Northeast No. 5 Skyhawks visit Southwest No. 4 Owls to open postseason play
Moreton leads the Skyhawks in scoring, rebounding, assists, season and blocks (PHOTO BY Bob Blanchard)
NEW HAVEN, Conn. (February 28, 2019) – After clinching the final spot for the 2019 Northeast-10 Conference men's basketball tournament late on Tuesday night, Northeast Division No. 5-seed Stonehill College will head to Southwest No. 4 Southern Connecticut State University for first round action at James Moore Fieldhouse on Friday at 7 p.m.
Admission will be $8.00 for adults, $5.00 for children and senior citizens and $1.00 for students from participating institutions with a valid college ID. NE10 NOW coverage will be provided by Southern Connecticut State via portal.stretchinternet.com/southernconnecticut/ with links also available for the game and live stats at stonehillskyhawks.com. In addition to watching online, NE10 NOW viewers will also be able to watch the action live on their televisions through Apple TV, Android TV, Amazon Fire TV and Roku.
Stonehill (14-14, 8-13 NE10) has earned a second-straight trip to the NE10 Tournament, and its 32 appearances in the NE10 Tournament all-time rank third in Conference history behind only Saint Anselm College (36) and Bentley University (37). The Skyhawks finished tied for fifth in the NE10's Northeast Division with Southern New Hampshire University, but clinched the final spot available in the tournament on the final night of the regular season by way of its 1-1 record against second-place Merrimack College, who went 2-0 this season against SNHU. Stonehill seeks its fifth NE10 title in program history, having last won the championship in 2012 when the Skyhawks defeated the University of Massachusetts Lowell, 73-61, in the title game at Merkert Gym.
Southern Connecticut State (17-11, 12-8 NE10) is in the NE10 Tournament for the tenth time since joining the Conference prior to the 2000-01 season. The Owls won the NE10 Championship in 2014 with a 73-71 triumph over crosstown rival University of New Haven. Not only does it mark Southern's lone championship game appearance, it is the only time the Owls have reached the semifinals of the NE10 Tournament.
Chose is contribiting 14 points per game, including a run of seven 20-point games over the last 15 games (PHOTO BY Bob Blanchard)
The winner of tomorrow's game advances to Sunday's NE10 Quarterfinal round to face Northeast No. 1 seeded Saint Anselm College (22-4, 18-3 NE10) in Manchester, New Hampshire, at 3 p.m. The NE10 Tournament continues next week with semifinal round play on Wednesday, March 6, with the NE10 Championship slated for next Saturday, March 9, at 1 p.m.
Tomorrow marks the 64th meeting all-time between these two programs, the first in postseason play. Stonehill holds a 37-26 advantage in the all-time series, having won three of the last five encounters, including an 85-78 victory in the lone regular season matchup between the two in Easton on January 19.
Junior Will Moreton and sophomore Owen Chose combined for 47 points to lead four Stonehill players in double-figures in the win. Moreton scored a game-high 26 points on 9-of-16 shooting, including 4-for-7 from three-point distance, while adding four rebounds, two assists, two steals and two blocked shots. Chose added 21 points and four assists. All-five Southern Connecticut State starters scored in double-figures, led by senior Isaiah McLeod with 19 points on 7-of-12 shooting, including 3-for-5 from three-point range, with five rebounds and two assists.
Stonehill bounced back from a run of six-straight losses after the Southern Connecticut State victory, which was the lone win in a stretch of eight losses over nine, by winning three of the last five to rally from two games back in the NE10 standings in early February. Moreton leads the Skyhawks in scoring, rebounding, blocked shots and steals, averaging 18.4 points, 8.2 rebounds, 2.6 assists, 1.1 steals and 0.6 blocks per game. He is shooting 44.1-percent from the floor, including 36.3% (66-for-182) from three-point range, converting 78.6% (88-for-112) of his free-throws. Moreton leads the NE10 with 11 double-doubles and 7.3 defensive rebounds per game, while ranking fifth in rebounding and eighth in scoring.
Chose scored nine of this 13-14 seasons and is now (PHOTO BY NE10 NOW)
Junior Brandon Twitty, who has missed nine games to injury this season, adds 14 points per game on 50.3-percent shooting, including 44% (48-109) from three-point distance, with 1.9 assists and nearly a steal per game. Chose, who has netted 20-plus points seven times over the last 15 games, is contributing 14 points per game on 44.4% shooting, including 37.2% (64-172) from three-point distance, converting 82.6% of his free-throws with two rebounds and 1.6 assists.
Senior Joel Berroa is adding 9.1 points on 46.6% shooting from the field, converting 87.8% (36-41) of his free-throws, with 4.7 rebounds and 1.7 assists per contest. Classmate Michael Boen chips in 7.9 points, 6.3 rebounds and 2.2 assists per game.
Stonehill ranks third in the NE10 and tenth nationally in Division II for free-throw percentage, converting at 79.1%.
Southern Connecticut enters the postseason after a full week off since rounding out the regular season with a 77-61 win over Pace University on February 23. McLeod is second in the NE10 for scoring with 21.8 points per game on 51.9-percent shooting, including 45.5% (76-167) from three-point distance, converting 90.2% (83-92) of his free-throws, with 6.1 rebounds, 1.7 assists and 1.3 steals per game. Classmate Kealen Ives adds 15.2 points on 41% shooting, converting 87.8% (65-78) of his free-throws, with 3.5 rebounds and 5.9 assists per outing.
Southern has also had to deal with the loss of sophomore Ulyen Coleman to injury, having averaged 15.2 points and 14.7 rebounds in 20 games. Sophomore CJ Seaforth rounds out the Owls in double-figures with 13.7 points and 3.5 rebound, while senior Luke Beesley pulls down a team-high 8.4 rebounds per game, with 9.2 points per game.
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.
2019 Northeast-10 Conference
Men's Basketball Championships
Friday, March 1
Game 1: #5NE Stonehill (14-14, 8-13 NE10) at #4SW Southern Conn. State (17-11, 12-8 NE10), 7 p.m.
Game 2: #5SW Pace (15-13, 9-11 NE10) at #4 NE Franklin Pierce (15-13, 11-10 NE10), 7 p.m.
Sunday, February 3
Game 3: Stonehill/SCSU winner at #1NE Saint Anselm (22-4, 18-3 NE10), 3 p.m.
Game 4: #3SW Adelphi (19-9, 13-7 NE10) at #2NE Merrimack (19-9, 14-7 NE10), 3 p.m.
Game 5: #3NE Bentley (19-9, 12-9 NE10) at #2SW New Haven (18-8, 13-7 NE10), 4 p.m.
Game 6: Pace/Franklin Pierce winner at #1SW Le Moyne (17-8, 14-6 NE10), 4 p.m.
Wednesday, March 6
Semifinals (at higher seeds)
Game 7: Game 3 winner vs. Game 5 winner, 7 p.m.
Game 8: Game 4 winner vs. Game 6 winner, 7 p.m.
Saturday, March 9
Championship (at highest remaining seed)
Game 9: Game 7 winner vs. Game 8 winner*, 1 p.m.
* - if same seed, site determined by winner of regular-season matchup