NEC play starts for Merrimack, Sacred Heart

Merrimack (6-7, 0-0) vs. Sacred Heart (7-6, 0-0)

William Pitt Center – West Gym, Fairfield, Connecticut; Thursday, 7:30 p.m. EST

BOTTOM LINE: Sacred Heart hosts Merrimack as NEC play starts for both teams. In conference play last season, Merrimack finished with zero wins and zero losses in the , while Sacred Heart won 11 games and lost seven in the NEC.

FABULOUS FRESHMEN: Merrimack’s Juvaris Hayes, Jaleel Lord and Jordan Minor have combined to account for 41 percent of the team’s scoring this season and have scored 42 percent of all Warriors points over the last five games.

CREATING OFFENSE: Cameron Parker has either made or assisted on 45 percent of all Sacred Heart field goals over the last five games. The sophomore guard has 24 field goals and 41 assists in those games.

YET TO WIN: The Warriors are 0-6 when they allow 64 or more points and 6-1 when they hold opponents to anything under 64 points. The Pioneers are 0-6 when they score 72 points or fewer and 7-0 when they exceed 72.

SHARING THE BURDEN: Sacred Heart is a perfect 5-0 when at least five of its players score 10 or more points. The team is 2-6 when fewer than five Pioneers players score in double-figures.

DID YOU KNOW: The disruptive Merrimack defense has forced opponents to turn the ball over on 26.3 percent of all possessions, the 11th-best rate in the nation. Sacred Heart has a forced-turnover percentage of only 16.4 percent through 13 games (ranking the Pioneers 338th among Division I teams).