Stonehill Holds Off Adelphi, 67-64

Junior Ivan Almeida led a balanced Stonehill attack with a game-high 16 points, six rebounds, three blocks and two steals. (PHOTO BY Bert Lane)

Almeida leads balanced Skyhawk effort for ninth win in last ten

EASTON, Mass. (January 22, 2010) – Stonehill College turned back a second half rally to post a key 67-64 victory over Adelphi University in Northeast-10 Conference men's basketball action at Merkert Gymnasium this afternoon.

Junior Ivan Almeida (Praia, Cape Verde) led a balanced Stonehill scoring effort with a game-high 16 points, on 6-for-14 shooting from the field, six rebounds, three blocks and two steals. Senior Daniel Heppert (Richmond, Va./Benedictine) added 15 points, shooting 7-for-11 from the field, five rebounds, four assists and two blocks, while junior Patrick Lee (Fayetteville, N.Y./Fayetteville-Manlius) contributed 12 points, shooting 3-for-6 from the field and converting all three free-throw attempts, to go with six boards. Sophomore Brian Hamor (Guilderland, N.Y./Bishop Gibbons) chipped in 11 points, shooting 4-for-9 from the field, including his lone three-point attempt, and converting both free-throw attempts, a career-high matching six assists and three steals. Senior Mike Kernan (Medford, N.J./Shawnee) pulled down a game-high matching 11 boards to go with eight points and two assists.

Senior Richard Byrd (Central Islip, N.Y./Copaigue) led four Adelphi players in double-figures with 15 points, four assists and three rebounds. Classmate David Akinyooye (Elmont, N.Y./Elmont Memorial) posted a double-double with 12 points, 11 boards, four blocked shots and three assists, while sophomore Chris Ranglin (Yonkers, N.Y./Gorton) contributed 14 points and five rebounds. Junior Robert Johnson (New Rochelle, N.Y./Tuckahoe) chipped in 13 points, six rebounds, three steals and two blocks.

Stonehill shot 47.3-percent (26-for-55) from the field, including 50% (13-26) in the first half in staking out an 11 point (37-26) halftime lead. The Skyhawks edged Adelphi in rebounding, 36-33, to pick up a 15-10 advantage in second chance points, while outscoring the Panthers 17-12 for points off turnovers. Adelphi finished shooting 44.8% (26-for-58) from the field after hitting at just 38.5% (10-for-26) in the first half. The Panthers got back in the game with 50% (16-32) shooting in the second half, including 5-for-11 (45.5%) from beyond the arc. Stonehill outscored Adelphi 12-5 at the free-throw line on 22 attempts, compared to eight for the guests.

Senior Daniel Heppert posted 15 points, five rebounds, four assists and two blocked shots (PHOTO BY Bert Lane)

Adelphi scored five straight points to draw even (56-56) after a Ranglin three and Akinyooye layup with 8:13 to play. Stonehill held the Panthers right there and regained a two possession lead (60-56) after a Lee put back with 6:08 remaining. Adelphi was back within a point (61-60) with a Byrd jumper with 4:37 left, but Stonehill answered right back with an Almeida layup.

After trading baskets, Adelphi pulled within one again (65-64) on a Byrd layup with 1:36 remaining. Kernan missed a free-throw at the other end, giving the Panthers a chance to regain the lead in the final minute, but Byrd missed a jumper with 51-seconds to go. Hamor scored a jumper off his own miss to put the Skyhawks back up there (67-64) with 11-seconds to go and then Heppert got a piece of a Byrd corner jumper after a timeout. Sophomore Sam Markle (Bethany, Conn./Saint Thomas More) missed the front end of a one and one, to give the Panthers one last desperation attempt, but Hamor cut off the outlet pass to seal the win.

Adelphi held an early lead (9-7) after a Ranglin three 3:12 into the contest, when Stonehill notched a 10-0 run to claim an eight point cushion (17-9) after two Hamor free-throws with 12:49 to play in the half. The Panthers drew within two (17-15) on a Byrd jumper with 11:09 left, but the Skyhawks would later push their lead back to eight (30-22) with a Heppert put back with 3:37 to go before the break. Four quick Adelphi points had its deficit down to four (30-26) with two free-throws from Richard Harkins (Bellmore, Md./Long Island Lutheran) with 2:39 remaining. Stonehill closed half out with seven-straight points, capped by a running three at the buzzer by Hamor for an 11 point (37-26) advantage.

Two free-throws from Lee had the Stonehill lead to a game-high 13 points (39-26) to open the second half, but Adelphi closed within four (41-37) after a Harkins three with 17 minutes left. An Akinooye three pulled the Panthers within two (45-42) with 14:51 remaining, before pulling even (49-49) with a Ranglin jumper with 12:42 to play.

Byrd hit a jumper to push Adelphi back in front (51-49), but Stonehill scored seven straight to go back up five (56-51) after an Almeida jumper with 9:01 to go. Ranglin buried a three and Akinyooye scored a layup to force the 56-56 tie and final 8:13.

Stonehill (14-4, 9-4 NE-10) is back in action on Tuesday when it visits Le Moyne College for a Northeast-10 matchup at 7:30 p.m. The Skyhawks return home next Saturday to host The College of Saint Rose at 3:30 p.m. Adelphi (10-7, 6-7 NE-10) hosts Franklin Pierce University on Tuesday at 7:30 p.m.

Postgame Interviews