Men's Basketball Takes Wire to Wire Win at Saint Michael's, 97-82

Bess scored 19 of his game and career-high 22 points in the second half to help the Skyhawks break the game open. (PHOTO BY Mike Broglio/SportsPix)

Bess leads five Skyhawks in double-figures with career-high 22 points

COLCHESTER, Vt. (December 3, 2016) – Stonehill College put an end to a three game drought with a 97-82 triumph at Saint Michael's College in Northeast-10 Conference men's basketball action at Ross Sports Center this afternoon.

Stonehill placed all five starters in double-figures, led by a career-high 22 points from junior Isaiah Bess (LaGrange, Maine/Hampden Academy), including 19 in the second half, aided by 9-for-9 shooting from the free-throw line overall, while connecting on 5-of-6 shots from the field, including 3-for-4 from three-point range, to go with six rebounds and five assists. Senior Ryan Logan (Fredericktown, Ohio/Fredericktown) finished just a rebound shy of a double-double with 19 points (17 first half) and a team-high nine rebounds, with four assists and two steals, shooting7-for-13 from the floor, including 3-for-4 from deep.

Freshman Will Moreton (Minneapolis, Minnesota/Edina) led a trio of Stonehill players with 16 points as he made 6-of-11 shots, including 4-for-8 from beyond the arc, with six rebounds, three assists and three blocked shots. Junior KJ Lee (Huntington Station, New York/Long Island Lutheran) scored his 16 points on 6-of-11 shooting, connecting on 2-of-3 threes and converting both free-throw attempts, with a career-high matching seven assists, four boards and two steals, while senior Jim Walsh (Manasquan, New Jersey/Manasquan) rounded out the 16 point scorers (season-high) by hitting on 6-of-10 shots, including 3-of-6 triples, with three assists.

Stonehill shot 50-percent from the field in each half on 32-for-64 shooting overall, including 17-for-33 (51.5%) from downtown, while converting 16-of-19 (84.2%) free-throws. Turnovers were even at 12 apiece, but the Skyhawks posted a 20-8 advantage in points off, to go with a 13-9 edge on second chance points, holding a 35-33 rebounding margin. Saint Michael's shot 48.4-percent (31-for-64) from the floor, including 53.1% (17-32) in the second half, but connected on just 7-of-17 (41.2%) three-pointers, to go with 13-of-16 (81.3%) shooting at the line.

Senior Matt Bonds (Accokeek, Maryland/North Point) led Saint Michael's with a double-double, netting a team-best 21 points to go with a game-high 13 rebounds on 9-of-14 shooting. Sophomore Levi Holmes III (East Brunswick, New Jersey/Rutgers Prep) added 18 points on 7-of-21 shooting with four rebounds, while junior Colin Richey (Upton, Massachusetts/Choate Rosemary Hall) chipped in ten points, six rebounds and three assists.

Logan scored 17 of his 19 points in the first half, finishing a rebound shy of a double-double. (PHOTO BY Mike Broglio/SportsPix)

Stonehill led start to finish, scoring the first six points of the game, capped by a Lee three-pointer after 88-seconds. Saint Michael's pulled even (9-9) on a Holmes triple three-minutes later, but the Skyhawks used an 11-2 spurt to take a nine point lead (20-11) after a three by freshman Brandon Twitty (Randolph, Massachusetts/Catholic Memorial) with 13:22 left in the first half. The game drifted back towards the Purple Knights as they drew within two (20-18) following a Bonds layup midway through the half.

The pendulum swung back to Stonehill's side with another 11-2 run to take an 11-point lead (31-20) after a Walsh layup with 7:48 remaining. Logan had six points and Moreton a three-pointer during the push as well, and the run extended to 16-4 as the Skyhawks lead grew to 14 (36-22) on a Lee layup with 5:47 to play in the half. Saint Michael's trimmed the gap to eight (36-28) after a layup by junior Bruno Beca (Zagreb, Croatia) a minute later, but Stonehill regained its 14 point cushion (46-32) with another Lee layup with a minute remaining before setting for a 13-point halftime advantage (48-35).

Saint Michael's wouldn't get any closer than 11 points the rest of the way as Stonehill extended its lead to 20 (65-45) on a Bess three-pointer four minutes into the second half, before peaking at 22 (70-48) after a Bess layup a minute later. Saint Michael's was able to cut the gap to 11 (74-63) with two free-throws by senior David Sullivan (Egg Harbor Township, New Jersey/Saint Augustine Prep) midway through the half, but would get no closer.

Stonehill (4-4, 2-3 NE10) is home on Wednesday, when it hosts No. 18/25 Southern New Hampshire University at Merkert Gymnasium at 7:30 p.m. Saint Michael's (0-7, 0-5 NE10) visits Bentley University on Wednesday at 7:30 p.m.

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