– Junior Tyrece Gibbs (Brockton, Mass.) led a balanced attack to help the University of New Hampshire men’s basketball team get by Merrimack College, 87-75, in an exhibition tune up Thursday night at Lundholm Gymnasium.
Gibbs, the America East Player of the Game, led all scorers with 22 points, and chipped in with six rebounds and six assists. Darin Mency led all Merrimack scorers with 20 points.
Merrimack opened the game with a 12-4 run before the Wildcats scored seven straight to cut their deficit to one. The Warriors opened up another eight-point lead, with the Wildcats again making a run to cut their deficit to two.
From there, the ‘Cats – who shot 55 percent from the field, including 12-for-24 from behind the arc – settled down, taking the lead and building an eight-point advantage. They would take the 45-37 lead with them into the locker room at the half.
Eighteen of Gibbs’ 22 points came in the first half. Junior Eric Gilchrese (Springfield, Ill.) also put up double digits – one of six Wildcats to do so – scoring 10 in the first half and finishing with 14. Gilchrese also led the team with seven rebounds and four steals.
Merrimack opened up the second half with an 11-point run that gave it a three-point lead. The ‘Cats came right back with an 11-0 run of their own minutes later, which gave them a 59-48 edge. Senior Mike Christensen (Reston, Va.) dropped 11 of his 14 points in the second half, while also chipping in with six assists.
Sophomore Radar Onguetou (Cameroon) netted all 10 of his points in the second half. Freshmen Alvin Abreu (Lynn, Mass.) and Tyrone Conley (Burlington, Vt.) were the other two scorers in double digits, finishing with 13 and 12 points, respectively.
After the Warriors cut the UNH lead to one midway through the second half, the ‘Cats slowly pulled away, building a seven-point lead. That lead eventually grew to a game-high 13 before Merrimack sliced it down to 12 in the final minutes.
The ‘Cats open their regular season Nov. 10 when they travel to Chestnut Hill, Mass. to take on the Boston College Eagles at 4 p.m. The game can be seen live on NESN. The team’s home opener is Nov. 14 at 7 p.m. when it plays host to Suffolk University at Lundholm Gymnasium.
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