---- — NORTH ANDOVER — The Merrimack women’s basketball team picked up the 64-53 victory over the Saint Anselm Hawks on opening night at Bert Hammel Court behind Kelly Schatzlein’s first double-double of the season with 20 points and 12 rebounds.
Merrimack (4-1, 2-1 NE-10) will hit the road for their next conference matchup Saturday as they will take on UMass Lowell at 2 p.m.
The Warriors were led offensively by Schatzlein who scored 12 points and grabbed nine boards in the second half. Fellow senior Jaclyn Lyons finished off her impressive night with 13 points on 4 for 7 from the floor and 3 for 6 from 3-point range.
Chloe Rothman continued her strong play as she finished with 10 points, five assists and two rebounds in 35 minutes of action for the Warriors.
Freshman Ashley Weissmann ( gave the Warriors a spark off the bench as she finished with nine points, three rebounds and an assist.
The turning point in the game came in the second half with 9:15 remaining in the game as the Warriors took a 20 second timeout after Allie Jones gave the visitors a five point lead on a layup.
The Warriors came out of the timeout and received a 3-pointer from Lyons to cut the deficit to two and the Warriors never looked back.
The Warriors outscored the Hawks 24-8 in the final 9:15 of the game to pick up their fourth win of the season, nearly matching last season’s five wins.
For the game, Merrimack shot 43.4 percent from the floor while the Hawks were held to shooting 40.4 percent.
Merrimack also held the Hawks to 20 percent from three point range while they recorded six three pointers in the game.
The Hawks (3-2, 0-2) were led on the night by Allie Jones who finished with a team-high 10 points, four rebounds and two assists in the defeat.
Former Pentucket star Ashley Viselli added six points.
Duo can’t save Warrior men
Freshman point guard Gelvis Solano and senior forward Mike Clifford both topped the 25-point mark — including a career and team-high 28-point effort by the former — but that would not be enough, as the Merrimack men’s basketball team was outscored by 22 points in the second half, as visiting Saint Anselm handed the Warriors a 98-83 defeat.
Losers of five straight for the first time since 2010-11, the Warriors fall to 2-5 overall and 0-3 in league play, while the Hawks improve to 4-1 overall and 2-1 in conference action.
Merrimack brought a 51-44 advantage into the locker room after shooting 56.8 percent (21-37) from the floor in the first half, but that hot shooting went by the wayside in the second stanza, as the Hawks capitalized on 11 Merrimack turnovers and shot a red-hot 63.6 percent (21-33) from the field in the final 20 minutes to storm back in commanding fashion.
With the game tied at 59-59 and 14:35 remaining in regulation, the Hawks reeled off 12 uncontested points to open up a 71-59 cushion with just more than 10 minutes to go before the Warriors responded with a mini-run of their own to slash the deficit to five (71-66) with 8:47 to play.
But another 10-2 run in favor of the visitors gave Saint A’s another double-digit lead with just under seven minutes to play. Roy Mabrey led the Hawks with 32 points.
Solano was a bright spot for the young Warriors, however, as the rookie guard eclipsed his previous career-high of 22 with 28 points tonight by means of going 10 for 16 from the floor, 5 for 7 from long range and 3 for 4 from the line.
Clifford was not bad himself, chipping in 26 points — two shy of his own career-high — while finishing with a team-best 11 made field goals while posting his fifth double-double of the season by means of an 11-rebound effort.