Men's Basketball Pulls Away Late at Franklin Pierce, 81-75

Moreton posted his tenth career double-double and scored all 22 of his points in the second half to lead the Skyhawks. (PHOTO BY Greg Wall)

Moreton's 22 second-half points, tenth career double-double, fuels Skyhawks

RINDGE, N.H. (December 1, 2018) – Stonehill College scored 54 points and shot 64-percent from the floor in the second half to claim an 81-75 triumph at Franklin Pierce University in Northeast-10 Conference men's basketball action inside the Franklin Pierce Fieldhouse this afternoon.

Junior Will Moreton posted his third double-double of the season (tenth career) with a game-high 22 points and ten rebounds, scoring all of his points in the second half on 6-of-9 shooting, including 3-for-4 from three-point range, while converting 7-of-9 free-throws to go with two assists and a steal. Classmate Brandon Twitty scored 15 of his 20 points in the first half, finishing 8-for-14 from the floor, including 4-of-8 from deep, with two boards, while sophomore Owen Chose totaled a season-best 15 points off the bench.

Senior Joel Berroa added 12 points for Stonehill on 4-of-7 shooting, with seven rebounds, two assists, two steals and a blocked shot, while classmate Michael Boen rounded out the Skyhawks in double-figures with ten points, aided by 6-of-8 shooting from the line, seven boards, and two assists. The Skyhawks rallied from a seven-point (34-27) halftime deficit by shooting 64-percent (16-for-25) in the second half, including 5-for-7 (71.4%) from deep, after connecting at just 35.7% (10-for-28) in the opening 20 minutes, including 4-for-14 (28.6%) from long range.

Postgrad Jeremy Arthur led four Franklin Pierce players in double-figures with 17 points on 5-of-8 shooting from three-point distance off the bench, while junior Jameson Pierrelus notched a double-double with 12 points and a game-high 11 rebounds, with three assists. Junior Doyin Fadojutimi totaled 16 points, while classmate Falu Seck recorded 15 points and two assists.

Twitty scored 15 of his 20 points in the first half, keeping the Skyhawks in the game. (PHOTO BY Greg Wall)

Stonehill trailed by as much as 13 (23-10) in the first half, before pulling within two (25-23) after a Chose triple with 5:21 to play in the frame. Franklin Pierce carried a seven-point margin (34-27) into the break and quickly reclaimed a ten-point cushion (39-29) when Seck sandwiched a Berroa basket with a jumper and three-pointer in the opening minute of the second half.

Six straight points from Berroa, along with a Chose three, pulled Stonehill back within a possession (41-38) after three minutes. Franklin Pierce's lead was five (45-40) after two free-throws from Arthur two minutes later, when Twitty and Moreton buried back to back threes to push the Skyhawks in front (46-45) for the first time since the opening minutes with 14:27 to go.

Franklin Pierce grabbed a four-point lead (50-46) with an Arthur trey a minute later and the teams essentially traded baskets until Moreton scored a three-point play, followed with a three-pointer and then Boen netted consecutive layups to push the Skyhawks in front by three (58-55) with 11-minutes remaining.

The lead went back and forth seven times over the next eight minutes, when Stonehill finally pulled away to claim the win. Boen followed up an Arthur three that gave Franklin Pierce a two-point lead (71-69) with a pair of free-throws and then Moreton moved the Skyhawks in front for good on a three-pointer with 2:13 remaining. The teams would combine for just one field goal the rest of the way as Stonehill sealed the win by hitting 7-of-8 free-throws in the final 90-seconds, including four by Moreton.

Stonehill (5-4, 2-3 NE10) returns to Merkert Gymnasium on Wednesday to kick off a five-game home stand that will stretch into the New Year against Assumption College at 7:30 p.m. Franklin Pierce (3-4, 2-3 NE10) visits Merrimack College on Wednesday at 7:30 p.m.

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