Southern N.H. Posts Key Win Over Stonehill, 71-65

Sophomore Jack Cole posted his ninth career double-double with 16 points and 14 rebounds tonight. (PHOTO BY Richard Orr)

Cole posts double-double and Heyliger season-high for Skyhawks

EASTON, Mass. (February 20, 2013) – Southern New Hampshire University used a three-point surge midway through the second half to claim a 71-65 victory over Stonehill College in Northeast-10 Conference men's basketball action at Merkert Gymnasium tonight.

Sophomore Elijah Bonsignore (Felton, Del./Kingsway) came off the bench to lead Southern New Hampshire with 17 points on 7-of-9 shooting from the field to go with a team-high eight rebounds and two blocked shots. Junior Mike Stys (Hooksett, N.H./Manchester Central) added 17 points on 4-of-6 shooting from three-point range while converting all five free-throws, while sophomore B.J. Cardarelli (Manchester, Conn./East Catholic) contributed 12 points and five rebounds. Sophomore Aleksandar Dobrovic (Podgorica, Montenegro) chipped in nine points, four assists, four steals and three boards.

Sophomore Jack Cole (New Providence, N.J./New Providence) led Stonehill with his ninth career double-double (all this season) as he posted 16 points on 6-of-8 shooting, while converting 4-of-6 free-throws, to go with a game-high 14 rebounds and two blocked shots. Freshman Josh Heyliger (Bear, Del./The Hill School) netted a season-high 16 points on 5-of-9 shooting, including 2-for-3 from three-point range, converting all four free-throws to go with three rebounds. Senior Adam Fazzini (Drums, Pa./Crestwood) contributed 15 points on 5-of-7 shooting, draining all four three-point attempts, with three boards, while senior Brian Hamor (Schenectady, N.Y./Bishop Gibbons) added 13 points, four rebounds, four assists and three steals.

Freshman Josh Heyliger scored a season-high 16 points tonight. (PHOTO BY Bert Lane)

Southern New Hampshire finished shooting 50-percent (23-for-46) from the field, including 54.5% (12-22) in the second half, connecting on 8-of-19 (42.1%) three-pointers and outscoring Stonehill 13-7 at the free-throw line over the final 20 minutes with both teams making 5-of-10 three-pointers in the second frame. The Penmen bench outscored the Skyhawk reserves 24-5 on the night. Stonehill shot 45.7% (21-46) from the field, including 54.2% (13-24) in the second half, shooting 8-for-20 (40%) from beyond the arc and 15-for-20 (75%) from the free-throw line. The Skyhawks also finished with a 31-28 rebounding edge.

Stonehill led by six (45-39) after a Hamor layup with 9:23 to play. SNHU pulled within two (47-45) on a Cardarelli three-pointer with 7:45 remaining. The three was the first of three for the Penmen which would eventually put them back in front (56-55) after a Stys trey with 5:02 on the clock. Fazzini made one of two at the line at the other end to knot the score, but junior C.J. Marriro (Boston, Mass./Newton North) split two free-throws to put SNHU back in front and then a second Stys three gave the Penmen a four point cushion (62-58) with 3:10 remaining.

A Fazzini jumper and two Hamor free-throws forced yet another deadlock (62-62) for Stonehill with 2:22 to go, but Southern New Hampshire held and Bonsignore sealed the win with five straight points and a five point lead (67-62) with 19-seconds left. Hamor hit a three to pull the Skyhawks back within two (67-65) with 12-seconds to go, but Cardarelli and Stys were perfect at the line the rest of the way for SNHU.

Stonehill scored the first seven points of the game, keyed by four points from Cole and a Fazzini three-pointer, and led by six (10-4) after a layup by senior Raheem May-Thompson (London, England/Towson (Md.) Catholic) 5:40 into the game. Southern New Hampshire answered with 10-2 run to take its first lead (14-12) with a Stys three with 9:22 remaining in the half.

SNHU worked its lead to six (25-19) with 4:16 to go in the half, but Heyliger hit a three-pointer and Hamor connected from long distance to pull Stonehill within two (29-27) at halftime. The Penmen scored the first six points of the second half to stake out an eight point (35-27) lead after a Dobrovic layup four minutes in.

Stonehill used a 13-2 run to regain the lead (40-37) after a Heyliger layup with 12:10 left. Heyliger added a three-pointer and then Hamor added a layup to give the Skyhawks their six point lead (45-39) with nine minutes to go.

Stonehill (11-13, 7-13 NE-10) is right back in action at Merkert Gym on Saturday as it hosts rival Bentley University on Senior Day as part of Alumni Day festivities at the College at 3:30 p.m. Southern New Hampshire (14-10, 10-10 NE-10) hosts Merrimack College on Saturday at 3:30 p.m.

For the latest on Stonehill Athletics, follow the Skyhawks via social media on Twitter and Facebook. Fans can also download the Stonehill Skyhawks mobile app on iTunes and the Android Market.