Moreton & Chose Fire Men's Basketball Past Franklin Pierce, 92-59

Moreton logs program's first 40-point game since 1998 with near-record three-point effort

Moreton posted Stonehill's first 40-point game in 21 years with his career-high effort today (PHOTO BY Bob Blanchard)

EASTON. Mass. (February 16, 2019) – Stonehill College rode its second strong defensive effort of the week to move back within a game of the fifth and final playoff spot in the Northeast Division with a 92-59 triumph over Franklin Pierce University 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 68 points to lead Stonehill, which held Franklin Pierce to 38.2-percent shooting, including 7-for-21 (33.3%) from three-point range, as the Skyhawks held their second-straight opponent to 59 points. The Minnesotans accounted for 74-percent of the Skyhawks season-high 92 points.

Moreton led the way with a career-high 40 points, marking Stonehill's first 40-point game since former All-American Shaun Fein accomplished the feat twice with a pair of 45-point games within the span of a month during the 1997-98 season. Moreton, who scored 23 points in the first half to lead Stonehill to a 19-point halftime advantage (45-26), connected on 12-of-18 shots from the field overall, including 8-for-14 from three-point distance, converting all eight of his free-throws to go with four rebounds, four assists, two blocked shots and a steal over 38 minutes. Moreton's eight three-pointers are one shy of the program record set by Fein in his second 45-point game at Bentley University on January 17, 1998, and matched by Dan Largey at The College of Saint Rose on December 12, 2016. Fein's first 45-point game also came in a win over Franklin Pierce at Merkert Gym at the 1997 Coca-Cola Holiday Classic on December 29, 1997.

Chose followed with a career-high 28 points, including 18 in the second half, on 10-of-20 shooting, including 6-for-12 from beyond the arc, with five rebounds, two assists and a blocked shot. Senior Joel Berroa pulled down a game and career-high 14 rebounds as Stonehill posted a 45-25 rebounding advantage for the night, while classmate Michael Boen contributed seven points and eight boards (five offensive). Freshman Andrew Sims chipped in with six rebounds and two blocks, while classmate Josh Mack dished out a season-high six assists.

Chose added a career-high 28 points of his own as the Skyhawks Minnesota connection shined (PHOTO BY Bob Blanchard)

Postgrad Jeremy Arthur led Franklin Pierce with 13 points on 5-of-10 shooting, including 3-for-4 from three. Freshman Isaiah Moore added 11 points on 4-of-7 shooting, connecting on 2-of-3 from beyond the arc, while senior David Bradbury, Jr. finished with ten points on 4-of-5 shooting, including 2-for-3 from deep. The remainder of the Ravens shot a combined 8-for-33 (24.4%).

Stonehill led start to finish, taking advantage of a season-high 17 three-pointers (50% for the night), racing out to a 19-point lead (45-26) after 20-minutes of play. With the game tied (16-16) 8:25 into the game, the Skyhawks used a 13-2 run, keyed by a trio of Moreton three-pointers, to open an 11-point lead (29-18) with 7:25 remaining in the half, and the hosts wouldn't let the Ravens within single digits again.

Neither team scored for three minutes before Franklin Pierce ended a nearly six minute scoring drought of its own when sophomore Sean Fasoyiro split two free-throws to pull the Ravens within ten (29-19) with 4:24 to play in the first half. Moreton answered with back to back three-pointers and the Stonehill lead increased to 16 (35-19) a minute later. The Skyhawks lead reached 23 (43-20) after a three-point play from Mack with 51-seconds left, before settling for the 19-point halftime advantage.

Moreton opened the second half with his seventh triple of the game to push Stonehill's lead to 22 (48-26), but Franklin Pierce responded with eight straight points within a minute and a half to close the gap to 14 (48-34) two minutes in after back to back threes by Moore and Arthur, who totaled five points in all during the run. The teams combined for just two field goals over the next five minutes, but both were Stonehill three-pointers by Chose to restore a 20-point lead (54-34) with 13:31 to go. Arthur answered initially with a three-pointer of his own, but the Skyhawks followed that with an 11-2 run, keyed by six more points from Chose to open a 26-point lead (65-39) just past the midway point of the half. Stonehill's lead wouldn't dip inside 20 the rest of the way, peaking at 37 (89-52) after a layup by sophomore Chris Willis with two minutes to go.        

Stonehill (13-12, 7-11 NE10) is on the road for a pair of contests this week, starting Wednesday at Merrimack College, ranked eighth in this week's D2SIDA East Region poll, at 7:30 p.m. The Skyhawks return to Merkert Gym next Tuesday, February 26, to host No. 21/24 nationally-ranked Saint Anselm College for Senior Night to close out the regular season at 7:30 p.m. Franklin Pierce (13-12, 9-9 NE10) visits Assumption College on Wednesday at 7:30 p.m.

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