#22 Stonehill Shoots Past Chestnut Hill in Opener, 78-59

Senior Adam Fazzini drilled 4-of-7 three-pointers in netting 12 points for the Skyhawks in tonight's season-opener. (PHOTO BY Richard Orr)

Fazzini and Cole lead balanced Skyhawks effort with 12 points each

EASTON, Mass. (November 10, 2012) – Stonehill College, ranked 22nd in the National Association of Basketball Coaches (NABC) Division II preseason poll, opened its 2012-13 season with a commanding 78-59 victory over Chestnut Hill College in non-conference men's basketball action at Merkert Gymnasium tonight.

Senior Adam Fazzini (Drums, Pa./Crestwood) and sophomore Jack Cole (New Providence, N.J./New Providence) led a balanced offensive output for Stonehill with four players in double-figures, including three with a game-high 12 points. Fazzini drained 4-of-7 three-pointers, including 4-of-6 in the first half, in scoring all 12 of his point in the opening 20 minutes to go with nine rebounds and two assists. Cole notched his first career double-double with 12 points on 6-of-9 shooting and ten rebounds to go with two blocked shots.

Senior Raheem May-Thompson (London, England/Towson Catholic (Md.) rounded out the 12 point scorers for Stonehill as he made 4-of-8 shots from the field and converted 4-of-5 free-throws to go with three assists and three rebounds. Freshman Carter Smith (Columbus, Ohio/Upper Arlington) came off the bench to net ten points in his collegiate debut as he made 4-of-5 shots from the field, including both three-point attempts, and dished two assists. Senior Sam Markle (Branford, Conn./Saint Thomas More) chipped in with six assists and three steals for the Skyhawks.

Stonehill shot 56.9-percent (29-for-51) from the field, including 61.5% (16-26) in the second half, as it hit 9-of-21 (42.9%) from three-point range. The Skyhawks dominated the glass, posting a 38-25 rebound margin, and also saw its bench outscore the Chestnut Hill reserves, 32-19. The Griffins were held to 36.8% (21-57) shooting overall, including 6-for-20 (30%) from deep. Chestnut Hill took advantage of 24 Stonehill miscues to post an 18-9 advantage in points off turnovers.

Sophomore Jack Cole posted his first career double-double for the Skyhawks. (PHOTO BY Richard Orr)

Sophomore Alssene Saintilus (Irvington, N.J./Williamstown) led three Chestnut Hill players with a team-high nine points as he made 4-of-8 shots from the field, including his lone three point attempt, with five rebounds and three steals. Sophomore Seamus Radtke (Philadelphia, Pa./Father Judge) also posted nine points and five boards (four offensive), while senior Francis Ashe (Hyattsville, Md./Eleanor Roosevelt) contributed nine points on 4-of-5 shooting, including his lone three point attempt, with three assists.

Stonehill never trailed, jumping out to a quick six point lead (8-2) after a pair of May-Thompson free-throws 3:36 into the game. Saintilus drained a three-pointer and Ashe scored a layup to draw Chestnut Hill within a point (8-7) five minutes in. Senior Brian Hamor (Guilderland, N.Y./Bishop Gibbons) converted a three-point play to push the Skyhawks lead to nine (27-18) with 5:46 left.

Chestnut Hill closed back within four (29-25) after a layup by Radtke with 4:29 left in the half, but Stonehill wrapped up the first half with a 9-2 run to take an 11 point lead (38-27) into the intermission. Hamor converted another three-point play and Smith added a three-ball to cap the scoring as neither team scored over the final three minutes.

Stonehill scored the first four points of the second half to run its lead to 15 (42-27) on back to back layups from Cole and May-Thompson. Chestnut Hill used a 12-2 run off a 30-second time out to cut its deficit to five (44-39) after a Jakeem Bogans (Philadelphia, Pa./Cardinal Dougherty) three-pointer with 14:59 left.

Stonehill held firm and responded with eight straight points, including four from freshman Pierce Cumpstone (Chagrin Falls, Ohio/Kenston), to push the lead back to 13 (52-39) with 12:20 to play, regaining its 15 point advantage (58-43) after a three-pointer from freshman Josh Heyliger (Bear, Del./The Hill School) with 10:46 remaining.

Stonehill wouldn't let Chestnut Hill back within double-digits the rest of the night, extending its lead to 19 (66-47) with a Cole layup with 7:50 left. The Skyhawks opened a 20 point lead (69-49) with a three-point play from May-Thompson with 5:43 remaining and had a game-high 22 point margin (72-50) after a three-pointer from junior Mitch Amelio (Carlsbad, Calif./La Jolla Country Day) with 5:23 on the clock.

Stonehill (1-0, 0-0 NE-10) opens its Northeast-10 Conference schedule on Wednesday night as it hosts Saint Anselm College at 7:30 p.m. Chestnut Hill (0-1, 0-0 CACC) travels to West Chester University on Wednesday at 6 p.m.

Postgame Interviews
Bentley Halts Stonehill, 66-63
February 23, 2013 Bentley Halts Stonehill, 66-63