Stonehill Cruises Past American International, 77-44

Freshman Jack Cole scored a season-high 13 points to go with nine rebounds and a blocked shot for the Skyhawks tonight. (PHOTO BY Br. Charles McBride)

Skyhawks jump out to big lead early and never look back with five in double-figures

EASTON, Mass. (January 17, 2012) – Stonehill College jumped out early and never looked back in rolling to a 77-44 victory over American International College in Northeast-10 Conference men's basketball action at Merkert Gymnasium tonight.

Senior Andre Tongo (Acton, Mass./Acton-Boxborough) led a balanced Stonehill effort with 16 points (11 first half) as he connected on 6-of-13 shots from the field, including 4-for-8 from three-point range, to go with three rebounds and three steals. Freshman Jack Cole (New Providence, N.J./New Providence) scored a season-high 13 points on 5-of-7 shooting from the field while converting 3-of-4 free-throws to go with a game-high nine rebounds and a blocked shot.

Junior Brian Hamor (Schenectady, N.Y./Bishop Gibbons) added ten points, shooting 4-for-8 from the field, with six rebounds, six assists and two steals. Junior Raheem May-Thompson (London, England/Towson (Md.) Catholic) and sophomore Mitch Amelio (Carlsbad, Calif./La Jolla Country Day) each chipped in with 11 points off the bench. May-Thompson made 5-of-7 shots from the field to go with four rebounds, while Amelio drained 3-of-4 threes.

Senior Andre Tongo posted a game-high 16 points to go with three rebounds and three steals. (PHOTO BY Marcus Snowden)

American International placed no players in double-figures with sophomore Spencer Braithwaite (Dorchester, Mass./Madison Park) leading the way with nine points and seven rebounds. Senior Sesoo Ikpah (Williamstown, N.J./Lee Academy) added eight points, aided by 6-of-7 shooting at the free-throw line, two rebounds and two blocked shots.

Stonehill shot 51.8-percent (29-for-56), including 56.3% (18-32) in the opening half, as it connected on 10-of-20 (47.6%) three-pointers. The Skyhawks outrebounded AIC by a 40-28 margin to claim a 10-2 edge in second chance points.

Stonehill took control early, netting 16 of the first 18 points behind five points each from Tongo and senior Patrick Lee (Fayetteville, N.Y./Fayetteville-Manlius) as well as four by Cole in the opening 4:20 and never looked back. The Skyhawks lead wouldn't dip below 12 points the rest of the way as they extended the advantage to 17 (21-4) after a jumper by May-Thompson with 13:15 to play in the opening frame and 18 points (26-8) on a Hamor layup 9:28 before the intermission. Tongo buried back-to-back three-pointers to run the Stonehill lead to 22 (32-10) with 7:44 left in the half as the Skyhawks went on to carry a 26 point (43-17) lead at the break.

Stonehill quickly extended its lead to 33 (54-21) after a Cole layup 5:19 into the second half to dispel any comeback bid by American International. The Skyhawks lead grew to a game-high 36 (68-32) on a May-Thompson dunk off a steal by junior Adam Fazzini (Drums, Pa./Crestwood) with 7:44 to play.

Stonehill (11-5, 8-4 NE-10) is back on action on Saturday when it visits Southern Connecticut State University for an NE-10 matchup at 3:30 p.m. The Skyhawks next home game is on Saturday, January 28, when they host Pace University at 3:30 p.m. American International (4-12, 2-10 NE-10) hosts Merrimack College on Saturday at 3:30 p.m.

Highlights and Postgame Interviews