Stonehill Set to Host UMass Lowell on Saturday Afternoon in Men’s Basketball Championship
For Immediate Release
February 29, 2012
South Easton, Mass. – In semifinal action of the 2012 Northeast-10 Conference Men's Basketball Championship on Wednesday night, third-seeded Stonehill College defeat second-seeded Adelphi University on the road, 73-60, in Garden City, N.Y.
In the other semifinal contest in Rindge, N.H., top-seeded Franklin Pierce University was unable to complete a second-half comeback against fourth-seeded University of Massachusetts Lowell, as the River Hawks prevailed, 69-65, to earn a berth in the NE-10 Championship Final. It was just the second home loss of the season for the Ravens.
As a result of the two outcomes, Stonehill will host UMass Lowell at Merkert Gymnasium at 1:00 p.m. on Saturday afternoon to decide this year's league title.
The pair of upsets comes after the aforementioned top four seeds advanced past last weekend's quarterfinals. Just as well, Franklin Pierce, Adelphi, Stonehill and UMass Lowell – in that order – filled the top four positions in the third and final NCAA East Region Rankings that was released on Wednesday afternoon.
#4 UMass Lowell 69, #1 Franklin Pierce 65 - BOXSCORE
UMass Lowell sophomore and Northeast-10 Second Team pick Akeem Williams had a team-high 19 points, senior transfer Dipanjot Singh had 18 points, and junior Matt Welch chipped in 16 in the River Hawks' 69-65 victory.
For Franklin Pierce, Northeast-10 Player of the Year Eric Jean-Guillaume had a game-high 21 points, while fellow All-Conference selection Ellis Cooper had 19 points and six rebounds for the Ravens.
UMass Lowell, which possessed a 36-29 lead at halftime, scored the first seven points of the second half before Franklin Pierce went on a 17-4 run to cut the deficit to one with 11:36 remaining. But the River Hawks would go back on the offensive not long thereafter, as a jumper by Welch, a three-pointer by Robbie Walton and a breakaway dunk by Singh once again gave the River Hawks a double-digit lead at 64-54.
Nonetheless, a four-point play by Nigel Van Oostrum turned the momentum back in Franklin Pierce's favor, and Van Oostrum again delivered at the 2:17 mark with a three-pointer to make it a one-point game at 64-63.
But it was Singh who responded with a three-pointer of his own to extend the River Hawks' lead, although Cooper responded with two free throws to make it a two-point game at 67-65 with a minute left. A missed three-point attempt by Singh with 32 seconds left to set up the final Franklin Pierce possession, but freshman Ryen Vilmont missed a corner three that would have given Ravens the lead. Welch then proceeded to sink a pair at the line to seal the victory.
#3 Stonehill 73, #2 Adelphi 60 - BOXSCORE
Senior Andre Tongo scored 18 of his game-high 27 points in the first half to help Stonehill to a 73-60 semifinal victory over Adelphi. Junior Adam Fazzini added 15 points for the Skyhawks in the win, while All-Conference selection Patrick Lee had a game-high 10 rebounds and Brian Hamor topped out with eight assists.
Stonehill, which shot 44.8 percent for the game and 44.4 percent from three-point range, carried a 35-30 lead into the break before opening the second half on a 12-4 run. The reigning Northeast-10 Champion Panthers cut the lead to eight points at 56-48 with 6:25 remaining in the contest, but they would get no closer, and the Stonehill lead at one point ballooned to 69-53 with 2:10 left in the game.
The Panthers had four players in double figures, led by Cliff Brown's 15 points, while Chris Ranglin and Bradley Simpson added 12 apiece. Richard Harkins totaled 11 points and six assists.
Adelphi senior Robert Johnson, an All-Conference pick and the team's scoring leader this season, was held scoreless on 0-of-10 shooting before fouling out late in the second half.
The Northeast-10 is an association of 16 NCAA Division II colleges and universities located in New England and New York that is committed to supporting balanced academic and athletic opportunities for more than 5,500 student-athletes. Each year, 4,000 of those student-athletes compete in Conference championships in 23 sports, making the NE-10 the largest DII conference in the country. Leading the way in the classroom, on the field and within the community, the Northeast-10 is proud of its comprehensive program and the experience it provides student-athletes.