Bridgeport Edges Men's Basketball, 84-82

Senior Pierce Cumpstone scored all 20 off his team-high point total in the first half. (PHOTO BY Lewis Glass/SportsPix)

Ahmed putback with 1.2-seconds left lifts Purple Knights to victory 

BRIDGEPORT, Conn. (December 30, 2015) – Senior forward Muhammed Ahmed (Bronx, New York) scored a putback and was fouled with 1.2-seconds to play to lift the University of Bridgeport to an 84-82 triumph over Stonehill College, ranked fourth in the most recent D2SIDA East Regional poll, in non-conference men's basketball action at Harvey Hubbell Gymnasium tonight.

Ahmed's three-point play with 1.2-seconds left capped a game-high 25 points to lead Bridgeport to a fourth straight win as he scored 13 points in the second half and finished 9-of-16 shooting from the floor, converting 7-of-9 free-throws, to go with nine rebounds (six offensive) two assists and a blocked shot. Senior Jesse Jones (Irvington, New Jersey) was also among five double figure scorers for the Purple Knights with 13 points off the bench on 5-of-9 shooting, including 3-for-6 from three-point distance, with five assists, three boards and two steals.

Senior Eddie Asamoah (Calgary, Alberta) contributed 12 points, making all six shots from the floor, with five rebounds, while classmate Ernest Rouse (Freeport, New York) posted 11 points, shooting 3-of-7 from beyond the arc, with seven rebounds, while senior Devon Elliott (Brooklyn, New York) chipped in 11 points, six boards, three assists and three steals.

Senior Pierce Cumpstone (Bainbridge Township, Ohio/Kenston) scored all 20 of his points in the first half, finishing 8-of-13 from the field, including 4-for-6 from three-point distance, with seven rebounds, two assists and two steals. Junior Ryan Logan (Fredericktown, Ohio/Fredericktown) added 18 points, seven rebounds, two assists and two steals, while senior Carter Smith (Columbus, Ohio/Upper Arlington) notched his second double-double of the season (and career) with 14 points and ten assists, connecting on 5-of-7 shots from the floor, including 3-of-4 from long distance, with three rebounds and three steals. Classmate Adam Bramanti (Middleton, Massachusetts/Masconomet Regional) chipped in with 11 points on 4-of-8 shooting, including 3-for-5 from deep, four rebounds, three assists and two steals.

Senior Carter Smith notched his second double-double of the season with 14 points and ten rebounds. (PHOTO BY Lewis Glass/SportsPix)

Bridgeport shot 51.6-percent from the field (33-for-64), including 46.9% (15-for-32) in the second half, connecting on 9-of-24 (37.5%) three-pointers. The Purple Knights held a 35-34 rebounding edge and outscored Stonehill 22-11 in points off turnovers despite giveaways finishing at 13 apiece. Stonehill finished shooting 47% (31-66) overall, including 39.4% (13-33) in the second half, canning 13-of-26 (50%) three-pointers, including 7-for-12 (58.3%) in the second half.

Ahmed's winning three-point play avoided a 13 point second half collapse for Bridgeport and answered a go-ahead layup by Smith at the other end with 25-seconds to go. After Ahmed converted the and-one, the Skyhawks were unable to complete a long pass to end the game. The game featured eight ties and 14 lead changes throughout, including six in the final two and a half minutes.

Stonehill, which never led by more than four in the game, took a one point lead into halftime (45-44). Baskets by Asamoah and Elliott to open the second half quickly pushed Bridgeport in front. Bramanti answered with a three-pointer to knot the score at 48-48 after two and a half minutes, but the Purple Knights used a 15-2 run over the next five and a half minutes to stake out their game-high 13 point lead (63-50) after an Asamoah basket with 12 minutes to play. Elliott, Rouse and Jones all drained three pointers during that stretch for Bridgeport.

The teams traded baskets until Ahmed hit a jumper to maintain Bridgeport's ten point cushion (67-57) with nine minutes left. Freshman Michael Boen (Mansfield, Massachusetts/Mansfield) and Smith canned three-pointers to draw Stonehill back within five a minute later and then Logan's three-pointer with six minutes remaining had the Skyhawks back within two (73-71).

Neither team scored until Asamoah converted a layup to push the lead back to four (75-71) with 3:51 on the clock. Logan drained another three-pointer to pull Stonehill back within a point (75-74) and then sophomore Isaiah Bess (LaGrange, Maine/Hampden Academy) converted a three-point play with 2:35 remaining to give the Skyhawks the lead (77-75). Ahmed took over from there, scoring seven of the Purple Knights final nine points to clinch the win. The lead was back and forth until Ahmed grabbed the late offensive rebound off a missed three by junior Montana Mayfield (Philadelphia, Pa.) to pull out the victory.

Stonehill (9-3, 4-2 NE-10) returns to Northeast-10 Conference play on Saturday when it visits rival Bentley University at 3:30 p.m. The Skyhawks return home next Wednesday, January 6, to host Le Moyne College for an NE-10 matchup at 7:30 p.m. Bridgeport (5-5, 3-1 ECC) visits Saint Anselm College on Sunday at 1 p.m.

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