Strong Start and Finish Lifts Stonehill Past Saint Rose, 63-59

Junior Brian Hamor scored a season-high 23 points in front of his hometown crowd to lead the Skyhawks past Saint Rose. (PHOTO BY Br. Charles McBride)

Hamor nets season-high 23 points in homecoming to lead Skyhawks

ALBANY, N.Y. (January 7, 2012) – Stonehill College bounced back from back to back defeats to claim a 63-59 victory over The College of Saint Rose in Northeast-10 Conference men's basketball action at Daniel P. Nolan Gymnasium this afternoon.

Junior guard Brian Hamor (Schenectady, N.Y./Bishop Gibbons) celebrated a homecoming by netting a season-high 23 points to lead the way for Stonehill as he made 6-of-11 shots from the field, including 3-for-5 from three-point range, while converting all eight free-throw attempts. He also dished two assists on the afternoon.

Junior Adam Fazzini (Drums, Pa./Crestwood) added 15 points off the bench on 5-of-9 shooting from the field, including 4-for-7 from three-point range, while adding three rebounds and two steals. Senior Patrick Lee (Fayetteville, N.Y./Fayetteville-Manlius) contributed ten points and a game-high eight rebounds (six offensive), two assists and a blocked shot.

Sophomore Dominykas Milka (Queens, N.Y./Christ the King) led Saint Rose with 22 points off the bench on 11-of-13 shooting from the field, to go with a team-high matching seven rebounds, three assists and three steals. Senior Rob Gutierrez (Brooklyn, N.Y./John Adams) added 13 points, seven rebounds, four assists, two steals and a blocked shot, while classmateBrian Hanuschak (Cumberland, R.I./St. Andrews) posted ten points and five boards (all offensive).

Junior Adam Fazzini added 15 points off the bench for the Skyhawks. (PHOTO BY Marcus Snowden)

Stonehill shot 57.1-percent (12-for-21) from the field in the second half to finish at 39.2% (20-51) for the afternoon after hitting at just 26.7% (8-30) in the opening half. The Skyhawks connected on 7-of-17 (41.2%) three-pointers, including 5-of-10 in the opening half, and converted 16-of-21 (76.2%) free-throws. Saint Rose shot 43.3% (26-60) for the game, but just 39.3% (11-28) in the second half, and connected on just 1-of-9 (11.1%) three's and made 6-of-7 (85.7%) free-throws. The Golden Knights also turned a 35-31 rebounding advantage into an 18-9 edge in second chance points.

Stonehill rallied from six points down with 5:51 to play, using a 10-0 run to take the lead for good after a layup by junior Raheem May-Thompson (London, England/Towson (Md.) Catholic) with 2:31 left and then extending it to four (59-55) after a steal and layup by Fazzini with 2:22 remaining. May-Thompson had four of his eight points during that stretch and the Skyhawks held Saint Rose to just one field goal over the final 5:51 to key the game-clinching rally.

Two free-throws by Saint Rose senior Sheldon Griffin (Pittsburgh, Pa./Warwick) pulled the Golden Knights within two (59-57) with 46-seconds left, but Hamor canned all four free-throw attempts from there to seal the win for Stonehill.

Stonehill started strong, scoring the first eight points of the game, led by two-straight three-pointers by Hamor, on its way to a nine point lead (11-2) after a third Hamor three 5:03 into the contest. Saint Rose closed within three (16-13) near the midway point of the opening half after a Milka jumper, but Fazzini drilled a three to push the Skyhawks lead back to six just over a minute later.

Four straight free-throws from Hamor extended Stonehill's lead back to nine (24-15) with 7:16 left in the half, but Saint Rose used a 10-2 run to close within a point (26-25) following a Hanuschak tip-in 3:15 before the intermission. After Lee pushed the lead back to three, the Golden Knights closed the half with an 8-1 surge to take their first lead and extend it to four (33-29) at the break.

Saint Rose kept the momentum going early in the second half, extending its lead to seven (42-35) with a Gutierrez three-pointer 5:33 in. Stonehill regained the lead (49-47) with 8:41 to go after back to back three's by Fazzini, but the Golden Knights answered with eight straight points, four from Milka, to recapture a six point lead (55-49) with 5:51 before the Skyhawks mounted their final winning rally.

Stonehill (9-4, 6-3 NE-10) is back on action on Wednesday when it visits Assumption College at 7:30 p.m. The Skyhawks return home on Saturday, January 14, to host Le Moyne College at 3:30 p.m. Saint Rose (1-12, 1-8 NE-10) hosts Southern New Hampshire University on Wednesday at 7:30 p.m.