Stonehill Quiets #22 Southern Connecticut State, 75-62

Senior Jack Cole posted his sixth double-double of the season to lead the Skyhawks past #22 Southern Connecticut tonight. (PHOTO BY Paul W. Fitzgerald Photography)

Cole and Logan combine for 36 as Skyhawks take advantage inside 

EASTON, Mass. (January 21, 2015) – Stonehill College held Southern Connecticut State University, ranked 22nd in this week's D2SIDA Top 25 media poll, 30 points under its season average in posting a 75-62 victory in Northeast-10 Conference men's basketball action on Paula Sullivan Court at Merkert Gymnasium tonight.

Senior Jack Cole (New Providence, New Jersey/New Providence) posted his sixth double-double of the season (22nd career) and combined with sophomore Ryan Logan (Fredericktown, Ohio/Fredericktown) for 36 points as Stonehill took advantage of Southern Connecticut State inside with 44 points in the paint. Cole scored a team-high 19 points on 7-of-13 shooting from the field and 5-for-6 at the free-throw line, pulling down a game-high 12 rebounds. Logan added 17 points on 7-of-15 shooting with nine rebounds and three assists for the Skyhawks.

Junior Adam Bramanti (Middleton, Mass./Masconomet Regional) rounded out Stonehill's double-figure scorers with 13 points on 5-of-8 shooting, including 3-for-6 from three-point range, while classmate Carter Smith (Columbus, Ohio/Upper Arlington) dished out six assists.

Stonehill dominated the glass with a 46-29 rebounding advantage on Southern Connecticut, including 15-4 on the offensive glass, holding the Owls without an offensive rebound for the first 30 minutes of the game. The Skyhawks finished shooting 44.6-percent (29-for-65) from the field, including 50% (15-30) in the second half, outscoring the Owls 12-3 in second chance points. Southern was limited to 40.7-percent (24-for-59) shooting, including 39.4% (13-33) in the second half, connecting on just 4-of-21 (19%) three-pointers on the night.

Seniors Tylon Smith (Manchester, Connecticut/Kingswood-Oxford) and Luke Houston (Pearl River, New York/Pearl River) each netted a game-high 20 points to lead Southern Connecticut, but the remainder of the team shot just a combined 8-for-27 (29.6%) from the floor, including 1-for-14 from beyond the arc. Smith made 8-of-16 shots from the field, including his lone three-pointer, and converted 3-of-4 free-throws to go with four rebounds, while Houston scored 13 points in the first half and also finished 8-of-16, including 2-for-6 from deep, converting both free-throws, while adding two steals.

Sophomore Ryan Logan added 17 points and nine rebounds tonight. (PHOTO BY Paul W. Fitzgerald Photography)

Stonehill never trailed, scoring the first five points of the game and seven of nine overall in the opening 2:38, keyed by five points from Bramanti. Southern pulled within one (7-6) following a basket by junior Desmond Williams (Torrington, Connecticut/Torrington) less than five minutes into the game, but the Skyhawks used an 8-2 spurt to open a nine point cushion (17-8) with a layup by freshman Ryan Roach (Weymouth, Massachusetts/Cardinal Spellman) eight minutes into the game.

Stonehill extended its run to 20-4 to break open a 17 point advantage (27-10) after a Bramanti layup with 6:49 remaining in the half. Sophomore Jimmy Walsh (Manasquan, New Jersey/Manasquan) sparked the run with a three-pointer and Cole added a conventional three-point play as well during the second half of that stretch. Southern Connecticut cut the gap to three (29-26) with 2:50 to play in the half as Houston capped the 16-2 run with back to back baskets, scoring ten points in all during that stretch as he added a pair of triples to go with a three ball by Smith.

Stonehill regained an eight point lead (34-26) after a Logan free-throw before settling for a six point halftime advantage (34-28). Junior Deshawn Murphy (Hamden, Connecticut/Hyde School) opened the second half with a three-pointer to pull Southern within three (34-31), but the Skyhawks reclaimed a double digit lead (41-31) three and a half minutes into the second half after four straight free-throws by Cole.

Williams and sophomore Austin Carter (Bloomfield, Connecticut/The Master's School) netted back to back baskets to draw Southern back within six (43-37) with 14:37 to play but that would prove to be the closest the Owls would get the rest of the way. Stonehill outscored Southern 9-2 over the next three minutes to regain a 13 point lead (52-39) on a Logan layup with 11:29 remaining.

Southern Connecticut pulled back within eight (52-44) after a tip-in by sophomore Michael Mallory (Waterbury, Connecticut/Holy Cross) on the Owls first offensive rebound of the game with 10:23 left. The teams traded baskets for the next four minutes before Stonehill extended its lead to 15 (71-56) with 3:30 remaining after two straight baskets by Logan and the lead wouldn't get under double figures the rest of the way.

Stonehill (11-6, 6-5 NE-10) returns to action on Saturday when it visits the University of New Haven for an NE-10 matchup at 1:30 p.m. The Skyhawks are back home next Saturday, January 31, when they host The College of Saint Rose as part of Alumni Weekend at the College at 3:30 p.m. Southern Connecticut State (13-5, 8-3 NE-10) hosts Franklin Pierce University on Saturday at 3:30 p.m.

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