NORTH ANDOVER, Mass. – Josh Morgan-Green (Upper Marlboro, Md.) knocked down five three-pointers and totaled 17 points as Southern New Hampshire University knocked off No. 22 Merrimack College 87-75 in Northeast-10 men's basketball Tuesday night at Volpe Gym. The Penmen snapped a four-game slide and improved to 3-5 overall and 1-5 in the NE-10, while the Warriors, who had won four straight and entered the NABC Division II national poll just hours earlier Tuesday, are now 6-2 and 2-2 in the league.
The win marked SNHU's first at Merrimack since the 2003-04 season.
Morgan-Green, making his first start of the season, went 6-9 from the floor and 5-7 behind the arc while also grabbing five rebounds. He paced three players in double figures for the Penmen. Greg DeSantis (Trumbull, Conn.) knocked down a pair of threes, went 6-11 from the floor, and totaled 15 points, while freshman CJ Marriro (Boston, Mass.), making his first career start, recorded 13 points, six assists and four rebounds. Tory Stapleton (Rahway, N.J.) finished with nine points and nine rebounds while Nikola Canic (Belgrade, Serbia) also finished with nine points.
Roland Davis led Merrimack with a game-high 33 points, as he went 12-21 from the floor and knocked down five of his 10 three-point attempts on the evening. Aaron Strothers totaled 12 points and 10 rebounds for the Warriors, while Tyler Young and Darin Mency each finished with 10 points. Mency, Merrimack's leading scorer entering the game, was held 13.3 points below his season average as he was just 4-12 from the floor.
SNHU trailed three times in the early going, but broke a 10-10 tie with a 13-4 run capped by a Marcus Matthews (Valley Stream, N.Y.) layup with 11:21 to go in the first half that made it 23-14. The Penmen used an 8-0 spurt to build a 43-25 lead with just over five minutes to go on a basket by Corey Boland (Union, N.J.). Boland gave SNHU its largest lead of the first half, 48-29, with three minutes left before intermission on a conventional three-point play, and the Penmen took a 50-36 lead into the locker room.
Merrimack would get within 12 three minutes into the second half on a dunk by Strothers, but the Penmen would stretch the lead to 20 just past the midway mark of the second on a Marriro basket that made it 72-52. The Warriors used an 11-0 run to pull within nine, 72-63, with 7:33 to go on a Davis basket, but the Penmen would respond with back-to-back threes by Cory Vejraska (Alachua, Fla.) and Morgan-Green, and SNHU maintained a double-digit advantage the rest of the way.
Southern New Hampshire knocked down 10 of its 23 three-point attempts (43.4%) and was 33-61 (54.1%) overall from the floor. Merrimack outrebounded the Penmen by one (35-34) and went 29-63 from the floor, but just 7-18 behind the arc. SNHU held the Warriors 10 points below their season average, as they had averaged 85 points per game over their first seven contests.
Southern New Hampshire returns to action Saturday when it travels to surprising Southern Connecticut State University for a 3:30 pm non-conference contest.