NORTH ANDOVER, Mass. – The LIU women’s basketball team had a late shot to tie it up that looked good as the buzzer sounded, but the Sharks’ hopes were dashed seconds later when the officials reviewed the play and determined the basket was no good. With the call, LIU fell to Merrimack, 69-66.
Junior Brandy Thomas led LIU with 21 points and 10 rebounds in the NEC contest.
- Early in the first period, after the score was tied 9-9, LIU went on a 9-0 run, taking the lead, 18-9. Though Merrimack would close the gap with a run of its own, LIU held on to that lead for the rest of the first half. The Sharks had a 37-32 advantage at the halftime break.
- Merrimack opened the third quarter on an 8-2 run that would give them the lead back, but towards the end of the period, junior Brandy Thomas and junior Aislinn Flynn hit back-to-back three-pointers that would but the Sharks back up, 49-47. Another bucket from Thomas and a three from Ryan Weise gave LIU the 54-49 lead heading into the fourth and final quarter.
- Merrimack would use a 12-2 run in the fourth to take the lead back for good.
- Late shooting struggles would cost the Sharks – LIU shot 50 percent from the field in the third half, but just 14.3 percent from the field in the fourth quarter.
- The Sharks made some big defensive plays down the stretch, including a big steal for Kiara Bell that gave LIU the chance to tie it up, but in the end, the Warriors took the win.
- Thomas finished with 21 points (7-for-10 shooting), and 10 rebounds.
- Senior Mia Perkins had nine points and five rebounds, while junior Kiara Bell had nine points, six rebounds, four blocks, two assists and a steal.
- Freshman Dallas Carter chipped in seven points, while Weise had four assists and four steals for the Sharks, along with six points.
- Up next, LIU faces off with Merrimack once again, Wednesday, February 10 at 4 pM.