Stonehill Quiets Caldwell in Opener, 59-42

Postgame Interviews

Lee leads Skyhawks to season-opening win with 18 points, nine rebounds

EASTON, Mass. (November 12, 2010) – Stonehill College, defending Northeast-10 Conference regular season champions, opened its 2010-11 season with a strong defensive effort in posting a 59-42 victory over Caldwell College in the season-opener for both on day one of the Stonehill Tip-Off Classic at Merkert Gymnasium tonight.

Junior Patrick Lee had a near-double double performance to lead the Skyhawks, posting a career-best 18 points to go with nine rebounds and two blocks. (PHOTO BY Bob Blanchard)

Junior forward Patrick Lee (Fayetteville, N.Y./Fayetteville-Manlius) led Stonehill with a near double-double effort by scoring a career-high 18 points on 6-of-12 shooting from the field to go with 6-for-8 from the free-throw line, a team-best nine rebounds (five offensive) and two blocked shots. Senior Mike Kernan (Medford, N.J./Shawnee) added ten points, eight rebounds and two blocks, while classmate Daniel Heppert (Richmond, Va./Benedictine) contributed ten points, shooting 4-for-5 from the field and 2-for-3 from the line, five rebounds and four steals.

Sophomore Arthur Morrison (Phillipsburg, N.J./Apex) led Caldwell with a double-double performance of 12 points and a game-high 12 rebounds (five offensive) and three blocked shots as he made 6-of-11 shots from the field off the bench. Senior Antonio Brimley (Paterson, N.J./Paterson Eastside) added six points and four boards, while junior Peter Diffley (Bellerose, N.Y./Episcopal) chipped in with seven rebounds (five offensive).

Stonehill held Caldwell to the 42 points on just 28.3-percent (17-for-60) shooting from the field, including 7-for-32 (21.9%) in the second half. The Cougars made just 3-of-12 (25%) three-pointers and converted 5-of-8 (62.5%) free-throws on the night, but outrebounded the hosts by a 43-39 margin. The Skyhawks made 39.6-percent (21-of-53) of their shots from the field, including 44% (11-25) in the second half, and hit 14-of-21 (66.7%) free-throw attempts while racking up ten blocked shots on the defensive end.

Stonehill closed out the first half with a 9-2 run to take an eight point lead (30-22) into the lockerroom at the half after a three-pointer at the buzzer from sophomore Brian Hamor (Guilderland, N.Y./Bishop Gibbons).

Caldwell quickly trimmed its deficit to three points (30-27) after a three-pointer from Don Trifari (Towaco, N.J./Paul Robeson) 2:12 into the second half, but Stonehill answered with another 9-2 run to take a then game-high ten point lead (39-29). Heppert had six points during that stretch for the Skyhawks.

Caldwell closed within four (41-37) midway through the half after a Morrison layup, but Stonehill outscored the Cougars 18-4 over the next eight minutes to take control for good. Lee had five points during that stretch, while Hamor contributed four including a three-pointer to give the hosts a 13-point lead (52-39) with 5:29 to play.

Stonehill (1-0, 0-0 NE-10) is back in action tomorrow for day two of the Tip-Off Classic when it hosts LIU-C.W. Post University, a 93-82 win over Saint Michael's College in tonight's opening game, at 3 p.m. Caldwell (0-1, 0-0 CACC) will face Saint Michael's at 1 p.m.