Men's Basketball Shoots Down #11/12 Florida Southern, 89-79

Moreton posted his ninth career double-double with 25 points and 11 rebounds, while dishing out a team-high five assists. (PHOTO BY Greg Wall)

Moreton's ninth career double-double leads hot-shooting Skyhawks

LAKELAND, Fla. (November 24, 2018) – Stonehill College shot 54-percent from the floor and buried 15 three-pointers on its way to an 89-79 triumph over Florida Southern College, ranked 11th in this week's D2SIDA Top 25 Media Poll and 12th in the National Association of Basketball Coaches (NABC) Division II poll, in non-conference men's basketball action to cap off the 2018 Terrace Hotel Thanksgiving Classic, hosted by Florida Southern, at Jenkins Fieldhouse tonight.

Junior Will Moreton and senior Joel Berroa each notched double-doubles to lead Stonehill, which shot 53.7-percent from the field, including 15-for-26 (57.7%) from three-point distance, and dished out assists on 21 of 29 field goals, to hand Florida Southern its first loss of the season. Moreton totaled 25 points and 11 rebounds for his second double-double of the year (ninth career), shooting 10-of-19 from the floor, including 3-for-6 from deep, while adding five assists. Berroa registered 14 points and a career-best 11 boards for his first career double-double, connecting on 6-of-9 shots, including both three-point tries, with three assists.

Junior Dan Largey nearly had Stonehill's third double-double of the night, adding 24 points and nine rebounds, with four assists, shooting 6-for-9 from beyond the arc and burying all six free-throws. Classmate Brandon Twitty rounded out the Skyhawks in double-figures with 16 points on 6-of-10 shooting, including 3-for-6 from long range.

Junior Brett Hanson led three double-digit scorers for Florida Southern with 23 points on 9-of-18 shooting, six rebounds and three steals. Senior Slinky Jones added 20 points and nine rebounds, with five steals, while junior Jonathan Lawton chipped in ten points, four assists and two steals.

Berroa logged his first career double-double with 14 points and a career-best 11 boards. (PHOTO BY Greg Wall)

Stonehill led nearly start to finish, using 10-of-16 shooting from three-point range in the first half, including 6-for-6 over the early stages, to take quick control of the game. The Skyhawks grabbed an 11-point lead (22-11) when Berroa capped a 19-6 run with a layup less than eight minutes in. Largey and Twitty both drained a pair of three-pointers, while Moreton added another, during the run. Stonehill extended its lead to 14 (27-13) midway through the half after another Largey triple, where the lead still stood (33-19) after a three by Moreton with 7:10 to play in the frame.

Florida Southern responded with a 15-4 run to close within three (37-34) after a Jones three with 1:56 remaining in the half. Berroa quieted the run with a three-pointer and Stonehill held a five-point (41-36) halftime lead.

Stonehill surged again to start the second half, racing out to a 16-point lead (56-40) as Moreton capped a 15-4 run of its own with a three-pointer after four and a half minutes. Berroa opened the half with a triple and Twitty sparked a run of 12-straight Skyhawk points with a three, while Moreton finished the run with seven points in all.

Stonehill's lead extended to 19 (61-42) with a Largey three with 13:26 to play and the Skyhawks maintained a double-figure lead until Florida Southern worked its way back within eight (64-56) on two free-throws by freshman Kai Cleary with eight minutes to go. The Skyhawks wouldn't budge and reclaimed a 17-point cushion (80-63) when Largey capped a string of seven-straight points by the visitors with another three with 2:22 to go.

Florida Southern made one last push, forcing six Stonehill turnovers down the stretch, to cut the gap to nine (81-72) after a Jones steal and jam with 1:16 on the clock. The Skyhawks didn't crack again, converting all eight free-throws, including 4-of-4 by sophomore Owen Chose, the rest of the way to close out the win, despite the lead getting trimmed to as low as seven (85-78) after a Jones put back with 31-seconds remaining.   

Stonehill (4-3, 1-2 NE10) is back in action on Wednesday night, when it returns to Merkert Gymnasium and Northeast-10 Conference play, to host Merrimack College at 7:30 p.m. Florida Southern (4-1, 0-0 SSC) opens Sunshine State Conference play on Wednesday, when it hosts University of Tampa at 7:30 p.m.

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