When and Where: December 10, 2016 – Manchester, N.H. (SNHU Fieldhouse)
Score: Southern New Hampshire University 90, Saint Michael's College 76
Records: SNHU 7-1 (5-1 NE10), Saint Michael's 1-8 (1-6 NE-10)
Senior Devin Gilligan (Amherst, N.H.) led five scorers in double figures with a career-high 28 points as the 23rd-ranked Southern New Hampshire University men's basketball team held off a late-charging Saint Michael's College squad for a 90-76 win Saturday at the SNHU Fieldhouse.
Gilligan, who scored 20 in the second half, shot 11-for-15 from the floor, including 1-for-3 from long distance, and 5-for-7 from the line, while pulling down seven rebounds and collecting four assists. Redshirt-junior Chris Walters (Stamford, Conn.) posted 18 points (5-7 FG, 3-5 3-FG, 5-8 FT), nine rebounds, four assists and two blocks, while senior Adrian Oliveira (Pawtucket, R.I.) tallied 14 points (5-8 FG, 4-4 FT), five assists, three rebounds and three steals. Senior Jerome Harris (Hartford, Conn.) netted 11 points (4-7 FG, 3-6 3-FG), with junior Dimitri Floras (Merrimack, N.H.) chiming in with 10 points (2-6 FG, 1-3 3-FG, 5-6 FT), five boards and two assists.
Levi Holmes III scored 20 for the Purple Knights, while Matt Bonds added 19 points and nine rebounds.
Trailing 5-3 early on, Southern New Hampshire ripped off a 14-4 run – powered by eight points from Harris – to open a 17-9 advantage just 5:21 in. The Penmen ran their lead to a half-high 10 at 21-11 just under a minute later on a pair of free throws from Floras, but Saint Michael's responded with a balanced 14-3 rush – featuring five different scorers – to grab a 25-24 lead with 9:32 remaining in the opening half.
A layup from Gilligan stopped the bleeding, gave the Penmen the lead back and sparked a 7-3 spurt that extended the gap to three at 31-28 with 7:29 on the clock. With the margin at two later in the stanza, six straight points pushed the SNHU lead to eight and it would go into the locker room up, 44-36.
Southern New Hampshire began the second half on an 8-3 run to extend its lead to 52-39 just under three minutes in and grabbed its largest lead of the contest at 60-45 on an Oliveira layup with 12:58 remaining. With the margin still 15 just under two minutes later, Saint Michael's ripped off a 13-1 run that was part of a 20-7 stretch, which slashed the deficit to just two at 71-69 with 4:59 to go.
A Gilligan 3-pointer sparked a 15-2 counter-run that put the game away and gave the Penmen an 86-71 lead. Gilligan and Floras each netted five points during the stretch, while Oliveira added four.
-Gilligan and Walters have now scored in double figures in eight straight games to begin the year.
-Southern New Hampshire outshot Saint Michael's, 59.6 percent (31-52) to 44.6 percent (29-65), including 40.9 percent (9-22) to 35.3 percent (6-17) from long distance.
-SNHU was plus-7 at the line, despite being outshot, 92.3 percent (12-13) to 73.1 percent (19-26).
-The Purple Knights outrebounded the Penmen, 35-28, including 15-6 on the offensive end for an 18-7 advantage in second chance points. SNHU turned in a better assist-to-turnover ratio (16/12-10/16) for a 21-8 margin in points off mistakes.
The Penmen return to action Friday, Dec. 16 (7 p.m.) when they play host to Bloomfield College in non-conference action at the Fieldhouse.
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