Men’s Hoops Upsets Saint Michael's, 67-59, on Senior Night to Cap Off 2013-14


Links: Box Score | Postgame Interview (Regan) 

NORTH ANDOVER, Mass. – Needing a win to end the 2013-14 season on a high note, the Merrimack College men's basketball team did its part on Tuesday night, as the Warriors stunned the No. 3 seed Saint Michael's College, 67-59, at Hammel Court.

The Basics
Merrimack 67, Saint Michael's 59
Merrimack (9-17, 7-14) | Saint Michael's (18-8, 13-8)
Location: Bert Hammel Court | North Andover, Mass. 

How It Happened

Sophomore Gelvis Solano (New York, N.Y.) notched 19 points, six assists and four steals. Fellow classmate JT Strickland (Laurel, Md.) contributed 19 points, five boards and five helpers. Senior Kevin Regan (Philadelphia, Pa) posted his fifth season double-double with 10 points and 10 rebounds.

In a contest that featured zero lead changes, Merrimack pulled ahead to take an early seven-point lead three minutes in before the Purple Knights rallied back with back-to-back threes, putting the visitors within four (10-6) with 16:37 remaining.

A  Dom Ditlefsen triple created a 17-15 margin, but the Warriors put together a 12-2 run on the strength of two Strickland threes. With 6:28 left to play in the first, Merrimack continued to lead by 12 (34-22), but Saint Michael's responded with a 7-0 run to bring the score to 34-29.

Merrimack went back ahead by 12 on a Solano three with 1:16 go to, but a Corey Crawford trey trimmed the deficit to 42-33 heading into halftime.

Back-to-back baskets from Crawford and Mike Holton brought Saint Michael's to within seven, a  free throw  from Moell Gaskins put the visitors within six (44-38) at 16:12. However, the Warriors scored the next eight points, eventually leading by as much as 13 (58-45).

In the final five minutes of the game, Saint Michael's continued to threaten the Warriors lead and used a 7-2 run to bring the deficit to 65-59 with 21 seconds left. However, that wasn't enough to keep them from falling to the Warriors 67-59.

For the Purple Knights, Mike Holton Jr. netted a team-high 16 points and five rebounds, while Corey Crawford chipped in with 15 points and four rebounds.

A Closer Look into This Season

Missing out on the playoffs for the first time since the 2011-12 season, the youthful Warriors still managed to close the book on a high note, earning a season split against the Purple Knights. Merrimack closed out the regular season with a 9-17 overall record and a 7-14 Northeast-10 Conference Record.

Not only did Solano lead the team in scoring in points as he averaged 21.2 points per game, but he finished the regular season leading the conference in points by .1 over Southern Connecticut guard Greg Langston, 21.1. He also ranked second in Division II tallying 3.4 steals per game and recording 85 total steals.

Regan lead the battle on the glass, as he averaged 7.7 rebounds per game to go along with his 9.9 points. Sophomore Anthony Barry (Uxbridge, Mass.) was not far behind averaging 6.7 rebounds and 11.4 point per game. Both Barry and Regan finished the season with five double-doubles.

Northeast Division Standings

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


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