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The Streak Continues! Merrimack Basketball makes it 8 straight with Win over LIU

Jack Lawhorne & Robert Gambale – Student Reporters

Photo via Merrimack Athletics

NORTH ANDOVER, Ma. – Following a narrow win at Stonehill on Thursday night, The Merrimack Warriors came into another Saturday afternoon matchup, this time hosting the LIU Sharks.

Entering the game, Merrimack stood atop the conference with an overall record of 16-10 (10-2 NEC), finally taking the reins from now second place Central Connecticut State, currently 15-10 (9-3 NEC). 

At the end of a largely even and defensive first half, LIU beat the buzzer to give the Sharks a one point advantage, going into the second half 34-33. 

Freshman guard Adam “Budd” Clark led the Warriors with an efficient nine points but the team as a whole struggled offensively. Jordan Derkack had a hard time finding his rhythm, shooting 2 for 8 in the opening half.

Merrimack opened the second half with a burst of energy. A pick-and-pop 3 ball by Bryan Etemnu off a Budd Clark feed opened the scoring. Seconds later, a Clark steal on the other end led to a Devon Savage 3-pointer on the very next possession, which gave the Warriors a five point lead.

Moments later, Warriors forward Samba Diallo stepped up with 2 strong buckets including turning an offensive rebound into an and-one to provide the Warriors with an even bigger boost of energy. All this contributed to a 24-9 run which made up for a subpar 1st half.

Another positive takeaway was sophomore forward Bryan Etemnu, who could not stop punishing the rim. Whether it was a beautiful alley-oop pass or a routine roll to the basket, Etemnu seemed to be above the rim, throwing the ball down every other play.

The Warriors were able to take care of business and deliver another dominant second half performance at home en route to a 83-68 victory. 

Merrimack outscored LIU 50-34 in the second to make a statement after an underwhelming start to the game. Bryan Etemnu was phenomenal all game with 18 points which led the team.

The Warriors, now 17-10, will take on St. Francis (12-14) Thursday night at Lawler Arena in the last home game of the season. Merrimack enters the contest boasting a home record of 10-1, looking to only get better in the pursuit of their first March Madness berth in school history.

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