Men's Basketball Stunned by Bentley University, 95-94


Links: Box Score

WALTHAM, Mass. – Despite holding a one-point (94-93) lead with nine seconds left to play , the Merrimack College men's basketball team was unable to stop Alex Furness from hitting the final basket of the game, as the Falcons stunned the Warriors, 95-94, on Tuesday night at the Dana Center.

The Basics
Bentley 95, Merrimack 94
 Merrimack (8-14, 6-11) | Bentley University (16-7, 10-7)
Location: Dana Center | Waltham, Mass. 

How It Happened

After back-to-back treys from sophomore Gelvis Solano (New York, N.Y.), Merrimack was right back in the game bringing the score to within one (92-91). With less than 30 seconds to play, Solano puts the Warriors up one (94-93) with a deep 3-pointer but Alex Furness was able to challenge the Warriors with a jumper in the paint to solidify the 95-94 win for the home team.

Solano posted a team-high 31 points and led four Warriors in double figures. The sophomore guard also chipped in with four assists, two steals and a block. Fellow starter JT Strickland (Laurel, Md.) tallied 21 points and a team-high seven assists, while sophomore Troy Hammel (Valencia, Calif.) finished with 16 points, six assists and four steals. Sophomore Anthony Barry (Uxbridge, Mass.) rounded out the double-digit scorers with 10 points and seven rebounds.

Merrimack led as many as three points in a first half that featured a tie and two lead changes. The Falcons opened the game by reeling off five straight points on a game-opening three from Jasper Grassa followed by two made free throws from Andrew Shaw. Bentley slowly built its lead to five (13-8) on a good trey from Andrew Shaw with 15:11 remaining in the half.

Merrimack quickly answered back with an 8-0 run to take a three point (18-15) lead over the home team, but Bentley didn't waste any time and tied the Warriors, 20-20. Down by 10, Merrimack clawed its way back by the means of a 9-3 run to cut the Falcons lead to four (38-34). In the final minute, the Falcons went on a 5-2 run to end the half with a seven point (43-36) lead over the visitors.

In the opening minutes of the second half, Bentley rallied off five quick points until a trey from Hammel stopped the run and brought the Warriors to within nine (48-39). Over the next couple of minutes, both team exchanged baskets until Merrimack went on a 10-2 run to bring the score to 58-52, after two Solano free throws, with 13:22 left to play.

With the clock winding down, Merrimack continued to chip away at the Falcons lead and managed to come within four (83-79) after two Barry free throws. However, Bentley was able to stop the Warriors momentum and extend its lead to eight (89-81) with less than four minutes to play.

All five Falcon starters scored in doubles as sophomore forward Tyler Mcfarland led Bentley with 23 points, while senior guard Jasper Grassa put up a double-double with 19 points and 10 rebounds. Furness followed with 15 points, six assists and five boards. Shaw and Jp Koury contributed 12 and 10 points each, respectively.

A Closer Look

  • During the second half, Merrimack shot an astounding 61.8 percent (21-for-34) and hit 10 three-pointers, while finished the game shooting 53.5 percent from the floor and 48 percent from behind the arc.
  • Bentley finished the game going 33-for-63 from the floor, including shooting 57.9 percent from long range and 75 percent from the charity stripe. 
  • Bentley dominated the boards, 45-22 overall and 15-3 offensive.
  • Turnovers were another story with the Falcons as the Warriors forced 17 and resulted in an 18-9 edge in points off for Merrimack.

Northeast Division Standings

1. Franklin Pierce (12-4) *
2. Saint Anselm (12-4) *
3. Saint Michael's (11-5) *
4. Bentley (9-7) *
5. So. New Hampshire (8-8) *
6. Merrimack (6-10)  
7. Stonehill (4-12)
8. Assumption (3-13)

  • Only the top five from the Northeast and Southwest Division makes the NE-10 Championship.
  • Merrimack trails Southern NH (8-9) by two games, while the Warriors have only four games remaining.

Up Next
Next up, the Warriors return to action on Saturday, Feb. 15 when they travel to Worcester, Mass. to take on the Assumption Greyhounds. Tip-off is scheduled for 3:30.


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