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Merrimack falls in NCAA tournament to Dominican

MANCHESTER, N.H. — In the end, the mistakes added up and it was too much to overcome.

The Merrimack men’s basketball team, playing in what would end up being its final game as a Division II program, fell to Dominican, 64-50, in the NCAA tournament on Saturday at Saint Anselm.

The Warriors led by three points at halftime before the Chargers opened the second half on an 18-2 run to take a lead that they would never relinquish.

“It was transition stuff,” said Merrimack head coach Joe Gallo. “It was off our turnovers or off our tough shots that we forced. I thought it was our offensive mistakes that led to a lot of points for them.

“Both teams have been really defending at a high level, so we knew it was gonna be tough to find ways to score against them. We had some opportunities early but we missed some shots, which didn’t help.”

To open the second half, the Warriors had just two points on its first 22 possessions.

“They did a great job defensively,” Gallo said. “I thought we still defended it in the half court at a high level we just gave them too many transition points off of our turnovers.

“Earlier in the year I would have been a little more nervous, but lately we’ve been winning these type of games.”

Merrimack won a low-scoring game against New Haven in the NE10 championship game last week.

Juvaris Hayes led the Warriors with 19 points and Ryan Boulter finished his stellar Merrimack career with 15 points. Dominican’s bench outscored Merrimack’s 23-6 and the Chargers had 27 points off turnovers.

Dominican advanced to Sunday’s second round against St. Thomas Aquinas, which erased a 17-point deficit in the second half to beat Le Moyne on Saturday.

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