COLCHESTER, Vt. – Southern New Hampshire University placed four in double figures as it downed Saint Michael's College 63-54 in Northeast-10 men's basketball Saturday afternoon at the Ross Sports Center to complete a season sweep. The Penmen won their third in a row to move to 14-10 and 11-9 in the NE-10, while the Purple Knights now stand 18-7 and 13-7 in the league.
The win, coupled with Bentley University's loss to Stonehill College, puts the Penmen in sole possession of fourth place in the Northeast-10 Northeast Division standings. Should SNHU win its regular season finale Tuesday night at home against Assumption College (Senior Night, 7:30 pm), the Penmen would host a first-round game in the Northeast-10 Championship next Friday (Feb. 28).
CJ Marriro (Boston, Mass.) finished with 12 points for Southern New Hampshire, while Aleksandar Dobrovic (Podgorica, Montenegro), Mike Stys (Hooksett, N.H.) and Rodney Sanders (Linden, N.J.) all finished with 11 points apiece. Matt Bonds paced Saint Michael's with 13 points off the bench.
Southern New Hampshire trailed 28-21 at halftime, but opened the second half on a 12-5 run and a pair of Stys free throws with just under 16 minutes to go tied the game 33-33. The Penmen took their first lead of the second half on a Phillip Tripodakis (Athens, Greece) three with 13:15 left that made it 38-35, before the Purple Knights used a 8-0 spurt to open a 43-38 lead with just over 10 minutes left.
A pair of Dobrovic free throws with 6:34 left gave SNHU the lead for good, 50-48, and a Dobrovic layup with 2:31 left capped a 10-0 run and gave the guests a 56-48 lead. The Penmen made all four free throws in the final minute to seal the victory.
SNHU held a 16-8 lead with just over nine minutes remaining when Saint Michael's embarked on a 17-3 run capped by a three by Mike Holton, Jr. to take a 25-19 lead with 4:11 left before intermission. The Purple Knights took a 28-21 lead into the locker room.
Southern New Hampshire shot just 38.2% for the contest and was outrebounded 37-29, but took 10 more trips to the free throw line and went 14-16, while the hosts were 4-6 at the charity stripe. The Penmen went 7-26 behind the arc while SMC was 8-22, but the guests had just nine turnovers compared to the Purple Knights' 20, leading to a 20-11 lead in points off turnovers.
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