Stonehill Stays Perfect at Bentley, 90-85

Junior Carter Smith connected on five three-pointers for 23 points to lead the Skyhawks past Bentley. (PHOTO BY Paul W. Fitzgerald Photography)

Skyhawks drill 15 three-pointers, led by Smith's 23 points 

WALTHAM, Mass. (November 22, 2014) – Stonehill College ran its season-opening winning streak to four games with a 90-85 victory over Bentley University in Northeast-10 Conference men's basketball action at the Dana Athletic Center this afternoon.

Stonehill shot 51.7-percent (30-for-58) from the field, including a blistering 15-for-28 (53.6%) from three-point range, connecting on 55.6% (15-27) of its shots in the first half. The Skyhawks buried 7-of-11 (63.6%) three-pointers over the opening 20 minutes to open a seven point (40-33) halftime lead.

Junior Carter Smith (Columbus, Ohio/Upper Arlington) led the way for Stonehill with 23 points on 6-of-11 shooting, including 5-for-9 from three-point range, while converting all six free-throw attempts to go with five assists and two rebounds. Senior Jack Cole (New Providence, New Jersey/New Providence) posted his first double-double of the season (17th career) with a season-high 20 points on 8-of-12 shooting, canning his lone three-pointer and 3-of-5 free-throws to go with a season-best 14 rebounds, five assists and a blocked shot.

Junior Adam Bramanti (Middleton, Massachusetts/Masconomet Regional) made 5-of-8 three-pointers for 18 points and four rebounds. Sophomore Ryan Logan (Fredericktown, Ohio/Fredericktown) rounded out Stonehill's double-figure scorers with 13 points, four assists and three rebounds, while junior Josh Heyliger (Queens, New York/The Hill School) chipped in eight points, five assists and two steals.

Junior Tyler McFarland (Rockport, Maine/Camden Hills) led all scorers with 29 points for Bentley on 12-of-17 shooting, including 4-for-5 from three-point range, five rebounds, three assists, two blocked shots and a steal. Senior Keegan Hyland (South Portland, Maine/South Portland) added 17 points and nine rebounds, while classmate J.P. Koury (Red Bank, New Jersey/Christian Brothers Academy) registered 15 points on 5-of-7 shooting, six rebounds, three rebounds, two steals and a block. Junior Shaq Phelps (Linden, New Jersey/Linden) chipped in with 11 points on 4-of-7 shooting, including five rebounds, three assists, two blocks and a steal.

Senior Jack Cole posted his first double-double of the season tonight. (PHOTO BY Paul W. Fitzgerald Photography)

Bentley shot 49.2-percent (30-for-61) from the field, including 54.3% (19-36) in the second half, connecting on 8-of-23 (34.8%) three-pointers. The Falcons turned the ball over just six times, compared to 14 for Stonehill, to finish with a 21-2 margin in points off turnovers.

Stonehill raced out to a 16 point lead (24-8) nine minutes into the game, connecting on six three-pointers during that stretch, including three from Smith. Bentley drew back within nine (29-20) after a Hyland three-pointer with 7:29 remaining in the half, closing within three (33-30) with a pair of Hyland free-throws with 2:22 to go before halftime.

Stonehll regained a seven point cushion (40-33) at the half, capped by a Cole three-pointer at the buzzer. The Skyhawks quickly pushed the lead back to 12 (45-33) less than a minute into the second half on a Cole tip-in and Bramanti triple. A three-pointer from senior Andrew Shaw (Saco, Maine/Thornton Academy) pulled Bentley back within seven (45-38) three minutes later, but Stonehill fired off back to back three's from Smith and Bramanti extended the lead back to 13 (51-38) with 15:41 remaining.

Bentley chipped away and closed the gap to six (60-54) after a McFarland triple with 11:34 to go. Stonehill regained its 12 point advantage (66-54) after a three-pointer from Logan that capped a string of 12 straight Stonehill points by the sophomore forward. The Skyhawks lead extended to 14 (70-56) with nine minutes left after back to back layups from Cole.

Bentley wouldn't go down quietly, scoring ten straight points to draw within four (70-66) after a Hyland free-throw with 5:24 to play. Stonehill held and pushed the lead back to eight (80-72) after a pair of Bramanti free-throws with 1:22 left and then converted 10-of-12 free-throws the rest of the way to seal the win.

Stonehill (4-0, 2-0 NE-10) returns to action on Tuesday when it hosts Franklin Pierce University at Merkert Gymnasium at 7:30 p.m. Bentley (1-3, 0-2 NE-10) travels to Southern New Hampshire University on Tuesday at 7:30 p.m.

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