Men's Basketball Rallies Past Bridgeport in OT, 65-63

Moreton double-double and Chose 17 points lift Skyhawks to fifth straight win

Moreton posted his fourth double-double over the last five games, finishing with 19 points and 10 rebounds. (PHOTO BY Jan Volk/SportsPix)

EASTON, Mass. (December 29, 2018) – Stonehill College, ranked eighth in this week's D2SIDA East Region poll, overcame an 11-point second half deficit to force overtime and then pick up a 65-63 victory over the University of Bridgeport in non-conference men's basketball action on Paula Sullivan Court at Merkert Gymnasium this afternoon.

Sophomore Owen Chose scored five of his 17 points in overtime, connecting on a key three-pointer, to lift Stonehill to its fifth-straight win and seventh over the last eight. He finished 5-for-10 from the floor, including 2-for-5 from three, while adding six rebounds and two assists. Junior Will Moreton posted his sixth double-double of the season (13th career) with a game-high matching 19 points and ten rebounds, hitting 6-of-14 shots and connecting on 6-of-8 free-throws, with two assists and two steals.

Senior Joel Berroa led three Stonehill players that finished with eight points, draining two free-throws with 13-seconds to play to force overtime and hitting a three-pointer early in overtime to give the Skyhawks their first lead of the game. He also added five boards, three blocked shots and two steals. Classmate Michael Boen chipped in eight points on 4-of-6 shooting, with four rebounds and two assists.

Junior Bakary Camara led three Bridgeport players in double-figures with 19 points on 9-of-15 shooting, with seven rebounds, two steals and two blocks. Senior Dennis Green added ten points, five rebounds and two assists, while sophomore Travis Robinson-Morgan registered 11 points, four boards and two assists. Sophomore Hashem Abbas chipped in nine points and seven rebounds.

Stonehill battled back from 30.4-percent shooting (7-for-23) from the field in the first half, including 2-for-11 (18.2%) from three-point distance, and an 11-point deficit (41-30) after a four-point play from Robinson-Morgan with 12:34 to play in the second half. The Skyhawks finished off an unbeaten December for the second-straight year, having won 16-straight December games dating back to 2016. Berroa started the comeback with a three-pointer after Robinson-Morgan finished off his four-point play, with the Skyhawks first pulling within six (43-37) after two Moreton free-throws with 10:54 to play.

Chose scored five of his 17 points in overtime, hitting two key three-pointers down the stretch. (PHOTO BY Jan Volk/SportsPix)

Stonehill drew within five (49-44) with a steal and basket by freshman Adam Freese with 7:35 to play. The Skyhawks were able to creep within a possession (54-52) with a Chose triple with 3:44 to go. Freshman Jayden Iturmendi pushed the Bridgeport lead back to four with two minutes left, but Moreton answered quickly with a layup at the other end. Neither team would score until Berroa drained two free throws with 13-seconds to go and then Stonehill survived a flurry inside at the other end to send the game to overtime.

Berroa gave Stonehill its first lead of the afternoon (59-57) when he buried a three-pointer a minute into the extra session. Twitty extended the Skyhawks lead to three (60-57) when he split a pair of free throws with 1:51 remaining, but Bridgeport reclaimed the lead (61-60) after a layup from Camara and jumper by Green with 63-seconds left. Chose pushed Stonehill back in front with his second three-pointer of the afternoon with 27-seconds to go, and then he sealed the win with two free throws with eight seconds remaining after Camara split two at the line.

Despite its offensive struggles for large portions of the afternoon, Stonehill shined on the defensive end, holding Bridgeport 30-points under its season scoring average and to 34.9-percent shooting overall, including 6-for-26 (23.1%) from three-point distance.

Stonehill (9-4, 4-3 NE10) is back in action next Saturday, January 5, when it wraps up its five-game homestand by hosting LIU Post at Merkert Gym at 1 p.m. Bridgeport (5-7, 1-3 ECC) visits Bentley University tomorrow at 2 p.m.

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