When and Where: November 29, 2017 – Manchester, N.H. (Stoutenburgh Gymnasium)
Score: Southern New Hampshire University 86, Saint Anselm College 85
Records: SNHU 7-0 (4-0 NE10), Saint Anselm 5-2 (3-1 NE10)
Senior Chris Walters (Stamford, Conn.) scored 26 points, including the go-ahead free throw with 17.2 seconds left in regulation, as the 17th-ranked Southern New Hampshire University men's basketball team vanquished an 11-point deficit with less than seven minutes remaining to earn an 86-85 victory over crosstown-rival Saint Anselm College on Wednesday night at Stoutenburgh Gymnasium.
Walters shot 9 of 16 from the floor, including 3 of 6 from beyond the arc, and 5 of 10 from the line, to go along with six rebounds, three assists, two blocks and a steal. Classmate Dimitri Floras (Merrimack, N.H.) poured in 21 points (7-15 FG, 4-8 3-FG, 3-4 FT), including 15 in the second half, while making four steals and grabbing three rebounds. Junior Daquaise Andrews (Queens, N.Y.) tallied 15 points (6-16 FG, 1-3 3-FG, 2-3 FT), six rebounds, five assists and three steals. Sophomore Ryogo Sumino (Kanagawa, Japan) was also in double figures with a career-high 11 points (5-7 FG, 1-2 3-FG).
Tim Guers paced the Hawks with a game-high 32 points, while Cody Ball added 20.
Southern New Hampshire trailed, 74-63, with just under seven minutes remaining when it used a balanced 17-3 blitz – sparked by a 3-pointer from junior Charlie Russo (Syracuse, N.Y.) and buoyed by six points Floras – to turn an 11-point deficit into a three-point lead at 80-77 with 3:04 on the clock.
Four free throws from Guers would give Saint Anselm its final lead of the night at 81-80 with two-and-a-half minutes remaining, but Sumino hit back with a right-corner 3-pointer that he received a friendly roll on to put the Penmen back on top, 83-81, with 2:17 to go.
After Ball tied it with a pair of free throws, a Walters bucket gave SNHU an 85-83 lead with under a minute to play. Guers then tied the game with two more free throws with 40 ticks left before Walters snapped the deadlock with one of two from the stripe with 17.2 on the clock. Saint Anselm elected to play through and not take a timeout, but wound up not getting a shot off before the buzzer sounded, as Southern New Hampshire earned the win.
Russo chimed in with six points (2-3 FG, 2-3 3-FG), two rebounds and two steals.
Southern New Hampshire jumped out to a 7-2 lead over the opening 2:16 on the strength of five points from Andrews, before Saint Anselm responded with a 10-2 rush – bookended by 3-pointers from Ball and Guers – to take a 12-9 lead at the 15:52 mark.
After a 3-pointer from Floras tied it, Saint Anselm used an 8-3 run – with five points from Gustav Suhr-Jessen – to open a 20-15 advantage with 14:14 remaining. SNHU responded with an 8-2 counter-run – powered by a pair of 3-pointers from Walters – to jump in front, 23-22, with 9:03 to go.
The teams then traded the lead five times before four points from Sumino carried a 6-0 spurt that gave the Penmen a 34-29 advantage with 5:18 left. The Hawks would score six of the final 10 points of the half to claw within 38-36 at the break.
Saint Anselm trailed by one less than two minutes into the second half when a layup and 3-pointer from Guers put it into the lead at 48-44 and forced a Southern New Hampshire timeout with 16:39 to play. The margin was three just over four minutes later when a Ball triple set off a 10-2 run that stretched the Saint Anselm lead to the largest of the game at 68-57 with 10:07 remaining.
Walters and Russo would respond with 3-pointers that made up a 6-2 run to trim the deficit to seven at 70-63 with just under nine minutes left, but back-to-back baskets from Guers ran the Saint Anselm lead back to 11 at 74-63 with 7:17 to go and set up the furious Penmen rally.
-Southern New Hampshire, which entered the D2SIDA Poll at No. 17 on Tuesday, improves to 7-0 for the first time since 2003-04 when it started 9-0.
-The win marked the first regular-season victory at Stoutenburgh for the Penmen since Nov. 19, 2014 (82-69).
-Following the Guers bucket that made it an 11-point game with 7:17 left to play, the Penmen defense held Saint Anselm to 1-for-5 shooting and helped force four turnovers the rest of the way.
-Saint Anselm outshot SNHU, 55.6 percent (30-54) to 51.6 percent (32-62), while the Penmen returned the favor from long range, 47.8 percent (11-23) to 43.8 percent (7-16).
-Saint Anselm also feasted at the line, holding a plus-seven advantage, while outshooting Southern New Hampshire, 90 percent (18-20) to 55 percent (11-20).
-The Hawks dominated the glass (38-22) and won the paint (40-34), while the Penmen submitted a better assist-to-turnover ratio (11/8-23/20), as they finally solved the turnover bug to grab a 15-8 advantage in points off mistakes.
-The victory gained a point in the Queen City Cup standings for Southern New Hampshire, which now leads, 13-7, in the battle for Manchester supremacy.
The Penmen return to action Saturday, Dec. 2 (4 p.m.) when they play host to Assumption College at the SNHU Fieldhouse, with the contest being broadcast on FOX College Sports.
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