Stonehill Turns Back Southern New Hampshire, 70-58

Senior Patrick Lee notched a pair of career highs in his double-double effort to lead Stonehill tonight. (PHOTO BY Br. Charles McBride)

Lee posts career-highs for points and rebounding in double-double effort

EASTON, Mass. (December 6, 2011) – Stonehill College picked up its fourth-straight win with a 70-58 victory over Southern New Hampshire University in Northeast-10 Conference men's basketball action at Merkert Gymnasium tonight.

Senior forward Patrick Lee (Fayetteville, N.Y./Fayetteville-Manlius) notched a pair of career-highs in posting his second double-double of the season (fifth career) to lead Stonehill to the win. He finished with a career-best 21 points and 13 rebounds (four offensive) as he made 8-of-14 shots from the field to go with two assists, a blocked shot and steal.

Junior Brian Hamor (Schenectady, N.Y./Bishop Gibbons) contributed 12 points, aided by a 6-for-8 effort at the free-throw line, and two steals, while senior Andre Tongo (Acton, Mass./Acton-Boxborough) finished with 11 points, draining 3-of-8 three-pointers, and three rebounds. Sophomore Mitch Amelio (Carlsbad, Calif./La Jolla Country Day) chipped in eight points on 3-for-5 shooting, including 2-of-4 from beyond the arc, in 18 minutes off the bench.

Freshman Elijah Bonsignore (Felton, Del./Saint Thomas More) led the way for Southern New Hampshire with 14 points off the bench as he made 5-of-10 shots from the field, including 2-for-5 from three-point range, and converted both free-throw attempts to go with four rebounds and two blocked shots. Junior Greg DeSantis (Trumbull, Conn./Notre Dame Fairfield) added 13 points on 5-of-8 shooting, including 1-for-2 from deep, draining both free-throw attempts, with four rebounds and three assists. Freshman B.J. Cardarelli (Manchester, Conn./Saint Thomas More) rounded out the double-figure scorers for the Penmen with 11 points on 4-of-7 shooting, including 2-for-3 from deep, while senior Tory Stapleton (Rahway, N.J./Saint Thomas More) pulled down a team-high 11 boards.

Both teams finished shooting 40-percent from the field, with Stonehill hitting that mark in each half by making 22-of-55 from the field for the night. Southern New Hampshire was 20-for-50 from the field overall, including 10-for-23 (43.5%) in the first half. Both teams made seven three-pointers on the night with the Skyhawks doing so on 20 attempts (35%) and the Penmen on 19 shots (36.8%), and the hosts finished with a 19-11 scoring edge at the free-throw line.

Junior Brian Hamor contributed 12 points and two steals. (PHOTO BY Marcus Snowden)

Stonehill made the most of 14 Southern New Hampshire giveaways by posting a 24-10 advantage in points off turnovers, committing 12 miscues themselves. The Skyhawks won the rebounding battle 39-34, pulling down 17 on the offensive glass. Stonehill outscored the Penmen 11-0 on second chance points in the first half, but SNHU posted an 11-1 advantage in the second.

Stonehill jumped out early behind Lee on its way to an 11 point halftime lead (35-24) that proved to be the difference. The Skyhawks, who never trailed in the contest, led by seven (9-2) after a tip-in from Lee 4:09 in. Lee had all nine points during that stretch, opening the scoring with a conventional three point play on the opening possession.

Stonehill extended the lead to 13 (19-6) after a three-pointer from freshman Jack Cole (New Providence, N.J./New Providence) with 12:50 left in the half. The lead grew to 14 (22-8) on a Tongo three with 11:07 left before SNHU drew within eight (25-17) with 7:25 remaining after back to back baskets by DeSantis.

Stonehill followed with a 10-1 run over the next six minutes to open a game-high 17 point (35-18) advantage with a jumper by Amelio with 1:52 before the break. SNHU scored the final six points of the half, capped by a Bonsignore jumper with two seconds left to cut the gap to 11 (35-24) at the intermission.

Stonehill regained its 17 point lead (41-24) when junior Sam Markle (Bethany, Conn./Saint Thomas More) made one of two at the line a minute and a half into the second half. The Skyhawks lead was still 17 (46-29) after a Lee layup five minutes in, when Southern New Hampshire started to chip away.

SNHU closed within nine (49-40) with a three-pointer by freshman Max Taylor (Shokan, N.Y./Trinity Pawling) with 12:18 remaining, but Stonehill worked the lead back to 15 (55-40) on a layup by junior Raheem May-Thompson (London, England/Towson Catholic) at the midway point of the half.

Highlights and Postgame Interviews

An 11-2 Southern New Hampshire run drew the Penmen within six (57-51) after a layup by Cardarelli with 7:13 still to play. Lee and Tongo made baskets to regain a double-figure advantage (61-51) with 6:12 remaining, but SNHU fought back again to get within five (63-58) after a pair of free-throws by DeSantis with 2:29 to play.

Stonehill held firm and kept the visitors off the scoreboard the rest of the way, including the final 3:41 without a field goal, to seal the win. The Skyhawks held the ball for over a minute, gaining three offensive rebounds in its next possession, including two off missed back ends at the free-throw line, to run valuable time off the clock before Hamor made a pair at the line to bump the lead back to nine (67-58) with 57-seconds left. After a miss at the other end, Hamor iced the game with a three-point play with 24-seconds to go.

Stonehill (6-1, 5-1 NE-10) is right back in action on Saturday when it hosts rival Bentley University for a key early season NE-10 clash at 3:30 p.m. Southern New Hampshire (4-4, 2-4 NE-10) hosts Merrimack College on Saturday at 3:30 p.m.