Men's Basketball

Men’s Basketball Ready for Division I Opener at Maine

Matchup Merrimack (0-0) at Maine (0-0)
Date/Time Wednesday, Nov. 6, 2019 // 7 p.m.
Venue Cross Insurance Center // Bangor, Maine
Multimedia Live Stats // Watch // Twitter // Instagram

NORTH ANDOVER, Mass. – The Merrimack College men’s basketball program begins its Division I era on Wednesday night when the Warriors visit the University of Maine. The Black Bears and Warriors meet at the Cross Insurance Center in Bangor, Maine with tip-off scheduled for 7 p.m. The contest will be the first-ever meeting between the NEC and America East adversaries. The contest will air live on ESPN+ beginning at 7 p.m.

Matchup Comparison (2018-19 Stats):

Category Merrimack (0-0) Maine (0-0)
Scoring Offense 74.0 62.1
Scoring Defense 66.4 71.0
Field-Goal % 45.6%  43.2%
Field-Goal % Defense 42.0% 45.6%
3-PT Field Goal % 35.1% 31.1%
3-PT Field Goal % Defense 36.1% 38.3%
3-PT Field Goal Attempts 789 647
Free-Throw Percentage 72.8% 64.8%
Winning Percentage .686 .185
Rebounding Margin -6.2 -1.6
Assists/Game 13.6 14.7
Steals/Game 9.5 7.5
Turnovers/Game 12.4 14.4
Blocks/Game 4.2 2.9
Total Fouls 490 566

Head coach Joe Gallo guided the Warriors through the most successful era of this decade, leading the team to three straight NCAA Tournaments, increasing his victory total in every season and winning the program’s first Northeast-10 Conference Championship in 19 years to cap off Merrimack’s Division II history. Gallo won 61 games in his first three seasons at the DII level – the most of any Merrimack coach in their first three years on the Warriors’ sideline. Merrimack reached the Round of 32 in the DII NCAA Tournament twice under Gallo’s direction.

Maine won a pair of exhibitions going into Wednesday’s season opener; the Black Bears defeated both Husson University and McGill University by 76-50 and 70-63 margins, respectively. Last season, the Black Bears posted a 5-27 record, winning three times in America East play. They won just three games against Division I foes, topping Fordham, UNH and UMass Lowell. Maine returns two of its top-three scorers from last year’s club, led by last year’s top point producer, Andrew Fleming.

On May 9, 2016, Joe Gallo was introduced as the eighth head men’s basketball coach in Merrimack history. A 2004 graduate of Merrimack College, Gallo returned to his alma mater after a four-year stint as an assistant coach and recruiting coordinator at Robert Morris. He is a former player with the Warriors and also served as an assistant coach from 2005-09. With 61 wins in three complete years at the helm of the program, Gallo already ranks fourth in school history in victories. Merrimack’s 61 wins over Gallos’ first three seasons (2016-19) marked the second most in school history. (62 wins from 1975-78 is the record).

Merrimack’s senior triumvirate of Juvaris Hayes, Jaleel Lord and Idris Joyner are knocking on the door of rarefied air at the start of the 2019-20 season. In their Merrimack careers, they own 61 wins on the class and need 16 in 2019-20 to set a new school record for victories by a senior class. Last season, the NE10 Championship victory for seniors Ryan Boulter and Troy McLaughlin was the 76th in the four-year career of last year’s graduating duo, tying the Class of 1992 as the winningest class in men’s basketball history.

Wednesday’s meeting will be the first in the all-time series between the Warriors and the Black Bears. Maine is one of three America East opponents on Merrimack’s 2019-20 ledger; the Warriors also play road games at UMass Lowell (Nov. 16) and Hartford (Nov. 24) later this month.

To read up on the 71st men’s basketball program, read out full season preview here.

Up Next:
The Warriors have a quick turnaround, travelling the Northwestern on Friday night to face the Wildcats at 8 p.m. EST on in Evansville, Ill.          

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