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Laurence Merritt

Laurence Merritt, right, of Midland University brings the ball up the floor while Eric Lenear of York defends on Wednesday night. Merritt had eight points and four assists, but MU lost the game 72-65.

Midland University was never able to recover from a barrage of 3-point field goals by York in the early going Wednesday night at the Wikert Event Center.

The Panthers scored the game’s first 11 points and went on to defeated the Warriors 72-65. The loss drops the Warriors to 2-2 on the season while York moves to 4-1.

Lance Ewell hit a 3-point field goal to open the game. Eric Lenear, who scored a game-high 25 points, and Michael Tolbert added treys to go along with Kafani Williams’ two-point basket to help York to early lead.

The Warriors closed to 29-28 on Laurence Merritt’s free throw with :55 left, but Williams’ basket in the closing seconds gave the Panthers a 31-28 advantage at the break.

The Panthers increased their lead to 10 in the early minutes of the second half, but the Warriors fought back. Bowen Sandquist’s 3-point basket tied it at 46 with 10:40 left to play.

The Panthers used an 8-0 run, including six-straight points from Tyreece Berry to go up 62-52 with 5:44 remaining.

The Warriors answered with a 5-0 run that was capped by a Ryan Williams free throw with 2:37 left, but the Panthers never let the lead get under five the rest of the way.

Lenear connected on 8 of 12 shots from the field, including four 3-point baskets. Berry added 14 points, 10 rebounds and five assists while Ewell contributed 13 points.

Williams led the Warriors with 19 points and 12 rebounds. Sandquist had 13 points and two steals while Emanuel Bryson added 10 points. Merritt had eight points and four assists.

The Panthers outshot MU 44.6 percent (25 of 66) to 38.3 percent (23 of 60). MU had a 38-35 rebounding edge and committed 13 turnovers compared to 14 for York.

The Warriors face the University of Nebraska at Omaha in an exhibition game at noon Thursday at Baxter Arena.

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