Lowry Receives NCAA Elite 89™ Award

Butler, Pa., native honored for having the highest cumulative GPA at NCAA Division II Men's Basketball Elite Eight

HIGHLAND HEIGHTS, Ky. (March 19, 2012) – Stonehill College senior guard Sean Lowry (Butler, Pa./Butler) has been named the recipient of the Elite 89 Award for the 2012 NCAA Division II men's basketball championship. Lowry was presented the award during the pre-tournament banquet for the Elite Eight held at Drees Pavilion tonight. The 2012 Division II Elite Eight is being hosted by Northern Kentucky University at the Bank of Kentucky Center all week.

The Elite 89, an award founded by the NCAA, recognizes the true essence of the student-athlete by honoring the individual who has reached the pinnacle of competition at the national championship level in his or her sport, while also achieving the highest academic standard among his or her peers. The Elite 89 is presented to the student-athlete with the highest cumulative grade-point average participating at the finals site for each of the NCAA's championships.

Eligible student-athletes are sophomores or above who have participated in their sport for at least two years with their school. They must be an active member of the team, traveling and a designated member of the squad size at the championship. All ties are broken by the number of credits completed. For more information on the Elite 89 award winners, log on to NCAA.com/elite89.

"This is a tremendous honor for Sean, the Stonehill community and men's basketball program," said Stonehill head coach David McLaughlin. "He is a fine student-athlete and a true leader on and off the court for our team. Sean is what Stonehill is all about in regard to the complete student and it is great to see his hard work in the classroom recognized with this award."

Lowry, the first Stonehill student-athlete to receive the Elite 89 Award in the three years the NCAA has sponsored the program, is a senior captain for the Skyhawks men's basketball team that has captured the second East Regional championship in program history to reach the Elite Eight. He has earned a 3.79 cumulative grade point average as a marketing major at the College, with a minor in communication. Lowry has earned the St. Thomas Aquinas medal each of the last two years for having the highest GPA on the men's basketball team and he has earned NE-10 Commissioner's and Athletic Director's honor roll status every semester. He also serves as the men's basketball team representative on the Student-Athlete Advisory Committee.

Lowry, the fifth Northeast-10 student-athlete to receive the Elite 89 Award, has appeared in 42 games over his four year career at Stonehill. He made his first career start on senior day when the Skyhawks hosted Saint Michael's College on February 21. He has played 19 games this season with the one start, totaling 17 rebounds, seven points, five assists and two steals, while averaging 3.8 minutes per game. Over his career, he has contributed 41 points and 33 rebounds.

Lowry scored a career-high nine points in a win at Southern New Hampshire University on December 4, 2010, and corralled a career-best six rebounds in a win at the University of New Haven on January 16, 2011. He is a key leader for a senior class  that has posted the most wins over their four years in program history with a 91-30 (.752), making four-straight NCAA Tournament appearances for the first time in program history. The Skyhawks also captured their fourth Northeast-10 tournament championship in program history this winter, snapping a 23-year drought dating back to the 1989 championship, and Lowry was also a member of Stonehill's NE-10 regular season championship winner in 2009-10.

Stonehill (24-8, 15-7 NE-10), among teams receiving votes in the NABC Division II poll, will play No. 3-ranked West Liberty (W.V.) University in a national quarterfinal round clash on Wednesday at noon. The game will be webcast live on www.ncaa.com, with links also available via www.stonehillskyhawks.com. The national semifinals, televised by CBS College Sports, are scheduled for Thursday, with the national championship game, televised by CBS, will be played on Saturday at 1 p.m.