UVM women’s basketball defeats Merrimack in season opener


Tyler Nachilly

UVM women’s basketball faces off against Merrimack College for their first game of the 2021-2022 season on Nov. 9.

Lucia Gallo, Cynic Sports Reporter

UVM women’s basketball defeated Merrimack College 87-57 in their first game of the 2021-2022 season on Nov. 9.

The 30 point win over Merrimack is UVM’s largest margin of victory over a D1 team in a home opener since 2001, according to the UVM athletics website.

The Catamounts came out with a 15-4 lead on Merrimack, with the help of junior guard Emma Utterback and sophomore forward Anna Olson. 

By the end of the first quarter, the Catamounts led 26-15. Utterback, the game’s leading scorer with 16 points, helped extend the lead even further as she routinely blew by Merrimack defenders on drives to the basket. 

By halftime, the Catamounts built a 52-25 lead. Junior forward Delaney Richason and first-year forward Maddy Smith sparked a 13-0 run in the last four minutes of the half.

In the third quarter, the Catamounts further extended their advantage by 36 points. First-year forwards Aryana Dizon and Maria Myklebust, making their collegiate debuts, both scored in a 6-0 UVM run late in the third quarter.

In the fourth quarter, Merrimack outscored UVM as the Catamounts emptied their bench and gave their starters some rest. Merrimack trimmed the margin slightly but Vermont emerged with a 30-point victory.

Vermont tallied assists on 19 of their 37 made field goals. Eighty-seven points are the most the Catamounts have scored under Head Coach Alisa Kresge, in her fourth season leading UVM.

“I thought we came out with great energy and executed our game plan on both ends of the floor,” Kresge said. “I’m really proud of how we shared the basketball.”

The Catamounts head to Poughkeepsie, New York for back-to-back games Nov. 13 and 14. They will face American University at 3 p.m. on Saturday and Marist College at 2 p.m. on Sunday.