Men’s Basketball Staves Off Late Saint Anselm Rally for 74-68 Win


When and Where: November 16, 2016 – Manchester, N.H. (SNHU Fieldhouse)
Southern New Hampshire University 74, Saint Anselm College 68
SNHU 1-0 (1-0 Northeast-10), Saint Anselm 0-1 (0-1 Northeast-10)

Senior Devin Gilligan (Amherst, N.H.) racked up a career-high 24 points and 12 rebounds to lead the Southern New Hampshire University men's basketball team to a 74-68 victory over late-charging Saint Anselm College on Wednesday evening at the SNHU Fieldhouse.

Gilligan shot 10-for-14 from the floor, including 1-for-1 from deep, and 3-for-5 at the line, while matching his career high with 12 rebounds. Junior Dimitri Floras (Merrimack, N.H.) netted 14 points (6-15 FG, 2-4 3-FG) and grabbed three rebounds in his first game in a Penmen uniform, while redshirt-junior Chris Walters (Stamford, Conn.) posted 13 points (3-11 FG, 7-11 FT),  four rebounds and two blocks.

Taylor Fortin paced the Hawks with 18 points and six rebounds.

 With the score tied at 12 just over six minutes into the contest, a Walters layup sparked a 6-0 run that put the Penmen on top, 18-12, with 12:19 remaining in the opening half. A Fortin 3-pointer then triggered a 7-0 spurt that gave Saint Anselm the lead at 19-18 with 10:54 to play, but Gilligan countered with seven straight points to give Southern New Hampshire a 25-19 lead with 7:39 to play.

With the gap at five later in the frame, a layup by senior Jerome Harris (Hartford, Conn.) and a Gilligan trey put the Penmen up by an even 10 at 37-27 with 2:25 on the clock. SNHU would carry a 40-30 lead into the break.

Just over two minutes into the second stanza, Saint Anselm ripped off a 10-2 run – with six points from Tim Guers – to slash its deficit to 44-42 with 14:50 remaining. Southern New Hampshire answered with seven straight points, however, to take a 51-42 lead with 14:00 to go.

The margin was still nine at 66-57 with just over four minutes to play when an 11-3 rush – with four points each from Chris Braley and Guers – pulled Saint Anselm to within one at 69-68 with 46 seconds left. SNHU would take advantage of a pair of Saint Anselm misses by going 5-for-6 at the line down the stretch to seal it.

Harris narrowly missed out on a double-double with nine points (3-8 FG, 1-4 3-FG, 2-2 FT) and nine rebounds, while fellow senior Adrian Oliveira (Pawtucket, R.I.) tallied eight points (3-7 FG, 2-2 FT), five assists and a pair of rebounds. Freshman Eamonn Joyce (Medford, Mass.) chipped in six points (3-3 FG) and three boards.

-The Penmen capture their season opener for the 10th straight year.
-The double-double was the sixth of his career for Gilligan, who surpassed his previous career high of 23 points he scored against Concordia (N.Y.) College on Jan. 4 of last season.
-Southern New Hampshire outshot Saint Anselm, 46.7 percent (28-60) to 36.4 percent (24-66), including 36.4 percent (4-11) to 25.9 percent (7-27) from beyond the arc.
-The Penmen won the glass (41-37) and paint (42-30), while the Hawks featured a better assist-to-turnover ratio (13/12-5/14) en route to a 24-18 advantage in points off turnovers.
-A ceremony was held before the game in which a new banner to commemorate head coach Stan Spirou's 600th career victory was unveiled in the Fieldhouse.
-Southern New Hampshire picks up a point in the Queen City Cup standings and now leads, 14-6, in the battle for Manchester supremacy.

Up Next:
The Penmen return to action Saturday, Nov. 19 (1 p.m.) when they play host to the University of Bridgeport at the Fieldhouse.

For the latest on Southern New Hampshire University athletics, follow the Penmen via social media on TwitterFacebookYoutube and Instagram. Sign up to receive text message alerts and e-mail newsletters about your favorite Penmen teams here.