No. 6 Southern Connecticut Holds Off Men's Basketball 75-63

No. 6 Southern Connecticut Holds Off Men's Basketball 75-63

NEW HAVEN, Conn. – Tylon Smith finished with 25 points as No. 6 Southern Connecticut State University, the top seed in the Southwest Division, held off No. 4 Northeast seed Southern New Hampshire University for a 75-63 win in the quarterfinal round of the 2014 Northeast-10 Men's Basketball Championship Sunday afternoon at Moore Field House.  The Owls won their 14th straight to improve to 25-2, while the Penmen likely see their season come to a close at 16-11 overall.

Smith finished 10-16 from the floor and also grabbed eight rebounds, leading three Owls in double figures.  Northeast-10 Player of the Year Greg Langston totaled 19 points, nine boards and five assists, while Michael Mallory added 12 points.

Southern New Hampshire was led by freshman Chris Walters (Stamford, Conn.) who had 10 of his 15 points in the second half as he shot 6-12 from the floor while also grabbing nine rebounds.  Mike Stys (Hooksett, N.H.) knocked down a pair of three-pointers and finished with 14 points, while Aleksandar Dobrovic (Podgorica, Montenegro) added 10 points.  Rodney Sanders (Linden, N.J.) narrowly missed a double-double with nine points and a career-best 12 rebounds.

Southern Connecticut held a 61-48 lead with 5:47 left following a pair of free throws, but SNHU used a 7-1 spurt capped by a conventional three-point play by Stys with 3:35 to go to cut the lead to seven, 62-55.  SCSU scored the next five points to push the lead back to 12 with 2:39 left.  SNHU did cut it to seven one final time, 68-61, on a Walters basket with 1:35 left, but got no closer.

Southern New Hampshire whittled a 16-point SCSU halftime lead down to 12 five minutes into the second half, but Southern Connecticut pushed the lead to 17 on three occasions, the last coming on a pair of Langston free throws with 11:37 left that made it 55-38.

The two teams traded the lead seven times in the first five minutes of the game, and the game was tied 16-16 with 12:24 before halftime when Southern Connecticut used a 14-1 run capped by a Mallory three to open up a 30-17 advantage with 4:53 to go.  The Owls took a 39-21 lead with 1:39 to go on a Langston layup and took a 41-25 lead into the locker room.

Southern Connecticut shot 41.7% for the game while limiting SNHU to 27.8% shooting in the first half and 34.3% for the game.  The Owls took 20 more trips to the free throw line, but couldn't quite put away the game, going 20-37, while the Penmen were 12-17 at the stripe.  Neither team shot well from three (SCSU 5-25, SNHU 3-21), and Southern New Hampshire held a 47-45 rebounding advantage.

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