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Hayes’ drive with 25 seconds left the difference as Merrimack tops Franklin Pierce

RINDGE, N.H. – Sophomore point guard Juvaris Hayes (Paterson, N.J.)hit a left-handed layup with 25 seconds remaining in Tuesday’s game at Franklin Pierce, creating the night’s eighth and final lead change as the Warriors overcame a second-half deficit to win, 60-59. With the victory, the Navy and Gold snapped a six-game losing streak at the FPU Fieldhouse, which dated back to the 2010-11 season.

The Basics
Score: Merrimack 60
, Franklin Pierce 59
Records: Merrimack (7-3, 4-1 NE10| Franklin Pierce (3-5, 1-5 NE10)
Location: Hammel Court | North Andover, Mass.

Marquee Moments:

  • The Warriors faced a 53-46 deficit with 8:09 to play, but proceeded to go on a 10-1 run to pull ahead, 56-54, with 2:34 remaining on a layup from sophomore Idris Joyner (Plainfield, N.J.)
  • The Ravens took one more lead, converting a baseline jumper with 75 seconds left to make it a 59-58 game. Franklin Pierce got the ball back up one, only to see Hayes steal the ball and race down the court to hit the game-winner with less than 30 seconds to play

Rapid Recap

  • Neither team shot better than 35.7 percent from the field in the opening half. With the score tied at five-all, the Warriors used a 7-0 run capped off by a three-pointer from freshman Khalief Crawford (Linden, N.J.) to jump ahead at the 12:54 mark
  • Later in the half, sophomore Jaleel Lord (Jersey City, N.J.) hit a triple, but it was immediately answered to keep the game squared at 21-21 with 7:12 remaining
  • The final seven minutes of the half saw each team score nine points apiece, with the Ravens scoring four points in the half’s final 10 seconds to make it 30-all entering the locker room
  • The Ravens took a brief lead at the start of the second half, but the Warriors answered with an 8-2 run featuring three straight buckets for Hayes to take a 38-34 lead at the 16:53 mark
  • Coming out of a Merrimack timeout at the 11:04 mark, the Ravens used a 9-2 run to take their largest lead at that point, 51-44, with 8:58 to play.
  • The Warriors’ 10-1 stretch that allowed Merrimack to claw back into the game started with a triple from senior Kyle Howes (Maynard, Mass.) with 7:12 on the clock. Joyner added two more to pull Merrimack within one possession, 54-51, before a corner triple by Crawford tied the contest at 54-all with four minutes to go

Notes and Notables

  • Hayes tied for the game high with 15 points, while adding nine assists, six rebounds and four steals. Ten of his 15 points came in the second half, on 5-of-9 shooting
  • Crawford scored a career-high 13 points off the bench, playing in a season-high 29 minutes. The rookie made three triples, shooting 4-of-8 overall
  • Merrimack offset a 16-4 Ravens’ advantage in second-chance points by getting 19 bench points compared to just six for the hosts
  • The Warriors’ defense held the Ravens to 32.3 percent shooting, with Franklin Pierce making only 3-of-16 from distance
  • The game featured 11 ties and eight lead changes

Up Next
The Navy and Gold travel to Saint Michael’s on Saturday for a 3:30 p.m. tip-off in Colchester, Vt.

Mike McMahon is in his 12th year covering Merrimack College for The Eagle Tribune and is the founder and managing editor of The Mack Report. Mike also serves on staff as a senior writer at College Hockey News. Follow him on Twitter @MikeMcMahonCHN

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