Long claims 10th double-double in finale, Purple Knights fall at Merrimack

Long claims 10th double-double in finale, Purple Knights fall at Merrimack

NORTH ANDOVER, Mass. - Saint Michael's College women's basketball senior Alexa Long (Waterford, Conn./Waterford) closed out her career with her 10th double-double of the season on Tuesday evening during a 74-63 loss at Merrimack College on Hammel Court. The Purple Knights completed the winter 4-21 overall and 3-18 in the Northeast-10 Conference, while the Warriors finished up 12-14 and 8-13.

In her final outing, Long tallied 15 points, 11 rebounds and two assists, hitting all four free-throw tries. During the contest, she became the 12th Purple Knight to reach the 600-rebound plateau, finishing with 606, while her 223 boards this season were the most by a Saint Michael's player since 2002-03. First-year Indira Evora (Somerville, Mass./Somerville) came within two points of her career high while netting 20 thanks to a 4-of-6 three-point effort. Junior Kelly Frappier (Colchester, Conn./Bacon Academy) posted a career-best 15 points to go along with four boards. Both teams shot 7-of-15 from three-point range, while the Purple Knights also went 10-of-11 on free throws.

Junior Chloe Rothman (Newton, Mass./Newton South) put home a game-high 22 points for Merrimack, shooting 5-of-7 from beyond the arc while adding four assists and two steals. Sophomore Lexi Sells (Attleboro, Mass./Bishop Feehan/Providence) had 11 points, and junior Aria Johnson (Los Osos, Calif./Morro Bay/Cuesta) added 10.

Saint Michael's scored the first four points before Merrimack countered with the next five, but Frappier dropped in five points in a matter of 39 seconds to give the Purple Knights a 9-5 edge by the 15:29 mark of the opening half. The Warriors trailed just 12-9 at 14:50 before Saint Michael's senior Cara Deroy (Hamden, Conn./Hamden) buried a triple 36 seconds later to spark a 15-2 run, with the Purple Knights yielding only one basket during a particular 6:10 stretch. Evora turned in seven straight Saint Michael's points at one juncture, and the visitors led 27-11 with 9:36 remaining.

Merrimack immediately responded, scoring 10 straight points in 2:47 as the start to a 19-3 run. Evora's triple accounted for the lone Purple and Gold points in that time. Junior Allison Wagner (Center Conway, N.H./Kennett) drained a three at 2:44 to knot the contest at 30, but Long hit two freebies 28 seconds later, and the visitors took a 32-31 edge into halftime.

After a Deroy jumper pushed the visitors' lead to three points in the first minute of the second stanza, Rothman knocked down two threes 48 seconds apart to put her team on top, creating the first of five lead swings in the period. Sophomore Makenzie Burud (Red Hook, N.Y./Coleman Catholic) dropped in a go-ahead bucket at 12:30, providing Saint Michael's with a 48-47 edge, its final lead of the contest, as the Warriors scored 12 of the next 14 points.

Johnson's fast-break lay-in made it 63-51 at 7:16 before the Purple Knights made one last charge, scoring eight straight points to chip within 63-59 on senior Kaitlin Geary's (Milton, Vt./Milton) three-pointer with 4:34 to go. However, 11 of the final 15 points came from Merrimack, with Frappier scoring all four of the visitors' points.