NE10 FIRST ROUND: #4 Men's Basketball Escapes Early Deficit to Advance Past #5 Adelphi, 85-74

Twitty scored a team-high 19 points to lead the Skyhawks to the comeback win. (PHOTO BY Bob Blanchard)

Twitty and Moreton lead five Skyhawks in double-figures to advance to Sunday's quarterfinal at Southwest #1 Le Moyne

EASTON, Mass. (February 23, 2018) – Northeast Division No. 4-seed Stonehill College battled its way back from a 19-point first half deficit to claim an 85-74 triumph over Southwest No. 5 Adelphi University in first round action of the 2018 Northeast-10 Conference men's basketball tournament on Paula Sullivan Court at Merkert Gymnasium tonight.

Stonehill (17-11, 12-9 NE10) advances to Sunday's NE10 Quarterfinal round, where it will visit Southwest top-seed Le Moyne College (21-6, 18-2 NE10), ranked first in the NCAA Division II East Regional rankings, No. 19 in the D2SIDA Top 25 Media Poll and No. 22 in the National Association of Basketball Coaches (NABC) Division II poll, at 4 p.m. The Dolphins earned a first round bye in the NE10 Tournament. Adelphi sees its season come to a close with an 11-18 record overall, including 7-13 in the NE10.

Sophomores Brandon Twitty (Randolph, Massachusetts/Catholic Memorial) and Will Moreton (Minneapolis, Minnesota/Edina) paced Stonehill to the comeback win. Twitty finished with a team-high 19 points on 7-of-11 shooting from the floor, including 3-for-4 from three-point range, with a career-high matching four assists and two steals, while Moreton posted his sixth double-double of the season (seventh career) with 17 points, including 15 in the second half, aided by 8-of-9 shooting from the free-throw line, and ten rebounds.

Senior Joel Berroa (Lawrence, Massachusetts/Bridgton Academy) powered his way to 15 points and five rebounds, while classmate KJ Lee (Huntington Station, New York/Long Island Lutheran) added 11 points, six boards and six assists. Freshman Owen Chose (Eden Prairie, Minnesota/Eden Prairie) sparked the comeback with all 14 of his points on the second half, connecting on 5-of-8 shots from the floor, including 4-for-6 from deep, in the frame, in 21 minutes off the bench.

Chose scored all 14 of his points in the second half, including 11 during the Skyhawks key run to take the lead for good. (PHOTO BY Bob Blanchard)

Senior Michael Coffey (Monroe, New York/John S. Burke) scored a game-high 20 points to lead Adelphi, finishing 6-for-11 from the field, including 3-for-6 from three-point distance, and 5-of-7 from the free-throw line. Senior Terrel Martin-Garcia (Catford, England) posted a double-double of 16 points and ten rebounds, connecting on 3-of-5 threes, with three assists and two blocked shots, while junior Conor McGuinness (New City, New York/Clarkstown South) totaled ten points and four assists. Sophomore Austin Beech (San Diego, California/Cathedral Catholic) pulled down eight boards for the Panthers, while junior Nick Cambio (Tewksbury, Massachusetts/Cushing Academy) chipped in with eight points.

Stonehill struggled scoring the basketball over the opening 12 minutes of the contest, hitting just 4-of-20 shots during that span, including all seven three-point attempts, to dig an 18-point hole (28-10) 11 minutes into the game. Lee scored a pair of layups in the opening three minutes, but the Skyhawks missed their next seven shots before a layup by sophomore Dan Largey (Oceanport, New Jersey/Peddie School) broke the streak and halted a 12-2 Adelphi run that provided the Panthers with an 11-point lead (17-6) after seven minutes. Meanwhile the Panthers were draining four of its first six triples to break out to the early advantage.

Adelphi's lead reached 18 points (28-10) before Stonehill could muster baskets on consecutive possessions as Lee and Berroa traded baskets around a McGuinness layup. The Panthers lead reached a game-high 19 (33-14) after a Coffey triple with 6:30 remaining in the half. Stonehill's deficit was still 17 (41-24) following a Beech bucket with three-minutes remaining in the half, when the Skyhawks scored nine-straight, including six-in-a-row from Twitty after a three-pointer from freshman Owen de Graaf (Beamsville, Ontario/Choate Rosemary Hall), to get back into the game just before halftime.

Junior Jack Laffey (Red Bank, New Jersey/Christian Brothers Academy) restored an 11-point Adelphi lead at the half (44-33) and McGuiness had the Panthers lead stretched back out to 13 (52-39) two and a half minutes into the second half. Three-pointers from Twitty and Lee pulled Stonehill back within seven (52-45) with 16:20 to play and sparked a 26-5 uprising that turned the 13-point deficit into an eight point lead (65-57) by the midway point of the half.

Chose scored 11 of his 14 points during that seven-minute stretch, connecting three times from beyond the arc, while Moreton tallied seven points. Adelphi worked back within four (69-65) after a Coffey layup with seven minutes remaining, but the momentum was gone for the visitors as Stonehill followed with seven of the next nine points to take a nine-point lead (76-67) after two Berroa free-throws with 3:54 to go.

A layup and two free-throws by Coffey had Adelphi within five (76-71) with 2:53 to play, but Twitty buried a three-pointer and Stonehill converted all six free-throws, including four more by Berroa, to close the game out from there. After opening 0-for-7 from three-point distance in the first half, the Skyhawks finished 11-for-18 (61.1%) from there, to shoot 11-for-25 (44%) from deep on the night. Stonehill also took care of the ball with just seven turnovers, compared to 20 for the visitors, finishing with a 23-6 margin in points off.

For the latest on Stonehill Athletics, follow the Skyhawks via social media on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram. Fans can also download the Stonehill Skyhawks "Front Row" mobile app, powered by PrestoSports, on iTunes and the Android Market.