Merrimack looks to extend streak vs St. Francis
St. Francis (NY) (10-10, 4-4) vs. Merrimack (13-8, 7-1)
Hammel Court, North Andover, Massachusetts; Thursday, 7 p.m. EST
BOTTOM LINE: Merrimack looks for its seventh straight conference win against St. Francis (NY). Merrimack’s last NEC loss came against the Robert Morris Colonials 69-58 on Jan. 4. St. Francis (NY) won 86-79 over St. Francis (Pa.) on Saturday.
SAVVY VETERANS: Senior leadership has been on display for both teams this year. Juvaris Hayes, Idris Joyner and Jaleel Lord have combined to account for 46 percent of Merrimack’s scoring this season. For St. Francis (NY), Chauncey Hawkins, Deniz Celen, Unique McLean and Rob Higgins have collectively accounted for 70 percent of all St. Francis (NY) scoring, including 79 percent of the team’s points over its last five games.
NEC IMPROVEMENT: The Warriors have scored 64.4 points per game and allowed 59.4 points per game in conference play thus far. Those are both noticeable improvements over the 68.5 points scored and 66.3 points allowed per game to non-conference opponents.CLUTCH CHAUNCEY: Hawkins has connected on 26.7 percent of the 75 3-pointers he’s attempted and has made 5 of 20 over the last five games. He’s also made 80 percent of his foul shots this season.
WINLESS WHEN: St. Francis (NY) is 0-6 when scoring fewer than 63 points and 10-4 when scoring at least 63.
UNBEATEN WHEN: Merrimack is a perfect 6-0 when the team records 12 or more steals. The Warriors are 7-8 when they steal the ball fewer than 12 times.
DID YOU KNOW: The steady Merrimack defense has held opponents to 61.3 points per game, the 19th-lowest mark in Division I. St. Francis (NY) has given up an average of 71.6 points through 20 games (ranking the Terriers 210th).