Junior Pierce Cumpstone led six Skyhawks in double figures with 20 points in 27 minutes off the bench. (PHOTO BY Lewis Glass/Sports Pix)
Cumpstone leads six Skyhawks in double figures with 20 points, while Cole and Logan notch double-doubles
EASTON, Mass. (February 4, 2015) – Stonehill College, ranked sixth in this week's D2SIDA East Regional poll, ran its win streak to six games with a 93-89 shootout victory over Merrimack College in Northeast-10 Conference men's basketball action on Paula Sullivan Court at Merkert Gymnasium tonight.
Junior Pierce Cumpstone (Bainbridge Township, Ohio/Kenston) led six Stonehill players in double figures with 20 points on 7-of-13 shooting from the field, while converting all four free-throws, to go with six rebounds in 27 minutes off the bench. He led a Skyhawks bench which outscored the Merrimack reserves 24-6. Senior Jack Cole (New Providence, New Jersey/New Providence) and sophomore Ryan Logan (Fredericktown, Ohio/Fredericktown) both posted double-doubles for Stonehill. Cole registered 16 points and a game-high 13 rebounds for his seventh double-double of the season (23rd career) as he made 5-of-9 shots from the field and converted 6-of-7 free-throws to go with two assists and three blocked shots. Logan added 11 points and ten boards for his fourth double-double of the year with four assists and three steals.
Junior Carter Smith (Columbus, Ohio/Upper Arlington) scored 15 of his 18 points in the second half as he drained three three-pointers to move into the top ten on the program's career list for three-point field goals with 128 and converted 9-of-10 free-throws to go with four rebounds and three assists. Junior Adam Bramanti (Middleton, Massachusetts/Masconomet) contributed 14 points on 4-of-6 shooting from beyond the arc, while classmate Daniel Brix (Monroe Township, New Jersey/St. Joseph) rounded out the double figure scorers with ten points on 4-of-5 shooting, converting both free-throws, with five assists and four boards.
Juniors Gelvis Solano (New York, New York/Health Professions HS) and Troy Hammel (Valencia, California/Valencia) combined to score 64 of Merrimack's 89 points on the night. Solano poured in 40 points on 15-of-28 shooting, including 8-for-15 from three-point range, while converting just 2-of-6 free-throws to go with six rebounds, three assists and four steals. Hammel added 24 points on 9-of-16 shooting, including 5-for-10 from beyond the arc, with two assists, two boards and a steal. Freshman Kyle Howes (Maynard, Massachusetts/Lawrence Academy) chipped in with nine points, shooting 3-for-6 from deep, and a team-high nine rebounds.
Junior Carter Smith scored 15 of his 18 points in the second half to help the Skyhawks pull away. (PHOTO BY Lewis Glass/SportsPix)
Both teams finished shooting 50-percent from the field, with Merrimack draining 16-of-34 (47.1-percent) from three-point range, while Stonehill outscored the Warriors 26-3 at the free-throw line. The Skyhawks converted 26-of-30 (86.7%) free-throws and finished shooting 29-for-58 (50%) from the field, including 9-for-26 (34.6%) from beyond the arc. Merrimack was just 3-for-8 (37.5%) from the line to go with 35-for-70 shooting from the field. The Skyhawks posted a 42-28 rebounding advantage.
Stonehill led by two (72-70) with 4:30 to play and then scored ten of the next 12 points to open a ten point cushion (82-72) after Cole made one of two at the free-throw line with 1:45 remaining. Cumpstone sparked the run with a three-pointer, scoring five points in all during that stretch. Merrimack drained five three-pointers, while sending Stonehill to the free-throw line in an effort to claw back into the game. The Skyhawks converted 9-of-10 free-throws over the final 1:38 to hold off the Warriors, with Smith going 5-for-6 and Cumpstone adding a layup.
Merrimack was still able to pull within two (91-89) after Hammel converted a four point play with eight seconds remaining, but Smith was finally able to close the win out with his last two free-throws with five seconds left.
Merrimack took an eight point lead (39-31) after a jumper from junior JT Strickland (Laurel, Maryland/Georgetown Prep) with 6:14 to play in the first half. Stonehill scored ten straight points to take a two point lead (41-39) after a layup by Cole with 1:34 remaining in the half before Hammel knotted the score (41-41) heading into halftime. Cole scored five of the Skyhawks points during their ten point run, while Bramanti drained a three-pointer that knotted the score.
Stonehill staked out an eight point lead (51-43) after a three point play by Logan three minutes into the second half. Merrimack pulled even (56-56) with 12:36 remaining after a Hammel layup, but it would never grab the lead again.
Stonehill (15-6, 10-5 NE-10) returns to action on Saturday when it visits Saint Michael's College, ranked ninth in the region, for a key NE-10 clash at 3:30 p.m. The Skyhawks return home next Tuesday, February 10, to host Assumption College at 7:30 p.m. Merrimack (10-9, 5-9 NE-10) visits Southern New Hampshire University on Saturday at 3:30 p.m.