Men's Basketball Battles Past Assumption, 77-66

Senior Carter Smith moved into third place in program history for career three-pointers, finishing with a game-high 23 points. (PHOTO BY Mike Tureski/SportsPix)

Skyhawks lock up postseason spot behind Smith's 23 points  

EASTON, Mass. (February 13, 2016) – Stonehill College, among teams receiving votes in this week's D2SIDA Top 25 poll and ranked third in the D2SIDA East Regional poll, sewed up a spot in the upcoming Northeast-10 Conference Tournament with a 77-66 victory over Assumption College in NE-10 men's basketball action on Paula Sullivan Court at Merkert Gymnasium this afternoon.

Senior Carter Smith (Columbus, Ohio/Upper Arlington) paced Stonehill with 23 points on 6-of-9 shooting, including 3-for-5 from three-point distance, and converting 8-of-10 free-throws to go with four rebounds and three assists. His three three-pointers move him into third place on the program's career list for three-point field goals made with 223 – one of just four in program history with 200-plus career threes.

Stonehill now sits in a tie with Saint Anselm College for second place in the NE-10's Northeast Division standings, just a game behind first place Bentley University after both lost today. The Skyhawks clinched a spot in the NE-10 Tournament with today's win, standing five games ahead of sixth place Merrimack College with three games to play. Southern New Hampshire University is just a game behind Stonehill and Saint Anselm, while Franklin Pierce University sits just two back.

Senior Pierce Cumpstone (Bainbridge Township, Ohio/Kenston) and junior Ryan Logan (Fredericktown, Ohio/Fredericktown) collected double-doubles in the same game for the fourth time this season for Stonehill. Cumpstone posted a double-double for the fourth straight game and ninth time this season overall (13th career) with 17 points and ten rebounds with a career-high five blocked shots as he made 6-of-12 shots from the floor, including 3-for-5 from beyond the arc. Logan also notched his ninth double-double of the year (18th career) with 12 points and a game-high 14 boards, with two assists and two blocked shots. Sophomore Isaiah Bess (LaGrange, Maine/Hampden Academy) chipped in with 12 points on 4-of-6 shooting from long range and three boards in 15 minutes off the bench.

Pierce Cumpstone posted his fourth straight double-double today. (PHOTO BY Mike Tureski)

Junior Reilly Reid (Mississauga, Ontario/Lorne Park) led four Assumption players in double-figures with 18 points on 6-of-7 shooting, including 4-for-5 from three-point distance, with five rebounds. Classmate Declan Soukup (Melbourne, Australia) added 17 points on 6-of-17 shooting with five rebounds, and five assists, while sophomore Kamali Bey (Springfield, Massachusetts/Wilbraham & Monson Academy) contributed 12 points on 5-of-8 shooting off the bench with four boards and two assists. Freshman Justin Tuckson (Stafford, Virginia/Christ Chapel Academy) chipped in ten points and four rebounds.

Stonehill shot 45.3-percent from the field (24-for-53), including 11-for-25 (44%) from three-point distance, while converting 18-of-22 (81.8%) of its free-throws. The Skyhawks shot 48.1% (13-27) from the floor in the first half, including 8-for-16 (50%) from deep, to keep pace with an Assumption squad which buried 14-of-27 (51.9%) from the field in the half, including 9-for-17 (52.9%) from three. Stonehill posted a commanding 42-24 rebounding advantage, limiting the Greyhounds to just four offensive rebounds, and outscoring the visitors 16-0 in second chance points. Assumption kept it close with a 19-8 edge in points off turnovers, despite the Skyhawks finishing with just three more (12-9) giveaways.

Assumption finished shooting 41.4% (24-58) in the contest, with Stonehill limiting it to 32.3% (10-31) in the second half, including 12-for-27 (44.4%) from downtown.

Stonehill trailed by as much as six (19-13) in the first half and was still down four after a three-pointer from Assumption senior Tre Owens (Rota, Spain) with a minute remaining in the half. The Skyhawks rallied to take the halftime lead (39-38) after a Smith three-pointer with five seconds left after a Bramanti layup in the final minute.

Stonehill scored the first seven points of the second half to run its lead to eight (46-38), extending its run to 13-0 after a Smith jumper 3:16 in. The Skyhawks stretched their lead to 12 (55-43) with a Bess triple with 13:12 to play as they seemed poised to run away in the second half.

Assumption rallied with a 14-3 run to close back within a point (58-57) after a Reid three-pointer with 9:22 on the clock. The Greyhounds missed three opportunities to take the lead back over the next two minutes and the Skyhawks made them pay with nine straight points to restore their double-figure lead (67-57) on a Logan three with 5:43 remaining. Assumption closed the gap to five three times down the stretch, but would get no closer with Stonehill providing the answer each time before sealing the final 11 point margin at the line in the final minute.

Stonehill (18-6, 13-5 NE-10) returns to action on Wednesday when it visits 19th-ranked Saint Anselm College for a huge NE-10 battle at 7:30 p.m. The Skyhawks return home next Saturday to host Southern New Hampshire University on Senior Day at 3:30 p.m. Assumption (6-17, 2-16 NE-10) hosts Merrimack College on Wednesday at 7:30 p.m.

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