Three-Point Barrage Spurs Stonehill Past STAC, 85-76

Junior Daniel Brix scored 11 of his career-high 16 points in the second half, shooting 7-of-8 from the field. (PHOTO BY Jan Volk/SportsPix)

Skyhawks bury 11 three-pointers as Cumpstone and Brix net season-high 16 points each 

SPARKILL, N.Y. (December 31, 2014) – Stonehill College buried 11-of-18 three-pointers on its way to an 85-76 victory over Saint Thomas Aquinas College in non-conference men's basketball action at Aquinas Hall this afternoon.

Juniors Pierce Cumpstone (Bainbridge Township, Ohio/Kenston) and Daniel Brix (Monroe Township, New Jersey/St. Joseph) each netted a season-high 16 points to lead Stonehill to a second straight win to close out 2014. Cumpstone, who returned to the lineup for the first time since a three minute cameo in the Skyhawks season-opener, made 6-of-14 shots from the field, including 2-for-4 from three-point range, while converting both free-throw attempts in 25 minutes off the bench to go with two rebounds, an assist and steal for his season-best point total. Brix made 7-of-8 shots from the field, including his lone three-point attempt, and converted his only free-throw try for his career-high scoring total to go with two boards and two assists.

Junior Carter Smith (Columbus, Ohio/Upper Arlington) added 15 points (11 first half) on 4-of-7 shooting, including 3-for-4 from long distance, while converting 4-of-5 free-throws with seven rebounds and three assists. Sophomore Jimmy Walsh (Manasquan, New Jersey/Manasquan) contributed a career-best 13 points (12 first half) on 5-of-7 shooting, including 2-for-2 from three, four rebounds and two assists off the bench for the Skyhawks, while senior Jack Cole (New Providence, New Jersey/New Providence) fell just a rebound shy of a double-double with ten points and a game-high matching nine rebounds with three assists and a steal.

Sophomore Aaron Cust (Uniondale, New York/Uniondale) led four St. Thomas Aquinas players in double-figures with a game-high 17 points on 8-of-15 shooting with three rebounds. Freshman Shaquille McFarlan (Mesic, North Carolina/St. Anthony) added 14 points on 6-of-10 shooting, and two rebounds, while senior Marcus Henderson (Newburgh, New York/Newburgh Free Academy) contributed 13 points on 4-of-9 shooting, including 2-for-6 from three, and four assists. Freshman Justin Reyes (Haverhill, Massachusetts/Whittier Tech) chipped in 11 points, nine boards, a blocked shot and steal.

Junior Pierce Cumpstone returned to the lineup and added a season-best 16 points off the bench. (PHOTO BY Emily Reynolds)

Stonehill finished shooting 52.6-percent (30-for-57) from the field overall, including its red-hot 11-for-18 effort from beyond the arc, while converting 14-of-17 (82.4%) free-throws. The Skyhawks connected on 8-of-13 (61.5%) threes in the first half and shot 53.8% (14-26) from the floor overall in the second half. Stonehill held a 35-29 rebounding edge to aid in a 26-11 advantage in second chance points to offset a 25-11 St. Thomas Aquinas lead in points off turnovers. The Spartans shot 47.6-percent (30-for-63) from the field for the afternoon, including 53.1% (17-32) in the first half, while converting just 4-of-19 (21.1%) three-pointers overall and shooting 12-for-18 (66.7%) from the line.

Stonehill never trailed and led all but 34-seconds, holding off St. Thomas Aquinas down the stretch by converting 5-of-7 free-throws in the final minute and holding the Spartans without a field goal in the closing three and a half minutes. The Skyhawks jumped out to a nine point lead (25-16) after a Walsh three-pointer seven and a half minutes in. Stonehill's lead grew to 12 (35-23) on a Smith triple with 7:41 to play in the half before settling for a seven point lead at the break.

Stonehill regained its 11 point cushion (55-44) on a Brix three-pointer three minutes into the second half. STAC cut the gap to four (59-55) with a Henderson three five minutes later, but the Skyhawks were able to match their game-high 12 point lead (74-62) with a Cole layup with 7:19 to play. The Spartans closed within five (78-73) with 3:30 on the clock following six straight points from freshman Jules de Courtenay (Brisbane, Australia). Stonehill closed the win out from there by holding STAC without a field goal and salting the game away at the free-throw line with its 5-of-7 shooting at the line in the last minute.

Stonehill (7-4, 3-3 NE-10) returns home on Saturday to open the New Year with a Northeast-10 Conference matchup with Saint Michael's College on Paula Sullivan Court at Merkert Gymnasium at 3:30 p.m. St. Thomas Aquinas (6-6, 3-1 ECC) visits Georgian Court University on Monday at 7 p.m.

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