Junior Ivan Almeida led the way with 17 points, six rebounds a pair of steals and assists. (PHOTO BY Bert Lane)
Almeida leads balanced Skyhawks effort with 17 points
Junior swingman Ivan Almeida (Praia, Cape Verde) led another balanced scoring effort for Stonehill with 17 points on 6-of-11 shooting from the field, including 1-for-2 from three point range, to go with six rebounds, two assists and two steals. Sophomore Brian Hamor (Guilderland, N.Y./Bishop Gibbons) added 14 points off the bench on 4-of-8 shooting from the floor, a career-best seven rebounds and four assists, while senior Daniel Heppert (Richmond, Va./Benedictine) posted 12 points, shooting 3-for-5 from the floor and 6-for-7 at the free-throw line, to go with a game-high nine rebounds, four assists and two blocked shots. Junior Patrick Lee (Fayetteville, N.Y./Fayetteville-Manlius) rounded out the double-figure scorers with 11 points (all first half) and four rebounds, while senior Mike Kernan (Medford, N.J./Shawnee) chipped in nine points and seven boards.
Junior Sam Mushman (Hackettstown, N.J./Pope John XXIII) led Holy Family with 14 points off the bench as he made 4-of-8 from the field and converted all six free-throw attempts to go with four rebounds and two blocks. Freshman Alberto Munoz (Morrisville, N.C./Cardinal Gibbons) added 13 points, four rebounds and five steals, while classmate Rashaad Sneed (Durham, N.C./Hillside) posted 12 points, five rebounds and two assists.
Sophomore Brian Hamor came off the bench to net 14 points and pull down a career-best seven rebounds to go with four assists. (PHOTO BY Bert Lane)
Stonehill finished shooting 47.5-percent (29-for-61) from the field and a 47-35 rebounding advantage for the afternoon. The Skyhawks outscored Holy Family 16-9 in points off turnovers, 14-4 on the fast break and 16-10 for second chance points. The Tigers were held to 31.3% (21-67) shooting from the field, including 10-for-35 (28.6%) in the first half as the Skyhawks built a 16-point halftime lead (40-24).
Stonehill closed out the first half with a 20-6 run to extend a two-point (20-18) lead with 9:09 left before halftime into a 16 point (40-24) advantage at the break, scoring the final eight points of the frame – four by Hamor. Junior Andre Tongo (Acton, Mass./Acton-Boxborough) canned two key three-pointers during the closing run as well.
Holy Family closed within ten (41-31) after a Munoz three less than two minutes into the second half, but Stonehill reeled off a 12-1 spree over the next three plus minutes to open a 21-point lead (53-32) after a Hamor free-throw with 14:53 to play. Heppert sparked the run with a three-point play and totaled five points in all during that stretch. The Skyhawks used a 10-0 run to push their lead to a game-high 28 (63-35) on a three-point play off a dunk from Almeida with 12:18 to go and was never threatened the rest of the way.
Stonehill (8-3, 3-3 NE-10) is back in action on Sunday when it rings in the New Year with a Northeast-10 Conference matchup at the University of Massachusetts Lowell at 4 p.m. The Skyhawks return home for the first time in over a month next Wednesday, January 5, to host Southern Connecticut State University at 7:30 p.m. Holy Family (2-10, 0-2 CACC) hosts the University of Sciences on Tuesday at 8 p.m.