NORTH ANDOVER, Mass. – Clinging to a 66-64 lead with 8:32 remaining in Saturday’s contest against Saint Anselm, the Merrimack College men’s basketball team proceeded to go on a 20-3 run that nearly through the end of the game, roaring past the visiting Hawks, 86-71, in Northeast-10 Conference action from Hammel Court. Sophomores Juvaris Hayes(Paterson, N.J.) and Jaleel Lord (Jersey City, N.J.) each posted new career highs in scoring, combining for 56 points in the win.
Score: Merrimack 86, Saint Anselm 71
Records: Merrimack (6-3, 3-1 NE10) | Saint Anselm (5-3, 3-2 NE10)
Location: Hammel Court | North Andover, Mass.
- Merrimack led the entire first half, and by as many as eight over the opening minutes of the second half, only to see the Hawks take a brief one-point advantage with 16:17 remaining in the game
- With the team’s separated by just two points at 66-64, Hayes scored nine of Merrimack’s next 11 point including a three-point play off a runner from just inside the free-throw line, increasing the Warriors’ lead to 11, 77-66. At the 4:17 mark, Lord hit his career-high setting seventh triple of the night, bringing Merrimack to 80 points on the day and ensuring a Warriors’ win
- The team’s were one point apart, 9-8, through four minutes until a 7-0 Merrimack spurt stretched the Warriors’ lead to 16-8 at the 13:19 mark. Lord, Hayes and sophomore classmate Devon Moore (Hanover, Pa.) all scored during the run
- Merrimack’s lead grew to as many as 12, 25-13, after another bucket from Moore. Lord chipped in one of his four first-half three-pointers with 8:31 to play, putting the Warriors ahead 28-17. The Hawks hung around, however, closing within six, 32-26, with 5:53 on the clock
- Layups from redshirt-senior Tawayne Anderson Jr. (New York, N.Y.) and sophomore Idris Joyner (Plainfield, N.J.) kept the Hawks from making it a one-possession game down the stretch, and Lord hit his final trey of the half with 1:11 to play. The Hawks scored four points in the final minute to decrease Merrimack’s lead to six, 42-36, at intermission
- The Hawks went on an 11-4 at the start of the second half, and jumped in front, 47-46, when Austin Nydegger’s jumper sank with 16:17 remaining
- Merrimack responded with a 9-0 run to take the lead right back, only to see Saint Anselm answer with a 10-4 stretch of its own to slice the Warriors’ lead down to two, 59-57, with 11:22 on the clock
- The next three minutes saw the Hawks make it a one-possession game two more times, including at 66-64, before the Warriors’ 20-3 run that put the game away
Notes and Notables
- Lord missed just one shot overall on the day, finishing 9-of-10 from the field and 7-of-8 from beyond the arc. The second-year wing posted his first-ever 20-point performance, totaling 25 points
- Hayes finished the first half with eight points on 4-of-4 shooting, only to explode in the second half. His 23 second-half points led all players, while he made seven of his 12 shot attempts, and went a perfect 9-of-9 from the free-throw line
- Joyner joined his high-school teammates in double figures with 10 points, missing just two shots (5-7). The three Saint Anthony’s High School products shot a combined 25-of-33 from the field
- Merrimack has now shot at least 50 percent from the field in four of nine games this season. Merrimack’s 48.4 shooting percentage this season is good for third in the NE10
- After making 26-of-48 from beyond the arc over the last two games, the Warriors now own the best three-point percentage in the league, sinking 40.6 percent of their treys
Merrimack heads on the road for two games next week, beginning on Tuesday evening at 7:30 p.m. against Franklin Pierce.