Men's Basketball Surges Past Merrimack, 85-77

Logan moved into Stonehill's career scoring top five with his 18 points tonight. (PHOTO BY Bob Blanchard)

Logan moves into fifth on program's career scoring list

NORTH ANDOVER, Mass. (February 7, 2017) – Stonehill College shot 60-percent from the floor in the second half and overcame a 16-point halftime deficit to claim an important 85-77 triumph over Merrimack College, ranked fifth in this week's D2SIDA East Regional poll, in Northeast-10 Conference men's basketball action at the Volpe Athletic Complex tonight.

Senior Ryan Logan (Fredericktown, Ohio/Fredericktown) and freshman Daniel Largey (Oceanport, New Jersey/Peddie School) each netted 18 points to lead Stonehill. Logan made 7-of-14 shots from the field, including 1-of-2 three-pointers, to go with seven rebounds, three assists, a blocked shot and a steal. The 18 points tonight also move him into the top five on Stonehill's career scoring list with 1,689 points in 111 career games, passing Hall of Famer Michael Barros '88 (1,679) for fifth place.

Largey made 4-of-9 shots and made all eight free-throw attempts to go with three rebounds, two assists and two steals, while junior Isaiah Bess (LaGrange, Maine/Hampden Academy) totaled 16 points on 6-of-10 shooting, including 2-for-3 from beyond the arc, with three boards. Junior KJ Lee (Huntington Station, New York/Long Island Lutheran) added 12 second half points on 4-of-6 shooting, with eight assists, five boards and three steals.

Sophomore Ryan Boulter (Mansfield, Massachusetts/Mansfield) led Merrimack with a game-high 25 points on 9-of-18 shooting, including 4-for-10 from deep, and converting all three free-throw attempts to go with three boards, two assists and a steal. Junior Kyle Howes (Maynard, Massachusetts/Lawrence Academy) was the only other Warrior in double-figures with ten points on 4-of-5 shooting, six rebounds, three assists and three steals. Freshman Juvaris Hayes (Paterson, New Jersey/Saint Anthony's) totaled six points, eight boards, ten assists and two steals, while postgrad Anthony Barry (Uxbridge, New York/Brooks School) chipped in nine points, three rebounds, two assists and two steals.

Stonehill finished shooting 52.7-percent from the field (29-for-55), including 60% (18-for-30) in the second half to overcome a 16-point halftime deficit. The Skyhawks made 10-of-18 three-pointers (55.6%), including 6-for-9 (66.7%) in the second half, and connected on 17-of-25 free-throws (68%). Merrimack shot 45.3-percent from the floor (29-for-64), but was limited to just 36.7% (11-30) in the second half, connecting on just 8-of-26 three-pointers (30.8%), while converting 11-of-14 free-throws (78.6%).

Lee keyed the second half comeback with all 12 of his points, while dishing out eight assists. (PHOTO BY Bob Blanchard)

Merrimack erased an early six point deficit (15-9) after a Stonehill layup from junior Joel Berroa (Lawrence, Massachusetts/Bridgton Academy) seven minutes into the game, with eight straight points to take the lead (17-15) after a layup from Barry less than two minutes later. Stonehill reclaimed the lead (20-17) on a layup by sophomore Michael Boen (Mansfield, Massachusetts/Mansfield) with 8:12 remaining in the half, but Merrimack reeled off 12 straight points to open a nine point lead (29-20) after two Hayes free-throws with 5:53 remaining.

Stonehill trimmed the lead to six (31-25) after a Logan basket with 3:33 left, but Merrimack responded with a 15-2 run to open a game-high 19 point lead (46-27) with 21-seconds to play in the half, sparked by three-pointers from Boulter and sophomore Troy McLaughlin (Old Tappan, New Jersey/Choate Rosemary Hall).

Stonehill capped the first half scoring with a Largey three-pointer and then emerged from halftime with an 18-5 run to get back into the game (51-48) after a Brandon Twitty (Randolph, Massachusetts/Catholic Memorial) three-pointer after just five minutes of play in the half. Logan led the rally with nine of his 15 second half points during that stretch. Boulter restored a six point edge for Merrimack with a three-point play, but the Skyhawks scored seven straight, including five from Lee, to take the lead (55-54) with 12:40 to play.

Freshman Jaleel Lord (Jersey City, New Jersey/Saint Anthony) pushed Merrimack back in front with a three-pointer, but Stonehill reeled off the next ten points to grab an eight point lead (65-57) with nine minutes to go after back to back triples by Largey and Twitty. Merrimack was able to trim the deficit to four (71-67) after two Boulter free-throws with four minutes remaining and the Warriors were still within six (75-69) after McLaughlin split two free-throws with two minutes left, but Bess answered with a big three-pointer with 1:40 to go that opened a nine point gap (78-69).

Stonehill had an answer for every Merrimack push from there and converted 7-of-8 free-throws in the final 1:24, including 6-for-6 by Largey, to seal the Skyhawks third win in four games as they look to clinch a spot in the upcoming NE10 Tournament with four games to play.

Stonehill (13-10, 8-9 NE10) is back in action on Saturday, when it visits Assumption College at 3 p.m. The Skyhawks return home next Wednesday, February 15, to host Saint Anselm College at 7:30 p.m. Merrimack (17-7, 11-6 NE10) visits Southern New Hampshire University on Saturday at 4 p.m.

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