Men’s Basketball Earns Crucial Road Victory Over Merrimack on Thursday Night
NORTH ANDOVER, MA – The St. Francis College Brooklyn men's basketball team (9-9, 9-8 NEC) picked up a crucial road victory over Merrimack (8-7, 8-7 NEC), 84-71, on Thursday night on Hammel Court. The win marked the Terriers' fourth in their last five games and third-straight on the road.
St. Francis had five student-athletes finish the game scoring in double figures which paced the Terriers to their ninth win of the season. The five student-athletes that scored in double-digits accounted for 80 of St. Francis's 84 points in the game. St. Francis also used a strong second-half effort to propel it to victory. St. Francis has scored 80 or more points in a game 11 times this season and have done so in five consecutive games.
The first half was consumed by strong defensive play by both teams as Merrimack took a narrow, 32-29, advantage into the halftime break. St. Francis held the Warriors to 37.9 percent shooting from the field in the opening frame and forced six turnovers. Offensively, the Terriers were feeling out Merrimack's relentless zone defense and graduate guard Unique McLean carved through the defense to score 11 first-half points and grab six rebounds.
Graduate guard/forward Travis Atson, senior guard Chauncey Hawkins, McLean, sophomore guard Rob Higgins, and senior forward Yaradyah Evans were the five Terriers to finish the game scoring in double figures. The balanced scoring attack allowed St. Francis to outscore Merrimack, 55-39, in the second half of play as it received vital contributions from Hawkins, Evans, and Atson, who each did their own fair share of damage in the second half of play.
Hawkins was electric in the second half for the Terriers as he scored all 18 of his points in the game during the stanza as he shot a near-perfect 6-of-7 from the field and 3-of-4 from three-point range. Like Hawkins, all of Evans' points came in the second half as well as he scored 12 points and grabbed eight rebounds off the bench. Atson tallied a game-high 19 points and scored 11 of those points in the second half of the ball game.