Second Half Surge Lifts Saint Michael’s Past Stonehill, 66-64

Junior Brian Hamor scored 19 of his game-high 25 points in the first half on a perfect 7-for-7 shooting from the field. (PHOTO BY Bert Lane)

Holton, Jr.'s last second jumper lifts Purple Knights to upset victory

EASTON, Mass. (February 11, 2012) – Sophomore guard Michael Holton, Jr., (Portland, Ore./The Winchendon School) buried a jumper with less than two seconds left to cap a second half surge and lift Saint Michael's College to a 66-64 victory over Stonehill College in Northeast-10 Conference men's basketball action at Merkert Gymnasium this afternoon.

Holton, Jr.'s jumper from just inside the three-point arc in front of the Saint Michael's bench off an inbounds pass, capped a second half in which Saint Michael's shot 52-percent (13-for-25) from the field, including 4-for-7 (57.1%) from three-point range, to rally from a nine point (39-30) halftime deficit. The NE-10's leading scorer finished with 11 points – seven under his season average.

Senior Tyler Schilling (Excelsior, Minn./Minnetonka) added a double-double for Saint Michael's with 12 points and a game-high ten rebounds (five offensive) as he connected on 6-of-8 shots from the field. Freshman Dom Ditlefsen (Portland, Ore./Sunset) added 11 points as he made 4-of-5 shots from the field, including 3-for-4 from beyond the arc, while classmate Corey Crawford (Dover, Del./The Phelps School) posted ten points, seven rebounds and six assists. Junior Travis Warech (Pine Brook, N.J./Montville), who entered the game 24 points shy of 1,000 for his career, chipped in ten points, seven rebounds and three assists.

Junior Brian Hamor (Schenectady, N.Y./Bishop Gibbons) continues to have a hot hand for Stonehill as he followed up a career-high 30 point outing on Wednesday with a game-high 25 points on 10-of-13 shooting from the field, including 2-for-3 from three-point range, while converting all three free-throw attempts to go with three rebounds, two assists and a steal. He made all seven of his shots from the field, including a pair of three-pointers, in netting 19 first half points.

Junior Adam Fazzini (Drums, Pa./Crestwood) added 12 points off the bench on 4-of-8 shooting from deep, with three rebounds, while senior Patrick Lee (Fayetteville, N.Y./Fayetteville-Manlius) finished with eight points on 4-of-8 shooting, but the NE-10's top rebounder was held to just one board.

Junior Adam Fazzini buried 4-of-8 three's for 12 points off the bench. (PHOTO BY Bert Lane)

Saint Michael's finished shooting 51.9-percent (27-for-52) from the field, including 6-for-13 (46.2%) from beyond the arc, while converting 6-of-7 (85.7%) free-throws. The Purple Knights enjoyed a 33-22 rebounding advantage, limiting Stonehill to just four offensive rebounds, and producing a 14-6 edge in second chance points. The Skyhawks shot 55.2-percent (16-for-29) from the field in the first half, but just 40.7% (11-27) in the second to finish at 48.2% (27-56) overall, going to the line just three times and converting them all. Both teams took care of the ball, with Stonehill committing just three turnovers and the Purple Knights nine.

Holton, Jr.'s winning basket came after both teams turned the ball over during a scramble under the basket with 3.4-seconds to play. Stonehill rallied from seven points down (59-52) after a three-point play from Holton, Jr., with 6:14 remaining. The Skyhawks scored ten of the next 12 points to regain the lead (62-61) with a Fazzini three with 2:30 to play. It was the second three for Fazzini during that stretch, while Hamor added four points of his own.

Ditlefsen answered with a three on Saint Michael's next possession to put the guests back in front (64-62) with 1:51 left. Senior Andre Tongo (Acton, Mass./Acton-Boxborough) knotted the score for the fifth time on the afternoon with a jumper with 1:25 to go. Both teams missed on their next trips down the court and then Lee stole the ball from Crawford inside as the clock ticked down, but fell out of bounds on the baseline to give the Purple Knights the possession where Crawford found Holton, Jr., for the winning bucket.

Stonehill closed out a first half that featured two ties and nine lead changes with a 14-4 run to take a nine point (39-30) halftime lead after a three-point play from Hamor with one second remaining. Fazzini connected on back-to-back three's during that stretch and Hamor added one of his own just before his conventional three point play to cap the half. The Skyhawks held a five point lead (17-12) on a dunk by freshman Jack Cole (New Providence, N.J./New Providence) with 12:54 remaining in the half, before the Purple Knights gained a three point lead (26-23) on a jumper by freshman James Cambronne (De Bary, Fla./The Winchendon School) with 6:40 to play in the frame.

Saint Michael's scored the first ten points of the second half to regain the lead (40-39) 3:13 in after back to back three's by Warech. The Purple Knights worked their lead to six (51-45) with 10:53 to go following four straight points by freshman Mike Thompson (Rosedale, N.Y./Christ the King). Holton, Jr., converted a three point play with 6:14 left to put the guests up seven with 6:14 left before Stonehill rallied down the stretch.

Stonehill (15-8, 12-7 NE-10) is back in action on Tuesday when it visits Southern New Hampshire University for an NE-10 clash at 7:30 p.m. The Skyhawks return home on Tuesday, February 21, to host Saint Anselm College in the regular season finale at Merkert Gym at 7:30 p.m. Saint Michael's (9-14, 8-11 NE-10) visits Merrimack College on Tuesday at 7:30 p.m.