Fourth-seeded Stonehill College battled past second-seeded Saint Anselm College for its third regional title in the last ten years with an 82-76 overtime triumph in the 2016 NCAA Division II East Regional Championship, hosted by Holy Family University on Tuesday, March 15th
Stonehill (24-8, 15-6 NE-10) advances to the NCAA Division II Elite Eight, which will be played in Frisco, Texas, March 23-16, for the third time in program history. Stonehill will face fourth-seeded West Liberty University (30-3, 20-3 Mountain East) on Wedneday, March 23, at Dr. Pepper Arena at 3:30 p.m. (EDT). The Mountaineers reached the Elite Eight with an 85-64 victory over Kutztown (Pa.) University in tonight's Atlantic Region Championship. Stonehill and West Liberty met at the 2012 Elite Eight in Highland Heights, Kentucky, with the Skyhawks claiming a 91-90 triumph to reach the national semifinals. Saint Anselm, competing in the regional final for the second time in three seasons, sees its bid for its first regional crown since 2000 come to an end at 23-8 overall, including 15-6 in Northeast-10 play.
Senior guard Carter Smith (Columbus, Ohio/Upper Arlington) led Stonehill to victory again and was named the East Regional's Most Outstanding Player, finishing tonight with a game-high 25 points on 8-of-12 shooting, including 4-for-6 from three-point range, while converting 5-of-6 free-throws to go with three assists and two rebounds. After recording the game-winning layup to dispatch defending regional champions Southern New Hampshire University in overtime on Sunday night, Smith delivered a tying layup with 14-seconds remaining in regulation to force overtime and then his layup with 34-seconds to play in in the extra period put the Skyhawks in front for good.
Junior Ryan Logan (Fredericktown, Ohio/Fredericktown) joined Smith on the East Regional All-Tournament team as he posted his 11th double-double of the season (20th career) with 18 points and ten rebounds to go with five assists and two steals as he made 6-of-13 shots from the floor, including 2-of-6 threes, and converted 4-of-6 free-throws. Sophomore Isaiah Bess (LaGrange, Maine/Hampden Academy) added 14 points on 5-of-10 shooting with five boards, while senior Adam Bramanti (Middleton, Massachusetts/Masconomet Regional) rounded out the Skyhawks in double figures with 11 points, six rebounds and two assists. Senior Pierce Cumpstone (Bainbridge Township, Ohio/Kenston) chipped in nine points, eight rebounds and two steals.
Courtesy Stonehill Athletics