Merrimack stuns Northwestern 71-61 behind Jensen, Hayes

EVANSTON, Ill. (AP) – Devin Jensen had 23 points and Juvaris Hayes had 19 points, nine rebounds, and seven assists, lifting Merrimack to a stunning 71-61 victory over Northwestern on Friday night in just its second game as a Division I team.

Merrimack (1-1) trailed 55-50 with 9{ minutes remaining before taking command with a 17-4 run to open a 67-59 advantage with just under a minute to go.

Merrimack lost 84-64 in its opener Wednesday at Maine.

Pete Nance had 18 points and 12 rebounds to lead Northwestern in its season opener.

Northwestern lost its top three scorers from last season – Vic Law (15 points per game), Dererk Pardon (14) and Ryan Taylor (9.8) – and played three freshman and two redshirt freshmen on Friday. The Wildcats struggled to find any consistency on offense.

Northwestern scored just 26 points on 10-for-30 shooting in the second half.

NU’s Miller Kopp scored the game’s first eight points to get Northwestern off to a fast start, but Merrimack rallied for a 26-24 lead on a 3-pointer by Ziggy Reid with just over eight minutes left in the first half.

Jensen had 17 first-half points as Merrimack took a 36-35 halftime lead.

Northwestern was able to open a five-point lead on two occasions in the second half, but Merrimack kept rallying.

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