UMass Lowell Hangs On at Stonehill, 74-63

Sophomore Jack Cole posted his eight double-double of the year to lead the Skyhawks. (PHOTO BY Richard Orr)

Cole posts eighth double-double to lead Skyhawks

EASTON, Mass. (February 13, 2013) – The University of Massachusetts Lowell snapped a three game losing streak by hanging on for a 74-63 victory over Stonehill College in Northeast-10 Conference men's basketball action at Merkert Gymnasium tonight.

Junior Akeem Williams (Brockton, Mass./The Winchendon School) led UMass Lowell with a game-high 22 points (17 second half) on 7-of-18 shooting from the field, including 3-for-7 from three-point range, while converting all five free-throws to go with three rebounds, five assists and a steal. Sophomore Chad Holley (New York, N.Y./Blue Ridge School) added 16 points (11 first half) on 5-of-10 shooting, including 2-for-3 from beyond the arc, and converting all four free-throws, while junior Antonio Bivins (Miami, Fla./American) contributed 14 points (ten first half), on 7-of-14 shooting, five rebounds, eight steals and two assists.

Sophomore Jack Cole (New Providence, N.J./New Providence) posted his eighth career double-double (all this season) to lead Stonehill with 16 points (ten first half) on 6-of-11 shooting with a game-high ten rebounds (six offensive) and two blocked shots. Senior Brian Hamor (Schenectady, N.Y./Bishop Gibbons) also netted 16 points, connecting on 4-of-9 three-pointers and draining all four free-throws, to go with four assists, while classmate Adam Fazzini (Drums, Pa./Crestwood) added 12 points, aided by 7-for-8 shooting from the free-throw line, and seven rebounds. Freshman Josh Heyliger (Bear, Del./The Hill School) rounded out the Skyhawks four double-figure scorers with a season-high 12 points (ten second half) on 4-of-7 shooting from the field and converting all four free-throws with four boards, two assists and two steals.

The loss leaves Stonehill a game behind both The College of Saint Rose and Le Moyne College in 11th place in the NE-10 standings with four games remaining. The top ten teams in the final NE-10 standings qualify for the NE-10 Tournament.

Senior Brian Hamor also netted 16 points for the Skyhawks, connecting on 4-of-9 three-pointers. (PHOTO BY Bert Lane)

UMass Lowell shot 46.7-percent (28-for-60) from the field, including 50% (16-32) in building a 12 point (40-28) halftime lead, and converted 13-of-15 (86.7%) free-throws. The River Hawks posted a 32-30 rebounding edge and saw their bench outscore the Stonehill reserves 16-8. The Skyhawks shot 41.3% (19-46) from the field, including just 5-for-19 (26.3%) from three-point range, connecting on 20-of-23 (87%) free-throws.

There were four lead changes and three ties with neither team leading by more than a possession over the opening six and a half minutes before UMass Lowell scored seven straight points, including five by sophomore Mark Cornelius (Westford, Mass./Westford Academy), to claim a six point advantage (18-12) after a jumper from senior Romeo Diaz (Methuen, Mass./Methuen) with 12:20 left in the half.

After a three-pointer from Hamor, UMass Lowell opened a seven point cushion (22-15) on a Williams layup with 10:41 to go. Stonehill cut the gap to a point (22-21) after a Cole layup with 9:15 remaining in the half and then the River Hawks used a 15-3 run to open a 13 point lead (37-24) with a Bivins dunk with 2:06 left in the half. UML extended the lead to 14 (40-26) with 45-seconds left in the half before settling on the 12 point halftime lead (40-28).

UMass Lowell worked the lead to 15 (48-32) with a Williams three-pointer four minutes into the second half. Stonehill responded with a 12-2 run to cut the gap to five (49-44) after a Hamor three with 12:07 still to play. Heyliger netted four points and Fazzini also canned a three for the Skyhawks during that stretch. The River Hawks held and led by seven (53-46) on a putback by freshman Kennedy Chukwuocha (Willingboro, N.J./Medford Tech) at the midway point of the half.

Stonehill scored the next seven points to draw level (53-53) with another Hamor three with 7:55 to play. The Skyhawks were unable to regain the lead and UMass Lowell followed with a 9-2 stretch to reclaim a nine point advantage (64-55) after Williams made all three free-throws after getting fouled shooting from beyond the arc. The Skyhawks made one last run, closing the deficit to three (66-63) with two Fazzini free-throws with 3:11 to play, but could get no closer as the River Hawks scored the final eight points of the night to walk away with the 11 point win.

Stonehill (11-11, 7-11 NE-10) returns to action on Saturday when it visits Saint Michael's College for a Northeast-10 matchup at 3:30 p.m. The Skyhawks return home next Wednesday, February 20, to host Southern New Hampshire University at 7:30 p.m. UMass Lowell (14-8, 10-8 NE-10) visits Merrimack College on Saturday at 3 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.

Game Highlights

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