Second Half Run Leads AIC Past Men's Basketball, 68-60

Logan surpassed 1,600 career points with his ten point day today. (PHOTO BY Mike Broglio/SportsPix)

Spruell double-double leads Yellow Jackets; Logan nets 1,600th career point

SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (January 21, 2017) – American International College, fueled by five three-pointers, used a 15-2 second half run to overcome Stonehill College, ranked ninth in this week's D2SIDA East Regional poll, 68-60 in Northeast-10 Conference men's basketball action at Henry Butova Gymnasium today.

Sophomore Bruce Spruell (Hanover, Maryland/Meade) posted a double-double to lead American International, recording game-highs of 21 points and 11 rebounds on 7-of-10 shooting, draining his two three-point attempts, and making 5-of-8 free-throws. Senior Juwan Moody (Pontiac, Michigan/Westwind Prep) added 18 points for the Yellow Jackets, shooting 4-for-11 from three-point range, with two rebounds and two steals, while junior Tahlib Swan (Montclair, New Jersey/Montclair) registered 17 points on 6-of-13 shooting, converting 4-of-7 free-throws, with eight boards.

Freshman Daniel Largey (Oceanport, New Jersey/Peddie School) led Stonehill with 12 points and three rebounds, while senior Ryan Logan (Fredericktown, Ohio/Fredericktown) totaled ten points, four rebounds, four assists and a steal. The ten points give Logan 1,601 points in 106 career games played, moving within three points of George Peterson '67 (1,604) for sixth place on the program's career scoring list. Junior Isaiah Bess (LaGrange, Maine/Hampden Academy) scored ten first half points for the Skyhawks with two boards, while classmate Joel Berroa (Lawrence, Massachusetts/Bridgton Academy) chipped in nine points and a team-high eight rebounds.

AIC finished shooting 37-percent from the field (20-for-54), including 40% (10-25) in the second half to pull away down the stretch after trailing by three at the half (33-30) and five early in the second stanza before making a run. The Yellow Jackets made 8-of-20 three-pointers (40%), including 6-for-12 (50%) over the final 20 minutes, converting 20-of-32 free-throws (62.5%) and outscoring Stonehill 16-2 in second chance points despite the teams finishing even in rebounding (42 each) and the hosts pulling down nine offensive boards.

Stonehill was held under 40-percent shooting for just the second time this season, shooting a season-low 35.3-percent (24-for-68) from the field, including 32.4% (12-37) in the second half, making 6-of-31 three-pointers (19.4%) and 6-of-8 free-throws (75%).

Largey scored a team-high 12 points this afternoon. (PHOTO BY Mike Broglio/SportsPix)

Stonehill, which lost its fourth game over the last five in which it held a halftime lead during the last six games, carried a three-point cushion (33-30) into the second half and stretched it to five (38-33) on a Will Moreton (Minneapolis, Minnesota/Edina) layup 2:18 in. AIC pulled even (38-38) after a Moody three-pointer, but Logan and Moreton scored back to back layups to put the Skyhawks back in front by four (42-38) four minutes into the half.

AIC reeled off a 15-2 run on five three-pointers over the next seven minutes to open a nine point lead (53-44) after a Kassim Kaba (Newark, New Jersey/Essex Country Vocational) triple with 9:44 on the clock. Moody canned back to back threes during the stretch for the Yellow Jackets. Stonehill responded with seven straight points sparked by five straight points from Largey, including a three-pointer, to draw within two (53-51) with 6:56 remaining.

AIC sealed the win to snap a five game losing streak by outscoring Stonehill 8-2 over the next five and half minutes to push its lead back to eight (61-53) with 1:39 to go after four straight free-throws from senior Rasheed Howard (Woodbridge, New Jersey/Lakeland CC). Stonehill closed within five three times in the closing minute and a half, but the Yellow Jackets made 10-of-14 free-throws down the stretch to hold off the visitors.

Stonehill scored the first seven points of the contest, holding AIC scoreless for the opening seven minutes of the game. The Yellow Jackets drew within two (9-7) after a Moody layup midway through the half before three-pointers from Moreton and Berroa, sandwiched around a Spruell layup, reclaimed a six point Skyhawks cushion (15-9) a minute later. Spruell pulled AIC within a point (15-14) with 7:27 left in the half and then a 7-0 spurt, capped by a Moody three with five minutes remaining gave the hosts their first lead of the day (21-17). Stonehill outscored AIC 14-7 in the final four minutes of the frame to carry its three-point lead (33-30) into the intermission, with Largey scoring six points and Bess seven.

Stonehill (10-9, 5-8 NE10) is off until next Saturday, January 28, when it hosts The College of Saint Rose, ranked third in the region, as part of the NABC's Coaches' vs. Cancer Suits & Sneakers Week, at Merkert Gymnasium at 3:30 p.m. American International (8-12, 2-10 NE10) visits Merrimack College on Tuesday at 7:30 p.m.

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