Men's Hoops to Meet Stonehill in Northeast-10 Quarterfinals Sunday
Merrimack will square off against Stonehill in the quarterfinal round of the Northeast-10 Conference Tournament February 26. The Warriors claimed the sixth-seed after finishing the regular season tied for fifth-place with a 15-11 overall record and a 12-10 mark in the league. The third-seeded Skyhawks own an 18-8 record on the year and posted a 15-7 mark in conference play this season.
Merrimack trails in the all-time series against Stonehill, 38-66. The two teams split the season-series with each club winning on its home court. The Warriors claimed a 51-43 victory and suffered a 73-64 overtme loss this season. The only time Merrimack and Stonehill met in the Northeast-10 Conference Tournement came in the 1988-89 season. The Skyhawks topped the Warriors 91-79 in the semifinals.
Last Time Out [Merrimack 60, Franklin Pierce 73]:
The Warriors dropped a 73-60 decision at Franklin Pierce to close out the 2011-12 regular season, snapping a five-game winning-streak. Wayne Mack scored 18 points to lead Merrimack while Mike Clifford chipped in with 16 points and eight rebounds. Wilfredo Pagan and Roland Davis each dished out three assists in the contest.
Trio Joins Elite Millennium Club:
For just the second time in program history, this year's senior class boasted three 1,000-point scorers. Seniors Roland Davis, Wayne Mack and Aaron Strothers all eclipsed the millennium mark this season. Davis accomplished the feat in the season-opening win over Bloomfield with a 33-point performance. Mack amassed 1,000 career points with a 22-point effort in a win over Franklin Pierce. Strothers netted his 1,000th career point in a road-loss at Bentley. The program's 1,000-point club has welcomed 39 members since 1954.
Senior captain Wayne Mack has been tabbed to the Northeast-10 All-Conference first team this season. Mack becomes the sixth player in program history to receive All-Conference first team honors. The Warriors have garnered 10 All-Conference first team nods since joining the league in 1984.
First Round - February 24 - at Higher Seed
Game One: #10 New Haven 51, #7 Pace 49
Game Two: #9 Assumption 78, #8 Bentley 65
Quarterfinals - February 26 - at Higher Seed
Game Three: #1 Franklin Pierce vs. #9 Bentley
Game Four: #2 Adelphi vs. #10 New Haven
Game Five: #3 Stonehill vs. #6 Merrimack
Game Six: #4 UMass Lowell vs. #5 So. Connecticut
Semifinals - February 29 - at Higher Seed
Game Seven: Game 3 Winner vs. Game 6 Winner
Game Eight: Game 4 Winner vs. Game 5 Winner
Finals - March 3 - at Higher Seed
Game Nine: Game 7 Winner vs. Game 8 Winner
The Warriors own a 19-23 record in the Northeast-10 Conference Tournament. Merrimack, the 11th-seed, suffered a first-round loss last season at sixth-seeded UMass Lowell. The Warriors have captured the tournament title twice - 1992 and 2000. Merrimack has reached the semifinals nine times and advanced to the championship game three. The Warriors are making their 10th-straight trip to the Northeast-10 Tournament.
History of Dancing:
Merrimack has made eight trips to the NCAA Tournament since its first trip in 1977. The Warriors will look to advance to the NCAA Tournament for the fourth time in five seasons as they currently rank seventh in the East Region. Three automatic qualifiers and five at-large berths comprise the East Region bracket.
Nothin' But Net:
Merrimack ranks second in the Northeast-10 with 684 field goals made this season. Wayne Mack is eighth in the conference with 143 made buckets while Aaron Strothers is fourth with 152.
Robbing The Rock:
Wayne Mack is second in the league with 62 steals on the year. Mack is just one theft behind the league-leader with 63. The senior captain registered a season-high six steals in Merrimack's game at UMass Lowell Dec. 3.
Wayne Mack and Roland Davis rank in the top 10 in the Northeast-10 Conference in minutes played this season. Through 26 contests, Mack has played 995 minutes to lead the league while Davis has been on the court for 868. In Merrimack's overtime loss at Stonehill November 27, Mack logged a career-high 45 minutes.
Aaron Strothers is third in the Northeast-10 and 17th nationally in field goal percentage this season. He has connected on 58.0% of his attempts from the floor. Last year, Strothers led the league with a 64.6 field goal percentage while also ranking eighth nationally.
Wayne Mack ranks fifth in the league with 134 defensive rebounds this year. Mike Clifford is tops in the conference with 9.1 rebounds per game and second with 78 offensive boards this season while Aaron Strothers is seventh with 63. As a team, Merrimack leads the league with 38.7 rebounds per game.
Wayne Mack leads the conference in free throw shooting. The senior captain has converted 85.8% of his free throws this season. Mack has sank a team-high 84.8% from the charity stripe in the final five minutes this year.
The Merrimack bench outscored the opposition's nonstarters in seven contests this season. The Warriors bench combined for 18 points in the season-opening victory over Bloomfield. The next night, Merrimack's nonstarters contributed 23 points in the win over Felician. The Warriors' bench outdueled the opponent's bench on five occasions last year.
In its 56-year history, the Merrimack men's basketball team has compiled a 698-681 all-time record. The Warriors began play in 1954-55, going 8-15 on the year.
Northeast-10 Conference Season Honors:
- Northeast-10 Conference Player of the Week (Nov. 14)
- Northeast-10 Conference Player of the Week (Dec. 5)
Merrimack was chosen to finish seventh in the 2011-12 Northeast-10 Conference Preseason Coaches' Poll. The Warriors concluded the 2010-11 campaign tied for 10th in the league standings after being ranked third in the preseason poll.
Merrimack Head Coach Bert Hammel:
In his 32nd season, Warriors' head coach Bert Hammel has compiled a record of 474-434. The 1973 graduate of Bentley College won his 400th game on January 22, 2008 at St. Anselm. He has taken Merrimack to the NCAA tourney six times, including three staright trips from 2008 to 2010. Hammel has guided the Warriors to the Northeast-10 playoffs in each of the past nine seasons.
Same Court, New Name:
On October 22, 2011, Merrimack College renamed Volpe Gym in honor of longtime head coach Bert Hammel. In a special dedication ceremony, Hammel Court was unveiled in front of numerous alumni, fans and friends of head coach Bert Hammel.
Northeast-10's Youngest Sixth Man:
On January 27, 2012, the Merrimack men's basketball team drafted 10-year old Nick through Team IMPACT. Nick is the 13th member on the Merrimack men's basketball roster and family. He can usually be seen at all of the Warriors' home games and some away contests on the bench with his jersey cheering on his teammates courtside.