Men's Basketball Surges Past STAC, 75-64

Senior Carter Smith scored 14 of his game-high 20 points in the second half to lead the Skyhawks. (PHOTO BY Eamonn Grealish)

Carter nets 20, Logan posts fourth double-double of season to lead Skyhawks

EASTON, Mass. (November 29, 2015) – Stonehill College, ranked sixth in this week's D2SIDA East Regional poll, picked up its second win over a regionally-ranked team this week with a 75-64 victory over Saint Thomas Aquinas College, ranked fifth in the D2SIDA East Region poll, in non-conference men's basketball action on Paula Sullivan Court at Merkert Gymnasium this afternoon.

Senior Carter Smith (Columbus, Ohio/Upper Arlington) and junior Ryan Logan (Fredericktown, Ohio/Fredericktown) paced Stonehill with a combined 39 points. Smith scored 14 of his game-high 20 points in the second half as he finished shooting 7-of-9 from the field, including 2-for-4 from three-point distance, while converting all four free-throw attempts to go with three rebounds and two assists. Logan notched his fourth double-double of the season (11th career) with 19 points (13 first half) and 12 rebounds with a season-high five assists. Smith's 20 points move him within 58 points of becoming the 38th 1,000-point scorer in program history with 942 points in 87 career games played. Senior Pierce Cumpstone (Bainbridge Township, Ohio/Kenston) added 14 points (11 first half), eight rebounds, two blocked shots and two steals in 27 minutes off the Stonehill bench, shooting 5-for-10 from the floor, including 3-of-4 from beyond the arc.

Sophomore Justin Reyes (Haverhill, Massachusetts/Wittier VoTech) powered St. Thomas Aquinas with a double-double effort of 14 points and a game-high 14 rebounds (eight offensive) on 5-of-13 shooting, converting 4-of-5 free-throws to go with two steals. Junior Chaz Watler (Brooklyn, New York/Archbishop Molloy) scored a team-high 15 points on 6-of-12 shooting, including 2-for-4 from three, with three assists. Classmate Aaron Cust (Uniondale, New York/Uniondale) contributed 11 points on 4-of-5 shooting, while sophomore Jules de Courtenay (Brisbane, Australia) chipped in nine points on 4-of-8 shooting.

Junior Ryan Logan notched his 11th career double-double for the Skyhawks. (PHOTO BY Eamonn Grealish)

Stonehill shot 44.3-percent (27-for-61) from the field, including 48.5% (16-33) in the opening half to stake out a 13 point lead (42-29) at the break. The Skyhawks connected on 10-of-26 (38.5%) from three-point distance, including 6-for-14 (42.9%) in the opening half, while converting 11-of-15 (73.3%) free-throws. Stonehill held a 42-34 rebounding advantage, converting that into an 18-8 edge in second chance points. STAC shot 41% (25-61) from the floor, including 5-for-11 (45.5%) from three, connecting at just 39.4% (13-33) from the field in the opening half.

Stonehill recovered quickly after STAC scored the first six points of the game, including four from de Courtenay, to take its first lead (11-10) after a Cumpstone three-pointer 5:15 into the contest. The Spartans regained a four point cushion (18-14) on a three by sophomore James Mitchell (Washington, D.C./St. John's College) with 11:17 remaining in the half, but the Skyhawks took over from there.

Trailing by two (21-19) after Cust made one of two at the line for STAC, Stonehill reeled off a 17-0 run to open a 15 point lead (36-21) following a Logan triple with 3:58 remaining. Logan canned two three's during that stretch and totaled eight of the Skyhawks 17 points. Stonehill outscored STAC 13-2 in points off turnovers in the opening half, taking advantage of nine turnovers, and saw its bench outscore the Spartans reserves 15-8.

Postgame Interviews

Stonehill carried a 13 point lead (42-29) into halftime and then opened the second half with an 8-1 spurt to stretch the advantage to 20 (50-30) after a Daniel Brix (Monroe Township, New Jersey/St. Joseph) layup after two minutes. Watler answered initially for STAC with a three-pointer, but the Skyhawks followed with eight straight points to open a game-high 25 point bulge (58-33) with 13:17 remaining after two straight baskets by Logan.

STAC rallied back within 13 (59-46) thanks to a 13-1 run following a Watler free-throw with 8:57 remaining. Watler also helped spark the rally with a three-pointer, while freshman Adam Koziol (Charlotte, North Carolina/Gaston Day) also connected from downtown. Stonehill held there and reclaimed its 19 point cushion (69-50) after a Carter three with 5:41 left and the final margin would be as close as the Spartans would get the rest of the way.

Stonehill (5-1, 2-1 NE-10) is right back in action here at Merkert Gym on Wednesday when it hosts Franklin Pierce University for a Northeast-10 Conference battle at 7:30 p.m. Saint Thomas Aquinas (4-2, 0-0 ECC) opens its East Coast Conference schedule against NYIT on Tuesday at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York, at 1:30 p.m.

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