Southern Connecticut State Shoots Past Men's Basketball, 94-78

Senior Daniel Brix scored a career-high 22 points at Southern today, converting 10-of-11 free-throws. (PHOTO BY Lewis Glass/SportsPix)

First half surge and Williams double-double lead Owls to key midseason win  

NEW HAVEN, Conn. (January 9, 2016) – Southern Connecticut State University, among teams receiving votes in this week's National Association of Basketball Coaches (NABC) Division II poll and ranked fifth in the D2SIDA East Regional rankings, used a big 25 point run midway through the first half on its way to a 94-78 triumph over Stonehill College, receiving votes in the NABC and D2SIDA Top 25 polls and ranked second in the region, in Northeast-10 Conference men's basketball action at Moore Fieldhouse this afternoon.

Senior Desmond Williams (Torrington, Connecticut/Torrington) and junior Michael Mallory (Waterbury, Connecticut/Holy Cross) combined for 54 points to lead Southern Connecticut State to its third straight win. Williams poured in a game-high 30 points to go with a game-best 13 rebounds to lead the Owls with a double-double as he made 13-of-23 shots from the field to go with five assists, four steals and two blocked shots. Mallory added 24 points on 9-of-24 shooting, including 5-for-12 from three-point distance with seven boards, four assists and two blocked shots.

Freshman Joey Wallace (Rochester, New York/Immaculate) was also among the five double-figure scorers for Southern with 12 points on 4-of-5 shooting, including 2-for-3 from deep, converting both free-throws while adding six rebounds and two assists. Senior Stefon Williams (Jamaica, New York/Kent School) also netted 12 points, shooting 6-for-7 from the floor, while freshman Isaiah McLeod (Cambridge, Massachusetts/Cambridge Rindge & Latin) chipped in 11 points, connecting on both three-point attempts, with three steals and two assists off the bench for the Owls.

Junior Ryan Logan moved within 15 points of 1,000 for his career with 17 points today. (PHOTO BY Lewis Glass/SportsPix)

Senior Daniel Brix (Monroe Township, New Jersey/Saint Joseph) led Stonehill with a career-high 22 points, aided by a 10-of-11 effort at the free-throw line while shooting 6-of-11 from the field, to go with four assists and a steal. Junior Ryan Logan (Fredericktown, Ohio/Fredericktown) added 17 points on 6-of-14 shooting, including 3-for-4 from three-point distance, converting both free-throws with four rebounds, five assists and three steals, pulling him within 15 points of becoming the program's 39th 1,000-point scorer with 985 points in 70 career games. Senior Carter Smith (Columbus, Ohio/Upper Arlington) rounded out the Skyhawks double-figure scorers with 17 points, burying 5-of-7 triples, with five boards and three assists, while classmate Pierce Cumpstone (Bainbridge Township, Ohio/Kenston) chipped in nine points, seven rebounds, four steals, two assists and a blocked shot.

Southern finished shooting 52.2-percent from the field (36-for-69), including 10-for-20 from three-point range, after connecting on 60.6% (20-33) of its shots in the first half, including 6-for-10 (60%) from beyond the arc. The Owls posted a 43-30 rebounding advantage and forced 19 turnovers which resulted in a 16-8 edge in points off turnovers. Stonehill shot just 40-percent from the floor (24-for-60), including 11-for-29 (37.9%) from deep, connecting at just 36.7% (11-30) in the first half and converting 19-of-21 (90.5%) free-throws overall.

Stonehill started strong, staking out a six point lead (13-7) four minutes into the game after back to back three-pointers from Logan and Smith. The Skyhawks held that lead again (23-17) after a layup by Cumpstone with 11:16 to play in the half, which forced a Southern Connecticut timeout. The Owls came out of the break and erupted for 25 straight points to quickly reverse the lead and take control with a 19-point bulge (42-23) after a Wallace three-pointer with 4:49 remaining in the half. Wallace scored eight points in all during the rush, including a pair of three-pointers, while senior Jack McCarthy (Wallingford, Connecticut/Lyman Hall) converted a three-point play and Mallory and McLeod both connected from deep.

Stonehill ended a nearly eight minute scoring drought with a Logan layup with 3:43 remaining in the half, but Southern extended its lead to 24 (49-25) after two Wallace free-throws with 2:24 to play. The Skyhawks were able to cut the gap to 18 at the intermission (51-33) and quickly got back within 15 (53-38) on two Brix free-throws 1:27 into the second half.

Stonehill was back within 14 (60-46) with a Cumpstone triple with 14:41 remaining and chipped back within 11 (69-58) after a three-point play by Brix with 10:45 still to play. However, that would be as close as the Skyhawks would get as Southern answered with an 11-2 run over the next five minutes to regain its 20 point cushion (82-62) with a Mallory three ball with 6:09 left. That proved to be the run that sealed it for the Owls as Stonehill was able to climb back within 13 (89-76) after a three by sophomore Isaiah Bess (LaGrange, Maine/Hampden Academy) but there was just 1:25 left to play and the Owls held from there.    

Stonehill (11-4, 6-3 NE-10) is right back in action on Tuesday when it hosts the University of New Haven for an NE-10 clash at Merkert Gymnasium at 7:30 p.m. Southern Connecticut State visits Merrimack College on Tuesday at 3:30 p.m.

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