Southern Conn. State Rallies Past Stonehill, 77-74

Freshman Carter Smith made 6-of-7 shots, including 2-of-3 three-pointers, to lead the Skyhawks with 14 points this afternoon. (PHOTO BY Bert Lane)

Owls erase 11 point second half deficit to claim NE-10 victory

EASTON, Mass. (January 26, 2013) – Southern Connecticut State University rallied from an 11 point second half deficit to claim a 77-74 victory over Stonehill College in Northeast-10 Conference men's basketball action on Coaches vs. Cancer Suits and Sneakers Weekend at Merkert Gymnasium this afternoon.

Junior Greg Langston (Stratford, Conn./St. Joseph's) led Southern Connecticut with a game-high 19 points on 8-for-13 shooting from the field, draining both three-pointers, to go with four rebounds. Freshman Deshawn Murphy (Hamden, Conn./Hyde) added 18 points on 6-of-13 shooting, including 5-for-8 from three-point range, to go with four rebounds, while senior Trevon Hamlet (Brooklyn, N.Y./Bishop Laughlin) finished with 16 points, six rebounds, six blocked shots and two assists as he connected on 6-of-13 shots from the field, including 2-for-4 from beyond the arc, and converted 2-of-3 free-throws. Sophomore Tylon Smith (Manchester, Conn./Kingswood-Oxford) pulled down a team-high ten rebounds to go with seven points for the Owls.

Freshman Carter Smith (Columbus, Ohio/Upper Arlington) led four Stonehill players in double figures with 14 points on 6-of-7 shooting from the field, including 2-for-3 from three-point range, with three assists. Sophomore Jack Cole (New Providence, N.J./New Providence) posted his sixth career double-double (all this season) with ten points and ten rebounds with three assists, shooting 5-for-9 from the field, while freshman Pierce Cumpstone (Chagrin Falls, Ohio/Kenston) added a season-high 13 points, aided by 3-for-5 shooting from beyond the arc, and season-best seven rebounds. Senior Brian Hamor (Schenectady, N.Y./Bishop Gibbons) scored all 12 of his points in the first half, hitting 3-of-6 three-pointers and converting 3-of-4 free-throws to go with three assists.

Freshman Pierce Cumpstone scored a season-high 13 points and added a season-best seven rebounds for the Skyhawks. (PHOTO BY Bert Lane)

Southern shot 50.9-percent (27-for-53) from the field, including 52.4% (11-21) in the second half, connecting on 11-of-19 (57.9%) three-pointers and converting 12-of-15 (80%) free-throws for the afternoon. Stonehill finished shooting 45.9-percent (28-for-61) from the field, but just 37.5% (12-32) in the second half after hitting at 55.2% (16-29) in the first. The Skyhawks shot 48.3% (14-for-29) from three-point range, including 9-for-15 (60%) in the opening half but just 5-for-14 (35.7%) in the second. Stonehill also converted just 4-of-11 (36.4%) of its free-throw attempts for the afternoon.

Stonehill posted a 16-7 advantage in points off turnovers, and its bench outscored the Southern Connecticut reserves 35-9, but the Owls registered a 34-31 rebounding edge.

Stonehill led by six (45-39) at the half, fueled by its 9-for-15 shooting from downtown, and extended its lead to 11 (50-39) three minutes into the second half after a Cole layup and three-pointer from freshman Josh Heyliger (Bear, Del./The Hill School). Southern responded with a 14-5 run over the next six minutes to close within two (55-53) after a Murphy three-pointer with 11:04 to play. Murphy drained two three's during that stretch, while Hamlet sparked the run with a three point play and Smith added a three-ball as well.

Stonehill regained a nine point cushion (66-57) after a Heyliger layup with 6:38 remaining. The Skyhawks lead was still seven (68-61) following a Cole layup with 4:05 left, but Southern responded with an 11-0 run to take a four point lead (72-68) after two free-throws from Smith with 58-seconds on the clock. Hamlet started the rally with a three-pointer, sophomore Luke Houston (Pearl River, N.Y./Pearl River) converted a three-point play and then Langston drilled a three to put the Owls in front.

Game Highlights

Senior Adam Fazzini (Drums, Pa./Crestwood) connected with a three-pointer to pull Stonehill within a point (72-71) with 37-seconds to play. Houston was fouled before the ball was inbounded and drained both free-throws to regain a three-point advantage. Fazzini misfired from deep at the other end and Langston split two free-throws to put the Owls back up four (75-71) with 23-seconds to play. Smith hit a deep three to draw Stonehill back within two (76-74) with four seconds on the clock and Murphy made just one of two free throws at the other end, to give the Skyhawks a desperation shot at the buzzer, but the full court heave was well short.

Stonehill and Southern combined to make 15 three-pointers, on 25 attempts, in the first half. The Skyhawks scored the first five points of the game and opened a nine point lead (19-10) after a three-pointer from freshman Adam Bramanti (Middleton, Mass./Masconomet Regional) seven minutes into the game.

Southern used a 10-0 run to take its first lead (28-27) after a Murphy three with 7:55 to play in the half. The teams traded the lead back and forth until Stonehill used a 9-3 spurt to regain a six point lead (43-37) after a Smith layup with 3:12 left before the half, and the Skyhawks would take that lead into halftime.

Stonehill (8-9, 4-9 NE-10) is right back in action on Tuesday when it hosts Adelphi University for a Northeast-10 matchup in Merkert Gym at 7:30 p.m. Southern Connecticut State (11-6, 8-5 NE-10) visits Southern New Hampshire University on Tuesday at 7:30 p.m.

For the latest on Stonehill Athletics, follow the Skyhawks via social media on Twitter and Facebook. Fans can also download the Stonehill Skyhawks mobile app on iTunes and the Android Market.

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