Assumption Stops Men's Basketball, 68-63, Saturday Afternoon

Photo Credits: Vaughn Winchell


Links: Box Score

WORCESTER, Mass. – Despite holding a 10-point lead heading into halftime, the Merrimack College men's basketball team dropped a tough decision to Assumption College Saturday afternoon at Laska Gymnasium by a final score of 68-63.

The Basics
Assumption 68, Merrimack 63
 Merrimack (8-15, 6-12) | Assumption (7-16, 5-13)
Location: Laska Gymnasium | Worcester, Mass. 

How It Happened

Sophomore JT Strickland (Laurel, Md.) netted 19 points, grabbed five boards, and handed out four assists to lead Merrimack. Sophomore Anthony Barry (Uxbridge,Mass.) added 14 points and six rebounds, off the bench. Fellow classmates, Troy Hammel (Valencia, Calif.) and Gelvis Solano (New York, N.Y.) each finished the contest with 10 points, respectively.

Assumption opened the game on a 14-3 run to take a nine-point lead with less than 13 minutes left to play in the first. Over the next couple of minutes, Merrimack and Assumption traded baskets, until the Warriors cut the home teams' lead to three (18-15) after a made jumper from freshman Tawayne Anderson Jr (Garden City, N.Y.).

Assumption extended its lead to five (24-19), but a jumper from Strickland cut the Greyhounds leads to two (24-22) with 6:43 remaining. With senior Kevin Regan (Philadelphia, Pa.) and sophomore Tyler Hunt (Oswego, N.Y.) in foul trouble, the Warriors were able to keep their offense together and ended up trailing the host by only one (27-26) after two big Solano free throws.

With Merrimack controlling the pace of the game, the visitors were able to take there first lead of the game, 28-27, with less than four minutes to play. From that point on, Merrimack ended the half on a 10-2 run to take a 10-point (39-29) lead heading into the locker rooms.

At the end of the first, Merrimack hit 13 of its last 17 shots from the field after starting 1-of-9 from the field. The Warriors finished the half shooting 54 percent (14-of-26) from the floor, while holding the Greyhounds to 39 percent from the field.

Assumption was able to take control early in the second half, as the Greyhounds opened the half with a 12-4 run to bring the score to within two (43-41) with 11:27 remaining.

After a foul committed by Barry, Tim Kasper made two huge free throws to tie the visitors at 43-43. With less than nine minutes to play, both teams traded baskets and the lead until three free throws from Hammel put the Warriors up, 55-51.

In the final four minutes of regulation, Assumption battled back to take a two-point (59-57) lead after a converted 3-point play from Jim Zenevitch. With the clock winding down, both teams traded leads, but Assumption came up on top, finishing the game on an 8-0 run to take a 68-63 home victory against the Warriors.

For the game, Merrimack shot 90.5 percent from the free throw line and 16.7 percent from long range, while the Greyhounds went 0-of-5 from long range and 20-of-27 from the charity stripe. Assumption outshot the Warriors 45.3 percent from the floor, while Merrimack shot 42.9 percent from the field.

Jimmy Zenevith led the Greyhounds with a double-double, 34 points and 10 rebounds, to go along with his 4 assists. Marcus Murray chipped in with 12 points, two rebounds and five assists while Tim Kasper rounded out the trio with 10 points, seven rebounds, three assists and a team-high two blocks.

A Closer Look

  • In a game that saw five ties and nine lead changes, Assumption won the rebounding battle 41-24, as well as posting 13 second chance points.
  • The Warriors overcame an 11-point first half deficit to turn the tables and take a 10-point halftime lead.
  • Assumption won the battle in the paint, 42-28, while Merrimack forced 18 Assumption turnovers to get 17 points.
  • The Warriors' bench chipped in with 20 points, while Barry's contributed 14 of those 20.

Northeast Division Standings

1. Saint Anselm (14-4) *
2. Franklin Pierce (13-5) *
3. Saint Michael's (12-6) *
4. Bentley (10-8) *
5. So. New Hampshire (9-9) *
6. Merrimack (6-12) 
7. Assumption (5-13)
8. Stonehill (4-15)

  • Only the top five from the Northeast and Southwest Division makes the NE-10 Championship.
  • And with Southern New Hampshire defeating Stonehill this afternoon, Merrimack is now three games out of the last playoff spot with three games remaining. 
  • Merrimack must win all three (vs. St. Anselm, at Franklin Pierce and vs. St. Michael's) and Southern NH drop its final three of the season (vs. Bentley, at St. Michael's, vs. Assumption) to make the NE-10 tourney.

Up Next
Next up, the Warriors return to action on Wednesday, Feb. 19, when they host Saint Anselm College in a NE-10 conference showdown. Tip-off is scheduled for 7:30.


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