Men's Basketball

Warriors overcome slow start to beat Post at Hammel Court


NORTH ANDOVER, Mass. – The Merrimack College men’s basketball team endured a scoring drought to start Thursday night’s non-conference finale against Post University at Hammel Court, but rallied to outscore the Eagles, 27-9, over the half’s final 10 minutes to take an 11-point lead into the locker room. The Warriors never trailed over the remainder of the night, topping their visitors by a 69-63 final.

Links: Box Score | Highlights | McLaughlin Interview

The Basics
Score: Merrimack 69Post 63
Records: Merrimack (14-6) | Post (6-13)
Location: Hammel Court | North Andover, Mass.

Marquee Moments:

  • The Navy and Gold started the night with seven minutes in 2:44, but then only could muster five point over the next 7:49, allowing the Eagles to take a 19-12 lead
  • Freshman Devin Jensen hit a triple in his first attempt of the night to get the Warriors’ offense in gear, triggering the run that saw the Warriors scored 27 of the half’s final 36 points
  • Junior Troy McLaughlin hit back-to-back lay-ins, sophomore Jaleel Lord hit a pair of treys and sophomore Juvaris Hayes capped off a five-steal opening stanza by completing a steal-and-score at the buzzer to give Merrimack its 39-28 advantage that it never relinquished

Rapid Recap

  • The Warriors started the game with a 7-2 edge, only to see the Eagles use a 15-2 run spanning five minutes to move ahead, 17-9, with under 13 minutes left in the opening stanza
  • Facing a 19-12 deficit at the 10:19 mark, the Warriors allowed just six points over the next five minutes to bring the game to a 25-25 deadlock with under five minutes remaining. Freshman Khalief Crawford knocked in a triple at the 4:01 mark, extending the Warriors’ run to 16-6, and getting the Navy and Gold the lead back
  • Crawford’s triple started a 14-3 run over the final four minutes of the half, which featured back-to-back lay-ins for McLaughlin and a buzzer-beating layup by Hayes, which was created off the point guard’s fifth steal of the half
  • Crawford hit a triple early in the second half to increase the Warriors’ lead to 15, their largest of the night. Post responded with a 7-0 burst, however, to pull within eight, 46-38, at the 15:22 mark
  • The scoring slowed down from there, with the opponents combining to score 18 points over the next eight-plus minutes. With 7:29 remaining, the Warriors held a 54-48 advantage
  • Post pulled within as close as five in the waning minutes of regulation, but McLaughlin knocked in a corner triple with 3:06 on the clock that increased Merrimack’s lead back to nine, 61-52. In the final minute Hayes went 6-of-8 at the free-throw line to ice the game

Notes and Notables

  • The Warriors closed their non-conference ledger with a 4-3 record, picking up wins over Jefferson, Holy Family, LIU Post and Post
  • Hayes notched six of the Warriors’ eight steals, filling up the rest of the stat sheet with a team-leading 17 points, eight rebounds and six assists. The point guard now has 10 games (of 20) this season with at least five steals
  • Merrimack’s primary ball handler now has 79 total thefts on the year, moving with nine of setting a new career
  • Four Warriors finished in double figures, with Crawford, senior Kyle Howes and McLaughlin each totaling 10 points.
  • The Navy and Gold shot 9-of-20 from three-point range, including a 6-of-10 combined outing off the bench for Jensen, McLaughlin and Lord
  • Post Senior Tyler Desrosiers totaled a game-high 21 points to lead all players in scoring

Up Next
The Navy and Gold host the College of Saint Rose on Saturday afternoon at 3 p.m. at Hammel Court, Merrimack’s final regular-season game against the Southwest Division.

About Mike McMahon

Mike McMahon is in his 13th 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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