Stonehill Visits Adelphi for NE-10 Semifinal Clash

Senior Andre Tongo led the Skyhawks past Merrimack in Sunday's NE-10 quarterfinal and also was the top scorer in their win at Adelphi in January. (PHOTO BY Bert Lane)

Third-seeded Skyhawks seeks sixth NE-10 Championship appearance

EASTON, Mass. (February 28, 2012) – Third-seeded Stonehill College, ranked fourth in the most recent NCAA Division II East Regional rankings, hits the road to face second-seeded Adelphi University, among teams receiving votes in last week's NABC Division II poll and ranked second in the NCAA East Regional rankings, in semifinal round action of the 2012 Northeast-10 Conference men's basketball tournament at the Center for Recreation and Sport on Wednesday night at 7 p.m.

Admission will be $7.00 for adults, $4.00 for children and senior citizens and $1.00 for students from participating colleges with a valid college ID. The game will also be webcast live free of charge online at, with links also available via and Radio coverage will also be provided back to the Easton area by WSHL 91.3 FM.

Stonehill (19-8, 15-7 NE-10) has advanced to the NE-10 semifinal round for the 11th time in program history and first since 2008 after snapping a string of four-straight NE-10 tournament losses with Sunday's 85-66 victory over sixth-seeded Merrimack College in the quarterfinal round at Merkert Gymnasium. Senior Andre Tongo (Acton, Mass./Acton-Boxborough) led the Skyhawks with 19 points (15 second half) on 7-of-13 shooting from the field and converting all four free-throw attempts to go with a game-high matching seven rebounds, two assists and two steals. Stonehill seeks its fifth NE-10 Championship appearance, having won three tournament titles (1989, 1982 and 1981) – the last trip to the title game coming in 2006.

Adelphi (20-7, 16-6 NE-10), the NE-10 regular season co-champions, advanced with a hard-fought 54-51 victory over tenth-seeded University of New Haven in its NE-10 quarterfinal on Sunday. Senior Richard Harkins (Bellmore, N.Y./Long Island Lutheran) led the Panthers with 15 points on 4-of-9 shooting from the field while converting all six free-throw attempts to go with seven rebounds, three assists and a steal. Adelphi is the defending NE-10 tournament champion, having appeared each NE-10 championship game since joining the Conference two seasons ago, posting a 78-72 victory at Bentley University in last year's title game.

Junior Brian Hamor, a second team All-Conference pick, leads the Skyhawks in scoring and is averaging nearly 20 points per game in February. (PHOTO BY Bert Lane)

Wednesday night will feature the top two defenses in the NE-10, with Stonehill leading the Conference, and ranking fourth nationally in Division II, for scoring defense (58.1 ppg) and Adelphi ranking second in the league and eighth nationally (59.6 ppg). The Panthers and Skyhawks share the Conference lead in field goal percentage defense (.398), ranking 15th nationally. Stonehill also leads the NE-10 (18th nationally) in blocked shots (4.6/gm), while also ranking third in three-point field goal percentage defense (.321) and rebounding margin (+3.3). Adelphi also ranks fourth in the Conference in steals (7.7/gm).

Stonehill enters tomorrow night's matchup winners of a season-high four straight games for the third time this season and five of its last six after Sunday's quarterfinal win. The Skyhawks are tenth in the NE-10 for scoring (66.6 ppg), fifth in three-point shooting percentage (.376), third with 37.6 rebounds per game, including a Conference-best 12.7 offensive boards per game and are averaging the second fewest turnovers (12.7/gm).

Senior Patrick Lee (Fayetteville, N.Y./Fayetteville-Manlius) is the backbone of the Stonehill defensive effort, and was named the NE-10 Defensive Player of the Year. The third team All-Northeast-10 selection has started all 26 of the games he has played this season and is averaging 11 points and a team-high 8.5 rebounds (2nd NE-10), with 1.4 assists, 1.0 blocked shots (9th) and 1.3 steals in 30.4 minutes per game. He is shooting 49.6-percent from the field, including 5-for-9 (55.6%) from three-point range.

Junior Brian Hamor (Schenectady, N.Y./Bishop Gibbons), a second-team All-Northeast-10 honoree, leads the Skyhawks in scoring with 14 points (14th NE-10) on 41.2-percent shooting from the field, including 34.9% (44-126) from beyond the arc, and converting 71.8% (94-131) of his free-throws, to go with 3.2 rebounds and 3.3 assists (11th) in a team-high 32.4 minutes per game. Tongo is adding 12.5 points, 4.9 rebounds, 1.3 assists and 1.3 steals per game, shooting 37.7-percent (57-151) from three-point range and 71% (44-62) from the line.

Senior Patrick Lee, who didn't play against Adelphi during the regular season, ranks second among NE-10 rebounders. (PHOTO BY Bert Lane)

Junior Adam Fazzini (Drums, Pa./Crestwood) provides a team-high 8.8 points off the bench on a team-best 45.5-percent (55-121) shooting from three-point range (2rd) in 24.3 minutes per game.

Adelphi enters tomorrow night's game winners of seven of its last nine after Stonehill posted a 55-54 triumph in the lone regular season meeting between the two back on January 25. The Panthers also rank 15th in the NE-10 for scoring offense (63.5 ppg) and second in free-throw percentage (.736).

Senior guard Robert Johnson (New Rochelle, N.Y./Tuckahoe), a second team All-Northeast-10 pick this winter, is averaging a team-high 13.4 points on 40.2-percent shooting from the field while converting 84.8-percent (84-for-99) of his free-throw attempts (2nd NE-10) to go with 3.9 rebounds and 2.1 steals (5th) in 29.1 minutes per game. Junior Bradley Simpson (Goulburn, Australia) adds 10.4 points, shooting a Conference-best 59.7% from the floor, and 5.2 rebounds per contest, while classmate Chris Ranglin (Yonkers, N.Y./Gorton) contributes 10.3 points, 5.5 rebounds, 2.1 assists and 1.4 steals per outing.

Wednesday will mark just the third postseason meeting between these two programs, the second in NE-10 tournament play. The then ninth-seeded Panthers tripped up the top-seeded and NE-10 regular season champion Stonehill in the quarterfinals of the 2010 NE-10 Tournament, 59-58, while the Skyhawks picked up a 69-54 victory in the 2006 NCAA East Regional. Both previous postseason encounters were played at Merkert Gym in Easton.

Stonehill won the lone regular season encounter between the two programs, with a 55-54 triumph back on January 25. Tongo led Stonehill with 21 points on 6-of-8 shooting from the field, including 4-for-5 from three-point range, while converting 5-of-6 free-throws to go with three rebounds, two blocked shots and a steal. Johnson led Adelphi with 14 points, aided by 6-for-6 shooting at the free-throw line, with seven rebounds, two assists and two steals. Stonehill led by as much as 12 points before holding off a late Adelphi rally for its third-straight win at the time. Junior Cliff Brown (Hempstead, N.Y./Uniondale) nearly completed the comeback, but his layup at the buzzer for Adelphi rolled off the rim.

Coach's Corner w/David McLaughlin:
Adelphi Preview

The winner of tomorrow night's game will advance to the NE-10 Championship contest, where it will face the winner of tomorrow night's other semifinal matchup between fourth-seeded University of Massachusetts Lowell (18-9, 13-9 NE-10) and top-seeded and NE-10 regular season co-champions Franklin Pierce University (21-6, 16-6 NE-10) on Saturday at the home court of the higher seed at 1 p.m. 

2012 Northeast-10 Conference
Men's Basketball Championships

Friday, February 24th
First Round
Game 1: #10 New Haven 51, #7 Pace 49
Game 2: #9 Assumption 78, at #8 Bentley 56 

Sunday, February 26th
Game 3: #1 Franklin Pierce 55, #9 Assumption 50
Game 4: #2 Adelphi 54, #10 New Haven 51
Game 5: #3 Stonehill 85 #6 Merrimack 66
Game 6: #4 UMass Lowell 86, #5 Southern Connecticut State 68

Wednesday, February 29th
Semifinals (at higher seeds)
Game 7: #4 UMass Lowell (18-9, 13-9 NE-10)  at  #1 Franklin Pierce (21-6, 16-6 NE-10), 7 p.m.
Game 8: #3 Stonehill (19-8, 15-7 NE-10) at #2 Adelphi (20-7, 16-6 NE-10), 7 p.m.

Saturday, March 3rd
Championship (at higher seed)
Game 9: Game 8 winner vs. Game 7 winner, 1 p.m.