NORTH ANDOVER, Mass. – Senior Ryan Boulter of the Merrimack College men’s basketball team started off hot from the field and never relented, finishing Saturday afternoon’s game against Le Moyne with 24 points on 8-of-12 shooting including six 3-pointers. Boulter’s effort helped the host Warriors to a 76-62 win at Hammel Court, a victory that saw Merrimack answer an early 10-0 second-half run for the visitors with an 11-2 stretch that ended with 9:53 remaining and put the Warriors in front for good.
Merrimack owned a four-point lead (34-30) at intermission, and built a 42-34 edge early in the final stanza. From there, the Dolphins scored 14 of the day’s next 15 points to build a 48-43 advantage. The junior tandem of Jaleel Lord and Juvaris Hayes pulled the hosts out of the hole, however, by scoring Merrimack’s next 11 points, giving the Warriors a 54-50 advantage that they never relinquished.
Score: Merrimack 76, Le Moyne 62
Records: Merrimack (12-6, 7-4 NE10) | Le Moyne (8-7, 5-5 NE10)
Location: Hammel Court | North Andover, Mass.
- Freshman Khalief Crawford hit Merrimack’s first triple of the day, which was then followed by three straight makes from Boulter, giving Merrimack a 12-6 lead at the 12:53 mark and forced a Le Moyne timeout. The Dolphins answered back however, using a 12-4 stretch over the next 4:41 that gave the vistors the edge, 18-16, and promoted a Merrimack stoppage
- Lord hit a triple out of the timeout, and classmate Idris Joyner followed with a layup to make it a 21-18 contest in favor of Merrimack. With the score tied at 21-all, Merrimack ripped off an 11-3 run that ended with a trey by senior Troy McLaughlin. The Warriors led at that point, 32-24, only to see the Dolphins close the margin to four points at the half (34-30)
- Hayes went coast-to-coast after a steal to make it a 42-34 game with 16:13 to play. From there, however, Le Moyne’s 14-1 run occurred that put the visitors in a positive position at 48-43 with 11:41 remaining. Merrimack called a timeout there, and saw Hayes factor in Merrimack’s next 15 points. The junior scored seven points and assisted on three more buckets that gave the hosts a 58-53 lead with under nine minutes left
- With 5:06 to go, Merrimack’s lead grew to double figures (67-57) after another Boulter 3-pointer. The Dolphins closed within six, 67-61, only to have Merrimack use a 7-1 run out of a timeout to put the game away. Boulter’s sixth and final triple proved to be a dagger as McLaughlin tracked down a loose ball and kicked a feed to his classmate at the right wing. The Mansfield, Mass. native hit nothing but net to ice the contest at 74-62
Notes and Numbers
- Boulter scored at least 20 for the fifth time this season, and tied his season best with the six triples. His 66.7 field-goal percentage overall marked a new career high, while Merrimack improved to 4-1 when the sharpshooter eclipse the 20-point plateau
- The fourth-year forward also passed the 1,200-point marker, finishing the day with 1,220 career points. He currently sits 33rd all-time in Merrimack history in scoring
- No scoring slouch himself, Hayes totaled 14 points on 8-of-11 shooting to bring his career total above 1,352 (ranking 22nd all-time at Merrimack). The point guard added eight assists and increased his region-leading steal total to 69 after a game-high seven thefts
- Joyner and Lord scored 13 points apiece, while Crawford added nine himself. The trio combined to shoot 14-of-22 and hit 4-of-6 from distance
- Merrimack – the NE10’s leader in turnovers forced – caused Le Moyne to cough the ball up 18 times, resulting in 20 points for the hosts.
- The Warriors dominated the tempo, as well, scoring 22 fast break points compared to only two for the Dolphins
- As a team, the Warriors posted shooting splits of .537/.524/.875, besting their visitors in all three areas (.510/.412/.625)
The Warriors return to Hammel Court for the fourth time in the last six games, facing the University of New Haven at 7:30 p.m. on Wednesday night.