When and Where: January 21, 2017 – West Haven, Conn. (Charger Gymnasium)
Score: University of New Haven 81, Southern New Hampshire University 79
Records: New Haven 12-6 (8-3 Northeast-10), SNHU 13-4 (9-3 Northeast-10)
Senior Devin Gilligan (Amherst, N.H.) and sophomore Daquaise Andrews (Queens, N.Y.) led five scorers in double figures with 16 points each, but the Southern New Hampshire University men's basketball team fell short against the University of New Haven, 81-79, Saturday at Charger Gymnasium.
Gilligan shot 4 of 12 from the field, including 2 of 4 from behind the arc, and a perfect 6 of 6 from the stripe, while grabbing seven rebounds and dishing a pair of assists. Andrews netted a season high on 6 of 11 shooting from the floor, including 1 of 2 from deep, and 3 of 4 from the line to go along with six boards and four helpers. Junior Dimitri Floras (Merrimack, N.H.) tallied 14 points (3-10 FG, 8-9 FT), two rebounds and two assists, while senior Adrian Oliveira (Pawtucket, R.I.) returned from a four-game absence to score 14 points (5-10 FG, 4-8 3-FG). Redshirt-junior Chris Walters (Stamford, Conn.) posted 13 points (6-9 FG, 1-2 3-FG), six rebounds and two blocks.
Elijah Bailey and Danny Upchurch paced the Chargers with 18 points apiece, while Mihailo Vasic added 16.
Southern New Hampshire held a 71-63 lead with under seven minutes remaining in the game when four points from Bailey powered an 8-0 run that pulled New Haven into a tie at 71-all with 4:49 to go. An Andrews layup would send SNHU back in front, 73-71, with 4:28 on the clock, but it would also prove to be the final Penmen basket of the day.
Twice SNHU would answer a New Haven bucket with a pair of free throws to maintain a two-point advantage at 77-75 with 2:49 left, but a Vasic jumper just 17 seconds later would tie it before a second one would give the Chargers a 79-77 lead with under a minute to go. A pair of Gilligan free throws would tie the game again with 37 ticks left, but Kessly Felizor's layup with five seconds on the clock would give New Haven the lead and SNHU's final look at a 3 to win it missed its mark.
Felizor finished with 14 points and 18 rebounds for the Chargers.
Southern New Hampshire jumped out to a 7-2 lead and led 14-10 when a 5-0 spurt put New Haven in front, 15-14, just shy of six minutes into the contest. Four lead changes and five ties would follow over the next seven-plus minutes before a Gilligan triple sparked an 8-0 run that was capped with an Oliveira 3-pointer to give the Penmen a 34-30 advantage with 5:08 to go before the break.
The lead would climb as high as six (43-37) with 1:17 left following four straight points from Andrews and the Penmen would eventually bring a 45-40 lead into the locker room.
After New Haven trimmed its deficit to three just 22 seconds in, five points from Gilligan carried an 8-2 run that gave Southern New Hampshire its largest lead of the afternoon at 53-44 with 17:40 remaining. A 7-2 spurt later in the half would close the Chargers' gap to a pair at 61-59 with 12:30 left, but a 7-0 counter-run, with the final five points coming courtesy of Walters, built the lead back up to nine at 68-59 with 9:25 remaining.
Senior Jerome Harris (Hartford, Conn.) chipped in six points (2-7 FG, 2-6 3-FG) for the Penmen.
-This marked the first time in the last 11 games Gilligan did not score at least 19 points.
-The Penmen continue to hold a two-game lead on Franklin Pierce University in the Northeast Division standings, while Merrimack College has moved to within a game-and-a-half of first-place SNHU.
-New Haven led for just 3:49 in the contest.
-New Haven outshot Southern New Hampshire, 54.2 percent (32-59) to 43.3 percent (26-60), while SNHU returned the favor from distance, 41.7 percent (10-24) to 31.8 percent (7-22).
-SNHU was plus-10 from the line as it outshot New Haven, 89.5 percent (17-19) to 76.9 percent (10-13).
-New Haven dominated the paint (46-22), won the glass (32-30) and featured a more impressive assist-to-turnover ratio (11/11-8/10).
The Penmen return to action Tuesday, Jan. 24 (7 p.m.) when they take on Le Moyne College. The next home game for SNHU is Wednesday, Feb. 1 (7:30 p.m.) when it plays host to Assumption College at the SNHU Fieldhouse in game that will air live on NESNplus and NESN National. It is Penmen Pride Night and all fans in attendance are encouraged to wear gold.
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