Defense Keys Stonehill Past Saint Anselm, 52-44

Junior Brian Hamor canned 10-of-13 free-throws, including 7-of-8 in the closing minutes, for a team-best 16 points tonight. (PHOTO BY Bert Lane)

Hamor nets team-high 16 points, Skyhawks hold Hawks under 30-percent shooting

MANCHESTER, N.H. (November 16, 2011) – Stonehill College used a strong defensive effort and balanced scoring to open its 2011-12 season with a key 52-44 victory over Saint Anselm College in Northeast-10 Conference men's basketball action at Stoutenburgh Gymnasium tonight.

Junior Brian Hamor (Schenectady, N.Y./Bishop Gibbons) led the way for Stonehill with 16 points, aided by 10-of-13 shooting from the free-throw line to go with 3-for-9 shooting from the field, and six rebounds. Senior Patrick Lee (Fayetteville, N.Y./Fayetteville-Manlius) added nine points, eight rebounds and two blocked shots, while sophomore Mitch Amelio (Carlsbad, Calif./La Jolla Country Day) drilled all three three-point attempts for nine points in 12 minutes off the bench. Freshman Jack Cole (New Providence, N.J./New Providence) grabbed a game-high 12 rebounds in his collegiate debut with three blocks.

Junior James Morse (Arundel, Maine/Thornton Academy) led Saint Anselm with 16 points, shooting 7-for-8 from the field, including 2-for-3 from beyond the arc, and two steals. Sophomore Allen Harris (Roslindale, Mass./Suffield Academy) posted a team-high 11 rebounds to go with six points, while classmate John Nielsen (Port Jefferson, N.Y./Loomis Chaffee) chipped in seven points and two steals off the bench.

Senior Patrick Lee added nine points, eight rebounds and two blocked shots. (PHOTO BY Jan Volk/SportsPixCo)

Stonehill shot 34.1-percent (15-for-44) from the field and converted 17-of-26 (65.4%) free-throw attempts on the night. The Skyhawks dominated the glass, recording a 49-31 rebounding advantage. Saint Anselm was held to 29.7% (19-64) shooting from the field, including 9-for-32 (28.1%) in the second half, and made just 3-of-15 (20%) three-pointers.

Stonehill never trailed in the contest, opening a game-high 14 point lead (43-29) with a 9-0 run capped by a three-pointer from Amelio with 10:19 remaining. Saint Anselm wouldn't go quietly, drawing within five (45-40) after senior Jack Keough (Owego, N.Y./Owego Free Academy) made one of two at the line with 2:26 to play. Stonehill held Saint Anselm at arm's length the rest of the way as Hamor made 7-of-8 free-throws in the final 1:22 to seal the win.

Stonehill scored the first six points of the contest, capped by a three-pointer by senior Andre Tongo (Acton, Mass./Acton-Boxborough) two minutes in. A Nielsen three pulled Saint Anselm even (18-18) with 8:14 remaining in the first half, but Stonehill reeled off the next nine points capped by a layup by junior Sam Markle (Bethany, Conn./Saint Thomas More) for a 27-18 lead with 3:03 left in the half.

Stonehill led by five (27-22) at halftime, but Morse opened the second half with a three to draw Saint Anselm back within two (27-25). The Skyhawks worked the lead back up to seven (32-25) with two free-throws by Lee 2:20 into the half before extending the lead to 14 with the 9-0 run from which Saint Anselm wouldn't recover.

Stonehill (1-0, 1-0 NE-10) is back in action on Saturday when it hosts Queens (N.Y.) College for a non-conference matchup in Merkert Gymnasium at 2 p.m. Saint Anselm (1-2, 0-1 NE-10) hosts Post University on Saturday at 3 p.m.