NORTH ANDOVER, Mass. – The Merrimack College men’s basketball team was ahead at halftime, 32-29, on Thursday night against St. Francis Brooklyn, but the Terriers surged forward in the second half to claim a 84-71 win at Hammel Court. The Northeast Conference (NEC) duel dropped the Warriors’ record to 8-7 in league play while St. Francis improved to 9-8.
The second half decided the night’s outcome as St. Francis poured in 55 points while shooting 63 percent from the field and 55 percent from three. With the Warriors within three points, 50-47, St. Francis took control of the contest for good via a 16-5 run that lasted until there was less eight minutes to play in the game.
Score: St. Francis Brooklyn 84, Merrimack 71
Records: Merrimack (8-7, 8-7 NEC) | St. Francis Brooklyn (9-9, 9-8 NEC)
Location: North Andover, Mass. | Hammel Court
- Both teams started the night slowly. With St. Francis Brooklyn leading, 17-13, at the 11:35 mark of the first half, Merrimack went on a 9-2 run to snag a 22-19 lead. Sophomores Ethan Helwig and Mykel Derring hit 3-pointers during the run.
- Senior Devin Jensen then came on to hit a pair of 3-pointers in two-minute span to leave Merrimack up two, 30-28, with under two minutes left in the half. Junior Mikey Watkins hit a pair of free throws down the stretch to keep Merrimack ahead, 32-29, after 20 minutes
- A 6-0 burst for St. Francis Brooklyn turned a 36-35 game in favor of Merrimack into a 41-36 lead for the visitors for 16 minutes to play. Derring then hit a pair of 3-pointers to counter two six-point deficits for Merrimack. His second trey brought the Warriors within one possession, 50-47, at the 12:47 mark
- The next 6:06 of game time saw the Terriers use a 20-7 run that quickly brought St. Francis Brooklyn in front by double figures, 70-54. The lead would grow to as many as 18 points in the waning minutes of the second half. Sophomore Jordan McKoy added five points to end the night for the Warriors, bringing the final score to a 13-point discrepancy (84-71)
Notes and Numbers
- After shooting below 40 percent from the field and from three in the first half, the Terriers turned it on in the final 20 minutes to finish the game shooting 50 percent from the field (31-62) and 47 percent from deep (9-19)
- Thursday was the Terriers’ first-ever win against Merrimack. The Warriors lead the all-time series, 2-1
- St. Francis owned a 43-25 rebounding advantage, including 14 offensive boards. The Terriers netted 42 points in the paint
- In addition to his career-high 10 points, Connolly tied career highs in free throws made (four) and attempts (five)
- Watkins (12), Derring (11) and sophomore Jordan Minor (10) also scored in double figures for Merrimack
The Warriors and Terriers play once more at 4 p.m. tomorrow afternoon at Hammel Court.