Men's Basketball Bounces Back Against Franklin Pierce, 82-78

Moreton had his first double-double of the season for the Skyhawks today. (PHOTO BY Bob Blanchard)

Lee's career-high 23 points, with eight assists and one turnover, leads Skyhawks

EASTON, Mass. (December 2, 2017) – Stonehill College bounced back from a tough midweek defeat with a strong 82-78 triumph over Franklin Pierce University in Northeast-10 Conference men's basketball action on Paula Sullivan Court at Merkert Gymnasium, closing out its home schedule for the first semester this afternoon.

Senior KJ Lee (Huntington Station, New York/Long Island Lutheran) scored a career-best 23 points and dished out a career-high matching eight assists, with just one turnover, grabbing six rebounds and a steal to lead Stonehill to its third win over its last five games. Sophomore Will Moreton (Minneapolis, Minnesota/Edina) notched his first double-double of the season (second career), with 19 points and a season-high 11 rebounds, with two assists, while classmate Brandon Twitty (Randolph, Massachusetts/Catholic Memorial) netted 14 of his 17 points in the second half, with four boards (three offensive) and two steals. Senior Ryan Roach (Weymouth, Massachusetts/Cardinal Spellman) chipped in with eight points, five assists (one turnover), three rebounds and three steals.

Senior Jordan Lackey (South Plainfield, New Jersey/Piscataway Tech) scored a team-high 18 points for Franklin Pierce on 7-of-14 shooting, with seven rebounds, three assists and two blocked shots, while classmate Asante Sandiford (Boston, Massachusetts/New Mission) recorded a double-double with 11 points and a game-high 12 rebounds. Senior Mike McDevitt (Cumberland, Maine/Greely) and sophomore Doyin Fadojutimi (Temple Hills, Maryland/Eleanor Roosevelt) each netted 13 points for the Ravens, with McDevitt shooting 5-for-6 from the floor, and adding five boards.

Lee scored a career-best 23 points and dished out a career-high matching eight assists to lead the Skyhawks. (PHOTO BY Bob Blanchard)

Stonehill turned the ball over just nine times for the afternoon, including four in the second half, led by Lee and Roach's combined 13-2 assist/turnover ratio. The Skyhawks feasted on Franklin Pierce's 17 turnovers, by posting an 18-8 advantage in points off, also edging the Raven 12-8 in second chance points, despite a 41-36 rebounding deficit.

Stonehill started fast, using a 13-5 run to open a 12-point lead (29-17) after a Lee layup midway through the first half. The Skyhawks extended their lead to 16 (36-20) with a Lee triple three minutes later, but Franklin Pierce bounced back with a 19-4 run over the final five minutes of the half to pull within one (42-41) at the break, keyed by seven points from McDevitt.

Lackey scored the first basket of the second half to push Franklin Pierce in front for the first time. The teams traded the lead over the first five minutes of the half, before the Ravens pushed in front by five (60-55) after two Lackey free-throws with 13:46 remaining. Stonehill scored the next six points, four from Twitty, to reclaim the lead (61-60) a minute later, but Fadojutimi had the Ravens up six (69-63) after a three-pointer with 9:10 to play.

Stonehill didn't back down, drawing level (72-72) with a Twitty triple with 4:36 remaining. After a McDevitt layup nosed Franklin Pierce back in front, Twitty added a layup and Moreton buried two free-throws to put the Skyhawks back in the lead (76-74) with 2:52 left.

Back to back baskets from Lackey pushed Franklin Pierce back into the lead with less than two minutes remaining, but senior Joel Berroa (Lawrence, Massachusetts/Bridgton Academy) drained a three-pointer with 49-seconds left and Lee made 3-of-4 free-throws after a Ravens turnover to seal the Skyhawks second-straight home win.

Stonehill (3-5, 2-3 NE10) hits the road for the next month, starting with an NE10 matchup at Assumption College on Tuesday at 7:30 p.m. The Skyhawks don't return to Merkert Gym until Wednesday, January 3, to host American International College for an NE10 battle at 7:30 p.m.

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