Women's Basketball Locks Up NE-10 Home Playoff Game with 72-41 Win Over Merrimack
Marielle Giroud flirts with a triple-double for second-straight game with 20 points, 9 rebounds and 6 assists
Marielle Giroud netted a game-high 20 points in the win over Merrimack.
RINDGE, N.H. (February 21, 2012) -- The Franklin Pierce University women's basketball team assured itself the fourth seed and a home game in the quarterfinal round of the Northeast-10 Conference Tournament with a 72-41 triumph over Merrimack in the regular season finale on Tuesday night at The Fieldhouse in Rindge. The Ravens concluded the regular season with an 18-8 overall record and a 15-7 mark in the NE-10, while the Warriors concluded their campaign with a 5-21 mark and 4-18 record in league play.
Franklin Pierce's win, coupled with Assumption's last second 58-56 loss to American International, enabled the Ravens to host a quarterfinal round game on Sunday as they will take on in-state rival and fifth-seeded Southern New Hampshire. The game will tip off at 1:30 p.m. in The Fieldhouse in Rindge.
Prior to the game, the Franklin Pierce senior class of Marielle Giroud (Martigny, Switzerland), Jewel White (Worcester, Mass.) and Lekia Cowen (Hopedale, Mass.) were honored for their four years of service to the program. The trio has been part of some of the biggest moments in program history, including: two NE-10 championships, two NCAA East Regional championships, an appearance in the 2009 national championship game, an appearance in the 2010 Final Four, and three-straight trips to the NCAA Tournament. Overall, this class has produced a 103-24 record during their career.
And not surprisingly, each member of the trio turned in one of their finest performances of the season over the ensuring 40 minutes. Giroud flirted with the possibility of a triple-double for the second-straight game as she went for a game-high 20 points on 7-of-9 shooting, grabbed nine rebounds, dished out six assists, swiped two steals and blocked a shot. She also topped 200 career steals in the process. White logged a double-double with 15 points and 14 rebounds, while Cowen knocked down four three-pointers to tally 12 points. She also registered three assists, three steals and two rebounds.
All eight Ravens that played in the game scored and Franklin Pierce quickly dispatched of Merrimack by scoring 26 of the game's first 30 points. White scored 10 points during the early surge, while sophomore guard Kate McDonald (Fall River, Mass.) bombed in a pair of three-pointers. Giroud added five points in the run with a three and easy layup and Cowen knocked down a triple from the right wing to aid it.
The Ravens defensive effort was very good in the opening 20 minutes as they forced Merrimack into 14 turnovers, limited them to 35 percent shooting and did not allow the Warriors to reach double-figures in points until 13 minutes in.
Franklin Pierce held Merrimack scoreless over the final 4:45 of the half, while scoring 13-straight points in that span to take a 47-16 lead into halftime. Giroud sparked the closing surge with back-to-back baskets and sophomore guard Brittany Martelle (Brookfield, Conn.) followed with a three from the right wing. Giroud converted a three-point play on Franklin Pierce's next possession and Cowen capped the half's scoring with another deep triple, this time from the left wing, to give the Ravens the 31-point advantage at the break.
Franklin Pierce shot 50 percent (16-of-32) from the field in the first half and got 14 points from Giroud and 10 from White. Cowen and McDonald followed with six apiece.
The Ravens kept Merrimack at bay in the second half and never let the Warriors get back into the game. Franklin Pierce led by as many as 36 in the second half as Cowen buried another trey to stake her team to a 54-18 advantage with 16:45 to go.
Martelle knocked down two more three's in the second half as she finished the game with nine points. Sophomore guard Tiffany Johnson (St. Albans, Vt.) handed out four assists and collected a pair of steals in the win.
Merrimack was led by Gennifer Roy's 14 points in her final collegiate game and Kelly Schatzlein added eight points and four boards.
For more information on Franklin Pierce women's basketball, please visit the team's page at athletics.franklinpierce.edu(.) To follow the program even further, please visit Franklin Pierce Athletics on YouTube (www.youtube.com/FranklinPierceSports), Twitter (www.twitter.com/FPUathletics) and Facebook (www.facebook.com/FranklinPierceAthletics).