Lee’s “Top Play” Lifts Stonehill Past Le Moyne, 84-82 (OT)

Sophomore Brian Hamor led the Skyhawks with 15 points and five assists, banking in a three-pointer with 1.2-seconds left in regulation to force overtime. (PHOTO BY Richard Orr)  

Skyhawks erase seven point leads in final minute of regulation and overtime to score improbable win behind pair of last second three-pointers, capped by Lee's turnaround three at the buzzer that earns "#1 Top Play" honors on ESPN's SportsCenter

SYRACUSE, N.Y. (January 25, 2010) – Junior forward PATRICK LEE (FAYETTEVILLE, N.Y./FAYETTEVILLE-MANLIUS) drilled a turnaround half court shot as time expired to lift Stonehill College to an 84-82 overtime victory over Le Moyne College in Northeast-10 Conference men's basketball action at Ted Grant Court tonight. Lee's game-winning basket was featured as the "#1 Top Play" by ESPN's SportsCenter as well.

LEE's three-pointer capped Stonehill's second comeback from seven points down in the final minute as the Skyhawks forced overtime by erasing a seven point (66-59) deficit with 58-seconds left in regulation, capped by a banked-in three by sophomore BRIAN HAMOR (GUILDERLAND, N.Y./BISHOP GIBBONS) with 1.2-seconds left. The Skyhawks were down seven (82-75) with 19 seconds left in overtime for an even more improbable comeback.

LEE, who is now 3-for-3 from beyond the arc this season, finished with nine points, eight rebounds and a blocked shot, while HAMOR led Stonehill with 15 points, five assists and four rebounds off the bench. Senior MIKE KERNAN (MEDFORD, N.J./SHAWNEE) posted 14 points, a game-high matching nine rebounds and two blocked shots before fouling out. Junior IVAN ALMEIDA (PRAIA, CAPE VERDE) added 13 points, nine rebounds, three steals and two assists, while senior DANIEL HEPPERT (RICHMOND, VA./BENEDICTINE) contributed 14 points, four rebounds and two assists. Sophomore SAM MARKLE (BETHANY, N.Y./SAINT THOMAS MORE) chipped in 11 points, five assists and four boards.

Senior KEVIN ROTH (LAKE VIEW, N.Y./ST. FRANCIS) led Le Moyne with a game-high 22 points, on 11-for-16 shooting from the field, six rebounds, six steals and two blocked shots. Classmate CAN OZKANER (ANKARA, TURKEY) added 14 points, shooting 4-for-5 from the field while converting 6-of-8 free-throws, five rebounds and five assists off the bench. Freshman NATE CHAMPION (LOGANSPORT, IND./LOGANSPORT) contributed 13 points, five rebounds, three assists and three steals, while sophomore GAMAL MOHAMED (NORTH PLAINFIELD, N.J./IMMACULATA) finished with 11 points and three assists off the bench. Freshman JIM JANSON (SCOTIA, N.Y./SCOTIA-GLENVILLE) chipped in ten points, six rebounds and three blocks.


Game highlights (Courtesy LeMoyneDolphins.TV)
High-Quality video of gamewinning shot

Stonehill finished shooting 43.4-percent (33-for-76) from the field after converting at a 51.6% (16-31) rate in the first half to race out to a 12 point (36-24) halftime lead. The Skyhawks shot 7-for-16 (43.8%) from three-point range and converted 11-of-15 (73.3%) free-throw attempts, posting a 46-34 rebounding advantage to outscore Le Moyne 21-12 on second chance points. Le Moyne shot 54.5-percent (30-for-55) from the field overall, including 61.5% (16-26) in the second half to get back in the game and 4-for-5 (80%) in overtime. However, the Dolphins missed more free-throws than Stonehill attempted, finishing 17-for-34 (50%) from the stripe, including 4-for-10 (40%) in overtime.

Stonehill trailed by seven (82-75) after a layup from MOHAMED with 19-seconds left in overtime. HAMOR immediately drove for a layup to close Stonehill within five (82-77) with 13-seconds remaining. HEPPERT forced a steal and then canned two free-throws to pull the Skyhawks within three (82-75) with 12-seconds left. MARKLE drained two free-throws after the Dolphins missed a pair with seven seconds remaining. The Skyhawks fouled CHAMPION, but he missed his two free-throw attempts before ALMEIDA pulled down the rebound and hit LEE with an outlet pass at midcourt for the turnaround winning basket.

Stonehill was down seven (66-59) with a more manageable 58-seconds left in regulation after CHAMPION made one of two free-throws. HEPPERT followed with a put back with 42-seconds to go and after ROTH missed a pair at the stripe, MARKLE made two at the other end to draw the Skyhawks within three (66-63) with 33-seconds to go. OZKANER buried two free-throws to push the Dolphins lead back to two possessions, but HAMOR buried a three to pull the guests within two (68-66) with 13 ticks to go. OZKANER was fouled again, but made just one of two this trip, before HAMOR forced overtime by banking in a three from 30 feet out with 1.2-seconds left.

Stonehill looked like it would run away early, scoring ten of the first 12 points over the opening 5:48 of the game. ALMEIDA sparked the run with a dunk and finished with four points during that stretch along with KERNAN. Le Moyne closed within three (12-9) with a ROTH jumper midway through the opening half, but posted a 16-6 stretch over the next six minutes to open a 13 point advantage (28-15) after a KERNAN layup 4:12 before halftime. He had six points during that run, while junior ANDRE TONGO (ACTON, MASS./ACTON-BOXBOROUGH) scored eight, including a pair of three's during that stretch.

Stonehill pushed its lead to as much as 15 (36-21) after a KERNAN basket with 1:23 left before the break before settling for the 12 point (36-24) halftime margin. Le Moyne opened the second half with a 10-2 run to pull within four (38-34) after a JANSON layup 3:40 into the second half.

Stonehill's lead was six (44-38) after an ALMEIDA layup with 13:58 remaining, when Le Moyne locked down on defense and posted a 15-0 run over the next seven minutes to erase the deficit and run out to a nine point lead (53-44) with 6:19 to play. The Dolphins lead grew to ten (61-51) after two CHAMPION free-throws with 2:48 remaining, setting up the dramatic finish.

Stonehill (15-4, 10-4 NE-10), winners of ten of its last 11, hosts The College of Saint Rose in Merkert Gymnasium on Saturday at 3:30 p.m. Le Moyne (8-10, 6-8 NE-10) visits Franklin Pierce University on Saturday at 3:30 p.m.


Editor's Note:  the reason this recap is written with student-athlete names in all capital letters is to honor STEVE "MERC" MORRIS, longtime Assumption College Sports Information Director, who passed away Monday night at the age of 60.  Steve was a true professional, a mentor, and a friend who will be missed by everyone who knew him.  Please take a moment to read Jen Toland's piece on Steve in the Worcester Telegram, here)