MERRIMACK — Eric Gendron was held to four points through the first three quarters of Tuesday night’s game against Bishop Guertin of Nashua, but he scored when the Tomahawks needed it the most.
Gendron, a senior guard, tossed in 15 consecutive points in the fourth quarter to propel Merrimack to a 60-52 triumph.
Gendron, who is averaging 20.1 points per game, finished with a game-high 19 points and helped Merrimack raise its Division I record to 12-1.
“That’s what he does,” BG coach Jim Migneault said. “He’s a streaky player and he’s a very good streaky player. We missed a layup that would have put us ahead, then he came down and made a (3-pointer) that put them ahead. I thought that was a big turning point right there.”
BG trailed by as many as 12 points in the first half, but battled back to make it a 43-43 contest entering the final eight minutes. Gendron scored Merrimack’s first 15 points in the final quarter, which helped the Tomahawks build a 58-52 lead.
“When you have the leading scorer in the state you have to get him some looks and get him shots, and I think he had three shots in the first half,” Merrimack coach Tim Goodridge said. “Now, credit Bishop Guertin because they were playing pretty good defense on him.”
Merrimack also received 17 points from junior point guard Austin Franzen and 10 from Shayne Bourque.
BG, which was coming off Friday night’s 59-54 loss to Trinity of Manchester, dropped to 10-3.
The Cardinals were without senior guard C.J. Boykin. Migneault didn’t give any details regarding Boykin’s absence, and said he’s uncertain if Boykin will miss more games.
“I’m talking with the administration right now,” Migneault said. “We’ll have to see.”
Senior center Joe Marandola led BG with 18 points. Junior guard/forward Kye Gavin added 17 points for the Cardinals.
From BG’s standpoint, the game was similar to the Trinity loss. The Cardinals fell behind by double-digits early, fought back to tie the game after three quarters — it was also 43-43 entering the fourth against Trinity — and then seemed to run out of gas.
“Got to play 32 minutes,” Migneault said. “We’re playing about 28, 27. We’re not playing the first part.”
Gendron’s fourth quarter included two 3-pointers and three free throws. He opened the quarter with a 3-pointer that gave Merrimack a 46-43 lead, and the Tomahawks never trailed after that. “He was the show in the fourth quarter,” Goodridge said. “He willed us to that victory.”