Second Half Surge Propels Stonehill Over Concordia, 86-59

Junior Ivan Almeida scored 17 of his career-best 29 points after halftime to lead the Skyhawks second half surge to victory tonight. (PHOTO BY Bert Lane) 

Almeida pours in career-high 29 points to lead Skyhawks to non-league win

BRONXVILLE, N.Y. (December 14, 2010) – Stonehill College closed out its first semester of play with a commanding 86-59 victory over Concordia (N.Y.) College in non-conference men's basketball action at Meyer Athletic Center tonight.

Junior swingman Ivan Almeida (Praia, Cape Verde) led Stonehill as he poured in a career-high 29 points on 12-of-17 shooting from the field while converting 5-of-6 free-throws to go with a team-best nine rebounds and a blocked shot. He scored 17 points in the second half as the Skyhawks broke open a one point halftime lead, shooting 7-of-9 from the field over the final 20 minutes.

Senior Mike Kernan (Medford, N.J./Shawnee) added 12 points on 6-of-11 shooting from the field and seven rebounds, while classmate Daniel Heppert (Richmond, Va./Benedictine) contributed 11 points, on 5-of-8 shooting, six rebounds and two steals. Sophomore Sam Markle (Bethany, Conn./Saint Thomas More) finished with eight points, seven assists and five boards, while classmate Brian Hamor (Guilderland, N.Y./Bishop Gibbons) scored all eight of his points off the bench in the second half.

Sophomore Brandon Whitaker (Harlem, N.Y./St. Agnes) led Concordia with 14 points off the bench, shooting 5-for-11 from the field, including 2-for-3 from three-point range, and converting both free-throw attempts. Senior Brendon Lyn (Mount Vernon, N.Y./Episcopal) added ten points on 4-of-7 shooting, five steals and three rebounds, while sophomore Lavor Morris (Bronx, N.Y./Lakeland) contributed ten points, two boards and a blocked shot. Senior William Eason (Springfield, Mass./Saint Thomas More) chipped in with a team-high seven rebounds.

Senior Mike Kernan added 12 points and seven rebounds in the win (PHOTO BY Bert Lane)

Stonehill pulled away in the second half by shooting a blistering 67.7-percent (21-for-31) from the field, including a perfect 5-of-5 from three-point range, in the final 20 minutes. The Skyhawks finished shooting 59.3% (35-59) from the floor, including 5-for-9 (55.6%) from deep, and posted a 41-28 rebounding advantage. Stonehill held Concordia to 29.4-percent (10-for-34) shooting in the second half, including 1-for-8 (12.5%) from beyond the arc, as the Clippers finished shooting 34.5% (20-58) from the floor overall, including 6-for-16 (37.5%) from three-point range.

Stonehill trailed by as much as 12 points (23-11) after an Eason free-throw with 11:26 left in the first half. The Skyhawks closed the half out with a 22-9 run to take a lead (33-32) into halftime, holding Concordia scoreless over the last 4:31 of the frame to close with a 6-0 spurt, capped by a pair of Almeida free-throw with 59-seconds left to put the Skyhawks in front for good.

Stonehill picked up right where they left off in the second half, opening with a 12-0 run to open a 13-point (45-32) lead after an Almeida layup 4:41 into the frame. He scored eight points in all during that stretch as the Skyhawks wrapped an 18-0 run overall around halftime to take control.

Freshman Marquis Campbell (Albany, N.Y./LaSalle Institute) broke a nearly ten minute scoreless drought for Concordia with a jumper with 15:01 to play. However, Stonehill reeled off a 20-2 run to seal the victory and open a 29-point bulge (67-38) after two free-throws by junior Andre Tongo (Acton, Mass./Acton-Boxborough) with 9:29 remaining. Hamor had all eight of his points on the night in that stretch, sparking the run with two triples. The Skyhawks lead peaked at 36 (78-42) after an Almeida jumper with 5:59 left in regulation.

Stonehill (6-3, 3-3 NE-10) is off until after finals and the holiday when it faces Philadelphia University in rematch of last year's NCAA Tournament second round contest on day one of the 2010 East Region Classic, hosted by Assumption College in Worcester, Mass., on Wednesday, December 29, at 1 p.m. The Rams ended the Skyhawks season last year with a 71-69 NCAA Tournament triumph in Easton, Mass. Stonehill doesn't return home until Wednesday, January 5, to host Southern Connecticut State University at 7:30 p.m. Concordia (3-6, 2-2 CACC) visits the University of Massachusetts Lowell on Saturday at 3 p.m.