Men's Hoop Looks for Season Sweep of Merrimack Saturday
SNHU (12-13, 8-12 Northeast-10)
Merrimack (14-10, 11-9 Northeast-10)
Saturday, February 18, 2012 - 3:00 pm
Hammel Court - North Andover, Mass.
THE MATCHUP: Southern New Hampshire plays the first of two straight road games to close out the regular season when it travels to Merrimack Saturday afternoon.
THE COACHES: Stan Spirou is in his 27th season as head coach at Southern New Hampshire...he owns a 522-277 (.653) career record in 26-plus seasons at the helm...Spirou was honored as the New England Collegiate Conference Coach of the Year four times (1993, 94, 95, 99) and has led the Penmen to 14 NCAA Tournaments, four NCAA Regional titles and fourteen 20 win seasons...Bert Hammel is in his 32nd season at Merrimack...Hammel recorded his 400th career victory during the 2007-08 season and owns a career mark of 473-433 while guiding the Warriors to seven NCAA appearances.
THE SERIES:Southern New Hampshire owns a 26-19 advantage in the alltime series with Merrimack and has captured three straight meetings in the series, including a 70-63 win at the SNHU Fieldhouse earlier this season...the Penmen led by as many as 13 in the second half but Merrimack used a late 11-2 run to pull within two with 3:43 left...Tory Stapleton and Lucas Croteau each finished with 12 points to lead the Penmen, while Aaron Strothers led the Warriors with 26 points and 11 rebounds.
THE PENMEN: Southern New Hampshire fell to Stonehill 52-43 Tuesday evening...Tory Stapleton leads the Penmen in scoring with his 11.4 ppg average, while also grabbing a team-best 6.7 rebounds per game...Stapleton is shooting 50.2% from the field... Aleksandar Dobrovic is recording 10.5 points and 5.0 rebounds per game while leading the team in assists with 60...Dobrovic had 25 points in the Bentley win last Saturday and was named Northeast-10 Rookie of the Week on Monday....freshman Elijah Bonsignore is averaging 10.4 ppg and also has a team-best 50 blocked shots, including six earlier this season against Southern Connecticut...B.J. Cardarelli has knocked down a team-high 34 three-pointers and is averaging 10.2 points and four rebounds per game, while Greg DeSantis is adding 7.9 points per contest...the Penmen are shooting .436 overall, .341 behind the arc and .694 at the free throw line while allowing opponents to shoot .447 overall and .373 behind the arc...the Penmen are scoring 67.7 points per game while allowing 68.1 and are outrebounding teams 35.0-34.2.
THE WARRIORS: Merrimack, which is ranked ninth in the NCAA East Region ranking released Wednesday, has won four in a row and is coming off a 56-48 win over Saint Michael's Tuesday night...Wayne Mack leads four Warriors averaging double figures with his 16.5 ppg average, while also grabbing six rebounds per contest...Aaron Strothers is shooting 58.9% from the field and scoring at a 13.8 ppg clip, while Mike Clifford is recording 13.2 points and a team-best 8.8 rebounds per game...Clifford is shooting 55.1% from the floor...Roland Davis has knocked down a team-high 49 three-pointers and is adding 12.5 points and a team-high 4.2 assists per game...the Warriors are shooting .440 overall, .327 from three-point land and .689 at the free throw line while allowing opponents to shoot .400 overall and .320 behind the arc...Merrimack is scoring 68.6 ppg while allowing 65.4 and outrebounding foes 38.9-35.8.
WHAT'S NEXT: SNHU closes out the regular season Tuesday night at Saint Michael's...the Penmen are still alive for a berth in the 10-team Northeast-10 Tournament that kicks off February 24, but need to win both of their remaining contests to have a chance.