AKRON, Ohio – The Merrimack College men’s basketball team visited the University of Akron on Friday night for the first time in school history, falling to the host Zips, 64-47, from the James A. Rhodes Arena on Akron’s campus. The Warriors wrapped up the first month of the season with a 5-4 record while Akron improved to 5-2 on the young season.
Senior Jaleel Lord led the way in scoring with 11 points while adding five rebounds. Classmate Juvaris Hayes finished in double figures as well with 10 points. He also added five boards, three assists and three steals.
Score: Akron 64, Merrimack 47
Records: Merrimack (5-4) | Akron (5-2)
Location: James A. Rhodes Arena | Akron, Ohio
- Akron started the night on a 7-0 stretch, but the Warriors scored an 8-5 run highlighted by a pair of mid-range jumpers for Lord to cut their deficit to four, 12-8. Buckets for Hayes and freshman Jordan Minor kept Merrimack’s deficit at four, 18-14, but the Zips responded with a 9-0 run to extend their lead to 13 (27-14) with 7:21 left in the half
- The hosts’ lead grew to as many as 15 but Minor and Hayes notched two straight field goals ahead to trim the Warriors’ disadvantage to 11, 31-20, with 1:23 to go until halftime. The Warriors had two chances to bring the lead to single digits at the half, but failed to do so. Akron hit its last attempt of the half, bringing a 33-20 edge to the locker room
- Merrimack came out in the second half and cut Akron’s lead to nine, 36-27, after junior Devin Jensen drilled a left-wing triple, which forced an Akron timeout. The hosts, responded, however, building a 16-point edge, 45-29, with 14:52 remaining. Later on, sophomore Mikey Watkins snapped a near-four minute lull in offense to bring the Warriors within 12 nearing the midway point of the half
- Merrimack clawed within 11 on three separate occasions as the clocked ticked towards five minutes to play, but Akron answered each time to prevent the Warriors from brining the contest back to single digits. With 90 seconds to play, Hayes hit a layup to make it a 58-46 ledger, but the Zips sank a shot-clock beating 3-pointer that proved to be the dagger
Notes and Numbers
- Friday’s action marked Merrimack’s first against Akron and first against an opponent from the Mid-American Conference (MAC)
- The Warriors shot 35.1 percent from the field and made 2-of-20 from beyond the arc while Akron shot 50 percent from the field (25-50) including five 3-pointers
- Lord played in his 99th career game on Friday, setting up his 100th performance on Wednesday at Brown
- Akron outrebounded Merrimack, 36-29, but the Warriors owned the offensive glass (10-7). Minor finished with a team-best eight caroms including five on the offensive end
- Merrimack forced Akron into 16 turnovers, the Zips’ second most of the year. The Warriors turned those miscues into 17 points
The Warriors have another one-game week next week when Merrimack visits Brown University on Wednesday night. Tip-off from Providence, R.I. is set for 7 p.m.