Men’s Basketball Travels to Providence Tuesday

Matchup Merrimack (3-2) at
Providence (3-1)
Date/Time Tuesday, Nov. 19 // 7 p.m.
Venue Providence, R.I. // Dunkin’ Donuts Center
Multimedia TV: FSN/YurView | Radio: WPRO-99.7 FM/630 AM
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NORTH ANDOVER, Mass. – The Merrimack College men’s basketball program visits Providence College for the second time in school history on Tuesday evening, playing the Friars in a 7 p.m. tip-off from the Dunkin’ Donuts Center in Providence, R.I. The Warriors enter the contest with a 3-2 mark that has featured wins over Northwestern, UMass Lowell and Jacksonville. Tuesday’s game will conclude a four-game-in-five-day stretch for the Warriors.

Matchup Comparison:

Category Merrimack (3-2) Providence (3-1)
Scoring Offense 59.0 78.3
Scoring Defense 60.4 56.5
Field-Goal % 37.4%  42.6%
Field-Goal % Defense 43.9% 35.9%
3-PT Field Goal % 30.1% 31.9%
3-PT Field Goal % Defense 24.7% 26.9%
3-PT Field Goal Attempts 133 113
Free-Throw Percentage 75.0% 68.9%
Winning Percentage .600 .750
Rebounding Margin -9.0 4.7
Assists/Game 11.5 20.0
Steals/Game 8.0 11.0
Turnovers/Game 11.0 12.8
Blocks/Game 1.8 6.0
Total Fouls 83 76

Providecen has won three of four games to start the year, topping Sacred Heart, NJIT and Saint Peter’s. The duo of senior guard Alpha Diallo and sophomore guard David Duke have paced the Friars in scoring, averaging over 15 points per game. The Friars’ lone loss occurred against Northwestern, who Merrimack topped earlier this season. Both the Friars and Warriors played the Wildcats in Evanston, Ill. at the Welsh-Ryan Arena

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).

Over the first two weeks of the season, Merrimack has been well-represented nationally as well as within the Northeast Conference (NEC) in regards to awards: After Merrimack’s victory over Northwestern, senior point guard Juvaris Hayes was named both NEC Player of the Week and National Mid-Major Player of the Week. He’s also been a NEC Prime Performer in consecutive weeks to start the year. Most recently, Jordan Minor won NEC Rookie of the Week following his career performance against Jacksonville, scoring a career-best 15 points on 6-of-9 including two 3-pointers made.

Merrimack’s senior triumvirate of Juvaris Hayes, Jaleel Lord and Idris Joyner are knocking on the door of rareified air at the start of the 2019-20 season. In their Merrimack careers, they own 64 wins on the class and need 13 more 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.

Merrimack and Providence will meet for the first time in 65 years on Tuesday. The last contest occurred in February of 1955, a 79-56 win for Providence.

Senior Juvaris Hayes boasts an impressive resume entering his final season on campus. Already this season, he was named N-E-C Player of the Week and College Sports Madness National Mid-Major Player of the Week following his stat-stuffing week against Maine and Northwestern. Last year, he became the first player in NCAA Basketball history to record a campaign of at least 600 points, 200 rebounds, 200 assists and 100 steals in NCAA History (across all divisions).
Hayes currently has with 341 career steals, needing 108 to set a new NCAA record (across all divisions) in career steals.

Head coach Joe Gallo coached his 100th career game for Merrimack on Sunday against Jacksonville, winning his 64th career game. Senior point guard Juvaris Hayes also played in his 100th career game; Coach Gallo has yet to coach a game for Merrimack without Hayes on the floor. Senior Jaleel Lord is also nearing his 100th career appearance, playing in 95 games entering Tuesday

Even before they were college teammates, Juvaris Hayes, Jaleel Lord and Idris Joyner shared a special bond: they grew up in Northern New Jersey and played high school basketball together at Saint Anthony’s under Hall of Fame Head Coach Bobby Hurley. The trio went undefeated as seniors and swept championships at every level of New Jersey’s High School basketball postseason. All three contributed to that undefeated team, with Hayes and Joyner serving as starters.

Up Next:
Merrimack will play its home opener on Friday night when the Warriors battle Lesley University. Tip-off from Hammel Court is set for 7 p.m.  

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