Purple Knights fall on late bucket to Merrimack, 66-64

COLCHESTER, Vt. - Senior Kelly Schatzlein (Tolland, Conn./Toland) converted a lay-up with 3.7 seconds remaining in the contest to give Merrimack College a 66-64 win over the Saint Michael's College women's basketball team in Northeast-10 Conference action on Wednesday at Ross Sports Center. The Purple Knights drop to 9-15 overall and 7-13 in the conference after the defeat, while the Warriors improve to 13-11 and 9-11.

Senior Nicole Adach (Schenectady, N.Y./Mohonasen) led Saint Michael's with 18 points on 7-of-11 shooting and 2-of-3 three-point shooting, while adding eight rebounds, including four on the offensive end. First-year Megan Gaudreau (Brooklyn, Conn./Pomfret School) scored 11 points on 3-of-4 shooting from long range, while classmate Makenzie Burud (Red Hook, N.Y./Coleman Catholic) had 10 points, four rebounds and two steals. Redshirt sophomore Kaitlin Geary (Milton, Vt./Milton) contributed nine points, hitting 3-of-4 from three-point range, and senior Megan Olsen (Glenmont, N.Y./Bethlehem Central) finished with five points, seven assists and three steals. Junior Alexa Long (Waterford, Conn./Waterford) grabbed 10 boards, with five coming on the offensive glass, and added three blocks.

Schatzlein paced Merrimack with 19 points on 7-of-10 shooting and 5-of-5 shooting from the free throw line while adding six rebounds, four blocks and a pair of steals. First-year Ashley Weissmann (Highland, Calif./Summit) had 12 points, four boards and two steals, while sophomores Chloe Rothman (Newton, Mass./Newton South) and Allison Wagner (Center Conway, N.H./Kennett) each contributed eight points. First-year Tia Scott (New York, N.Y./Suffield Academy) recorded seven points, nine assists, six rebounds and four steals, and junior Shelby Secor (Antioch, Calif./Antioch) finished with six points and eight boards.

Adach scored eight of her team's first 12 points, as the Purple Knights commanded a 12-5 lead after the game's opening 4:20. The Warriors went on a 9-3 run during a 2:30 stretch to pull back to within one before Saint Michael's scored the next 10 points as part of an 18-4 run to close the half. Gaudreau hit a pair of three-pointers in a personal 8-2 run during a 1:43 span that came within the last 4:58 of the half.

The visitors used a 12-0 run to cut the Purple Knight lead to 36-32 3:14 into the second half before Long knocked in a three-pointer to cap a 7-0 Saint Michael's run. Merrimack fought back to trail 46-41 with 12:05 remaining, but the hosts extended their lead to nine after scoring the next four points. The Warriors used an 11-2 run during a span of 3:36 to deadlock the game 52 before forcing ties of 60 and 62 at 3:15 and 1:58, respectively. Schatzlein hit a lay-in with 1:14 left and Burud answered for the hosts with a lay-up 24 seconds later. Merrimack grabbed a pair of offensive rebounds to prevent a Saint Michael's scoring opportunity in the last 49 ticks.

The Purple Knights are back in action on Saturday when they face Saint Anselm College in a road contest at 1:30 p.m.