Top-Seeded Men’s Basketball Upset by Merrimack in NCAA Tournament First Round
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The Le Moyne men’s basketball team dropped their first round NCAA Tournament game to Merrimack College this past weekend. The eighth-seeded Merrimack Warriors upset the top-seeded Dolphins in overtime to end Le Moyne’s fantastic season.
The first half was mostly controlled by Le Moyne. Early on, the Dolphins trailed by four points but then came back and eventually went up eight points with just 5:49 remaining. They closed the half with a 29-25 lead.
Senior forward Stan Buczek had a solid first half, posting eight points and four rebounds. Junior forward Dan Kaigler also contributed eight points in just nine minutes of play.
The second half was a close one in which the Warriors and the Dolphins went back and forth in the final 6:48 of play. Merrimack led by three points with 17 seconds remaining, but Buczek came down on the Dolphins’ final possession and converted a three-pointer, tying the game with eleven seconds to go.
The overtime period began with a Buczek layup with 4:22 remaining, but it went all downhill for the Dolphins from that point on. The Warriors soon took the lead and stayed in front for the remainder of the game, eventually clinching the victory and defeating Le Moyne.
Buczek finished the game with 17 points and 12 rebounds. He was a perfect 6-6 from the free throw line in his last collegiate contest in a green and gold uniform. Kaigler chipped in 17 points of his own as well, scoring nine in just eleven minutes. He shot 7-8 from the field for the game. Freshman forward Tom Brown contributed a career-best nine assists and eight rebounds off the bench in 30 minutes, the most minutes he has played since the very first game of the season.
The Warriors’ Northeast-10 Conference Rookie of the Year freshman guard Juvaris Hayes scored 21 points to go along with seven assists, six rebounds, and four assists. Freshman forward Ryan Boulter tallied 20 points and nine rebounds.
The Dolphins finished their season holding a 22-7 record, 22 being the third-most wins in a season in the team’s history and the most since their 1995-96 season, where they had 24.