Solano Powers Men’s Basketball to Thrilling, 83-77, Victory over Stonehill College


Links: Box Score 

EASTON, Mass. – Merrimack sophomore Gelvis Solano (New York, N.Y.) helped lead the Merrimack College men's basketball team to a huge come-from-behind victory on the road Wednesday night at Stonehill College. The Warriors trailed 14 points and came all the way back shooting 61.1 percent in the second half to take a 83-77 victory over the Skyhawks.

The Basics
Score: Merrimack 83 | Stonehill 77
Merrimack (4-0, 2-0) | Stonehill (2-2, 0-1)
Merkert Gymnasium| Easton, Mass.

How It Happened

Only three players reached double figures for the visitors, led by Solano, who paced the Warriors with a 29–point, 5-assist performance on a 9-of-17 clip from the field. Fellow starters Kevin Regan (Philadelphia, Pa.) and sophomore JT Strickland (Laurel, Md.) also hit double-digits with 15 and 18 points, respectively.

In the opening minutes, Merrimack and Stonehill were tied at 2-2 before Stonehill went on a 5-0 run to bring the score to 7-2. The Warriors managed to bring the score within five points (16-11) after back-to-back baskets from Regan and sophomore Anthony Barry (Uxbridge, Mass.) with 12:16 left in the first. With 1:27 left in the first half, Merrimack trailed Stonehill by 17 points and for the fourth time this season, Merrimack is down at the half.

Midway through the second stanza, the Navy and Gold managed to go on an 11-2 run cutting the gap to nine (46-37) with 14:53 to play in regulation. With 12 minutes to play, Solano cut the gap to eight (52-44) after a made 3-pointer. After a good 3-pointer from Solano, the Warriors managed to cut the lead to five (59-54) with 8:45 left to play.

The Navy and Gold managed to cut the lead to one point (66-65) after a made 3-pointer from sophomore Troy Hammel (Valencia, Calif.) with 6:09 left in regulation. After a steal from Hammel, Merrimack managed to take its first lead of the game, 68-66, with 4:45 left to play. In the remaining minutes of the game, both teams battled back-and-fourth and Merrimack managed to seal the win, 83-77.

Merrimack finished the contest 30-of-62 (48.4) overall and 10-of-25 (40.0) from long range. The Warriors once again were impressive at the stripe, shooting 13-of-17 (76.5) on the night.

The Skyhawks won the rebounding battle, 41-29, as well as shooting 48.5 percent (32-of-66) from the field.

A Closer Look

  • Both Stonehill and Merrimack posted 34 points in the paint, while the Warriors posted 26 points off Skyhawk turnovers.
  • Junior Ryan Woumn (Lynn, Mass.) and Regan posted a team-high eight rebounds, while Jack Cole from Stonehill hauled down 14 rebounds.
  • Stonehill held a 41-29 edge in rebounding, as well as posting four blocks and 16 assists.
  • Strickland shot 100 percent (4-of-4) from the free throw line.

Notable Notes

  • This is the first time since the 2008-09 season that the Warriors have opened up the campaign 4-0.
  • For the fourth time this season, the Warriors managed a come-from-behind victory over their opponent.
  • Merrimack head coach Bert Hammel is just 10 wins shy of joining the coaching 500-win club. Hammel has a career record of 490-450.

What They Said

 "We got another solid team win today against a good, solid team," said head coach Bert Hammel. "We came out slow in the first half and were unable to get our offense going, but we managed to get it together during the second half and play Merrimack basketball."

Up Next

Next up, the Warriors return to Hammel Court on Saturday, Nov. 23 to host the Ravens of Franklin Pierce University in a Northeast-10 Conference showdown. Tip-off is scheduled for 3 p.m.


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