#8/20 Women's Basketball Pushes Past Merrimack, 62-51

Walsh scored a game-high 16 points to lead the Skyhawks to a 13th-straight win. (PHOTO BY Mike Tureski/SportsPix)

Skyhawks clinch share of ninth NE10 regular season title with 13th-straight win

EASTON, Mass. (February 14, 2018) – Stonehill College, ranked No. 8 in this week's D2SIDA Top 25 Media Poll and 20th in the Women's Basketball Coaches Association (WBCA) Division II poll, clinched at least a share of its ninth Northeast-10 Conference regular season championship with a 62-51 decision over Merrimack College in NE10 women's basketball action on Paula Sullivan Court at Merkert Gymnasium tonight.

Seniors Courtney Walsh (Windham, New Hampshire/Central Catholic), Kelly Martin (Scituate, Massachusetts/Scituate) and Samantha Hyslip (Westford, Massachusetts/Westford Academy) combined for 43 points to lead Stonehill, ranked No. 1 in the NCAA Division II East Region rankings released today, to its 13th-straight win. Walsh netted a game-high 16 points to go with three assists, two rebounds and two steals, while Hyslip tallied 15 points on 7-of-12 shooting, and eight rebounds. Martin rounded out the Skyhawks double-figure scorers with 12 points, nine boards, four assists and a steal, without a turnover.

Sophomore Grace Carter (Arlington, Massachusetts/Arlington) dished out a career-high eight assists, with just one turnover, for Stonehill, while classmate Gabrielle Reuter (Plymouth, Massachusetts/Lawrence Academy) chipped in with six points, four rebounds and  career-high matching five blocked shots.

Martin totaled 12 points, nine rebounds and four assists in the Skyhawks' 18th-straight NE10 win. (PHOTO BY SportsPix)

Freshman Mayson Kimball (Webster, New Hampshire/The Tilton School) led three Merrimack players in double-figures with 15 points on 6-of-15 shooting, including 2-for-4 from three-point range, four rebounds and three assists. Junior Lindsay Werner (Groton, Massachusetts/Groton-Dunstable) added 12 points, while sophomore Denia Davis-Stewart (Dorchester, Massachusetts/New Mission) totaled ten points, eight rebounds and seven blocked shots.

Stonehill battled back from an eight-point deficit in the second quarter to take a two-point lead (28-26) into halftime. The Skyhawks outscored Merrimack 9-2 over the final four minutes of the second quarter, behind four different scorers. Freshman Jennifer Worden (Abington, Massachusetts/Abington) followed up a Martin layup with a three-pointer to give Stonehill its first lead since the opening minute of the game with 1:26 to play in the half. After a layup from sophomore Alyssa Torres (Bohemia, New York/Long Island Lutheran), Reuter capped the half with a layup to push the Skyhawks back in front at the intermission.

Stonehill wouldn't relinquish the lead again in the second half, grabbing an eight point advantage (37-29) midway through the third quarter after consecutive baskets by Hyslip. The Skyhawks carried a five-point lead (41-36) into the fourth, where they would connect on 7-of-9 shots (77.8-percent), including 2-for-3 from three, and 5-of-6 free-throws to clinch the win.

A Martin layup and Walsh three-pointer restored Stonehill's eight-point lead (46-38) less than a minute into the fourth. The Skyhawks lead reached double-digits (53-42) with a Walsh triple with 4:21 remaining. Merrimack was still within six (57-51) after a Werner jumper with 1:37 to play, but Walsh answered with a layup and Hyslip added a basket before canning 1-of-2 free-throws in the final minute to seal the win.

Stonehill (22-2, 18-1 NE10) is right back in action here at Merkert Gym on Saturday for Senior Day against Assumption College at 1:30 p.m. Tickets for Stonehill home games can be purchased online in advance at stonehillskyhawks.com. Merrimack (14-10, 10-9 NE10) visits nationally-ranked Bentley University on Saturday at noon.

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