WEST HAVEN, Conn. – Visiting Southern New Hampshire University nearly rallied from a 15-point halftime deficit, but dropped a 61-55 non-conference men's basketball decision to the University of New Haven at Charger Gymnasium Thursday evening. The Chargers, who have won seven of eight, improve to 8-3 overall, while the Penmen are 5-6 on the season, with four of those losses coming by six or fewer points.
Justin Exum led New Haven with 20 points, going 12-15 at the free throw line. Eric Anderson finished with 13 points and 16 rebounds, while Justin Adkins and Ashanti DePass added 11 points apiece for the Chargers.
Southern New Hampshire was paced by senior CJ Marriro (Boston, Mass.), who totaled 13 points and seven rebounds. Rodney Sanders (Linden, N.J.) had a pair of three-pointers and finished with 12 points and seven rebounds, while Elijah Bonsignore (Felton, Del.) added 10 points and six rebounds. With one blocked shot, Bonsignore has 119 for his career, tying Athanasios Souflias (2000-04) for fourth place on SNHU's career blocked shot leaderboard.
The Penmen, who trailed by as many as 18 points in the first half and 33-18 at halftime, outscored the Chargers 26-11 over the first 10:32 of the second half and a three-pointer by Mike Stys (Hooksett, N.H.) with 9:28 remaining tied the game 44-44. New Haven reclaimed the lead on its next possession as DePass scored with just under nine minutes to go to give the hosts a 46-44 advantage.
New Haven extended the lead to four three times, but Southern New Hampshire had a chance to cut the lead to one with 1:57 left after Marriro made a nice move in the paint to score and get fouled. He missed the free throw, making it 54-52, and coming out of a timeout, Anderson sank two at the line with 1:28 to go to give New Haven a four point lead. A SNHU turnover followed by traded empty possessions forced the guests to enter foul mode, and UNH went 5-8 at the line, including a 5-6 effort by Exum, to seal the win.
The Chargers scored the game's first 16 points, with Bonsignore getting the Penmen on the board just over seven and a half minutes into the contest. New Haven took its largest lead, 23-5, with 8:28 to go following an Exum three-point play, and carried a 33-18 lead into the locker room.
New Haven shot 36% and Southern New Hampshire 35% for the game, but the Chargers took advantage of 19 more trips to the free throw line, going 23-32 while the Penmen were just 8-13 at the charity stripe. The guests also outrebounded Southern New Hampshire 46-34 for the game.
Southern New Hampshire returns to Northeast-10 action Wednesday evening with a 7:30 contest at Southern Connecticut State University. The next Penmen home game is Saturday, January 11 with a 3:30 tilt against American International College.
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