Stonehill eliminates Adelphi
Hamor scores game-high 21 points to lead Skyhawks
WORCESTER, Mass. -- Second-seeded Stonehill shot 50-percent from the field in the second half on its way to a 68-58 triumph against third-seeded Adelphi in second-round action of the NCAA tournament.
Stonehill (23-8, 15-7 NE-10) advances to the East Regional Championship for the first time since 2006 when it claimed its first regional title in program history on its way to the national semifinals.
Junior Brian Hamor led Stonehill for the second consecutive night with a game-high 21 points (14 second half) on 5-of-14 shooting from the field, including a perfect 3-for-3 from 3-point range, while converting all eight of his free throws in the closing minutes. He also added six rebounds, three steals, two assists and a blocked shot over 34 minutes.
Senior Patrick Lee nearly notched a double-double for the second consecutive game as he added 10 points, aided by a 4-for-5 effort at the free-throw line, with a game-high nine rebounds, three assists and three steals. Freshman Jack Cole added 11 points on 4-of-7 shooting from the field and 3-for-4 at the line with seven boards and a blocked shot.
Senior Robert Johnson scored all 14 of his points in the second half, making 5-of-10 shots in the final 20 minutes. Junior Bradley Simpson added 13 points on 5-of-9 shooting, including his lone 3-point attempt, with eight rebounds, while senior Norron McDonald provided 10 points off the bench on 5-of-9 shooting with eight rebounds.
Stonehill shot 50-percent (11-for-22) from the field in the second half, including 3-for-7 (42.9 percent) from 3-point range, to finish shooting 38.5 percent (20-52) overall, including 5-for-17 (29.4 percent) from long range, to go with 23-for-26 (88.5 percent) shooting at the line (all second half). Adelphi shot 41.2-percent (21-51) from the field, but just 37.5 percent in the second half, connecting on just 3-of-13 (23.1 percent) 3-pointers overall and shot 13-for-18 (72.2 percent) from the line. The Panthers finished with a 34-33 rebounding average, but the Skyhawks rallied from a minus eight (21-13) rebounding margin at halftime.
After a first half that featured five lead changes, Adelphi opened the second half scoring with a Simpson layup for a three-point lead (23-20) 16-seconds in. Stonehill followed with a 16-0 run over the next six-plus minutes to take a 13 point lead (36-23) after a Hamor 3-pointer with 14:46 to play. Hamor had six points in all during that stretch, while junior Adam Fazzini hit a triple as well.
Stonehill held Adelphi without a field goal for 7:42 in building a 14-point lead (39-25) after a jumper from junior Raheem May-Thompson with 13:26 to play. Simpson broke the Adelphi drought with his second basket with 13:02 left. Brown added a 3-pointer to pull the Panthers within 11 (41-30) with 11:59 remaining, but Stonehill extended the lead to a game-high 16 (48-32) as Cole made one of two at the line with 8:33 to play.
Adelphi wouldn't go without a fight, scoring nine consecutive points to cut the lead to seven after two Richard Harkins free throws with 6:13 left. Johnson sparked the run with five consecutive points, including a 3-pointer. Stonehill regained a 12-point cushion (53-41) after two Hamor free throws with 5:39 to go, keyed by a three-point play by Lee.
Adelphi closed again, drawing within five (53-48) after two Simpson free throws with 4:01 to go as Stonehill scored just one field goal over the final 9:22 and none in the final 5:49. The Skyhawks held firm and sealed their season-high eighth consecutive win by draining 18 of its final 19 free throw attempts, including their last 10 in the final minute, while forcing the Panthers to miss four of its final five shots in the closing 2:13 to pull away.
Stonehill scored the first eight points of the contest, including five from Hamor to go with a Fazzini 3-pointer, to gain the early advantage five minutes into the game. Junior Chris Ranglin broke the Adelphi drought and sparked an 11-0 to put the Panthers in front (11-8) after a Simpson jumper with 11:25 left in the half. The teams went back and forth the rest of the half with the Panthers carrying a one point (21-20) lead into the intermission despite scoring just two points in the final 5:37 of the half.