Moreton scored 12 of his game-high 21 points in the first half for the Skyhawks (PHOTO BY Mike Tureski/SportsPix)
Moreton and Twitty combine for 41 point to lead Skyhawks
DULUTH, Minn. (November 15, 2019) – Stonehill College, ranked No. 6 in the D2SIDA East Region preseason poll, turned the ball over just four times and canned 8-of-11 three-pointers in the second half to secure an 84-78 victory over Southwest Minnesota State University in non-conference men's basketball action on day one of the 2019 American Family Insurance Classic, hosted by the University of Minnesota-Duluth, at Romano Gymnasium tonight.
Seniors Will Moreton and Brandon Twitty combined for 41 point to lead Stonehill to the win. Moreton scored 12 of his game and season-high 21 points in the first half, connecting on 4-of-6 three-pointers and 5-of-6 free throws, to go with six rebounds and three assists. Twitty added 20 points, including 12 in the second half, on 7-of-18 shooting, including 2-for-4 from three, connecting on 4-of-6 free throws to go with two rebounds and two steals. Sophomore Shamir Johnson contributed a season-high 13 points on 4-of-6 shooting, including 3-for-3 from three, and two assists, while classmate Andrew Sims chipped in with nine points and six boards.
Junior Kenny Byers led a balanced effort for Southwest Minnesota State with five in double-figures, posting a double-double with 12 points and a game-high 11 rebounds, and three assists. Sophomore Grant Kramer netted a team-high matching 13 points on 5-of-7 shooting, including 3-for-4 from three-point range, with three rebounds and four assists, while junior Nick Dufault added 13 points on 5-of-8 shooting off the bench, draining 3-of-5 threes, with two assists. Freshman Cliff McCray contributed 11 points, four rebounds, and two assists, while junior Weston Baker Magrath chipped in ten points on 5-of-7 shooting with four blocked shots.
Twitty scored 12 of his 20 points in the second half (PHOTO BY Mike Tureski/SportsPix)
Stonehill used a 12-0 run to turn a seven point first half deficit (14-7) after a Kramer three-pointer five minutes into the game into a five point lead (19-14) following a Johnson triple three minutes later. Johnson scored eight of his season-high 13 points during that stretch for the Skyhawks, and then Southwest Minnesota State followed with a 10-2 run to regain the lead (26-23) on a three-pointer from freshman Brian Dayman with 7:21 remaining in the half.
Stonehill pulled even (37-37) at the intermission and, then after Kramer opened the second half with a three-pointer, the Skyhawks used a 14-4 run to grab a seven point lead (51-44) three minutes into the frame, after a pair of three-pointers from Sims. Moreton gave Stonehill an eight-point cushion (54-46) with a three-pointer with 14:36 to play and then Johnson connected from beyond the arc for a nine-point advantage (60-51) a minute later.
Kramer pulled Southwest Minnesota State within a point (61-60) with 10:35 to play, but Twitty buried back to back threes to restore a seven point Stonehill lead (67-60) a half minute later. The Mustangs pulled back within a point (71-70) with 5:26 to go and was still within a point (73-72) after a Byers layup with 3:45 left. The Skyhawks followed with five-straight, capped by a three-point play from senior Michael Boen with 2:30 left to open a six-point cushion. Dufault drained a three to make it a one possession game (78-75) with two minutes remaining, but the Mustangs would get no closer as Stonehill answered with four-straight, including a three-point play from Moreton to seal the win.
Stonehill (2-1, 0-0 NE10) is right back in action tomorrow, for day two of the American Family Insurance Classic against host Minnesota-Duluth at 6 p.m. (EST). The Skyhawks home opener is Saturday, November 23, against Saint Michael's College for a Northeast-10 Conference clash at Merkert Gymnasium at 3:30 p.m. SMSU (1-2, 0-0 NSIC) faces Northern Michigan University tomorrow at 4 p.m. (EST).
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.