Merrimack

Merrimack Win Streak at Eight With 83-68 Win Over LIU

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On Saturday afternoon, the Merrimack College Warriors (17-10, 10-1) played host to the Long Island University Sharks (6-19, 5-8) in an important Northeast Conference game. The Warriors brought a seven-game winning streak into this game. These two teams met just a short time ago on Long Island, where the Warriors came away with an 82-79 overtime win. The winning streak has propelled Merrimack College into sole possession of first place in the league. That is important because the regular season champs will have home-court advantage through the upcoming conference postseason tournament.

In the first nine minutes and ten seconds, there were eight lead changes and three ties. LIU had played eight players with seven of them scoring. Andre Washington led the way with five points. Merrimack was led by the duo of Bryan Etummu and Jordan Derkack as both had five points. The tightness of the first half continued right through the final media timeout of the half. Both teams had leads of no bigger than three points. Long Island University would take a lead with them to the locker room thanks to a 5-0 run in the last two minutes. Two free throws at the line were followed by a 3-pointer from Tana Kopa (6 points in the half) from the left corner. Long Island University led 34-33 at the break. The Sharks played eight in the first half, and they all scored which helped them to an 18-9 advantage off the bench in scoring. They also outrebounded Merrimack College by a +6 at 21-15 Both teams were, at times, careless with the basketball as each team committed nine turnovers apiece.

Merrimack came out of the locker room shooting. Back-to-back 3-pointers by Devon Savage and Elumnu helped the Warriors start the half on an 8-2 run to retake the lead at 41-38 with 17:56 left in the game. The lead reached double digits for the first time in the game at 53-43 on a Savage three with 15:19 left. The Warriors were turning the Sharks over leading to easy baskets at the other end. As the second half was reaching the halfway mark, Merrimack’s lead had grown to twelve at 57-45. The Warriors were starting to take advantage of the turnovers by the Sharks. They had scored 20 points off of 17 LIU mistakes. They were also getting the job done in the paint, a +10 at 30-20.

With seven minutes left, the Warriors were up twelve at 66-54. Merrimack played out the final seven minutes to get their 17th win overall and their 10th league win with an 83-68 victory. Bryan Etumnu and Jordan Derkack each had 18 points. Anthony “Bud” Clark had 17 points and six assists. For Long Island University, Andre Washington had 16 and Terell Strickland had ten points. The key stat was the 13 second-half turnovers that LIU made which the Warriors took full advantage of.

Merrimack returns home on Thursday night vs Saint Francis University.

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