NORTH ANDOVER, Mass. – Sophomore forward Ziggy Reid scored a career-high 29 points on Friday night – the most any Warrior has scored in a game this season – to lead the Merrimack College men’s basketball team to a 75-67 win over St. Francis Brooklyn at Hammel Court. The contest, which was Merrimack’s final home game of the season, saw the Warriors improve to 9-7 in Northeast Conference (NEC) play while St. Francis fell to 9-9 in league action.
Reid’s performance also included single-game career highs in shots made (10), shot attempts (14), free throws (9), free throw attempts (11), steals (4) and blocks (4). The second-year wing scored 15 second-half points to keep Merrimack in front of a hard-charging Terriers squad, who turned Merrimack’s 17-point lead (48-31) into a two-point game (64-62) in the night’s final two minutes. Aided by five free throws from Reid, the Warriors were able to build their lead back to a comfortable margin by the final buzzer.
Three other Warriors scored in double figures including a near double-double for sophomore Jordan Minor (12 points, nine rebounds). Merrimack shot 57.5 percent on its two-point attempts, helping counter only making two 3-pointers. The Warriors’ defense came to play, holding St. Francis to 37 percent shooting overall including a 2-of-16 clip from beyond the arc.
Score: Merrimack 75, St. Francis Brooklyn 67
Records: Merrimack (9-7, 9-7 NEC) | St. Francis Brooklyn (9-10, 9-9 NEC)
Location: North Andover, Mass. | Hammel Court
- After falling behind 4-0 in the first two minutes, Merrimack proceeded to go on a 17-4 run that lasted close to 12 full minutes to take a nine-point lead. Over the stretch, Merrimack held St. Francis to 2-for-15 shooting and forced four turnovers on the defensive end. Junior Mikey Watkins scored the final points of the run, leaving the Warriors with a 17-8 advantage at the 8:28 mark
- The Warriors’ lead was at 13 points multiple times down the stretch of the first half, the largest it would get in the first 20 minutes. Reid enjoyed a strong first 20 minutes, converting a three-point play to give Merrimack a 26-13 lead. He scored eight points in the half’s final four minutes, leading Merrimack into the locker room with a 34-22 advantage
- After four minutes of the second half, Merrimack’s lead remaining at 10 (41-31). From there, the Warriors scored seven unanswered to increase their lead to 48-31 approaching the midway point of the half. Reid set a career high in scoring during the run, reaching 20 points during the burst. St. Francis recovered, however, using a 10-0 run to climb within seven, 48-41, with eight minutes to play
- The Terriers sat within eight, 56-48, before an 8-2 Merrimack run extended the Warriors’ lead to 14 with under four minutes to play. The visitors had one more run in them racing on a 12-0 burst that left the Warriors only up two, 64-62, at the 1:42 mark. Merrimack responded with a 5-0 stretch to quell the comeback, and went on to win by eight
Notes and Numbers
- Reid had not scored more than 17 points in a game in his career prior to Friday. He led the team in nearly every statistical category
- Two of his classmates also enjoyed strong games: Minor led Merrimack in rebounds with nine while adding 12 points. Sophomore Mykel Derring needed only six shots to score 12 points, which featured a pair of timely triples. Minor and Derring also had six steals combined
- Merrimack’s perimeter defense played its best of the year, limiting the Terriers to 12.5 percent shooting from deep. The two made treys were also tied for the lowest Merrimack has allowed this season
- After the Terriers had a significant advantage on the glass, tonight’s totals were more even at a 40-36 margin in favor of the visitors
Merrimack visits league-leading Wagner College for the final two games of the season on Tuesday and Wednesday of next week.