Men's Basketball Turns Back Southern Conn. State, 85-78

Moreton and Chose combine for 47 points as Skyhawks rebound with win

Moreton drained four threes on his way to 26 points. (PHOTO BY Jan Volk/SportsPix)

EASTON, Mass. (January 19, 2019) – Stonehill College, ranked No. 8 in this week's D2SIDA East Region poll, got back in the win column with a key 85-78 victory over Southern Connecticut State University, ranked seventh in the region, in Northeast-10 Conference men's basketball action on Paula Sullivan Court at Merkert Gymnasium this afternoon.

Junior Will Moreton and sophomore Owen Chose combined for 47 points to lead four Stonehill players in double-figures. Moreton scored a game-high 26 points on 9-of-16 shooting, including 4-for-7 from three-point distance, while adding four rebounds, two assists, two steals and two blocked shots. Chose hit 7-of-15 shots, including 3-for-0 from deep, for his 21 points, adding four assists.

Senior Joel Berroa hit double-figures for the third-straight game with 18 points, connecting on 4-of-7 threes, with six rebounds, three assists, a career-best four steals and a blocked shot. Classmate Michael Boen contributed 11 points, nine boards and a career-best six assists.

All-five Southern Connecticut State starters scored in double-figures, led by senior Isaiah McLeod with 19 points on 7-of-12 shooting, including 3-for-5 from three-point range, with five rebounds and two assists. Classmate Luke Beesley added 15 points on 7-of-8 shooting, with eight rebounds and two blocked shots, while sophomore Ulyen Coleman notched a double-double with 12 points and a game-high 14 rebounds, adding three assists. Sophomore C.J. Seaforth scored 14 points on 5-of-8 shooting, including 3-for-5 from beyond the arc, with three steals, while senior Kealen Ives totaled 12 points on 6-of-10 shooting with five assists and two steals.

Stonehill took advantage of 21 Southern Connecticut turnovers by outscoring the Owls 29-8 in points off, turning the ball over just 13 times themselves. The Skyhawks also buried 12 three-pointers (42.9%), compared to six for the Owls as they shot for a higher percentage (53.2%) than the hosts (46.8%).

The game featured six ties and three lead changes throughout, but neither team led by more than nine, with that coming by way of a 57-48 Stonehill advantage with 13-minutes remaining after back to back three-pointers from Moreton, who scored 14 second half points, along with Chose to close the game out.  Southern jumped out to a set of four, six-point leads in the opening five minutes, the latter of which came after a Seaforth three-pointer (14-8).

Chose scored 14 of his 21 points in the second half to help the Skyhawks seal the win. (PHOTO BY Jan Volk/SportsPix)

Stonehill followed with ten-straight points to grab a four-point lead (18-14) after a Moreton basket midway through the half. Moreton and Berroa sparked the run with three-pointers, Berroa's giving the Skyhawks the lead (16-14) with 11:07 left in the half. The Skyhawks extended their lead to eight twice, the latter of which (38-30) came on a Boen basket in the paint with 3:41 remaining. SCSU pulled even (38-38) with eight-straight points, before Moreton capped the half with a three.

Stonehill pushed its lead to six (46-40) after a Chose basket less than two minutes into the second half, but Southern got back to back baskets from Ives, before Seaforth knotted the score again (46-46) less than four minutes in. Chose answered with a three and the Skyhawks extended the lead to nine (57-48) with 13-minutes to go after consecutive threes by Moreton.

Stonehill's advantage was still eight (64-56) after another Chose three with 9:11 to play and then Southern pulled even again (66-66), with six minutes to play, following threes by Seaford and McLeod. The Owls grabbed the lead (70-69) with a Beesley bucket inside with 4:43 to go, but Boen converted three-point play to push the Skyhawks back in front (72-70) the next trip down.

That sparked a 10-2 stretch for Stonehill that reclaimed a seven-point lead (79-72) following a Chose jumper with 1:29 remaining. Southern closed back within a possession twice in the final minute, but Stonehill hit all six free-throws in the last 30-seconds to see the win out.

Stonehill (11-6, 5-5 NE10) hits the road for three-straight, starting Wednesday at Le Moyne College at 7 p.m. The Skyhawks return to Merkert Gym on Saturday, February 2, to host Adelphi University at 3:30 p.m. Southern Connecticut (10-8, 5-5 NE10) hosts Franklin Pierce University on Wednesday at 7:30 p.m.

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