Stonehill Edges Philadelphia, 57-52

Senior Brian Hamor scored all 14 of his points in the first half to help lead the Skyhawks past Philadelphia today. (PHOTO BY Bert Lane)

Hamor and May-Thompson net 14 points apiece to key Skyhawks win

EASTON, Mass. (December 29, 2012) – Stonehill College outscored Philadelphia University 12-6 over the final six and a half minutes to claim a 57-52 victory in non-conference men's basketball action on day one of the 2012 East Region Classic at Merkert Gymnasium this afternoon.

Seniors Brian Hamor (Schenectady, N.Y./Bishop Gibbons) and Raheem May-Thompson (London, England/Towson (Md.) Catholic) combined for 28 points for Stonehill as each netted 14 points on the afternoon. May-Thompson made 4-of-9 shots from the field and converted all six free-throw attempts, scoring ten second half points, to go with a game-high matching nine rebounds (five offensive) and two blocked shots. Hamor scored all 14 of his points in the second half and added six rebounds and two assists.

Senior Adam Fazzini (Drums, Pa./Crestwood) added to the balanced effort for Stonehill with nine points, four rebounds and three steals. Freshman Carter Smith (Columbus, Ohio/Upper Arlington) posted nine points, three rebounds and two assists, while senior Sam Markle (Branford, Conn./Saint Thomas More) contributed seven points, five boards, two assists and three steals. Sophomore Jack Cole (New Providence, N.J./New Providence) chipped in with nine rebounds and a pair of blocked shots.

Senior Jim Connolly (Harleysville, Pa./Souderton Area) led Philadelphia with 12 points despite being held to 3-for-13 shooting, including 3-for-8 from three-point range, while converting all three free-throws to go with two rebounds. Freshman Andre Gibbs (Smyrna, Del./Smyrna) added nine points, five rebounds, two assists and two steals, while junior Nick Christian (Bensalem, Pa./Bensalem) chipped in eight points, a team-high six rebounds, five assists, a blocked shot and a steal.

Stonehill finished shooting 38-percent (19-for-50) from the field after hitting at 50% (11-22) in the second half after both teams shot under 30% in the opening frame that went into halftime deadlocked at 22-22. The Skyhawks made 4-of-9 (44.4%) three-pointers in the second half and finished with a 38-32 rebounding advantage after being outrebounded by four at the break. Stonehill reserves outscored the Philadelphia bench 16-8.

Philadelphia shot 33.3-percent (18-for-54) from the field, including 9-for-24 (37.5%) from three-point range. The Rams shot 29.6% (8-for-27) in the first half and 37% (10-27) over the final 20 minutes.

Senior Raheem May-Thompson posted 14 points and a game-high matching nine rebounds with two blocked shots off the bench for the Skyhawks. (PHOTO BY Bert Lane)

Neither team led by more than five points in the contest, with Philadelphia matching its largest lead at four points (40-36) after a layup from freshman Peter Alexis (Wilkes-Barre, Pa./Holy Redeemer) with 9:33 to play in the half. Christian followed up a Hamor three-pointer with a layup to put the Rams back up three (42-39) with 8:47 remaining.

May-Thompson converted a tip-in and then Hamor added a pair of free-throws to put Stonehill back in front (43-42) with 7:39 to play. The teams traded baskets before Alexis added another layup for a one point Philadelphia advantage (46-45) with 6:34 remaining, but May-Thompson followed with a jumper from the top of the key to put the Skyhawks back in front (47-46) with 6:17 left.

Stonehill wouldn't trail again as Hamor followed with two more free-throws and Fazzini scored a layup to match the Skyhawks largest lead (51-46) with 4:38 remaining. Hamor answered a three-pointer from freshman Derek Johnson (Conshohocken, Pa./Atlantic Christian) with a three-ball of his own to maintain the five point cushion (54-49) with 2:58 on the clock.

Johnson drilled another three to pull Philadelphia within two again (54-52) with 1:40 to play, but that would prove to be the Rams last basket as they missed their last three shots (all three-pointers) from there and Stonehill did enough at the line to seal the win.

Stonehill held the largest lead of a first half that featured six ties and four lead changes, but just 44 combined points, when Cole scored a dunk for a five point cushion (15-10) 11:42 before the half. Philadelphia followed with a 9-0 run over the next seven minutes to take a four point lead (19-15) with a Gibbs jumper with 4:39 left in the half. Markle answered with a three-pointer before May-Thompson added two free-throws and Fazzini hit a jumper to put the Skyhawks up three (22-19) 2:55 before the intermission. Connolly sent the game into halftime tied with a long-range three-pointer at the buzzer.

Philadelphia enjoyed the early run of things in the second half, staking out a four point lead (30-26) with a Gibbs three-pointer. The Rams gained its second four point lead of the frame with an Alexis layup with 9:33 to play before Stonehill closed the game out.

Stonehill (5-4, 2-4 NE-10) is back in action for day two of the East Region Classic tomorrow afternoon when it hosts Holy Family University at 3 p.m. The Tigers (6-6, 2-2 CACC) topped 13th-ranked Assumption College (8-2, 6-1 NE-10) 76-74 in overtime in today's opening game as junior Ervin Ezell (Deptford, N.J./Deptford) stole an inbounds pass at midcourt with 7.1-seconds left in the extra frame and netted the game winning basket to clinch the upset win. Philadelphia (7-4, 3-1 CACC) will face Assumption in tomorrow's opening game at 1 p.m.

Ezell finished with 18 points, six rebounds, five steals and two assists for Holy Family in the opener. Junior Alberto Munoz (Morrisville, N.C./Cardinal Gibbons) led the Tigers with a game-high 27 points on 8-of-14 shooting, seven rebounds, three assists, three steals and a blocked shot. Sophomore Terrance Bobb-Jones (Wilmington, Del./Delcastle Voc-Tech) posted a double-double to lead Assumption with 22 points, 11 rebounds, four assists and four steals.

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