Assumption Quiets Men's Basketball, 59-53

Moreton posted his 11th double-double of the season for the Skyhawks (PHOTO BY Mike Tureski/SportsPix)

Skyhawks postseason hopes fall on season finale at Merkert Gym on Tuesday

WORCESTER, Mass. (February 23, 2019) – Assumption College limited Stonehill College to 30.6-percent shooting on its way to a 59-53 victory in Northeast-10 Conference men's basketball action inside Laska Gymnasium this afternoon.

Stonehill (14-13, 8-12 NE10) remains in the running for the NE10 Northeast Division's fifth and final spot in the upcoming NE10 Tournament despite the loss, but now needs a win over No. 19/20 Saint Anselm College in its Senior Night matchup at Merkert Gym on Tuesday at 7:30 p.m., or a Southern New Hampshire University loss to Assumption (7-20, 3-17 NE10) on the final night of the NE10 regular season on Tuesday to clinch a spot. The Skyhawks hold the NE10 tiebreaker over SNHU after the two split their regular season series, thanks to Wednesday's 65-62 win at second place Merrimack College.

Sophomore Matthew Kelly led Assumption with 16 points on 6-of-15 shooting, converting all four free-throw attempts, with four rebounds, two assists, two steals and a blocked shot. Senior Nick Pasquale added 14 points on 6-of-7 shooting, converting both free-throws, and six rebounds, while junior Damien Rance pulled down ten boards to go with eight points and two blocked shots. Sophomore Malik Brown chipped in nine points and nine rebounds for the Greyhounds.

Junior Will Moreton posted his 11th double-double of the season (18th career) to lead Stonehill with 13 points (11 first half) and ten rebounds, adding three steals and two assists. Sophomore Owen Chose netted a team-high 14 points, including ten in the second half, with two rebounds, while junior Brandon Twitty added 13 points, including ten before halftime, in 24 minutes off the bench for the Skyhawks.

Chose netted a team-high 14 points for the Skyhawks, including ten in the second half (PHOTO BY Mike Tureski/SportsPix)

Stonehill carried a one point lead (33-32) into halftime despite leading by as much as nine (33-24) after a Moreton jumper with 2:40 to play in the first half. Leading by three (26-23) with 5:11 remaining, Moreton scored a jumper and added a three-pointer to give the Skyhawks an eight point lead (31-23) with four minutes to play. Brown split two free-throws for Assumption and then Moreton connected with a jumper to give the Skyhawks their largest lead. The Greyhounds scored the final eight points of the opening half, with four each from Kelly and Brown, to close the gap to one at the intermission.

A nearly 14-minute Stonehill drought without a field goal, getting just four free-throws along the way, helped Assumption turn a four-point deficit (38-34) two minutes into the second half, into an 11-point lead (55-44) after two free-throws from Rance with 3:44 remaining. Brown and Pasquale had four points each during a 15-4 run, while freshman Michael Speight drained a three-pointer that gave the Greyhounds a nine-point cushion (53-44) with 6:23 remaining.

Senior Joel Berroa ended the Stonehill shooting drought with a layup with 2:58 to play. He made one of two at the free-throw line a minute later and then Twitty connected with a three-pointer to pull the Skyhawks within five (55-50) with 67-seconds to play. Freshman Cal Connelly canned two free-throws for Assumption, but Chose buried a three to pull Stonehill back within four (57-53) with 40-seconds left. However, the visitors would not score again and Kelly closed the game out with two free-throws with 25-seconds remaining.

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