Men's Basketball Edges American International at the Buzzer, 77-75

Junior Ryan Logan scored 16 of his game-high 26 points in the first half to lead the Skyhawks. (PHOTO BY Paul Fitzgerald)

Cumpstone lay-in at the horn lifts Skyhawks to fourth straight win

EASTON, Mass. (January 23, 2016) – Senior forward Pierce Cumpstone (Bainbridge Township, Ohio/Kenston) scored a layup as time expired to lift Stonehill College, ranked fourth in this week's D2SIDA East Regional poll, to a 77-75 triumph over American International College in Northeast-10 Conference men's basketball action on Alumni Day at Paula Sullivan Court at Merkert Gymnasium this afternoon.

Cumpstone's winning basket came uncontested when he flashed to the basket where junior Ryan Logan (Fredericktown, Ohio/Fredericktown) spotted him with a pass after the full-court inbounds play broke down at midcourt when senior guard Carter Smith (Columbus, Ohio/Upper Arlington) was double-teamed. The play came after American International junior Rasheed Howard (Woodbridge, New Jersey/Lakeland CC) converted a three-point play with 7.8-seconds remaining to knot the score and look to force overtime, nearly capping a comeback from an eight point deficit (71-63) with 3:44 to play.

Cumpstone finished with 19 points on 9-of-15 shooting with a game-high nine rebounds and four blocked shots. Logan led Stonehill with a game-high 26 points on 12-of-19 shooting from the floor, converting 2-of-3 free-throws, with five assists, two rebounds, two blocks and two steals, while Smith contributed 17 points, seven boards, five assists and two steals. Senior Daniel Brix (Monroe Township, New Jersey/Saint Joseph) chipped in with six points, seven rebounds and four assists.

Senior Cameron Dobbs (Albany, New York/Guilderland) led American International with 21 points on 8-of-16 shooting, including 4-for-9 from three-point distance, and four rebounds. Sophomore Nolan Woodward (Montreal, Quebec/Champlain-St. Lambert) added 11 points on 4-of-8 shooting, including 1-for-2 from beyond the arc, converting both free-throws and posting five rebounds off the bench. Howard finished with nine points, shooting 4-for-7 from the floor, with three boards, while senior Trahmier Burrell (Albany, New York/Troy) chipped in nine points and seven rebounds.

Senior Pierce Cumpstone finished with 19 points, including the gamewinning layup at the buzzer. (PHOTO BY Eamonn Grealish)

Stonehill shot 44.3-percent from the field (31-for-70), while American International finished at 44.1% (30-68), including 9-for-21 (42.9%) from three-point distance. The Skyhawks were 5-for-25 (20%) from beyond the arc and converted 10-of-14 (71.4%) free-throws compared to 6-for-9 (66.7%) at the line by the Yellow Jackets. Stonehill also held a slight edge in rebounds (41-40), with second chance points even at 11 each, while committing just nine turnovers compared to 12 for AIC.

Stonehill led by eight (69-61) with 3:44 to play after two straight baskets from Logan. Dobbs canned a three on AIC's next possession and then Burrell pulled the Yellow Jackets within three (71-68) with 2:40 to play. A Howard dunk drew AIC back within one (73-72) with 1:32 on the clock, but Brix answered that with two free-throws with 64-seconds to go.

After an AIC turnover and Stonehill miss, the Yellow Jackets had a chance to tie the game with the last shot. Following a timeout, Howard collected an offensive rebound off a Burrell miss and was fouled while scoring the put back with 7.8 seconds to go. He finished off the three-point play to knot the score, but the Skyhawks had the last chance, getting Cumpstone's game winner at the horn to run their win streak to four games.

Stonehill led for all but 4:47 of the 40 minutes, but aside from an early 12 point cushion, the game was tight throughout. The Skyhawks jumped out to an 11 point lead (18-7) after a Logan layup 5:14 into the game. Neither team scored for the next two and a half minutes before Woodward made a layup to draw American International within nine with 12:16 to play in the half.

Logan converted a three-point play to give Stonehill what would prove to be its largest lead of the day (21-9) with 12 minutes left. The Skyhawks lead was still 12 (28-16) after a Cumpstone layup with eight minutes remaining. AIC pulled within six (28-22) with six straight points, but Stonehill regained a double figure advantage (32-22) after a layup by sophomore Joel Berroa (Lawrence, Massachusetts/Central Catholic) with 5:50 left in the half.

Postgame Interviews

Stonehill's lead was 11 (38-27) after a Logan layup with 3:14 on the clock when AIC closed the half with an 8-2 spurt to close back within five (40-35) at the half. Freshman Jayvon Pitts-Young (Portland, Maine/Portland) scored five points during that stretch, including a three-pointer, while classmate Bruce Spruell (Hanover, Maryland/Meade) also connected from deep during the stretch.

AIC scored the first seven points of the second half, including a triple by Dobbs to take its first lead (42-40) since the opening minute of the game just 94-seconds into the second half. The teams battled back and forth until Stonehill claimed a five point lead (57-52) after a Logan jumper with 13-minutes to play. The Skyhawks stretched their advantage to seven (61-54) with two free-throws by sophomore Ryan Roach (Weymouth, Massachusetts/Cardinal Spellman) with 11 minutes remaining, but the Yellow Jackets closed the gap to two (61-59) after a three by junior Juwan Moody (Pontiac, Michigan/Westwind Prep) just over two minutes later.

Stonehill (15-4, 10-3 NE-10) now has a week off before it returns to action next Saturday for an NE-10 matchup at The College of Saint Rose at 3:30 p.m. The Skyhawks return home on Wednesday, February 3, to host rival Bentley University at Merkert Gym at 7:30 p.m. American International (7-11, 3-9 NE-10) hosts Merrimack College on Tuesday at 7:30 p.m.

For the latest on Stonehill Athletics, follow the Skyhawks via social media on Twitter and Facebook.