Men’s Basketball Endures 81-69 Setback at Saint Michael's Tuesday Night
SOPHOMORE JT STRICKLAND POSTED A TEAM-HIGH 19 POINTS IN THE LOSS AGAINST THE PURPLE KNIGHTS
Links: Box Score
Colchester, Vt.- Four players recorded double-digit scoring outputs, including a season-high 19 points from sophomore guard JT Strickland (Laurel, Md.) and a double-double, 11 points and 11 rebounds, from sophomore forward Anthony Barry (Uxbridge, Mass.), as the Merrimack College men's basketball team fell to Saint Michael's, 81-69, Tuesday night at the Ross Sports Center.
Score: Saint Michael's 81 | Merrimack 69
Records: Merrimack (6-4, 4-4) | Saint Michael's (8-2, 4-2)
Location: Vincent C. Ross Sports Center | Colchester, Vt.
How It Happened
Posting double-digit points along with Strickland and Barry was sophomore guard Gelvis Solano (New York, N.Y.), who chipped in with 14 points, three blocks, four assists, and seven rebounds over the course of the night. Sophomore Tyler Hunt (Oswego, N.Y.) also contributed 11 points and six rebounds.
Merrimack opened the first half on a 7-2 run, before Saint Michael's battled back to tie the game at 7-all. For the next couple of minutes, both teams exchanged baskets and tied the game at 9-9 with 16:04 left to play in the half.
After a made layup from Hunt, Merrimack took a 14-13 lead over the Purple Knights with 13:03 remaining. However, the Purple Knights were able to extend their lead to 11 (26-25) after two made free throws from Bonds. Merrimack continued to struggle from the field but after two made free throws from Strickland, the Warriors cut the lead to nine (30-21) with 3:35 left on the clock.
Over the final two minutes of the half, Saint Michael's dominated at they grabbed their biggest lead of the half with 12, but Merrimack managed to cut the Purple Knights lead to four (36-26) heading into the locker room.
Saint Michael's continued where they left off at the end of the first, opening the second half on a 4-0 run that was sparked by Cambronne. Over the next couple of minutes, both teams went back-and-fourth and the Purple Knights were able to take its biggest lead of the game with 14 points, after a made free throw by Bonds.
Merrimack managed to fight back and cut the Purple Knights lead to nine after a made layup from Barry, but they still had a lot of work ahead of them. The Warriors continued to chip away at the Purple Knights 12-point lead with 6:57 left to play in regulation.
With 3:34 left to play, Merrimack was able to cut the Saint Michael's lead to 10 after a made layup from Barry, but after back-to-back free throws from Holton, the Purple Knight extended their lead to 12. In the last minute, the Warriors were unable to make a run and stop Saint Michael's from staying undefeated at home.
What they said
"We didn't execute in the areas where we needed to, and against a team with that type of talent, it put us in a very difficult situation to try and win the game," head coach Bert Hammel said afterward. ""We have to work on being more consistent over 40 minutes and not just five- or 10-minute stretches if we're going to have any success."
A Closer Look
- For the game, Saint Michael's went 26-of-66 from the field, including going 22-of-34 from the line and 7-of-21 from behind the arc. Merrimack shot 33.3 percent (24-of-72) from the floor and shot 75 percent (15-of-20) from the line.
- Merrimack forced 16 Saint Michael's turnovers and posted 14 bench points.
- Saint Michael's pulled down 54 rebounds and posted 34 points in the paint.
- Purple Knight, James Cambronne, posted a team-high 23 points and nine rebounds.
Next up, the Warriors return to action on Thursday, Dec. 19, when they host the University of New Haven for a NE-10 home bout. Tip-off is scheduled for 7 p.m.