NORTH ANDOVER, Mass. – The Merrimack College men’s basketball team led coast-to-coast on Saturday afternoon, topping the visiting Queens College (N.Y.) Knights, 93-43, from Hammel Court in the Warriors’ non-conference finale. The 50-point margin of victory marked a season-high for Merrimack, and fell just six points shy of tying the largest in school history.
Merrimack posted a total team effort, shooting 56.7 percent from the field (38-67) while holding its visitors to 22.6 percent shooting (12-53). Six different Warriors finished in double figures, including a game-high 16 points on 6-of-7 shooting from junior Jaleel Lord and a double-double of 15 points and 11 assists for classmate Juvaris Hayes. The win extended Merrimack’s season-long winning streak to four games, and improved Merrimack’s record at Hammel Court to 5-2.
Score: Merrimack 93, Queens 43
Records: Merrimack (9-5) | Queens (2-12)
Location: Hammel Court | North Andover, Mass.
- Merrimack dominated the opening half, shooting over 60 percent from the field while holding Queens to under 20 percent from the field. The Warriors started the afternoon on a 13-3 run, which then ballooned to a 25-7 advantage just 6:47 into the afternoon. At the midway point of the half, Merrimack owned a 29-9 lead
- After Queens reached double figures, the Warriors ripped off eight unanswered points that featured triples from Lord and senior Ryan Boulter. Later in the opening stanza, junior Idris Joyner found senior Troy McLaughlin for his fourth helper of the half, increasing Merrimack’s lead to 29. The Warriors ended the half by extending their lead to 30 as Lord sank a straightaway triple to make it a 49-19 game at intermission
- The second half began with a pair of impressive plays from Hayes that contributed to a 6-0 Merrimack burst. Merrimack’s lead crossed the 40-point threshold with over 15 minutes remaining, and grew to over 50, 74-23, at the 11:35 mark following a bucket by freshman Mikey Watkins
- The final 10 minutes of the game saw Merrimack’s lead increase to 52 points on multiple occasions, but the Warriors could not balloon it more than that. Freshman Aaron Jaynes came off the bench and converted a late bucket, while classmate Matthew Chang also took the floor for extended action off the bench
Notes and Numbers
- The three-point line proved to be decisive on both sides of the ball for Merrimack. The Warriors sank 11 including nine in the first half, and held Queens to just 1-of-16 shooting from distance, which marked a season-low for Merrimack in triples allowed
- The Warriors forced 24 Queens turnovers, the fifth straight game where Merrimack has forced at least 20 miscues. The stifling defense led to a 37-5 edge in points off turnovers
- Joyner (13), sophomore Khalief Crawford (12), Watkins (11) and Boulter (10) all joined Lord and Hayes in double figures. Joyner added a team-best six rebounds and a career-high six assists
- Merrimack owned edges in points in the paint (52-14), fast break points (12-6) and bench scoring (27-19)
- The 2018-19 Warriors were the first team in quite some time to sniff the program’s record for margin of victory. Merrimack fell four points shy of the 56-point win the 1994-95 edition of the Warriors had over New England College (107-51)
Merrimack faces the preseason favorites in the Southwest Division on Wednesday night when the Warriors venture to New Haven to face Southern Connecticut State University at 7:30 p.m.