Stonehill Turns Back Merrimack, 76-64

Sophomore Pierce Cumpstone notched his second straight double-double with 17 points and a career-high matching 12 rebounds tonight. (PHOTO BY Emily Reynolds)

Cumpstone leads five Skyhawks in double figures with second straight double-double 

NORTH ANDOVER, Mass. (February 6, 2014) – Stonehill College placed five players in double-figures in a balanced offensive effort to claim a 76-64 victory over Merrimack College in Northeast-10 Conference men's basketball action at Bert Hammel Court tonight.

Sophomore Pierce Cumpstone (Bainbridge Township, Ohio/Kenston) led Stonehill's balanced attack with his second straight double-double (third of career) as he posted 17 points and a career-high matching 12 rebounds to go with an assist and steal as he shot 7-for-13 from the field and converted 2-of-3 free-throws on the night. Classmate Carter Smith (Columbus, Ohio/Upper Arlington) scored 15 of his 17 points in the second half on 4-of-7 shooting, including 3-for-5 from three-point range, and converting 6-of-8 free-throws with three rebounds and two assists.

Junior Jack Cole (New Providence, N.J./New Providence) contributed 14 points on 5-of-7 shooting from the field and 4-for-5 free-throw shooting with six rebounds, four assists and a blocked shot, while sophomore Adam Bramanti (Middleton, Mass./Masconomet Regional) added ten points, seven boards, five assists and a block. Freshman Ryan Logan (Fredericktown, Ohio/Fredericktown) rounded out the double-figure scorers with ten points, two rebounds and two assists.

Senior Kevin Regan (Philadelphia, Pa./Roman Catholic) led Merrimack with a game-high matching 17 points on 6-of-10 shooting overall and converting 5-of-8 free-throw attempts with four rebounds and two steals. Sophomore Gelvis Solano (New York, N.Y./Health Professions) added 13 points, four rebounds and four steals, while classmate Troy Hammel (Valencia, Calif./Valencia) contributed 12 points, two rebounds and two steals.

Sophomore Carter Smith scored 15 of his 17 points in the second half to help lead the Skyhawks. (PHOTO BY Emily Reynolds)

Stonehill shot 48.1-percent (25-for-52) from the field, including 8-for-18 (44.4%) from three-point range as it connected on 4-of-5 threes (80%) in the second half alone, while converting 18-of-25 (72%) free-throw attempts. Stonehill dominated the glass with a 43-26 rebounding advantage, while the Skyhawks bench outscored the Merrimack reserves 25-14. Merrimack was held to 38.7% (24-62) shooting, including 6-for-23 (26.1%) from beyond the arc, converting 10-of-16 (62.5%) free-throw attempts. The Warriors stayed in the game by turning Stonehill's 26 turnovers into a 25-15 advantage in points off turnovers.

Stonehill used a 14-2 run to open a 12 point lead (23-11) midway through the first half on a Cumpstone three-pointer and free-throws by Logan. The Skyhawks wouldn't trail again, holding off some Merrimack runs in the second half to claim their second-straight road win. The Warriors drew within six (23-17) after a Regan layup, but Stonehill reeled off seven straight points for a 13 point lead (30-17) on two Smith free-throws with 6:08 remaining in the half.

Merrimack closed within six (38-32) at the half and then cut the gap to two (40-38) after a Regan jumper three minutes into halftime that capped an 11-2 run that wrapped around halftime. Stonehill held and regained a six point cushion (49-43) with a Bramanti three-pointer with 12:35 to play. Solano hit back with a triple at the other end and the Warriors cut their deficit to a point (51-50) on a layup by sophomore Anthony Barry (Uxbridge, Mass./Brooks School) with 10:28 remaining.

Smith sparked a 13-4 Stonehill run with a pair of three-pointers which pushed the Skyhawks lead back to double figures (64-54) after a three-point play by Cumpstone with 5:08 left. Merrimack drew back within eight (64-56) with two free-throws by sophomore JT Strickland (Laurel, Md./Georgetown Prep) with 4:50 on the clock, but the Skyhawks sealed the win with an 11-2 run over the next four minutes to open a 17 point lead (75-58) after two free-throws by Cole with 1:25 remaining. Smith sparked that run with another three-pointer as well.

Stonehill (7-13, 4-11 NE-10) is right back on the court on Saturday to host Saint Michael's College as part of Alumni Day at the College at 3:30 p.m. Merrimack (8-13, 6-10 NE-10) travels to Bentley University on Tuesday, February 11, at 7:30 p.m.

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