Lipinski Double-Doubles in Conference Defeat at Merrimack

Izzy Lipinski (Photo Courtesy of Luke Tracy)
Izzy Lipinski (Photo Courtesy of Luke Tracy)

This Franklin Pierce University women's basketball recap is presented by Belletetes

NORTH ANDOVER, Mass. (December 5, 2018) – Franklin Pierce University women's basketball freshman forward Izzy Lipinski (Farmington, Conn.) chipped in her second double-double of the season as the Ravens could not overcome a slow start falling to Northeast-10 Conference opponent Merrimack College 71-58 Wednesday evening on Hammel Court. With the win, the Warriors snap a three-game losing streak and earned their first conference victory at 5-4, 1-4 NE10 while the Ravens are still in search of their first conference victory.

Lipinski scored a career-high 18 points on 7-of-14 (50.0%) shooting with the majority of her attempts coming in the restricted area. She matched a personal-best in rebounds (12) and blocks (3) as seven of her 12 boards came on the offensive end.

Sophomore guard Demi Akins (Cambridge, Mass.) filled the stat sheet with five points, six caroms, three assists, and two steals.

Alyssa Casey for Merrimack produced a game-best 20 points to go along with six rebounds and two blocks. Mayson Kimball added 19 points on 4-of-8 (50.0%) three-point efficiency with eight rebounds.

Franklin Pierce won the rebounding battle (51-to-41) against the Warriors, took and converted more free throws (12-of-19-to-4-of-8) and shot a better percentage from downtown (37.5%-to-29.2%) than their counterparts, but were undone by their early first quarter scoring drought.

Denia Davis-Stewart scored the first bucket on the Warriors second possession via a layup on the lower left block. On the other end, the Ravens tallied two markers at the charity stripe to deadlock the score 2-2. Katie Mager upped the score to 7-2 by connecting on a left corner catch and shoot trey. The Warrior run expanded to 20-2 following two freebies, three consecutive Kimball three-balls, two from the left corner, one in transition on the wing and a Casey driving lay-in.

Sophomore forward Claudia Tucci (Trumbull, Conn.) broke the Ravens scoring drought hitting their first field goal of the game with 1:15 left in the quarter from the right baseline off a feed by Akins. FPU cut the early deficit to 13, 20-7 when Lipinski dished off a pass from the paint to an open Akins on the left wing for the long-range connection. Merrimack buried a runner as the shot clock expired as they led 22-7 after the end of the first quarter.

The Ravens 7-2 scoring stretch continued into the second quarter. Freshman guard Paris Wilkey (Lynn, Mass.) sank a baseline jumper on the left side assisted by Akins to bring the score to 22-9. A Lipinski elbow connection made the Raven deficit 26-13 until Sophia Holmes (Oakland, Maine) who was trailing, corralled a feed by freshman forward Emma Carter (Bristol, Vt.) at the same spot to make it an 11 point, 26-15 game with 5:30 to go before the break. A Lipinski and1 brought the margin down to eight, 26-18. Merrimack outscored the Ravens 11-0 over the final 4:53 to lead 37-18 at the intermission.

Following a split at the free throw line, Raven freshman guard Lisa Sulejmani (Burlington, Vt.) connected on a three-pointer from the right corner to bring it to a 37-22 game. Sophomore guard Hannah Everidge (Baldwinville, Mass.) corralled a tipped pass and notched a trifecta on the left side making it a 39-25 contest. The teams swapped points over the course of the next couple of minutes until Merrimack's Caroline Wilson spun off her defender and banked in a layup on the lower right block to give her squad a 21-point advantage. Almost immediately after, Everidge answered with another three to bring the score to 51-33 in favor of the Warriors. Merrimack closed the quarter on an 11-3 spurt going 5-of-5 from the hardwood to lead 62-36 after three periods.

The Ravens would not back down opening the fourth quarter on a 12-1 scoring binge of their own. Lipinski gobbled up a missed three-pointer and put the rock up and in while being fouled for the old-fashioned three-point play, her second and1 opportunity of the game which brought the Raven deficit to 15, 63-48. A Mager three-pointer reestablished the 20-point advantage for the Warriors at the 4:51 mark. Franklin Pierce outscored Merrimack 22-9 in the final quarter.

The Ravens remain on the road this coming Saturday for a non-conference showdown at Felician University with tip-off slated for 1:00 p.m.

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