Josh Canning – Sports Reporter
Photo from Lauren Hearn (@hearnphotography)
BROOKLYN, Ny. — Despite the cold winter weather, Merrimack has been a shining light in the Northeast conference as of late. On Coach Gallo’s birthday, Merrimack took down the LIU Sharks 82-79 in an overtime thriller at Steinberg Wellberg Center.
With this win, Merrimack is now tied for the top spot in the conference. The chase for first place remains up for grabs between Central Connecticut (14-9, 8-2 NEC) and Merrimack (14-10, 8-2 NEC), who both boast the same record in the NEC. With six games remaining for the Warriors, every contest is a must win for home playoff advantage.
In this game, we saw another commanding performance from sophomore phenom Jordan Derkack. His 34 points were a huge help in the win. Freshman guard Adam Clark recorded 27 points and combined for 61 with fellow teammate Derkack.
Derkack also made highlight reels from causing the hoop to come down as a result of a fast break dunk. He was even featured on Barstool Sports.
The Warriors recorded 13 steals against LIU, and have continued to be a nightmare for opposing teams offenses, highlighting the “Make Chaos” motto. Despite falling behind late in the game, they never lost heart, and continued to fight all the way to the end.
Merrimack came back from a double digit deficit with 6 ½ minutes remaining to tie it before a three-pointer by Sharks forward Tana Kopa sent it to overtime. In the end, MC claimed victory.
Coming to North Andover is never an easy task. The Warriors have lost just one conference game at home this season, and look to continue their 5 game win streak February 10th against Le Moyne, who are currently 5-4 in the NEC.
With less than a month of regular season games remaining, the time for winning is more important than ever. The quest for their first appearance at a March Madness run is in full effect, and it hasn’t been ignored in the team’s dominance this season.