Stonehill Extends Streak in Shootout with Merrimack, 93-89

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.

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