Stonehill Falls at Notre Dame, 92-70

Junior Brian Hamor posted 13 points, eight assists and five rebounds for the Skyhawks. (PHOTO BY Richard Orr)

Skyhawks hang tough against Big East member in preseason exhibition

NOTRE DAME, Ind. (November 8, 2011) – The University of Notre Dame shot nearly 60-percent from the field on its way to a 92-70 victory over Stonehill College in a men's basketball preseason exhibition in front of 6,567 at Purcell Pavilion at the Joyce Center tonight.

Notre Dame shot 57.6-percent (38-for-66) from the field on the night, including 60.6% (20-33) in the first half, and connected on 12-of-19 (63.2%) from three-point range in the contest. Grad student Tim Abromaitis (Unionville, Conn./Farmington) led Notre Dame with a game-high 20 points on 7-for-12 shooting from the field, including 4-of-6 from three-point range, while draining both free-throw attempts on the night. He also grabbed seven rebounds and dished two assists in 25 minutes.

Five Notre Dame players reached double-figures for scoring in all, with sophomore Alex Dragicevich (Northbrook, Ill./Glenbrook North) adding 15 points without missing a shot on the night as he made all six field goals, including all three three-pointers, while adding three rebounds. Junior Jack Cooley (Glenview, Ill./Glenbrook South) posted 12 points, on 6-of-8 shooting, nine rebounds, two assists and two blocked shots. Sophomore Eric Atkins (Columbia, Md./Mount Saint Joseph) contributed 12 points, eight assists, five rebounds and two steals, while sophomore Jerian Grant (Bowie, Md./DeMatha) chipped 11 points and nine assists.

Junior guard Brian Hamor (Schenectady, N.Y./Bishop Gibbons) led Stonehill as he finished with 13 points, eight assists and five rebounds on the night. Sophomore Mitch Amelio (Carlsbad, Calif./La Jolla Country Day) scored a team-high 16 points off the bench as he hit 6-of-8 shots from the field, including 4-for-6 from beyond the arc.

Sophomore Mitch Amelio netted a team-high 16 points off the bench for Stonehill. (PHOTO BY Marcus Snowden)

Stonehill was held to 38.2-percent (26-for-68) shooting from the field, including just 32.4% (11-34) in the first half, but made 11-of-24 (45.8%) three-pointers. The Skyhawks also converted 7-of-8 (87.5%) free-throws and had 20 assists on 26 field goals. Stonehill also held its own in the rebounding category, with the bigger Notre Dame squad out-rebounding them by just five (39-34).

Senior captain Patrick Lee (Fayetteville, N.Y./Fayetteville-Manlius) added 12 points for Stonehill, shooting 5-for-10 from the field, and three blocked shots in 17 minutes, while junior Raheem May-Thompson (London, England/Towson Catholic (Md.)), a transfer from Quinnipiac University, contributed 11 points, five rebounds and three assists off the bench.

"I think a trip like this for our team is great chemistry-wise and to come to a high-level program like this and to play with them is a special thing for our guys to kick off the year," said Stonehill head coach David McLaughlin. "I thought we started the game off, especially the two first segments, strong and I thought we were playing physical."

Stonehill came out strong and held a four point lead (8-4) at the under 16-minute media timeout at 15:38 after a three-pointer from senior Andre Tongo (Acton, Mass./Acton-Boxborough). The Skyhawks also got a three-point play from Hamor to take its first lead (3-2) and a Lee jumper in the early going.

Junior Raheem May-Thompson contributed 11 points off the bench. (PHOTO BY Marcus Snowden)

Stonehill was within two (16-14) after a Cooley put back just after the under 12 break and trailed by just three (20-17) after a three-pointer from freshman Jack Cole (New Providence, N.J./New Providence) with 9:55 to play. However, the Fighting Irish took control with a 24-4 run over the next six minutes to open a 23 point lead (44-21) after a Grant three with 3:43 left in the half. Notre Dame buried six three's in all during that stretch, including three from Abromaitis.

"I thought when it was 16-14 early and Patrick Lee picked up his second foul, that set a tone for us and that made us take a step back defensively and Notre Dame went on a run that they can go on," said McLaughlin. 

Notre Dame extended the lead to a game-high 30 (73-43) with a layup from junior Joey Brooks (Houston, Texas/Strake Jesuit College Pre) with 11:29 to play. Stonehill wouldn't go down without a fight, drawing within 17 (81-64) with 5:50 remaining after back to back three's from Amelio and Hamor, but could get no closer.

"Any time you are down on the road, it is pretty easy to pack it in and I thought our guys did not do that," said McLaughlin. "They continued to play hard and play together. We have a lot to work on, but this game is definitely going to give us a lot of teaching moments for our entire group."

After being outscored by 20 (49-29) in the first half, Stonehill stayed within two (43-41) in the second, shooting 44.1% (15-34) from the field, including 7-for-12 (58.3%) from three-point range, over the final 20 minutes. Both teams took care of the ball with Stonehill committing ten turnovers to eight for Notre Dame.

"It was a great experience for our team," said Hamor. "It was a good chance to get out on the court and play together, especially against a Big East team like Notre Dame. They're obviously well known around the country and I think it was a good experience to see the campus and witness a great atmosphere here."

Stonehill (22-8, 16-6 NE-10 in 2010-11) is off until Wednesday, November 16, when it opens its regular season with a Northeast-10 Conference clash at Saint Anselm College at 7:30 p.m. The Skyhawks home opener is slated for Saturday, November 19, when they host Queens (N.Y.) College for a non-conference matchup at 2 p.m. Notre Dame (27-7, 14-4 Big East in 2010-11) opens its season by hosting Mississippi Valley State University on Saturday at 2 p.m.

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