Rivalry Wednesday as #3 Stonehill Heads to #1 Bentley for NE-10 Semifinals

Junior Ryan Logan, a first team All-NE-10 selection, scored a career-high 36 points in Sunday's quarterfinal win over Adelphi. (PHOTO BY Lewis Glass/SportsPix)

Northeast No. 3 Skyhawks seek return to NE-10 Championship for first time since 2012

NE-10 Men's Basketball Championship Central

NE-10 Tournament Semifinal Game Program: Stonehill vs. Bentley (PDF)

EASTON, Mass. (March 1, 2016) – Northeast Division No. 3-seed Stonehill College, ranked fifth in the most recent NCAA Division II East Regional rankings, remains on the road as it visits Northeast Division regular season champions Bentley University, ranked sixth in the region, for semifinal round action of the 2016 Northeast-10 Conference Men's Basketball Tournament on Wednesday night at the Dana Athletic Center in Waltham, Massachusetts, at 7 p.m.

Admission will be $8.00 for adults, $5.00 for children and senior citizens and $1.00 for students from participating colleges with a valid college ID. The Stonehill Spirit Committee is sponsoring a free fan bus to the game, which includes your game ticket courtesy of Student Affairs, that will leave the Duffy parking lot at 5:30 p.m. Students can sign up now at the Roche Commons Info Desk. The game will also be webcast live via northeast10.tv with Scott Sudikoff and Steve Zerdelian calling the action. Links to the webcast, as well as live stats, are also available at stonehillskyhawks.com.

Stonehill (21-7, 15-6 NE-10) advanced to Wednesday night's semifinal round with a thrilling 103-101 overtime triumph at Southwest No. 2 Adelphi University on Sunday afternoon. Junior Ryan Logan (Fredericktown, Ohio/Fredericktown), a first team All-Northeast-10 selection, led four Stonehill players in double-figures, including three with 20-plus points, with a career-high 36 points and 11 rebounds for his tenth double-double of the season (19th career), while senior Pierce Cumpstone (Bainbridge Township, Ohio/Kenston) matched his career-high with 27 points on 10-of-16 shooting, including 5-for-6 from beyond the arc, while converting both free-throws to go with nine rebounds (four offensive), four assists and career-best six blocked shots.

Senior Carter Smith, a third team All-NE-10 selection, averaged 21 points per game in the Skyhawks two wins over Bentley this season. (PHOTO BY Lewis Glass/SportsPix)

Bentley (20-7, 16-5 NE-10) advanced with an 86-71 victory against Northeast No. 5 Franklin Pierce University in its quarterfinal at the Dana Center on Sunday. Sophomore forward Brandon Wheeler (Stamford, Connecticut/Trinity Catholic) led the Falcons with a career-high 19 points, more than triple his season average, on 8-of-11 shooting, to go with five rebounds, two assists and a steal in 25 minutes. Senior forward Tyler McFarland (Rockport, Maine/Camden Hills) added a double-double with 22 points, ten rebounds and five assists. The NE-10's Northeast Division dispatched of all five Southwest Division teams within the first two rounds of the NE-10 Tournament, posting a 5-0 mark, with crosstown rivals Southern New Hampshire University (20-10, 14-7 NE-10), the Northeast No. 4 seed, heading to Northeast No. 2 Saint Anselm College (21-6, 15-6 NE-10) in Wednesday's other semifinal in Manchester, New Hampshire, at 7 p.m.

Wednesday night will mark the 82nd meeting all-time between these two rivals, but just the fourth in postseason play - the third in the Northeast-10 Tournament. Bentley holds a 46-35 advantage in the all-time series, but Stonehill has won five straight in the series, and six of eight in Waltham dating back to 2008-09, including a sweep of the regular season series this winter. The Falcons are 2-1 all-time against the Skyhawks in postseason play, one of which is an NCAA Regional third place game in 1989. The two teams have split their two NE-10 Tournament matchups with Bentley notching a 78-69 win in a 2008 semifinal at the Dana Center. Stonehill claimed a wild 116-111 triumph in the 1989 NE-10 Championship, also in Waltham.

Stonehill rallied from a double-digit second half deficit to claim an 87-75 triumph in Waltham on January 2 and then bounced back from a slow to start to bury 16 three-pointers on its way to a 92-71 triumph at Merkert Gymnasium on February 3. Logan and senior Carter Smith (Columbus, Ohio/Upper Arlington) averaged 21 points apiece for the Skyhawks in the two regular season meetings with Bentley. Smith shot 50-percent from the field (15-for-30), including 6-for-16 (37.5%) from three-point distance with 4.5 assists and two steals per game, while Logan shot 47.5% (19-40) and added 3.5 rebounds and four assists per game in the series. Postgrad Keegan Hyland (South Portland, Maine/South Portland) paced the Falcons with 24 points per game on 67.9% shooting (19-28), including 5-for-11 from deep (45.5%), with four rebounds, 3.5 assists, 1.5 blocked shots and 1.5 steals per game against the Skyhawks.

Sophomore Isaiah Bess is averaging 13 points per game over the last five, including his career-high 21 points at Adelphi on Sunday. (PHOTO BY Lewis Glass/SportsPix)

Stonehill is in the NE-10 Tournament for the second straight year after a three year hiatus, making its 30th appearance all-time. The Skyhawks have hit the 20-win plateau for the first time under third year head coach Chris Kraus '06, the 15th time in program history overall and first since its NE-10 Tournament Championship season 2011-12 on its way to the National Semifinal round of the NCAA Division II Tournament. Stonehill seeks its seventh appearance in the NE-10 Championship game and first since 2012, having won the title four times in program history. The Skyhawks won the first two championships in Conference history in 1981 and '82 to go with victories in 1989 as well as the 2012 crown.

Stonehill enters the month of March winners of three straight and six of eight in the month of February following its quarterfinal win at Adelphi. The Skyhawks are ranked second in the Northeast-10 for scoring defense (72.2 ppg), while ranking third in rebounding margin (+5.4), fifth in steals (6.5) and opposing turnovers per game (13.2), sixth in blocked shots per game (3.2), 11th in field goal percentage defense (.445) and three-point percentage defense (.368). Stonehill also boasts one of the top offenses in the league, ranking fifth in scoring (80.1 ppg), second in three-point percentage (.406) and assists per game (16.8), fourth in field goal percentage (.465) and free-throw percentage (.762), while committing the third fewest fouls per game (15.6) in the league.

Stonehill is led by a trio of All-Northeast-10 Conference selections hailing from the Buckeye State of Ohio. Logan, a two time All-Conference performer named to the first team this season, is averaging a team-high 17.9 points per game (9th NE-10), shooting 44.7-percent from the field and 75.3-percent from the free-throw line (73-for-97), with 8.5 rebounds (7th), a team-high 3.9 assists (7th) and a steal per game. Logan, a two-time Spalding NE-10 Player of the Week this season, is second in the team with ten double-doubles (19 career).

Smith and Cumpstone, both third team All-Northeast-10 selections this season, offer support of Logan. Smith is averaging 16.1 points per game (14th NE-10) on 45.8-percent shooting, including 45.4% (83-for-183) from three-point distance (6th), connecting at 85.3% (87-102) from the free-throw line (9th), with 3.9 assists (7th) per game, while adding 2.5 rebounds and a team-high 1.4 steals (6th) in 33.7 minutes per game (11th). Cumpstone leads the team with 11 double-doubles (15 career), including a run of six straight in February, and adds 14.4 points per game to go with a team-high 9.7 rebounds (5th NE-10) and 1.9 blocked shots (3rd) per game, shooting a team-best 54.2-percent from the floor (10th), including 43% (46-107) from three-point distance (11th), and converting 76.1% (35-46) of his free-throws.

Senior Pierce Cumpstone rounds out the Skyhawks trio of All-NE-10 selections this season. (PHOTO BY Mike Tureski/SportsPix)

Senior Adam Bramanti (Middleton, Massachusetts/Masconomet) chips in 10.1 points on 42.5-percent shooting, including 39.8% (64-for-161) from three-point range, converting 90.2% (37-41) of his free-throws with 3.4 rebounds, 2.4 assists and 1.1 steals. Sophomore Isaiah Bess (LaGrange, Maine/Hampden Academy) is contributing 13 points on 58.3-percent shooting (21-36), including 15-24 (62.5%) from beyond the arc, with three rebounds and 1.6 assists per game over the last five games, including his career-high 21 points (6-for-8 FG/4-5 threes) at Adelphi on Sunday.

Bentley, which captured its tenth Northeast-10 regular season title with its division championship, is in the NE-10 Tournament for a record 34th season. The Falcons have reached the championship game eight times, winning the tournament on three occasions in 2002, 2007 and 2008. The Falcons enter Wednesday night's semifinal winners of two straight after its quarterfinal win over Franklin Pierce and five of seven overall dating back to their February 3 loss to Stonehill. Bentley is 12-2 at home this winter, with its two losses to Southwest Division winners Southern Connecticut State University (113-111, OT) on January 30 and Stonehill (87-75) on January 2.

Bentley ranks second in the NE-10 for scoring offense (83.8 ppg) and field goal percentage (.477), ranking third in free-throw shooting (.762), fourth for three-point percentage (.387), assists per game (16.0) and fewest turnovers per game (11.1) and fifth for blocked shots per game (3.3). The Falcons are whistled for the fewest fouls per game (13.3) – over two less per game than the rest of the NE-10, while ranking fifth for rebound margin (+4.3/gm), eighth for scoring defense (75.3 ppg), seventh for field goal percentage defense (.438) and eighth for three-point percentage defense (.351).

McFarland, a first team All-Northeast-10 selection, and Hyland, a second team pick, are averaging a combined 44.4 points per game this season to lead Bentley. McFarland leads the way with 22.7 points per game (3rd NE-10) on 48-percent shooting, including 34.1 (58-170) from three-point range, while converting an NE-10 high 90.3% (102-113) of his free-throws, with 7.4 rebounds, 2.6 assists and 1.8 blocked shots per game (5th). Hyland adds 20.7 points per game (4th) on 52.1% shooting (13th), including 42.1% (69-164) from three-point distance, while converting 72% of his free-throws (67-93) with a team-high 7.7 rebounds (8th), 3.2 assists and 1.2 steals per contest (9th).

Senior Alex Furness (Wells, Maine/Wells), an honorable mention All-NE-10 selection, contributes 14.1 points per game on 49.2% shooting, including a team-best 47.4% (73-154) from beyond the arc (5th NE-10), while converting 92.7% (51-55) of his free-throws, with 5.1 rebounds and 2.9 assists per outing.

The winners of Wednesday night's NE-10 semifinal round matchups in Waltham and Manchester, New Hampshire, will advance to Saturday's championship game at the site of the highest remaining seed at 1 p.m. Stonehill could host the final with a victory and Southern New Hampshire win over Saint Anselm.

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2016 Northeast-10 Conference
Men's Basketball Championships

Friday, February 26
First Round
Game 1: #4NE Southern New Hampshire 88, #5SW American International 82
Game 2: #5NE Franklin Pierce 73, #4SW Le Moyne 69

Sunday, February 28
Game 3: #3NE Stonehill 103, #2SW Adelphi 101 (OT)
Game 4: #2NE Saint Anselm 102 #3SW Saint Rose 90
Game 5:
#4NE Southern New Hampshire 107, #1SW Southern Connecticut State 104 (OT)
Game 6:
#1NE Bentley 86, #5NE Franklin Pierce 71

Wednesday, March 2
Semifinals (at higher seeds)
Game 7: #4NE Southern N.H. (19-10, 14-7 NE-10) at #2NE Saint Anselm (21-6, 15-6 NE-10), 7 p.m.
Game 8:
#3NE Stonehill (21-7, 15-6 NE-10) at #1NE Bentley (20-7, 16-5 NE-10), 7 p.m.

Saturday, March 5
Championship (at highest remaining seed)
Game 9: Game 7 winner vs. Game 8 winner*, 1 p.m. 

* - if same seed, site determined by winner of regular-season matchup