NORTH ANDOVER, Mass. (AP)Ziggy Reid scored 23 points, Jordan Minor had 19 points, seven rebounds and five assists and Merrimack closed on an 8-0 run to beat Fairleigh Dickinson 67-66 on Tuesday night to capture the Northeast Conference Tournament championship.
Merrimack (18-16), which is ineligible for the NCAA Tournament due to a four-year transition to Division I, closed its season on an 11-game winning streak. Fairleigh Dickinson (19-15) had already secured the conference’s automatic bid in the Big Dance but was seeking its seventh NEC Tournament title.
Javon Bennett added 11 points and Jordan Derkack had eight points and 12 rebounds for top-seeded Merrimack. Minor, the NEC co-player of the year, was 8 of 17 from the field and he also had three blocks.
Derkack made 1 of 2 free throws to pull within 66-63. FDU guard Demetre Roberts was called for a charge in the lane and Minor made a shot at the other end while being fouled with 39.7 seconds left. Minor added the free throw for a three-point play to tie it at 66-all.
FDU chose not to take a timeout and worked the clock down to about 15 seconds before Grant Singleton drove the lane and found Ansley Almonor in the corner for a 3-pointer that was long. A foul was called on the defensive rebound and Jordan McKoy made 1 of 2 free throws with 8.3 left for his first point of the game.
Roberts dribbled it up the floor, but his contested 3-pointer at the buzzer was long.
Roberts scored all 15 of his points in the second half for Fairleigh Dickinson, which was picked to tie for sixth in the NEC preseason coaches poll after coming off a 4-22 season. Singleton added 11 points and Sean Moore scored 10.
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