Links: Box Score
NEW HAVEN, Conn. – The Southern Connecticut State University Owls used a 14-2 first-half run to break a 17-17 tie and never looked back, handing the Merrimack College men's basketball team a 89-65 defeat on Tuesday evening. The Warriors and Owls each entered the game ranked among the top-three teams in the D2SIDA East Region Media Poll, with the Navy and Gold receiving votes in the D2SIDA National Media Poll.
Score: Southern Conn. 89, Merrimack 65
Records: Merrimack (12-4, 7-3 NE10) | Southern Conn. (12-4, 8-1 NE10)
Location: Moore Field House | New Haven, Conn.
The Turning Point:
Holding a 17-15 lead following a layup from Tawayne Anderson Jr. (Garden City, N.Y.), the Warriors could not hold off the hosts over the final 11 minutes of the first half. Southern Connecticut's 16-2 run transformed the score from a two-point deficit to an 11-point lead. The Overall, the Owls outscored the Warriors by 15 from when Merrimack last led, 29-14, to take control of the game.
How It Happened (First Half)
- It was the Warriors who jumped out to an early lead, with freshman point guard Juvaris Hayes (Paterson, N.J.) netting the first four points before dishing to sophomore Troy McLaughlin (Old Tappan, N.J.) for a 3-pointer, making it 7-2 Merrimack just 1:52 into the game. After the Owls tied the game with a 5-0 spurt, sophomore Ryan Boulter (Mansfield, Mass.) connected on back-to-back triples to build the Merrimack advantage back to six, 13-7, at the 15:42 mark
- With the score tied at 17-all with 11:15 to play, the Owls used a 14-2 run to surge forward. The run spanned over four minutes, with Isaiah McLeod's first 3-pointer of the night capping the stretch with 6:54 remaining in the opening stanza
- Senior captain Riley Calzonetti (Neptune City, N.J.) drilled a straightaway 16-footer and Boulter chipped in free throws to cut the deficit to eight. After a lay-in from graduate forward Anthony Barry (Uxbridge, Mass.) dropped the margin to single digits again, 35-27, the hosts ended the half on a 9-4 stretch to take a 44-31 lead into the intermission
How It Happened (Second Half)
- Over the first 3:20 of the second stanza, the Owls increased their lead to 18 behind another triple from McLeod and consecutive buckets from Jerry Luckett Jr. After another jumper by Calzonetti brought the deficit down to 16, 57-41, Luckett Jr. converted a three-point play followed by McLeod's third long ball of the night to give the Owls a 22-point lead with 11:40 remaining
- Facing a 70-53 deficit and 7:58 left, the Warriors embarked on a 7-0 run that included a left-wing triple from McLaughlin bookended by layups from Boulter. The Owls, as they had throughout the night, responded swiftly with a 5-0 spurt with buckets on consecutive possessions to increase their advantage to 15 with five minutes to play
- From there, Southern Connecticut ended the night on a 14-5 run, capped off by the final trey of the night from McLeod, part of a 23-point performance for the sophomore guard
Inside The Numbers
- Boulter led four Warriors in double figures with 16 points and pulled down a career-high nine rebounds, besting his previous high of seven set earlier this year
- The defeat snapped the longest winning streak from the program in seven years, falling five games short of the 11-game run that headlined the 2009-10 campaign
- Hayes finished the night with 14 points and a team-high six assists. He returned to scoring in double figures after he saw his 10-game streak snapped against Pace
- Michael Mallory, who entered the night with over 2,000 career points, was held to just 11 points on 4-of-12 shooting, but the trio of Kayjuan Bynum, Luckett Jr. and McLeod combined for 57 points on 23-of-39 shooting
- 3-point line favors SCSU: The Warriors only made six triples on 25 attempts, while the Owls finished 11-of-19 from beyond the arc, a conversion rate of nearly 60 percent
The Navy and Gold return home on Saturday afternoon when the Warriors welcome Le Moyne to Hammel Court for a 3 p.m. tip-off.