Sophomore Jack Cole notched his fifth career double-double with a career-best 19 points and 11 rebounds today. (PHOTO BY Br. Charles McBride)
Skyhawks remain winless on the road as Cole notches double-double
NORTH ANDOVER, Mass. (January 5, 2013) – Merrimack College kept Stonehill College winless on the road this season with a 73-58 victory in Northeast-10 Conference men's basketball action at Hammel Court this afternoon.
Freshman Gelvis Solano (New York, N.Y./Health Professions) led four Merrimack players in double figures with 17 points on 7-of-15 shooting, including 2-for-3 from three-point range, and converting a free-throw to go with four assists. Senior Tyler Young (Brooklyn, N.Y./Boys & Girls) posted a double-double with 12 points and a game-high 13 rebounds with five steals and two assists, while classmate Mike Clifford (Danvers, Mass./Bishop Fenwick) made all six of his shots from the field and both free-throw attempts for 14 points with six rebounds. Freshman J.T. Strickland (Laurel, Md./Georgetown Prep) chipped in 12 points, aided by 2-for-4 shooting from three-point range, three rebounds and three assists.
Sophomore Jack Cole (New Providence, N.J./New Providence) led Stonehill with his fifth career double-double (all this season) by netting a career and game-high 19 points on 7-of-9 shooting from the field while converting all five free-throw attempts to go with 11 rebounds and three blocked shots. Senior Brian Hamor (Schenectady, N.Y./Bishop Gibbons) was the only other Skyhawk in double-figures with ten points, five rebounds and three assists.
Merrimack shot 44.8-percent (30-for-67) from the field, including 7-for-16 (43.8%) from three-point range, and converted 6-of-7 free-throws (85.7%) free-throws. The Warriors turned the ball over just eight times, compared to 16 for Stonehill, and finished with a 20-6 advantage in points off turnovers to go with an 11-9 edge in second chance points despite being out-rebounded 37-34. Stonehill was limited to 39.2-percent (20-for-51) from the field, including 6-for-25 (24%) from beyond the arc, and converted just 12-of-20 (60%) free-throws. If you take out Cole's 7-for-9 shooting effort, the rest of the team was a combined 13-for-42 (30.9%) from the floor.
The game was tight through the first ten minutes before Merrimack began to pull away, opening a 12 point lead (31-19) after a three-pointer from Strickland with 6:56 left before halftime capped an 11-2 run. The Warriors pushed their lead to 14 (38-24) on a Strickland layup with 2:15 remaining before settling for a nine point (38-29) halftime margin.
Merrimack opened the second half with a 10-0 run to quickly push its lead to 19 (48-29) less than four minutes in. Clifford opened the frame with a layup and Solano converted a three-point play before junior Kevin Regan (Philadelphia, Pa./Roman Catholic) buried a three and capped the run with a jumper.
Stonehill used a 12-2 run to close back within nine (50-41) after a three-pointer from freshman Adam Bramanti (Middleton, Mass./Masconomet) with 12:31 to play. The Skyhawks couldn't get any closer with the lead swinging between ten and 14 points until Merrimack sealed the win with a Solano three pointer with 5:18 to play and after a Cole basket with 3:58 on the clock, the Skyhawks wouldn't score again until the waning seconds. The Warriors pulled away with four points from Young and a Clifford basket to open an 18 point lead (73-55) with 37-seconds left.
Stonehill (6-5, 2-5 NE-10) looks to get on track away from home on Wednesday when it visits the University of New Haven for an NE-10 matchup at 7:30 p.m. The Skyhawks return home next Saturday, January 12, to host The College of Saint Rose at 3:30 p.m. Merrimack (6-6, 3-4 NE-10) visits Adelphi University on Wednesday at 7:30 p.m.