Skyhawks Unable to Complete Comeback at Final Four
For Immediate Release
March 22, 2012
comes to an end in 71-66
national semifinal loss to Western Washington
Highland Heights, Ky. – Just one day removed from defeating third-ranked West Liberty University to earn the program’s second Final Four berth in six years, the Stonehill College men’s basketball team looked to advance to its first-ever national championship game with a win on Thursday night.
But No. 12 Western Washington University stood in the way of the Skyhawks, who fell 71-66 after being down as many as 20 points to the Vikings in the NCAA Division II national semifinals at the Bank of Kentucky Center in Highland Heights.
Western Washington (30-5) opened up a 47-27 lead with a strong showing to begin the second half, but the Skyhawks went on a key 17-5 run to get the deficit back to single digits with 6:21 remaining.
Stonehill (25-9) then cut the Vikings’ lead all the way down to five after Brian Hamor scored four straight points for the Skyhawks to make it 59-54 with 2:20 to play.
After a Western Washington bucket, Adam Fazzini knocked down a three-pointer to make it a four-point game with 1:25 left, but the Skyhawks would get no closer. Down six, a Hamor three-point attempt rimmed out with 30 seconds left in what ultimately sealed the win for the Vikings.
Hamor poured in a game-high 22 points and added five assists in the loss, while Patrick Lee had 14 points and six boards for Stonehill.
The Skyhawks shot just 40 percent (23-57) for the game and made only eight first-half buckets.
Rory Blanche led the way offensively for Western Washington with 16 points while Zach Henifin put forth a 10-point, 12-rebound effort. The Vikings will now compete for the national championship on Saturday.
Stonehill, which took just two free throws the entire first half, went to the locker room down 32-22 after Western Washington outscored the Skyhawks 21-11 over the final 13 minutes of the opening half. Stonehill had previously owned an early 11-8 lead.
The Vikings then outscored Stonehill by a 17-5 margin over the opening 6:38 of the second half to open up a 20-point lead.
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.