Solid Second Half Sends Men's Basketball Past Saint Michael’s, 78-70

Moreton and Twitty combine for 42 as Skyhawks hand Kraus 100th career win

Kraus earned his 100th career win as head coach of his alma mater (PHOTO BY Jan Volk/SportsPix)

EASTON, Mass. (November 23, 2019) – Stonehill College used a late 11-3 run to secure a 78-70 victory over Saint Michael's College in Northeast-10 Conference men's basketball action on Paula Sullivan Court at Merkert Gymnasium this afternoon.

Senior Will Moreton notched his third double-double of the year (22nd career) and combined with classmate Brandon Twitty for 42 points in handing Stonehill head coach Chris Kraus, '06 his 100th career win at the helm of the program. Kraus, who has been a part of 220 wins at Stonehill as a student-athlete, assistant and head coach, has posted a 100-79 (.559) record in his seven seasons as the head coach of his alma mater.

Moreton scored a season-high 22 points, including 16 in the second half, aided by 13-of-18 shooting from the free-throw line, with a season-high matching 14 rebounds and season-best five assists, while Twitty totaled 12 of his 20 points in the first half on 8-of-17 shooting, including 3-for-6 from three-point distance, with two rebounds and two steals. Sophomore Andrew Sims contributed his first double-double of the season (second career) with ten points and a season-high 11 rebounds.

Freshman Kasai Brown led three from Saint Michael's in double figures with 20 points, connecting on 10-of-11 free-throws, with six rebounds and two blocked shots. Senior Eli DiGrande added 13 points on 5-of-6 shooting, with eight rebounds, while sophomore Jontai Williams registered 13 points and five assists off the bench. Junior Thomas Jackson III grabbed a team-high ten rebounds, with six points and four assists.

Moreton posted his third double-double of the year to help lead the Skyhawks to the win (PHOTO BY Bob Blanchard)

Stonehill battled back from an eight point deficit (29-21) after a Williams three-pointer with five minutes left in the first half to take a halftime lead (35-34) after a three-point play from sophomore Shamir Johnson. The Skyhawks outscored Saint Michael's 14-5 over the final five minutes, led by five points from Twitty, while Moreton and sophomore Adam Freese connected on three-pointers.

Stonehill extended its lead to seven (43-36) over the first three minutes of the second half behind five more points from Twitty. The Skyhawks stretched the lead to 15 (57-42) with a 10-2 run, capped by two free throws by Sims with 11:17 to play.

Stonehill's lead was still 15 (60-45) with a Johnson layup midway through the half and was 11 (61-50) after a Sims free throw with eight minutes remaining. Saint Michael's made a run, pulling even (63-63) after Guzman capped a 13-2 run with a basket in the paint with four minutes to go. Brown led the run with nine points, including seven from the free-throw line.

Saint Michael's had a chance to regain the lead, but junior Owen Chose collected a steal and was fouled and then made both free throws to push Stonehill back in front. Chose had another key layup with 2:18 left after a Saint Michael's miss that could have put the visitors in front. He also split two free-throws on the Skyhawks next possession to restore a two-possession lead (69-65) with 1:44 to play and the hosts would seal the win from there, draining 6-of-8 free-throws, to go with a Chose basket in the paint, to regain a nine point lead (77-68) with 12-seconds left.

Stonehill (3-3, 1-1 NE10) is back in action on Tuesday, when it visits rival Bentley University, receiving votes in the NABC Division II poll and ranked No. 8 in the D2SIDA East Region poll, for an NE10 clash at 7:30 p.m. The Skyhawks return home on Wednesday, December 4, to host Franklin Pierce University at 7:30 p.m. Saint Michael's (2-5, 0-2 NE10) is off until December 4, when it hosts Southern New Hampshire University at 7:30 p.m.

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