PROVIDENCE, R.I. — The Merrimack College men's basketball team led by as many as 12 points midway through the first half on Tuesday night at Providence College, facing the Big East foes for the first time in over six decades.
And the Warriors only trailed by five at halftime from the Dunkin' Donuts Center, but saw the hosts pull away in the second stanza for a 93-56 victory.
For the first time this season, freshman Mykel Derring led Merrimack in scoring with 11 points on 4-of-8 shooting and three 3-pointers. Senior Devin Jensen added 10 points, hitting 4-of-8 from the field as well.
The loss dropped Merrimack to 3-3 on the season while Providence improved to 4-1. The Warriors play at Hammel Court for the first time this season on Friday night, hosting Lesley University for a 7 p.m. tip-off.
Senior Idris Joyner, freshman Ziggy Reid and freshman Jordan McKoy hit three straight buckets as part of an 8-0 run for the Warriors, turning a 6-4 Merrimack edge into a 14-4 advantage eight minutes into the game. The Warriors' lead ballooned to 12, 22-10, following driving layups for senior Juvaris Hayes, freshman Mykel Derring and senior Jaleel Lord, giving the visitors their largest lead of the half at the midway point
Providence responded with a 14-0 run over the next five minutes, taking a 24-22 edge with under five minutes remaining. and took a five-point lead to the locker room
Jensen hit a pair of layups at the start of the second half to keep Merrimack within five, 42-37, three minutes into the second half. The Friars were able to snatch momentum via a 15-1 run that spanned four minutes, turning a 49-40 game into a 64-41 edge for the hosts.