#NECWBB: Warriors Prove More Than Ready for Division I Debut
Welcome to NCAA Division I basketball, Denia Davis-Stewart.
In Merrimack’s inaugural Division I game, the senior forward victimized Atlantic 10 member UMass with a triple-double.
Davis-Stewart poured in a game-high 31 points to go along with 13 rebounds and 12 blocks in a 79-64 road win.
The versatile post player, who was dominant on the defensive end, put her long-range shooting ability on display at UMass’ Mullins Center. Davis-Stewart, who went a perfect 7-for-7 from the charity stripe, sank 4 of 6 three-point attempts.
The senior’s performance was only the 14th triple-double ever recorded by a NEC athlete and it marked only the third time that a double-digit blocks total was part of the equation.
Merrimack sophomore Kate Mager also accounted for a memorable season debut. The sophomore guard shot 67 percent from downtown en-route to 22 points (no UMass player scored more than 17).
As a team, Merrimack shot 48.3 percent from the field while limiting the opponent to a measly 33.8 percent success rate.
It was already bound to be an historic night with Merrimack, which competed in the Division II NE-10 Conference last season, tipping off the four-year NCAA Division I reclassification process. Davis-Stewart, Mager and the Warriors simply made it that much more memorable.