Men's Basketball Holds Off Pace University, 70-63

Photo Credits: Jim Stankiewicz


Links: Box Score

PLEASANTVILLE, N.Y. – Down by four early in the second half, the Merrimack College men's basketball team responded in a big way Wednesday night, as the Warriors snapped a four-game skid with an important Northeast-10 Conference victory against Pace University at the Goldstein Fitness Center.

The Basics
Merrimack 70 Pace 63
Records: Merrimack (7-7, 5-4) | Pace (3-10, 1-6)
Location: Goldstein Fitness Center | Pleasantville, N.Y. 

How It Happened
Sophomore guard Gelvis Solano (New York, N.Y.) finished the night with a team-high 22 points, five steals, two assists, three rebounds, and a block. He finished the night 7-of-16 from the floor, including 3-of-7 from long range and 5-of-7 from the line. Sophomore JT Strickland (Laurel, Md.) chipped in 16 points, two rebounds, a steal, and a team-high seven assists, while classmate Anthony Barry (Uxbridge, Mass.) hauled in eight boards and 14 points. Senior Kevin Regan (Philadelphia, Pa.) registered his third double-double of the season, 10 points and a team-high 13 rebounds.

The game began with a back-and-forth first half that featured seven ties and 10 lead changes. Merrimack came out of the gate, building an eight-point cushion (19-11) with 10:32 to go in the frame, but the visitors stormed back to tie the Warriors at 26-all at the two minute mark.

Both sides traded baskets the rest of the way to send Pace into the break ahead by just two, 33-31, after a made layup from Jaylen Mann.

Pace did not wait long to take control of the game early in the second half, taking a four-point lead (37-33) with 17:29 remaining. But from there on out, the Warriors worked to regain the lead on a basket from Solano at the 16:33 mark, and moments later a made layup from Regan extended the visitors' lead to four (41-37).

Once ahead, 44-43, the Warriors kept Pace without a basket for over five minutes, as the Warriors charged ahead, 54-45, on a layup from Barry with less than nine minutes to go in the contest.

Pace managed to cut the Warriors' lead to within four (60-56) after a trey from Kai Smith with 4:19 left. Merrimack again responded in a big way, using a 10-7 run to stop the Setters for good.

Jonathan Merceus led a trio of double-digit scorers for the Setters, posting a double-double, 12 points and 13 rebounds. Behind him, Denzel Primus-Devonish added 14 points and six steals, while Kai Smith chipped in with 16 points and three assists.

A Closer Look

  • In a game that featured 11 lead changes, Merrimack finished up shooting 27-of-53 (50.9 percent) from the floor, including a second-half clip of 14-of-27 (51.9 percent) that enabled them to erase that early deficit.
  • Pace, meanwhile, finished 24-of-61 (39.3 percent) from the floor and 8-of-30 (26.7 percent) from downtown and 7-of-16 (43.8 percent) from the line.
  • The Warriors converted just 7-of-15 from long range and 9-of-17 from the line, but Pace won the rebounding battle, 37-36.
  • Merrimack posted 16 bench points and registered 34 points in the paint.

Up Next
After enjoying a weekend off, the Warriors return to action on Tuesday, Jan. 14, when they host the College of Saint Rose in a conference showdown at Hammel Court. Tip-off is scheduled for 7:30 p.m.


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