MBB: New Haven Eliminates Merrimack from NE10 Playoffs; Warriors Await NCAA Fate
NORTH ANDOVER, Mass. – The visiting fifth-seeded University of New Haven Chargers used a 17-0 second-half run to pull away from the fourth-seeded Merrimack College men’s basketball team, 84-58, on Friday night from Hammel Court in the opening round of the Northeast-10 Conference Championship. Freshman point guard Juvaris Hayes (Paterson, N.J.) finished the night with seven assists, breaking the program’s single-season record for helpers.
Score: New Haven 84, Merrimack 58
Records: Merrimack (18-11) | New Haven (15-13)
Location: Hammel Court | North Andover, Mass.
The Turning Point:
The Chargers’ prolonged second-half run spanned over four minutes and turned a 12-point lead into a 29-point advantage that eliminated any hope of a comeback from the Warriors. Elijah Bailey scored five of the first 10 points of the stretch, while Michael Bourke sank consecutive 3-pointers to extend the advantage to 17 unanswered points.
NE10 Championship Schedule
First Round // Friday, Feb. 24
Game 1: New Haven (#5 seed SW) def. Merrimack (#4 seed NE), 84-58
Game 2: Adelphi (#4 seed SW) def. Bentley (#5 seed NE), 101-91
Quarterfinals // Sunday, Feb. 26
Game 3: New Haven (#5 seed SW) at Le Moyne (No. 1 seed SW) – 3:00 PM
Game 4: Adelphi (#4 seed SW) at Southern New Hampshire (No. 1 seed NE) – 3:00 PM
Game 5: Franklin Pierce (No. 3 seed NE) at Saint Rose (No. 2 seed SW) – 3:00 PM
Game 6: Southern Connecticut (No. 3 seed SW) at Saint Anselm (No. 2 seed NE) – 3:00 PM
Semifinals // Wednesday, March 1
(at highest seeds remaining)
Game 7: Game 6 winner vs. Game 3 winner (7:00 PM)
Game 8: Game 5 winner vs. Game 4 winner (7:00 PM)
Championship // Saturday, March 4
(at highest seeds remaining)
Game 9: Game 8 winner vs. Game 7 winner (1:00 PM)
How It Happened (First Half)
- Both teams started off hot from the field. Junior guard Kyle Howes (Maynard, Mass.) netted 10 of Merrimack’s first 14 points, including a pair of 3-pointers. His leaner that landed high off the glass made it a 16-14 game, but the Chargers responded with a quick 5-0 spurt to take a 21-14 advantage with 13:09 left
- Senior Riley Calzonetti (Neptune City, N.J.) hit a baseline jumper at the 11:09 mark to the Warriors within three, 21-18, but New Haven answered again with five unanswered points. With the deficit at 26-19, the Warriors scored six of the next nine points capped off by a jumper from Tawayne Anderson Jr. (Garden City, N.Y.). The score sat at 29-25 with 6:19 left
- From there, the Chargers answered with a 6-0 spurt that included their fifth trey of the half from Elijah Bailey. The Warriors used a full timeout facing their largest deficit to that point, 35-25, with 3:59 remaining. The run extended to a 10-2 stretch to wrap up the opening stanza, as Danny Upchurch pulled up for a 14-footer as the half ended to make it 39-27 Chargers
How It Happened (Second Half)
- New Haven started the second half on a 7-2 run to build a 16-point lead, 46-30. Freshman Juvaris Hayes (Paterson, N.J.) then scored five straight points including his second 3-pointer of the half, igniting a 7-0 run that brought Merrimack within nine points with 15:05 remaining
- Starting at the 13:39 mark, the team’s combined to hit three straight triples, two of which went down for the visitors. Bailey’s triple hit bottom with 12:50 to play, increasing the Chargers’ lead to 13 at 53-40
- With the score at 57-45 and 9:41 to play, the Chargers went on a 17-0 to extend their lead to a game-high 29 points, 74-45. Bailey totaled five of the first seven points of the run, and Michael Bourke connected with back-to-back 3-pointers. The run ended with five minutes to play on a lay-in from Anderson Jr.
Inside The Numbers
- Hayes’ recorded his record-breaking dime at the 5:12 mark of the second half, which brought his season total to 269. He finished the night with 270 assists, besting the previous high of 268 set by Peter Dufour in the 1976-77 seasn
- Anderson Jr. built off his 19-point performance on Tuesday with a 10-point, eight-rebound effort against the Chargers. The eight boards marked a new career high for the redshirt-junior wing
- Five Chargers scored in double figures, led by 20-point performances from Bourke and Bailey. The duo combined for 41 points, shooting 12-of-19 from the field and making seven 3-pointers
- The free-throw line proved to be a deciding factor, as the Chargers shot 19-of-22 from the line compared to 3-of-13 for the Warriors. New Haven hit nine 3-pointers compared to five triples for Merrimack
Merrimack will await its fate in the Division II NCAA Men’s Basketball Championship. The selection show is set for Sunday, March 5. The Navy and Gold are ranked fifth in the most recent NCAA regional poll as conducted by the Division II Men’s Basketball selection committee.