Smith Fires Men's Basketball Past Bentley, 87-75

Senior Carter Smith netted a career-high 31 points, including 27 in the second half alone, to lead the Skyhawks to victory. (PHOTO BY Lewis Glass/SportsPix)

Skyhawks hand Falcons first NE-10 & home loss behind career-high 31 by Smith 

WALTHAM, Mass. (January 2, 2016) – Senior guard Carter Smith (Columbus, Ohio/Upper Arlington) scored 27 of his career-high 31 points in the second half to fuel Stonehill College's 87-75 comeback victory over rival Bentley University, receiving votes in both Division II national polls, and ranked third in the D2SIDA East Regional rankings, in Northeast-10 Conference men's basketball action at the Dana Athletic Center this afternoon.

Smith and junior Ryan Logan (Fredericktown, Ohio/Fredericktown) combined for 55 points to lead Stonehill to the road win and hand Bentley its first NE-10 and home defeat. Smith finished shooting 11-of-19 from the field, including 3-for-8 from three-point range, while converting all six free-throw attempts, connecting on 9-of-13 shots in the second half, including 3-of-6 from long range. He also added four assists, three steals and two rebounds without a turnover. Logan, who is now within 50 points of becoming the program's 39th 1,000-point scorer, added 24 points (14 second half) on 11-of-24 shooting, including 2-for-4 from deep, with three rebounds and two assists.

Senior Adam Bramanti (Middleton, Massachusetts/Masconomet) was the only other Stonehill player in double-figures with 12 points on 3-of-8 shooting, including 2-for-4 from beyond the arc, three rebounds and four assists. Sophomore Isaiah Bess (LaGrange, Maine/Hampden Academy) chipped in with a game-high matching eight rebounds and six points, while senior Daniel Brix (Monroe Township, New Jersey/Saint Joseph) contributed six points, six boards, four assists and four steals.

Smith and Logan offset a 29 point performance from Bentley postgrad Keegan Hyland (South Portland, Maine/South Portland), 22 of which came in the first half, on 12-of-16 shooting, including 3-for-5 from three, with six rebounds, four assists, two blocked shots and two steals. He was supported by just senior Alex Furness (Wells, Maine/Wells) in double-figures with 15 points and four rebounds. Senior Tyler McFarland (Rockport, Maine/Camden Hills), who entered the game as the NE-10's leading scorer at over 24 points per game, was held to just eight today on 4-of-16 shooting with a team-high eight rebounds and three assists.

Junior Ryan Logan scored 14 of his 24 points in the second half to aid the comeback win. (PHOTO BY Lewis Glass/SportsPix)

Stonehill finished shooting 46.4-percent from the field (32-of-69), including 53.1% (17-32) in the second half, connecting on 7-of-22 three-pointers (31.8%) and 16-of-18 free-throws (88.9%). The Skyhawks turned the ball over just five times, once in the second half, compared to 14 for the hosts, eight second half. Bentley shot 45.3-percent from the floor (29-for-64) overall, but just 35.5% (11-31) over the final 20 minutes, including 9-for-24 from long distance (37.5%) and converted 8-of-10 free-throws.

Bentley led by 14 (47-33) with a minute played in the second half after Furness followed a McFarland basket with a three-pointer. Stonehill followed with a 10-2 run to close within six (49-43) after a Smith three-pointer less than three minutes later. The Falcons regained a ten point cushion (61-51) on a three by junior Matt Barr (Stratham, New Hampshire/Cushing Academy) with 11:17 on the clock.

Stonehill reeled off an 18-4 run from there to take its first lead since just past the midway point of the first half (69-65) after a pair of free-throws by Bess with five minutes remaining. The run started with a 9-2 push to draw the Skyhawks within three (63-60) after a Bess layup with 8:53 left, sparked by five points, including a three-pointer by Logan. Furness converted two free-throws to push the lead back to five (65-60) a minute later and then Logan drilled a three to kick start nine straight points for Stonehill. Smith knotted the score with a layup and then senior Pierce Cumpstone (Bainbridge Township, Ohio/Kenston) gave the visitors the lead with a jumper with 5:25 to play.

Sophomore Brandon Wheeler (Stamford, Connecticut/Trinity Catholic) had Bentley within a point (71-70) with a layup with four minutes still to play. Stonehill wouldn't relinquish the lead, stretching its advantage to seven (77-70) after two Smith free-throws with 2:20 remaining. Smith answered a Furness three with a shot from deep of his own to restore that seven point margin with 1:39 left. Junior Ferguson Duke (Dartmouth, Nova Scotia/Hun School (N.J.)) drained two free-throws to pull the Falcons within five (80-75) with 1:14 on the clock, but the Skyhawks sealed its fourth straight win over their rivals from there by converting five of six free-throws in the final 30-seconds, with Smith adding a layup as the final 12 point margin was Stonehill's largest lead of the day.

Stonehill led by four (25-21) after Bramanti capped a 10-2 run with a three-pointer with 8:37 remaining in the first half. Bentley emerged from a timeout with a 19-2 run to regain the lead and extend it to 13 (40-27) after a Ryan Richmond (Toronto, Ontario/David & Mary Thompson Collegiate) triple with 2:44 to play. Hyland scored the first nine points of the run for the Falcons. The Skyhawks were able to draw back within nine (42-33) at the break after Smith beat the halftime horn with a layup.

Stonehill (10-3, 5-2 NE-10) is back in action on Wednesday when it hosts Le Moyne College for an NE-10 matchup at 7:30 p.m. Bentley (9-3, 6-1 NE-10) is off until next Saturday when it visits the University of New Haven at 1:30 p.m.

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