Kernan and Almeida earn second team All-Northeast-10 honors
Heppert voted NE-10 Defensive Player of the Year
Senior guard Daniel Heppert (Richmond, Va./Benedictine) was named the Northeast-10 Conference's Defensive Player of the Year, marking the second-straight year a Stonehill player has earned the award – third time in program history overall. Senior forward Mike Kernan (Medford, N.J./Shawnee) and junior swingman Ivan Almeida (Praia, Cape Verde) were both selected to the All-Northeast-10 Conference second team. All three have earned NE-10 postseason honors for the first time in their careers.
Heppert, who joins former teammate and 2009-10 honoree Randall Stallworth as NE-10 Defensive Players of the Year, collects the award as the leader of the top defensive team in the Conference. Stonehill leads the NE-10 in scoring defense (60.2 ppg – 5th nationally) and blocked shots per game (4.82 – 14th nationally) while ranking second in field goal percentage defense (.383 – 5th nationally) and fifth for three-point field goal percentage (.310 – 12th nationally).
Heppert has started all 28 games for the Skyhawks in his senior season and is averaging 10.1 points, 5.6 rebounds, 1.7 assists, 1.2 steals and 0.89 blocked shots (11th NE-10) in 31.7 minutes per game. He is shooting 48.7-percent from the field and converting a team-best 77% (77-100) of his free-throws. Heppert has led Stonehill in scoring four times this season and rebounding twice, posting a pair of double-doubles.
Heppert has played 102 games, starting 60, over his collegiate career at Stonehill, totaling 660 points, 414 rebounds, 124 assists, 89 steals and 67 blocked shots. He scored a career-best 19 points in a win over The College of Saint Rose on January 29 and grabbed a career-high 15 rebounds in a victory over Southern Connecticut State University on January 5.
Kernan earns All-NE-10 honors for the first time after averaging a double-double through 28 starts for Stonehill this season. He is averaging 12.3 points and 10.4 rebounds (2nd NE-10, 8th nationally), including a Conference-best 7.6 defensive boards per game, to go with 1.04 blocked shots in 31.3 minutes per game. Kernan is shooting 50.2-percent (144-287) from the field (12th) this season. He has led the Skyhawks in scoring seven times and rebounding in 21 games, posting eight double-doubles.
Kernan became the 35th player in program history to surpass the 1,000-point plateau recently and currently ranks 31st all-time with 1,026 points in 118 career games played (83 starts). He also ranks third in the program's Northeast-10 Conference era with 875 career rebounds (13th all-time in NE-10 history), while also totaling 116 assists, 75 steals and 85 blocks (8th). Kernan scored a career-high 21 points in a win over Assumption College on January 11 and snared a career-best 19 rebounds in a win over Saint Rose on January 29.
Almeida is also a first-time All-Conference selection as Stonehill's leading scorer with 13.1 points (24th NE-10) to go with 5.9 rebounds, 1.3 blocks shots (6th), 1.2 steals and 1.1 assists in 26 minutes per game while starting all 28 games. He is shooting 46-percent (145-315) from the field for the season. Almeida has led the Skyhawks in scoring 11 times this winter (with the team going 9-2 in those contests) and rebounding in five games, posting three double-doubles.
Almeida has started all 58 games in his two seasons at Stonehill, totaling 626 points, 3-4 rebounds, 74 assists, 69 blocked shots and 58 steals. He posted a team season high and career-best 29 points in a non-conference win at Concordia (N.Y.) College on December 14 and snared a career-high 15 rebounds in a win over LIU-C.W. Post on November 13.
Stonehill (21-7, 16-6 NE-10) is seeded third for the NCAA Division II East Regional Tournament, hosted by Bentley University, this weekend. The Skyhawks will open the NCAA Tournament with a regional quarterfinal against sixth-seeded Adelphi University (20-10, 12-10 NE-10), who captured the NE-10 tournament title over the weekend, on Saturday in Bentley's Dana Athletic Center at noon. Stonehill is making its third-straight NCAA Tournament appearance and 11th overall in program history.