Merrimack Shoots Past Men's Basketball, 88-71

Hayes leads Warriors with game-high 30 points

Twitty scored 15 of his team-high 19 in the first half for the Skyhawks. (PHOTO BY Jan Volk/SportsPix)

EASTON, Mass. (November 28, 2018) – Merrimack College shot 60-percent from the floor in the second half to pull away for an 88-71 victory over Stonehill College in Northeast-10 Conference men's basketball action on Paula Sullivan Court at Merkert Gymnasium tonight.

Junior point guard Javaris Hayes led Merrimack with a game-high 30 points on 15-of-29 shooting, eight rebounds, five assists and five steals, while classmate Idris Joyner  posted a double-double with 15 points and a game-high 13 rebounds, shooting 4-of-7 from the floor and converting all seven free-throws. Sophomore Khalief Crawford rounded out the Warriors double-figure scorers with 15 points, connecting on 4-of-6 three-pointers, while junior Jaleel Lord chipped in eight points, nine boards and three steals.

Junior Brandon Twitty scored 15 of his team-high 19 points in the first half for Stonehill, finishing 7-for-11 from the field, including 5-for-7 from beyond the arc, with three assists. Classmate Will Moreton scored 16 of his 18 points in the second half for the Skyhawks, adding nine rebounds and three assists, while shooting 5-of-12 from the floor, and converting all six free-throws. Senior Michael Boen made all five of his shots from the floor for ten points, with three assists, while junior Dan Largey pulled down a team and career-best ten boards.

Stonehill trailed by as much as 11 twice late in the first half, before closing within six (40-34) after a Twitty three-pointer with two minutes to go. Merrimack carried an eight-point lead (42-34) into the lockerroom, but the Skyhawks scored the first ten points of the second half to grab the lead (44-42) after a Moreton layup two minutes in. Moreton also connected on a three-pointer, as well as sophomore Owen Chose, to spark the run.

Moreton scored 16 of his 18 points in the second half for the Skyhawks, adding nine rebounds. (PHOTO BY Jan Volk/SportsPix)

Lord pushed Merrimack back in front (46-44) less than a minute later, but Moreton buried another triple to see-saw Stonehill back in front. Back to back three-pointers from Lord and Crawford restored a five-point lead for the Warriors (52-47), but the Skyhawks were able to once again pull even (52-52) on a three-point play from freshman Andrew Sims with 14-minutes to play.

Merrimack took over from there, reeling off 15-straight at the outset of a larger 18-2 run that broke the game open with a 16-point lead (70-54) after a three-point play from freshman Mikey Watkins just past the midway point of the half. Hayes scored the first six points of the run, and totaled ten of the Warriors initial 15 points of the stretch in all, to lead the way. Stonehill wouldn't close within double figures the rest of the way, with the Merrimack lead growing to as much as 18 down the stretch.       

Stonehill (4-4, 1-3 NE10) is back in action on Saturday, when it visits Franklin Pierce University at 3:30 p.m. The Skyhawks return to Merkert Gym next Wednesday, December 5, to kick off a five-game home stand that will stretch into the New Year against Assumption College at 7:30 p.m. Merrimack (5-3, 3-1 NE10) visits No. 4/4 Saint Anselm College on Saturday at 3:30 p.m.

For the latest on Stonehill Athletics, follow the Skyhawks via social media on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram. Fans can also download the Stonehill Skyhawks "Front Row" mobile app, powered by PrestoSports, on iTunes and the Android Market.