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Merrimack Releases 2014-15 Men’s Basketball Schedule

Photo Credits: Vaughn Winchell

Highlighted by an early season trip to the Bentley Tip-Off Classic featuring two members of the Central Atlantic Collegiate Conference (CACC) and 12 games at Hammel Court, the Merrimack College Athletic Department is excited to unveil the full 2014-15 men’s basketball team schedule, as announced Thursday.

With bouts against seven participants in the 2014 NCAA Division II Men’s Basketball Tournament, including one team that went to the quarterfinals, the Warriors will play 27 games in total, with 13 of those contests in North Andover.

“We will play a very challenging schedule, both in conference and our non-conference games,” 35th-year head coach Bert Hammel stated. “Our non-conference schedule begins when we participate in the annual Bentley Tip-Off Classic, where we will play two very talented teams from Philadelphia. We’ll follow that up with three out-of-conference contests in December, including two games back-to-back on the road. Facing every NE-10 opponent at least once is always a challege and we’re excited to battle the top-flight talent that this conference has to offer.”

Single-game tickets will be available for purchase online at this link, or by calling the Merrimack Athletics Box Office at 978-837-5324. Adult tickets cost $5, while youth/senior tickets cost $3. All tickets are general admission seating.

After hosting an exhibition against St. Mary’s University on Nov. 1 at 3 p.m., Merrimack hits the road to taken on Philadelphia University and Holy Family as part of the Bentley Tip-Off Classic. Last season, Philadelphia nearly upset Northeast-10 member Franklin Pierce in the first round of the NCAA Tournament.

Merrimack will return home to begin a stretch of five consecutive conference games. The Warriors home and conference opener will be on Nov. 19 against Stonehill. Four days later (Nov. 23) the Warriors play their first road contest of the year against Franklin Pierce, then return home on the 25th for a date against Saint Anselm.

The Warriors run of NE-10 contests continues into December as the Navy and Gold travel to Bentley on Dec. 3 and then Assumption on Dec. 6. Merrimack has a quick turn around as they return home to play Dowling the next day (Dec. 7). The only game between the seventh and the end of Final Exams is on Dec. 13 vs. St. Michael’s.

After exams, Merrimack travels south to Delaware and New Jersey for back-to-back games against Wilmington (Dec. 20) and Bloomfield (Dec. 21). The Bloomfield contest marks the end of non-conference play.

The Navy and Gold open up 2015 with four of their first five games at Hammel Court. After a matchup with Southern New Hampshire (Jan. 3), the remaining Warriors opponents in the month of January hail from the Southwest Division, highlighted by a trip to defending-conference champion Southern Connecticut on Jan. 27.

Finally, the month of February features a return to Northeast Division competition. Merrimack will play three of the final seven regular-season games in North Andover against Bentley (Jan. 10), Assumption (Jan. 14) and Franklin Pierce (Jan. 21)

The 2015 NE-10 Men’s Basketball Championship will feature the top-five seeds from each division and begins with first-round action on Friday, Feb. 27, at the site of higher seeds before the quarterfinal (March 1) round two days later.

The last four teams standing will square off in the semifinals on Wednesday, March 4, before the highest seed remaining hosts the NE-10 Final on Saturday, March 7.

Mike McMahon is in his 13th year covering Merrimack College for The Eagle Tribune and is the founder and managing editor of The Mack Report. Mike also serves on staff as a senior writer at College Hockey News. Follow him on Twitter @MikeMcMahonCHN

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