When and Where: December 6, 2017 – Waltham, Mass. (Dana Center)
Score: Southern New Hampshire University 89, Bentley University 80
Records: SNHU 9-0 (6-0 NE10), Bentley 6-2 (4-1 NE10)
Senior Chris Walters (Stamford, Conn.) and junior Daquaise Andrews (Queens, N.Y.) teamed for 61 points, as the No. 14/18 Southern New Hampshire University men's basketball team remained undefeated with an 89-80 road win against Bentley University on Wednesday night at the Dana Center.
Walters went off for a career-high 34 points (9-19 FG, 4-5 3-FG, 12-14 FT), season-high 13 rebounds, four assists, three blocks and a steal. Andrews added 27 points (9-16 FG, 2-3 3-FG, 7-8 FT) – including 22 in the second half – nine boards, three assists, two steals and a block. Senior Dimitri Floras (Merrimack, N.H.) registered 11 points (5-10 FG, 1-4 3-FG) and matched his career best with six assists.
Zach Gilpin led the Falcons with 20 points, while Ryan Richmond added 15.
Trailing by two early on, Bentley used a 9-2 run – with five points from Brandon Wheeler and four from Gilpin – to open a 12-7 lead just over five minutes into the contest. Southern New Hampshire responded with a 9-0 barrage – highlighted by 3-pointers from Walters and junior Charlie Russo (Syracuse, N.Y.) – to go in front, 16-12, with 11:59 remaining in the opening half.
The back-and-forth continued, as another 9-2 stretch from Bentley – with treys from Kyle Bouchard, Seth Stankiewicz and Gilpin – helped it regain the lead at 21-18 midway through the stanza. The margin was one just over four minutes later when four straight points from Chris Hudson triggered an 8-2 run that gave Bentley its largest lead of the contest at 35-28 with 4:28 to go. The lead was six when Southern New Hampshire capped the first-half scoring with a 6-0 run, including a layup at the buzzer from junior Remo Simankevicius (Melbourne, Australia), to forge a 41-41 tie at the break.
Bentley held what would be its final lead of the night at 46-45 with less than two minutes gone by in the second half when a Russo triple sparked a 19-3 blitz that opened the largest Penmen lead of the game at 49-64 with 12:13 to go. Andrews, who scored the final eight points of the run, contributed 10 points during the stretch, with Walters adding six.
The Bentley deficit was still 15 more than three minutes later when a 12-2 run, led by five points from Jordan Mello-Klein, slashed the margin to just five at 71-66 with 4:45 on the clock. The hosts would never get closer, but trailed by five with under a half-minute remaining and a chance to make it a one-possession game when a steal by Andrews and four Walters free throws would seal it.
Russo finished with nine points (3-4 FG, 3-4 3-FG) and two rebounds.
-Southern New Hampshire matches the program's best start since 2003-04 at 9-0.
-SNHU moved up to 14th in the D2SIDA Poll and entered the NABC Division II Poll at No. 18 on Tuesday.
-Walters' double-double is his fourth of the season and 25th of his career.
-Southern New Hampshire outshot Bentley, 49.2 percent (29-59) to 46.9 percent (30-64), including 55.6 percent (15-27) to 40.6 percent (13-32) in the second half and 50 percent (10-20) to 39.1 percent (9-23) from beyond the arc.
-SNHU was also plus-10 at the line, outshooting Bentley, 84 percent (21-25) to 73.3 percent (11-15).
-The glass was even (34-34), while the Penmen featured a better assist-to-turnover ratio (14/10-14/13) and the Falcons won the paint (32-24).
The Penmen return to action Saturday, Dec. 9 (3:30 p.m.) when they play host to Stonehill College at the SNHU Fieldhouse. Fans that donate to the Holiday Toy & Food Drive will receive free admission to the game.
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