EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA

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March 7, 2013

Merrimack women go for another upset tonight

10th-seeded Merrimack women take on Assumption in NE-10 semis

NORTH ANDOVER — Trailing by 15 points in the second half, on the road, to Pace on Friday night in the Northeast-10 tournament opening round, it appeared the season was over for Merrimack College women’s basketball.

But if the Warriors have proved anything this season, it’s that turning things around quickly seems to be embedded in their DNA.

The Warriors stormed back, took the game to overtime and ended up with a thrilling 75-70 victory. Two days later, the Warriors walked into Stonehill College – the second seed in the tournament and No. 11 ranked team in Division 2 – and won again.

Tonight, they’ll try to make it three straight upsets when they travel to Worcester to take on No. 6 Assumption (the No. 3 seed) at 7 p.m.

“No one really slept on the bus ride back from Pace,” said second-year head coach Monique LeBlanc. “I know I didn’t get into my bed until about 3:30 and I was up at 7 looking for Stonehill’s game tape ready to get going again. When you have momentum, I don’t think we thought about going to OT or being tired, you just want to get right back out there.”

Not only did the Warriors turn things around against Pace, this entire season has been about turning things around for the program.

After a five win season a year ago, the Warriors are now 19-11. That’s the largest turnaround in Division 2 basketball this season and in the top-10 all time.

The Warriors would likely admit that they aren’t the most talented group on the floor every night, but it’s hard to argue that they’re not the hardest working.

Kelly Schatzlein finished second in the NE-10 in rebounding and Chloe Rothman has taken her game to a new level this postseason, leading the Warriors in both scoring and assists.

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