Merriman Returns Home to Pace Pioneers Past Boston College

Morgan Merriman

Seatle, Wa. (November 23, 2012)—Morgan Merriman (Seattle, Wa.), in front of her hometown crowd, led the Pioneers with 22 points to lead the Sacred Heart women's basketball team to a 54-48 upset win over Boston College Friday night in the Washington Dental Thanksgiving Tournament at Seattle University.  Merriman notched her first career 20-point game in the win as SHU improves to 3-2 on the season.

The Pioneers earn the program's first ever win over an ACC opponent and will move on to tomorrow's tournament championship game.  The win over BC is the fifth win for the program against a school from a BCS Conference. 

Boston College won the tip, but the Pioneers capitalized on a quick turnover by Katie Zenevitch. On SHU's first possesion, Gabrielle Washington (Mesa, Ariz.), en route to a 15-point game, knocked down a jumper for the first points of the game. The Eagles answered with a 5-0 spurt to take heir first lead of the game.

The lead exchanged hands in to the 10 minute mark in the half when Merriman landed a jumper putting the Pioneers ahead 13-12, starting a run.  It was the first of five consecutive buckets for the senior and by the time she was done, Sacred Heart had a 21-12 lead over the Eagles.

Boston College surged back as the clock wound down, going on a 12-2 run to end the half, trimming the lead to 25-24 at the break.  The Eagles started the second half with a five-point run, but the Pioneers evened the score at 29-29 by the 15:23 media time out. The score tied five more times in the second half.

With the Pioneers down 34-31, Merriman led another Pioneer rally, scoring six of the next eight SHU points to tie it at 39-39.The Eagles came back and buried a pair of three's to lead 45-41 with just under six to play.

Merriman and Washington fueled a 7-0 spurt to give the Pioneers a 48-45 lead with 5:24 left.  Washington capped the rally with a three-point play.  With time running out, BC evened the score one last time at 48-48 with 4:01 left.  Nicole Boudreau drilled a three after BC extended their possesion with a pair of offensive rebounds but those would be the final points for the Eagles Friday night.

Sacred Heart closed the game with a seven-point run, started by a Merriman lay-in off a BC turnover at 3:07.  SHU went 4-4 at the free throw line in the closing minutes to clinch their first victory against an Atlantic Coast Conference school in five tries.

Merriman shot 81.8% from the field (9-11) and was a perfect 4-for-4 from the charity stripe. Washington had her fourth consecutive double-digit game with 15 points. The sophomore went 4-for-16 from the field and, too, was perfect (7-7) from the foul line. 

Tomorrow, Sacred Heart will play either Seattle University or the University of Portland in the championship game.