Stonehill Turns Back Assumption, 78-63

Senior Mike Kernan scored a career-high 21 points to go with ten rebounds for his fourth double-double of the season. (PHOTO BY Bert Lane) 

Kernan and Markle double-doubles lift Skyhawks to seventh-straight win

EASTON, Mass. (January 11, 2010) – Stonehill College used a pair of double-double performances to propel its seventh-straight win with a 78-63 victory over Assumption College in Northeast-10 Conference men's basketball action at Merkert Gymnasium tonight.

Senior Mike Kernan (Medford, N.J./Shawnee) and sophomore Sam Markle (Bethany, Conn./Saint Thomas More) both registered double-doubles to lead the way for Stonehill. Kernan scored a career-high 21 points, on 9-of-14 shooting from the field, to go with ten rebounds, two blocked shots and two steals, while Markle collected career-highs with 11 points and 11 assists, shooting 5-of-8 from the field. Sophomore Brian Hamor (Guilderland, N.Y./Bishop Gibbons) added 15 points off the bench, shooting 5-for-9 from the field, while junior Patrick Lee (Fayetteville, N.Y./Fayetteville-Manlius) contributed 11 points and six rebounds. Junior Ivan Almeida (Praia, Cape Verde) chipped in with 11 points and three boards.

Junior Tim Beinert (Bellerose Village, N.Y./Holy Cross) led a trio of Assumption players with 14 points as he made 5-of-7 shots from the field, including his lone three-point attempt, and converted 3-of-4 free-throw attempts to go with seven rebounds and two blocked shots off the bench. Senior Mike Baldarelli (Sutton, Mass./Holy Name) added 14 points, three rebounds, two assists and two steals, while classmate Tobin Haase (Southold, N.Y./Ridgewood (N.J.)) posted 14 points (12 first half) on 5-9 shooting, including his lone three-point attempt, and a 3-for-4 effort at the line.

Sophomore Sam Markle posted his first career double-double with career-highs of 11 points and 11 assists tonight. (PHOTO BY Bert Lane) 

Stonehill shot 50-percent or better in each half to finish with a 51.6-percent (33-for-64) shooting effort overall. The Skyhawks posted a 40-34 rebounding advantage, producing a 19-12 edge in second-chance points, to go with a 20-14 advantage for points off turnovers. Assumption finished shooting 39.1% (25-64) from the field, including 12-36 (33.3%) in the second half, and 5-for-23 overall (21.7%) from three-point range.

Stonehill held off a late Assumption rally which saw the visitors trim a 12-point deficit (56-44) with 11:48 to play down to two points (62-60) after a Baldarelli three with 4:43 left. He had eight points in all during that stretch. The Skyhawks recovered to hold the Greyhounds to just one field goal the rest of the way, closing the game out with a 16-3 run to seal the win. Hamor had six points during that stretch, while Lee provided the exclamation point with a closing three-pointer for the Skyhawks largest lead of the night at the end.

Assumption scored the first four points of the night, but Stonehill quickly recovered with seven-straight points to take the lead for good after a Kernan layup 2:37 into the game. The Skyhawks lead grew to double-figures for the first time (24-14) following a Kernan layup 10:36 before halftime. The Greyhounds drew within five (35-30) on a Baldarelli jumper 2:42 before halftime, but Stonehill scored the last six points of the frame to carry an 11 point cushion (41-30) into the break.

Stonehill pushed its lead to 13 (45-32) with a Kernan layup a minute into the second half and the Skyhawks maintained a double-figure lead until Assumption made its late charge.

Stonehill (12-3, 7-3 NE-10) is back in action on Sunday when it visits the University of New Haven for a Conference matchup at 3:30 p.m. The Skyhawks return home to host Adelphi University on Saturday, January 22, at 3:30 p.m. Assumption (7-9, 4-6 NE-10) hosts 20th-ranked Bentley University on Saturday at 3:30 p.m.

Postgame interview with Sam Markle