Men's Basketball Holds Off Pace, 84-78

Junior Ryan Logan posted his 14th career double-double for the Skyhawks today. (PHOTO BY Lewis Glass/SportsPix)

Logan's 14th career double-double leads Skyhawks  

EASTON, Mass. (January 16, 2016) – Stonehill College, ranked fifth in this week's D2SIDA East Regional poll, turned aside Pace University 84-78 in Northeast-10 Conference men's basketball action on Paula Sullivan Court at Merkert Gymnasium on men's basketball alumni day this afternoon.

Junior forward Ryan Logan (Fredericktown, Ohio/Fredericktown) paced a balanced Stonehill effort with his seventh double-double of the season (14th career) with 16 points and a game-high ten rebounds as he made 6-of-17 shots from the field to go with three assists a blocked shot and steal. Sophomore Isaiah Bess (LaGrange, Maine/Hampden Academy) added a career-high 16 points off the bench on 5-of-7 shooting, including 2-for-4 from three-point distance, while converting 4-of-5 free-throws with five rebounds, three assists, two steals and a blocked shot.

Seniors Carter Smith (Columbus, Ohio/Upper Arlington) and Adam Bramanti (Middleton, Massachusetts/Masconomet Regional) each netted 15 points for Stonehill. Smith buried 13-of-14 free-throws to go with two rebounds and two assists, while Bramanti connected on 5-of-8 three-pointers and three boards. Senior Pierce Cumpstone (Bainbridge Township, Ohio/Kenston) chipped in nine points on 4-of-9 shooting, seven rebounds, four assists and two blocked shots.

Senior Kyle Pearson (Woodbridge, New Jersey/Woodbridge) and sophomore Bryan Rivers (West Windsor, New Jersey/Peddie School) combined for 41 points for Pace. Rivers shot 8-for-14 from the field, including 2-for-2 from three, with four assists, three rebounds and two steals, while Pearson made 8-of-11 shots from the floor and converted all four free-throws for 20 points to go with nine rebounds. Freshman Ryan Peterson (Wethersfield, Connecticut/St. Thomas More) contributed 14 points, eight boards and two assists for the Setters.

Sophomore Isaiah Bess scored a career-high 16 points to help lead the Skyhawks. (PHOTO BY Lewis Glass/SportsPix)

Stonehill shot 47.3-percent from the field (26-for-55), including 51.5% (16-31) in the first half to build a 13-point halftime lead (50-37), connecting on 10-of-24 (41.7%) three-pointers and converting 22-of-26 (84.6%) free-throws. The Skyhawks enjoyed a 25-10 advantage in bench points, aided by Bess's career-best game. Pace finished shooting 45.3% (29-64) from the field overall, including 6-for-20 (30%) from beyond the arc, while going 14-for-20 (70%) from the line.

Stonehill took a 13-point (50-37) lead into halftime after closing out the opening 20 minutes by scoring the final eight points of the stanza. Smith and Bess each scored four points during the closing run, with Bess capping the half with a layup. The Skyhawks quickly extended their lead to a game-high 18 (55-37) less than a minute into the second half after a Bramanti triple and Logan layup.

Pace chipped away at the lead, closing within ten (62-52) after a Rivers layup with 11:17 to play. Bramanti put Stonehill back on top by 17 (70-53) with a three-pointer with 7:50 on the clock, and 18 (73-55) with seven minutes left. Bess answered a quick Pace run with a three-pointer for a 15 point cushion (78-63) with less than four minutes to play, but the Setters scored seven straight to cut the gap to eight (78-70) after a three-point play from Pearson with 2:51 to go.

Stonehill went to work at the free-throw line to seal the win, with two Bess free-throws restoring a double-figure lead (82-72) with a minute left. However, back to back turnovers allowed Pace to pull within four (82-78) after a pair of free-throws by senior Shelton Mickell (Queens, New York/Cardozo) with 26-seconds remaining. The Skyhawks were able to sew up the win after that, with a pair of free-throws by sophomore Ryan Roach (Weymouth, Massachusetts/Cardinal Spellman) with 16-seconds on the clock capping the scoring.

Stonehill (13-4, 8-3 NE-10) returns to action on Wednesday when it visits Adelphi University at 7:30 p.m. The Skyhawks are back here at Merkert Gym next Saturday, January 23, to host American International College for an NE-10 clash at 3:30 p.m. Pace (7-11, 4-6 NE-10) hosts Bentley University on Wednesday at 7:30 p.m.

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