Skyhawks and Falcons rivalry picked for NCAA Showcase for second time
EASTON, Mass. (January 10, 2019) – The Stonehill College men's and women's basketball Northeast-10 Conference doubleheader at rival Bentley University on Wednesday, February 6, has been selected as part of the NCAA Division II Basketball Showcase package that will be highlighted in January and February on NCAA social media outlets as part of a new media agreement intended to promote the division on several platforms throughout the academic year.
Both games feature regionally-ranked programs in this week's D2SIDA East Regional rankings, with national prominence, giving a spotlight to one of the best small college rivalries in the country. The women's game between current No. 10/17 Bentley (13-2, 7-1 NE10), ranked No. 3 in the region, and Stonehill (11-3, 6-2 NE10), receiving votes in both national polls and ranked No. 4 in the region, will tip off at 5:35 p.m.The men's game between No. 10/12 Bentley (9-1, 7-1 NE10), ranked No. 2 in the region, and Stonehill (10-5, 4-4 NE10), ranked seventh in the region, will follow at approximately, 7:35 p.m.
Moreton is nearly averaging a double-double with 19.1 points and 9.1 rebounds per game (PHOTO BY Jan Volk/SportsPix)
The Stonehill/Bentley doubleheader will be broadcast as part of the NCAA hybrid model, with the flexibility to be distributed on television and online. The division will work with the TV partners of participating conferences and schools on the opportunity to air games on TV. These games also will be distributed online through NCAA social media accounts — specifically, Division II Facebook (facebook.com/ncaadivisionii) and Twitter (@NCAADII) — and could be distributed through conference or school digital networks.
"We are excited for the second half of the basketball season and look forward to featuring the accomplishments of Division II basketball student-athletes," said Terri Steeb Gronau, vice president of Division II. "Fans will continue to watch talented student-athletes who make a difference in the classroom and in their communities."
While February's 110th matchup of the women's programs will mark the first time that rivalry will be featured by the NCAA Showcase, the men's programs will meet on the stage for the second time after Bentley posted a 68-51 victory over Stonehill on February 10, 2007, at the Dana Athletic Center. It will mark the first time the Stonehill women's basketball will be featured on the NCAA Showcase, having reached the NCAA Division II Elite Eight last spring after capturing its third regional championship in program history. The men have been featured in three nationally televised games, at the 2006 and 2012 NCAA Division II National Semifinals in Springfield, Massachusetts, and Highland Heights, Kentucky, respectively, in addition to the 2007 matchup with Bentley.
February 6 will mark the second game in the NE10 regular season series for both the men and women. The Bentley women, ranked eighth nationally in both polls at the time, defeated the No. 19/19 Skyhawks, 70-54, in Easton, Massachusetts, on November 14, in the NE10 opener for both. The Falcon men made it a doubleheader sweep in their NE10 opener with an 84-71 triumph at Merkert Gym in the nightcap. Bentley holds a 71-38 advantage in the women's series, and a 49-39 edge in the men's series after the wins earlier this season.
The Stonehill women, under the direction of head coach Trisha Brown in her 18th season, have shown few signs of a setback after graduating six seniors from last year's squad that captured its third regional title to advance to the Division II Elite Eight for the first time in 23 years. Freshman Kayla Raymond, a five-time NE10 Rookie of the Week, has made an immediate impact with a team-best 16.7 points per game on 50.7-percent shooting, including 47.4% (18-38) from three-point distance, with 4.9 rebounds, 2.1 blocked shots and a steal per game. Juniors Grace Carter and Gabrielle Reuter have added support. Carter is contributing 10.3 points, 2.7 rebounds, 3.0 assists and a steal per game, while Reuter chips in 9.9 points, 5.4 boards, 2.4 assists and 2.3 blocks per outing.
Raymond has earned NE10 Rookie of the Week honors five times this season. (PHOTO BY Wilmington Athletics)
The Stonehill men, led by head coach Chris Kraus, '06, in his sixth season, winners of six-straight from December to January and eight of their last ten, are led by the junior duo of Will Moreton and Brandon Twitty. Moreton, a second team All-NE10 pick as a sophomore, averages nearly a double-double this season with 19.2 points and 9.1 rebounds per game, while adding 2.6 assists and nearly a blocked shot and steal per game. The sharp-shooting Twitty, an honorable mention All-NE10 pick last year, is adding 16 points per game on 54.4-percent shooting from the floor, including 50% (39-for-78) from three-point range, with 2.1 assists and a steal per contest.
Both teams are off until next Wednesday, January 16, when they host The College of Saint Rose for an NE10 doubleheader at Merkert Gym. The women's game tips off at 5:30 p.m., with the men's Purple & White Game to follow at 7:30 p.m.
With 21 intercollegiate sports, Stonehill boasts one of the top athletic and academic programs in the country. In addition to finishing in the top three of the Northeast-10 Conference Presidents' Cup standings for overall athletic performance 14 straight years, the Skyhawks have received the NCAA Division II Presidents' Award for Academic Achievement each of the first eight years of the program's existence of honoring institutions with an Academic Success Rate (ASR) of 90-percent or better. Stonehill has earned a 96% Academic Success Ranking (ASR) by the NCAA, which considers the academic success rate of the institution based on the graduation rate of student-athletes, good for seventh among all NCAA Division II institutions, with eight Skyhawk teams receiving a perfect rating of 100%. In addition, the Skyhawks are ranked 11th in the National Collegiate Scouting Association (NCSA) Power Rankings for Division II used to assess the academic and athletic standards of all NCAA and NAIA athletic programs.
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