Stonehill Hangs On to End Road Hex at AIC, 56-55

Senior Brian Hamor led a balanced scoring effort for the Skyhawks with ten points, four rebounds and three assists. (PHOTO BY Bert Lane)

Skyhawks claim first road win of season behind balanced offense 

SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (January 23, 2013) – Stonehill College claimed its first road win of the season with a 56-55 triumph over American International College in Northeast-10 Conference men's basketball action at Henry A. Butova Gymnasium tonight.

Senior Brian Hamor (Schenectady, N.Y./Bishop Gibbons) led a balanced Stonehill effort with ten points, four rebounds and three assists. Sophomore Jack Cole (New Providence, N.J./New Providence) added nine points on 4-of-5 shooting, eight rebounds and two blocked shots, while senior Adam Fazzini (Drums, Pa./Crestwood) posted seven points, seven boards and four assists. Seniors Sam Markle (Branford, Conn./Saint Thomas More) and Raheem May-Thompson (London, England/Towson (Md.) Catholic) each chipped in with eight points with Markle also dishing out three assists.

Senior Ricky Hudson (Sewell, N.J./Washington Township) led American International with a game-high 17 points on 8-of-17 shooting, six rebounds and three assists. Junior Janek Schmidkunz (Berlin, Germany) added 14 points on 6-of-11 shooting, including 2-for-5 from three-point range, with two rebounds and two steals, while classmate David Campbell (Boston, Mass./Madison Park) chipped in six points, a game-high nine rebounds and three assists.

Stonehill shot 52.3-percent (23-for-44) from the field, including 10-for-18 (55.6%) in the second half, connecting on 6-of-17 (35.3%) three-pointers and converting 4-of-7 (57.1%) of its free-throw attempts. The Skyhawks posted a 31-27 rebounding advantage, but American International outscored the visitors 13-5 for second chance points. The Yellow Jackets also took advantage of 20 Stonehill turnovers, compared to nine for the hosts, to claim a 26-12 margin in points off turnovers. AIC shot 42.9-percent (24-for-56) from the field, but connected at just 28.6% (8-28) in the first half before hitting at 57.1% (16-28) in the second, and converted just 3-of-15 (20%) three-pointers.

Sophomore Jack Cole contributed nine points and a team-high eight rebounds with two blocked shots. (PHOTO BY Bert Lane)

Stonehill scored eight straight points to open a seven point lead (14-7) after a Markle three-pointer with 7:59 to play in the first half. American International closed within two (14-12) on a jumper from graduate student Sesoo Ikpah (Williamstown, N.J./Lee Academy) with six minutes left. The Skyhawks followed with a 15-4 run to push their lead into double-figures (29-16) with 2:50 to play after two straight baskets from May-Thompson. Fazzini sparked the run with a three-point play and Hamor buried a pair of three-pointers during the stretch.

Stonehill took an 11 point (32-21) halftime lead and maintained the 13 point margin through the early portion of the second half. AIC was back within nine (38-29) after a layup by junior Spencer Braithwaite (Dorchester, Mass./Madison Park) just over four minutes into the half, but the Skyhawks reeled off seven straight points, including five from freshman Carter Smith (Columbus, Ohio/Upper Arlington), to take a game-high 16 point lead (45-29) after a May-Thompson bucket with 13:44 to play.

American International wouldn't go down quietly, answering with nine straight points to close back within seven (45-38) after a Schmidkunz three-pointer with 11:25 left. Cole and Hamor responded with baskets to push the Stonehill lead back to 11 (51-40) with nine minutes remaining.

AIC drew within four (51-47) after another Schmidkunz three ball with 5:18 on the clock to cap a 7-0 spurt. After trading baskets, Markle drilled a three-pointer to put Stonehill back up seven (56-49) with 2:26 to go. The Skyhawks held on from there, but Hudson made a jumper to pull the Yellow Jackets within five with 2:11 left and then Braithwaite cut the lead to three with a layup with 44-seconds to play after two straight turnovers from the visitors.

AIC cut the lead to a point (56-55) with a putback from Campbell off a missed three-pointer from Schmidkunz with six seconds to play. Smith pulled in the offensive rebound off a missed front end of a one-and-one by Fazzini and then missed his free-throw, giving the Yellow Jackets one last chance, but Ikpah's last second three was off the mark to give the Skyhawks the victory.

Stonehill (8-8, 4-8 NE-10) is back in action on Saturday when it returns home to host Southern Connecticut State University at 3:30 p.m. The game is part of the Coaches vs. Cancer "Suits and Sneakers" Weekend to benefit the American Cancer Society. American International (5-11, 2-10 NE-10) visits Merrimack College on Saturday at 3 p.m.

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