Florida goes on run to pull away from Merrimack in second half
Merrimack led Florida at the half, but the Gators used a 20-0 run in the second half to pull away for a 77-57 win over the Warriors on Tuesday night.
Walter Clayton scored 26 points for Florida, who improved to 5-3. The Warriors fell to 4-6.
Samba Diallo and Jordan Derkack led Merrimack with 14 points apiece in the first meeting between the two schools. Derkack added nine rebounds and three of the Warriors' six assists. Diallo had six rebounds and three steals. Freshman Adam Clark scored 11 points.
Diallo had nine points, and Devon Savage scored all eight of his points to help Merrimack take a 31-30 lead into halftime. Condon scored nine to keep Florida close.
Clayton and Zyon Pullin scored eight points each in the second-half run, and the Gators turned a three-point deficit into a 54-37 lead with 9:43 left to play. Diallo’s layup gave Merrimack a 37-34 lead at the 17:20 mark. The Warriors didn’t score again until Jordan Derkack’s layup ended the drought 7:37 later.
Clayton made 10 of 15 shots, including 4 of 7 from 3-point range for Florida. Freshman reserve Alex Condon had 12 points and a season-best 16 rebounds for his first double-double. Tyrese Samuel had 11 points, while Diallo scored 10 off the bench, adding four boards and three assists. Freshman Thomas Haugh had 11 rebounds to go with seven points.
Gators center Micah Handlogten, a 7-foot-1 sophomore transfer from Marshall, returned from an ankle injury after missing two weeks. Handlogten, who started the first five games, grabbed two rebounds in four minutes off the bench.
NOTES: Merrimack was 14 for 18 from the free-throw line. … Merrimack’s largest lead was 10 points in the first half. … Merrimack’s 60 field goal attempts were the third most by the Warriors this season.
NEXT: The Warriors are off until Saturday when they host Felician.