Stonehill Survives at Franklin Pierce, 65-64

Senior Mike Kernan led the Skyhawks with 17 points and six rebounds. (PHOTO BY Bert Lane) 

Hamor drains two free-throws with 1.2-seconds left to lift Skyhawks to win

RINDGE, N.H. (February 1, 2011) – Sophomore guard Brian Hamor (Guilderland, N.Y./Bishop Gibbons) drained a pair of free-throws with two-seconds remaining to lift Stonehill College, among teams receiving votes in this week's NABC Division II poll and ranked fourth in the NCAA II East Regional rankings, to a 65-64 victory over Franklin Pierce University in Northeast-10 Conference men's basketball action at The Fieldhouse tonight.

Hamor, who finished with nine points and four rebounds off the bench for Stonehill, was fouled with 1.2-seconds to play after Franklin Pierce sophomore Eric Jean-Guillaume (Stamford, Conn./Trinity Catholic) made a pair of free-throws at the other end to put the Ravens back in front with three seconds left.

Senior Mike Kernan (Medford, N.J./Shawnee) led Stonehill to its fourth-straight win with 17 points, on 8-of-12 shooting from the field, and six rebounds. Junior Ivan Almeida (Praia, Cape Verde) added 15 points, shooting 5-for-9 from the field and draining all five free-throws, to go with five rebounds (four offensive). Junior Patrick Lee (Fayetteville, N.Y./Fayetteville-Manlius) chipped in with eight points and five boards.

Jean-Guillaume led Franklin Pierce with a near perfect shooting night to finish with a game-high 24 points. He made 8-of-9 shots from the field, including all four from three-point range, and converted all four free-throw attempts while adding four assists. Senior Jeff Manchester (Gorham, Maine/Gorham) added ten points, canning 2-of-4 three's, three rebounds and three assists, while senior Kinard Dozier (Dedham, Mass./The Winchendon School) contributed nine points, four assists, three rebounds and three steals. Sophomore Nigel Van Oostrum (Sheffield, England) chipped in with eight points, shooting 3-for-4 from the field, including 2-of-3 from deep, and three assists.

Stonehill shot 46.3-percent (25-for-54) from the field and converted 12-of-16 (75%) free-throw attempts for the night. The Skyhawks turned a 33-21 rebounding advantage, including 14-3 on the offensive glass, into an 18-0 whitewashing in second chance points. They also outscored Franklin Pierce 21-11 in points off turnovers, despite miscues finishing at 18 apiece. The Ravens finished shooting 53.2-percent (25-for-47) from the field, including 8-for-14 (57.1%) from three-point range, after hitting 63.6% (14-22) of their shots in the first half to take a four point lead (34-30) into halftime.

Junior Ivan Almeida added 15 points and five boards. (PHOTO BY Bert Lane)

Stonehill erased a large second half road deficit for the second time in as many weeks, coming back from ten points down (51-41) with 10:33 to play tonight. The Skyhawks scored eight straight points to draw within two (51-49) after a Kernan layup with 7:07 left. Lee had four-straight points during that stretch. A Van Oostrum three put Franklin Pierce back up seven (56-49) with 5:47 remaining, but Stonehill again closed within two (56-54) after a three-point play from Kernan with 3:56 on the clock.

A four point play by Jean-Guillaume pushed Franklin Pierce's advantage back to six (60-54) with 2:39 remaining. Almeida converted a three point play at the other end and Dozier followed with a layup to give the Ravens a five point cushion (62-57) with 1:33 left. Hamor drove the lane for a layup and Kernan followed with a put back after a Dozier miss to draw Stonehill within one (62-61) with 13-seconds left.

Kernan was fouled on the play, but missed the game-tying free-throw, however Almeida pulled down the offensive board and layed it in to put Stonehill in front (63-62) for the first time since the opening possession of the game with ten seconds left. Jean-Guillaume was fouled with three seconds remaining and made both free-throws to regain the lead for Franklin Pierce, but he then fouled Hamor at the other end to put the sophomore at the line for the winning free-throws with two ticks to play.

Franklin Pierce led or was tied all but 25-seconds of the ballgame, jumping out to a 7-2 lead after a three-point play from Jean-Guillaume two minutes in. Back-to-back Manchester three-pointers had the Ravens up seven (15-8) five minutes in before Stonehill drew even (21-21) on a three-pointer from sophomore Adam Fazzini (Drums, Pa./Crestwood) with eight minutes left in the half. Franklin Pierce regained a six point edge (32-26) after a three-point play from Dozier with 2:04 left in the half and then settled for the four point (34-30) halftime cushion.

Stonehill (17-4, 12-4 NE-10), winners of 12 of its last 13, is back in action on Saturday when it hosts the University of Massachusetts Lowell in Merkert Gymnasium at 3:30 p.m. Franklin Pierce (5-16, 3-13 NE-10) visits Southern New Hampshire University on Saturday at 3:30 p.m.