Holmes Hits Five Treys, Scores 26 in Raven Defeat to Merrimack

Sophia Holmes (Photo Courtesy of Luke Tracy)
Sophia Holmes (Photo Courtesy of Luke Tracy)

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

RINDGE, N.H. (February 13, 2019) – Franklin Pierce University women's basketball sophomore guard Sophia Holmes (Oakland, Maine) established a new personal-best with a game-high 26 points during an 83-70 loss to Northeast-10 Conference opponent Merrimack College Wednesday night at The Fieldhouse. With the win, the Warriors move to 17-7, 10-7 NE10 while the Ravens lost their 18th contest and 15th in league play.

Holmes missed only two shot attempts in the game as she finished 7-of-9 (77.7%) from the floor, 5-of-6 (83.3%) from deep and was a perfect 7-of-7 at the stripe. She snagged a team-high eight boards and dished out two assists. 19 of her 26 markers came in the first half with 13 of the 19 coming in the second quarter. It was the third 20+ point game of the campaign for Holmes who bested her previous career-high of 24 set on January 19th at Saint Rose. Tonight also marked back-to-back games with five three-point conversions. She has also drained 37 straight free throws dating back to her last miss on January 12th against Le Moyne.  

Classmates Rylee Skinner (Leominster, Mass.) and Izzy Lipinski (Farmington, Conn.) joined Holmes in double figures with 11 points apiece. Skinner didn't miss a shot in her 26 minutes on the hardwood going 4-of-4 and 3-of-3 at the line. All 11 of Skinner's markers came in the third quarter. Lipinski snared eight rebounds and handed out five dimes as well.

For Merrimack Denia Davis-Stewart produced a double-double effort with a team-best 25 points and a contest-high 14 rebounds – six offensive. Teammate Lindsay Werner chipped in 22 points of her own to go along with three assists and two steals. Katie Mager tacked on 12 points off the pine.

The guests capitalized on the 23 Raven miscues scoring 31 points off turnovers compared to 11 for Pierce. FPU shot a season-high 58.3% (7-of-12) from three-point land in the duel and held their counterparts to 33.3% (9-of-27) three-ball efficiency.

Lipinski cracked the scoring column two and a half minutes into the game when she dumped in a right block layup off the glass to make the margin 4-2. Holmes deadlocked the score 5-5 hitting a right-wing three-ball off a Freya Cooney (Woodbridge, England) post feed. Trailing 9-5, Holmes pulled the Ravens within one, 9-8 when she curled around a screen and knocked down her second three in as many attempts. A 7-2 Merrimack spurt upped their advantage to 16-10 following five points via Davis-Stewart. The Ravens closed the stanza with five consecutive points including a Demi Akins (Cambridge, Mass.) top of the key mid-range jumper bringing the score to 16-15 Warriors at the end of one.

Holmes pushed Pierce ahead for the only time in the game when she rotated to the left wing and made her third straight trifecta to expand the Raven binge to 8-0 and give them an 18-16 lead. Merrimack's three-point attack took over the quarter when Mager began a stretch of 11 straight points part of a 17-3 run by connecting on a long-range attempt. The Ravens only points during the Warrior binge was when freshman guard Lisa Sulejmani (Burlington, Vt.) picked off a Werner feed and dished the rock to Holmes for her fourth three-pointer of the half. However, Werner capped off the scoring spurt by draining a running jumper to move their squad ahead 33-21 with 4:08 to go before the break. FPU continued to claw back as five Holmes free throws, an Emma Carter (Bristol, Vt.) layup and a Holmes steal and fast break deuce made it a two-possession game, 36-30 at the 1:39 mark. Merrimack tallied the final four points of the quarter to lead 40-30 at the intermission.

Werner expanded the Merrimack edge to 15 points one and a half minutes into the third quarter. Pierce then went on a 13-2 rampage. Sophomore guard Hannah Everidge (Baldwinville, Mass.) sank a contested three on the wing dropping the margin to 12, 47-35. A couple of possessions passed until Lipinski made it a six-point game when she spun through the lane for two. Skinner pushed her team within one score, 49-46 with 4:54 to play when she converted a hoop and harm. Merrimack outscored the Ravens 12-6 over the final minutes to reestablish a three-possession lead.

Sulejmani drove within the trees and floated home a chance making it a 61-54 game. The score was built back up to double figures until Sulejmani was trapped in the corner threw up a three with the shot clock hitting zero and Carter capitalized on a Davis-Stewart error to bring the margin to 65-59. Merrimack would close out the Ravens on a 16-6 run to move in front by a game-high 16 points in the late stages of the fourth.

The Ravens head out on the road Saturday to take on conference opponent Stonehill College with tip-off set for 1:30 p.m.

For more information on Franklin Pierce Athletics, please visit the official website of Franklin Pierce Athletics (http://www.fpuravens.com). Also be sure to follow the Ravens through the Department of Athletics' official Facebook page (http://www.facebook.com/FranklinPierceRavens ), its YouTube channel (http://www.youtube.com/franklinpiercesports) and its Twitter feed (http://twitter.com/FPUathletics). Fans wishing to purchase Franklin Pierce women's basketball apparel can do so at the Department of Athletics' online store (http://www.fpuravens.com/store). You can also follow the women's basketball team on Twitter (https://twitter.com/FPURavensWBB) and Instagram (https://www.instagram.com/franklin_pierce_wbb/).