NORTH ANDOVER, Mass. – The Merrimack College men’s basketball team lost on Sunday afternoon to Bryant University, 76-60, in Northeast Conference (NEC) action from Hammel Court. Merrimack’s NEC record dropped to 8-6 while Bryant improved to 8-4.
Merrimack and Bryant were tied, 35-35, early in the second half. Back-and-forth action played out from there, with neither team leading by more than five points by the 12-minute mark of the second half. With the visitors ahead by seven, 60-53, with under eight minutes to play, the Bulldogs proceeded to use an 11-2 run that put the game away.
Sophomores Mykel Derring (15) and Ziggy Reid (12) along with junior Mikey Watkins (12) all scored in double figures for Merrimack. Four Bulldogs scored at least 10 points led by a double-double of 20 points and 10 rebounds for redshirt-senior Hall Elisias.
Score: Bryant 76, Merrimack 60
Records: Merrimack (8-6, 8-6 NEC) | Bryant (12-5, 8-4 NEC)
Location: North Andover, Mass. | Hammel Court
- Bryant used a 9-0 run to break a 2-2 score and take an 11-2 lead five minutes into the game. The Warriors scored seven of the next 10 points, capped by a 3-pointer for senior Devin Jensen, leaving Merrimack within five (14-9) at the 12:16 mark of the first half
- The visitors led by 10 points on three separate instances in the first half, including by a 28-18 margin with under seven minutes left in the half. The Warriors came on strong at that point, outscoring the Bulldogs, 15-7, over the last 6:45 at the half to make it a two-point game at intermission. Watkins hit consecutive triples to close the opening stanza, bringing the score to 35-33 after 20 minutes
- Watkins made it eight straight points with a jumper to start the second half, which brought the score even. At one point, the two teams combined to make 8-of-10 shots, leaving Bryant with a 53-48 advantage despite Merrimack being tied with Bulldogs four different times over the half’s first eight minutes
- After briefly going down 10, Watkins brought the Warriors within seven, 60-53, with 7:47 remaining in the game. From there, however, Bryant held Merrimack to just two points over the next five-plus minutes and just seven over the remainder of the game to pull away from the Warriors. The visitors ended the night on a 16-7 run
Notes and Numbers
- Bryant shot the ball better than Merrimack, posting shooting splits of .500/.500/.727 compared to .396/.280/.524 for the hosts
- The Bulldogs also owned a 42-27 edge on the glass
- Derring led Merrimack in scoring for the third time this season and for the first time since last month against FDU. The 15 points were his second highest output of the season
- Watkins increased on his team lead with his 11th double-figure scoring game of the year
- Junior Justin Connolly put forth solid minutes, tying his career-high with eight points in 15 minutes as a reserve
Merrimack hosts St. Francis Brooklyn for two games this week, beginning on Thursday evening at 6 p.m. from Hammel Court.