Wagner upsets No. 1 Merrimack, takes NEC title

Mar 12, 2024, 09:52 PM ET

NORTH ANDOVER, Mass.– Tahron Allen scored 22 points and No. 6 seed Wagner enabled just four points in the final 8 minutes of a 54-47 triumph over top-seeded Merrimack on Tuesday night in the national championship of the Northeast Conference Tournament.The Seahawks advance

to the NCAA Competition for the very first time because 2003. After losing 4 of five to complete the routine season, Wagner beat Central Connecticut in the semifinals and Merrimack in the championship game. Heaven Devils and Warriors tied for first place in the conference, with Merrimack landing the top seed in the tournament.After winning last season’s conference tournament in their last season

of shift to Division I, the Warriors were looking to repeat and advance to the NCAA Competition for the very first time. Still, they routed by 11 points on their home flooring after Allen hit a 3-pointer for a 41-30 lead with less than 13 minutes remaining.The Warriors reacted with 13 successive points, Bryan Etumnu’s 3-pointer providing a 43-41 lead with about 8

minutes left in the game.Three minutes later, Javier Ezquerra and Melvin Council Jr. struck back-to-back jumpers and Wagner led 46-43. Allen scored to give the Seahawks a

five-point lead and he added two totally free tosses with 70 seconds left to make it 51-45. The Warriors launched three 3-pointers on their next belongings and missed them all, before Jordan McKoy was fouled and made both totally free throws with 25 seconds left. Merrimack fouled Javier Ezquerra and he made 2 complimentary throws for a 53-47 lead at 21 seconds. Devon Savage missed another 3-pointer for Merrimack and the game ran out reach.Savage had 16 points and McKoy 11 for Merrimack (21-12). Council had 12 points and Keyontae Lewis got 12 rebounds for Wagner(16-15). Wagner, 8th nationally allowing 62.6 points per game, closed down

Merrimack on the boundary. The Warriors made only 10 of 38 3-pointers

and shot 30% general. The Seahawks hit 45%of their shots.Wagner matched the Mount St. Mary’s Mountaineers

of 1999 as the only groups seeded 6th or worse to win the NEC Tournament.

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