Sophomore Jack Cole posted his eight double-double of the year to lead the Skyhawks. (PHOTO BY Richard Orr)
Cole posts eighth double-double to lead Skyhawks
EASTON, Mass. (February 13, 2013) – The University of Massachusetts Lowell snapped a three game losing streak by hanging on for a 74-63 victory over Stonehill College in Northeast-10 Conference men's basketball action at Merkert Gymnasium tonight.
Junior Akeem Williams (Brockton, Mass./The Winchendon School) led UMass Lowell with a game-high 22 points (17 second half) on 7-of-18 shooting from the field, including 3-for-7 from three-point range, while converting all five free-throws to go with three rebounds, five assists and a steal. Sophomore Chad Holley (New York, N.Y./Blue Ridge School) added 16 points (11 first half) on 5-of-10 shooting, including 2-for-3 from beyond the arc, and converting all four free-throws, while junior Antonio Bivins (Miami, Fla./American) contributed 14 points (ten first half), on 7-of-14 shooting, five rebounds, eight steals and two assists.
Sophomore Jack Cole (New Providence, N.J./New Providence) posted his eighth career double-double (all this season) to lead Stonehill with 16 points (ten first half) on 6-of-11 shooting with a game-high ten rebounds (six offensive) and two blocked shots. Senior Brian Hamor (Schenectady, N.Y./Bishop Gibbons) also netted 16 points, connecting on 4-of-9 three-pointers and draining all four free-throws, to go with four assists, while classmate Adam Fazzini (Drums, Pa./Crestwood) added 12 points, aided by 7-for-8 shooting from the free-throw line, and seven rebounds. Freshman Josh Heyliger (Bear, Del./The Hill School) rounded out the Skyhawks four double-figure scorers with a season-high 12 points (ten second half) on 4-of-7 shooting from the field and converting all four free-throws with four boards, two assists and two steals.
The loss leaves Stonehill a game behind both The College of Saint Rose and Le Moyne College in 11th place in the NE-10 standings with four games remaining. The top ten teams in the final NE-10 standings qualify for the NE-10 Tournament.
Senior Brian Hamor also netted 16 points for the Skyhawks, connecting on 4-of-9 three-pointers. (PHOTO BY Bert Lane)
UMass Lowell shot 46.7-percent (28-for-60) from the field, including 50% (16-32) in building a 12 point (40-28) halftime lead, and converted 13-of-15 (86.7%) free-throws. The River Hawks posted a 32-30 rebounding edge and saw their bench outscore the Stonehill reserves 16-8. The Skyhawks shot 41.3% (19-46) from the field, including just 5-for-19 (26.3%) from three-point range, connecting on 20-of-23 (87%) free-throws.
There were four lead changes and three ties with neither team leading by more than a possession over the opening six and a half minutes before UMass Lowell scored seven straight points, including five by sophomore Mark Cornelius (Westford, Mass./Westford Academy), to claim a six point advantage (18-12) after a jumper from senior Romeo Diaz (Methuen, Mass./Methuen) with 12:20 left in the half.
After a three-pointer from Hamor, UMass Lowell opened a seven point cushion (22-15) on a Williams layup with 10:41 to go. Stonehill cut the gap to a point (22-21) after a Cole layup with 9:15 remaining in the half and then the River Hawks used a 15-3 run to open a 13 point lead (37-24) with a Bivins dunk with 2:06 left in the half. UML extended the lead to 14 (40-26) with 45-seconds left in the half before settling on the 12 point halftime lead (40-28).
UMass Lowell worked the lead to 15 (48-32) with a Williams three-pointer four minutes into the second half. Stonehill responded with a 12-2 run to cut the gap to five (49-44) after a Hamor three with 12:07 still to play. Heyliger netted four points and Fazzini also canned a three for the Skyhawks during that stretch. The River Hawks held and led by seven (53-46) on a putback by freshman Kennedy Chukwuocha (Willingboro, N.J./Medford Tech) at the midway point of the half.
Stonehill scored the next seven points to draw level (53-53) with another Hamor three with 7:55 to play. The Skyhawks were unable to regain the lead and UMass Lowell followed with a 9-2 stretch to reclaim a nine point advantage (64-55) after Williams made all three free-throws after getting fouled shooting from beyond the arc. The Skyhawks made one last run, closing the deficit to three (66-63) with two Fazzini free-throws with 3:11 to play, but could get no closer as the River Hawks scored the final eight points of the night to walk away with the 11 point win.
Stonehill (11-11, 7-11 NE-10) returns to action on Saturday when it visits Saint Michael's College for a Northeast-10 matchup at 3:30 p.m. The Skyhawks return home next Wednesday, February 20, to host Southern New Hampshire University at 7:30 p.m. UMass Lowell (14-8, 10-8 NE-10) visits Merrimack College on Saturday at 3 p.m.