader versus Southern New Hampshire University (women at 1:30 p.m., men at 3:30 p.m.).