Saturday, December 11, 2010

Merrimack Sunk by Lowell Tip-In with 1.8 Left at Tsongas Center, 71-70

LOWELL, Mass.- In the second-ever basketball game held at the Tsongas Center, the Merrimack men’s basketball team dropped a tight 71-70 decision to UMass Lowell. The Warriors fall to 6-3 on the year and 2-3 in Northeast-10 play. The River Hawks improved to 6-2 overall and 4-2 in the league.

Dee Mency (Hagerstown, Md.) put up his third double-double of the 2010-11 campaign. Mency scored 28 points and grabbed 11 rebounds on the night. Wayne Mack (Paterson, N.J.) was the only other Warrior in double-figures with 14 points and he was just one board shy of his first double-double of the year with nine. Adam Marshall (Kent, England) contributed a career-best seven points.

The Warriors owned the lead up until seven minutes into the game when the River Hawks knocked down a three to grab their first advantage of the night. The home team’s initial lead didn’t last long as Juan Carlos Rosich (San Jose, Costa Rica) tied the score at 10-10 with a layup.

UMass Lowell posted a 12-2 run to take a 22-12 edge midway through the first half.

After the River Hawks went up by 14 on the Warriors, 28-14, a tip-in by Tyler Young and a runner in the lane by Wayne Mack cut the deficit to 10 with seven minutes left to play in the opening frame.

Marshall broke a four minute scoreless streak by draining his first collegiate trey with 2:30 remaining before the break.

Down the stretch, Merrimack strung together a 10-0 run and capped it off with a Mency three-pointer with 5.2 seconds on the clock to go ahead 30-29. The River Hawks quickly inbounded the ball and Akeem Williams banked in a straight-away triple at the horn to give the hosts a 32-30 halftime lead.

Mency finished the first half with 11 points to lead the Warriors while Mack added eight. Merrimack shot 32.4% from the field and converted all six free throws in the opening 20 minutes of play.

The Warriors showcased a couple of highlight reel plays in the second half. Wilfredo Pagan (Lawrence, Mass.) ran a fast break and lobbed up an alley-oop to Aaron Strothers (Wareham, Mass.) five minutes into the second half. A Mency rejection denied Lowell two fast break points just moments later.

After 30 minutes of action, Merrimack trailed by two points. Following a shot clock violation by the River Hawks, Mack dished the ball to Strothers to tie the score at 47-47. Tyler Young gave the Warriors a two-point lead with a lay-in.

The two squads exchanged buckets and the lead in the final eight minutes.

A reverse lay-up by Marshall awarded Merrimack its largest lead since the opening moments, 57-51.

With 90 seconds left, Lowell decreased the Warriors’ lead to one point on a three-pointer. Mency sunk a baseline-runner to push Merrimack ahead by three, 70-67.

In the concluding minute of regulation, the home team hit a pair of free throws to pull the score to 70-69 in favor of the visitors.

A tip-in with 1.8 ticks left gave Lowell a one-point edge, 71-70. Merrimack called a timeout and head coach Bert Hammel went to the drawing board to design a play. Mency’s half-court effort at the buzzer bounced off the backboard as the River Hawks escaped with their sixth win of the season.

“A tough loss to swallow tonight but I felt that we played hard,” said Hammel. “We had our chances to seal the game but we just need to execute a little better. “

Merrimack won the rebound battle, edging the River Hawks on the boards 49-47. The Warriors finished the game with a 41% field goal percentage. Strothers turned away a personal-high five blocks in the game.

The Warriors will return to action after the calendar turns to 2011. Merrimack takes on 21-day hiatus from play and hits the hardwood January 2 to host Saint Anselm. -

No comments:

Post a Comment