STONEHILL ELITE! Skyhawks Top Bloomfield, 75-70
The 2012 NCAA Division II East Regional Champion Stonehill Skyhawks! Stonehill has captured its second regional title in program history and advances to the Elite Eight in Highland Heights, Ky., next week. (PHOTO BY Richard Orr)
Hamor nets 16 of his 20 points in second half to lift Stonehill past defending regional champions, named Regional MVP
Junior Brian Hamor was named MVP of the East Regional after capping off a third-straight 20 point outing with 16 second half points tonight. (PHOTO BY Richard Orr)
Stonehill (24-8, 15-7 NE-10) advances to the Division II Elite Eight for the second time in program history and will face Atlantic Region Champions West Liberty University (32-2, 21-1 WVIAC), ranked 3rd nationally, in a national quarterfinal round contest on Wednesday, March 21, in Highland Heights, Ky., at the Bank of Kentucky Center on the campus of Northern Kentucky University. Game times will be released this week. The Skyhawks advanced to the Elite Eight for the first time in 2006 during head coach David McLaughlin's third season at the helm. Bloomfield, the Central Atlantic Collegiate Conference regular season and tournament champions sees its season come to a close with a 26-8 record overall, 15-3 in the CACC.
Junior guard Brian Hamor (Schenectady, N.Y./Bishop Gibbons) scored 16 of his 20 points in the second half for Stonehill and was named the East Regional MVP after posting three 20-point outings over the weekend. He made 6-of-15 shots from the field, including 3-for-9 from three-point range, while converting 5-of-6 free-throws to go with four assists. Hamor averaged 22.3 points per game over the Skyhawks three regional victories.
Junior Raheem May-Thompson (London, England/Towson (Md.) Catholic) led a Stonehill bench that outscored the Bloomfield reserves 32-13 with 15 points, on 7-of-11 shooting from the field, five rebounds and two blocked shots. Classmate Adam Fazzini (Drums, Pa./Crestwood) also came off the bench to net 11 points on 4-of-6 shooting, including 3-for-4 from beyond the arc, with two rebounds and two assists. Senior Patrick Lee (Fayetteville, N.Y./Fayetteville-Manlius), who joined Hamor on the All-Tournament team, chipped in seven points, six boards and three assists, while senior Andre Tongo (Acton, Mass./Acton-Boxborough) contributed in with seven points, a team-high seven rebounds, and two assists.
Junior Raheem May-Thompson keyed the Stonehill bench that gave the Skyhawks a huge lift, especially in the first half. (PHOTO BY Richard Orr)
Freshman Marvin Williams (Jersey City, N.J./Marist) led all scorers with a game-high 28 points and was named to the Regional All-Tournament team for Bloomfield on 11-of-22 shooting from the field, including 3-for-7 from beyond the arc, while converting all three free-throws, with seven rebounds. Senior Matt Wafula (Harlem, N.Y./St. Agnes) was also named to the All-Tournament team after posting a double-double effort of 13 points and a game-high 12 rebounds (eight offensive). Classmate Ahmad Harris (Linden, N.J./Linden) rounded out the double-figure scorers with ten points, eight rebounds and six assists for the Deacons.
Stonehill shot 45.2-percent (13-for-31) from the field in the second half, including 4-for-9 from beyond the arc, to finish shooting 43.1% (25-58) overall, 9-for-23 (39.1%) from deep. The Skyhawks posted a 19-10 advantage in points off turnovers and converted 16-of-24 (66.7%) free-throws. Bloomfield shot 40.3% (27-for-67) from the field, but just 5-for-17 (29.4%) from beyond the arc, and converted 11-of-16 (68.8%) free-throws in the contest. The Deacons posted a 43-38 rebounding edge, resulting in a commanding 20-5 advantage in second chance points.
Stonehill carried a seven point (32-25) lead into halftime, and after Williams opened the second half with a layup to trim the Bloomfield deficit to five, Stonehill used a 14-6 run to rush out to a 13 point advantage (46-33) after a fast break dunk from May-Thompson 4:27 into the final frame. The Deacons closed within five (50-45) on a Williams three-pointer with 11:59 remaining, but the Skyhawks were able to regain a nine point cushion (56-47) on a put back from Lee with 9:40 to go.
Bloomfield again closed within three (56-53) after a layup by Williams with 7:37 left and after Fazzini answered with a basket, scored five straight points to draw even (58-58) on a three-pointer from sophomore Steve Henderson (West Orange, N.J./West Orange) with 5:52 left to play. Stonehill held firm and got a give and go layup from Tongo and Hamor three pointer to regain a five point cushion (63-58) with 4:52 left.
Sophomore Kevin Udo (West Orange, N.J./St. Peter's Seminary) hit one of two at the line for Bloomfield and then Hamor drilled a contested three with 2:43 to play to put the Skyhawks up seven (66-59). Stonehill held Bloomfield without a field goal after Williams game-tying three until he added a layup to pull within six (67-61) with 1:12 on the clock. The Deacons went 1-for-6 from the after that three until Henderson and Williams hit triples in the final 11-seconds to close back within five in the waning seconds. Stonehill did just enough at the line down the stretch, converting 9-of-12 in the final 1:18 to seal the win.
Stonehill trailed by six (18-12) after Harris scored a Bloomfield layup with 6:57 remaining in the first half. The Skyhawks reeled off nine straight points to take the lead (21-18) after a Hamor layup with 4:54 on the clock after sophomore Mitch Amelio (Carlsbad, Calif./La Jolla Country Day) drilled a three to put them in front.
Harris converted a three point play to pull Bloomfield even (21-21) with 3:17 remaining, but Stonehill closed the half with an 11-4 run to take a seven point lead into halftime (32-25). Fazzini sparked the key run with a pair of triples, while May-Thompson chipped in three points.
||Postgame Press Conference