When and Where: December 30, 2017 – Lakeland, Fla. (Jenkins Fieldhouse)
Score: Florida Southern College 74, Southern New Hampshire University 71
Records: Florida Southern 8-5, SNHU 9-2
Junior Daquaise Andrews (Queens, N.Y.) poured in a game-high 25 points, as the No. 19/25 Southern New Hampshire University men's basketball team vanquished a 22-point, second-half deficit before absorbing a 74-71 defeat against Florida Southern College in the final seconds on Saturday at the Jenkins Fieldhouse.
Andrews, who scored 15 of his 25 points (11-21 FG, 2-4 3-FG, 1-1 FT) in the second half, added eight rebounds, a career-high five steals and three assists. Senior Chris Walters (Stamford, Conn.) scored all 16 of his points (5-16 FG, 6-6 FT) in the second half, while stuffing the stat sheet with 10 boards, three assists, two blocks and two steals. Fellow senior Dimitri Floras (Merrimack, N.H.) also netted 16 points (6-16 FG, 1-5 3-FG, 3-3 FT) and dished four assists.
Brett Hanson led the Moccasins with 23 points, 12 rebounds and five assists, while Ben Marello added 20 points.
Florida Southern opened the second half with a 7-2 run that increased the 17-point lead at the break into its largest advantage of the day at 47-25 less than three minutes in. A fastbreak, and-1 dunk from Walters sparked a 7-0 counter-run from Southern New Hampshire that trimmed the deficit to 47-32 with 15:22 remaining.
The Penmen would get as close as 14, but the Mocs had run the lead back up to 17 at 59-42 with 12:01 left when Southern New Hampshire used a 20-4 blitz – with seven points from Walters, five from Floras and four from Andrews – to slash the gap to just a single point at 63-62 with 4:08 to go.
After Walters fouled out, a Jonathan Lawton three-point play highlighted a 4-0 spurt that gave Florida Southern some breathing room at 67-62 with 2:42 on the clock, but a 7-2 run under a minute later knotted the game at 71-all with 33 seconds to go. Andrews triggered the flurry with a 3-pointer and then blazed coast-to-coast and dropped in a layup to level the score.
Florida Southern called timeout with 24.0 seconds on the clock and then quickly converted a layup to take a 73-71 lead. After the Penmen missed a 3-pointer and the Mocs only made one of two at the line on the other end, SNHU had a chance to send it to overtime, but a deep triple from the right wing would not fall and FSC escaped with the victory.
Junior Remo Simankevicius (Melbourne, Australia) played heavy minutes down the stretch and finished with five points (2-5 FG, 1-2 FT), a career-best nine rebounds, two steals and a block. Classmate Charlie Russo (Syracuse, N.Y.) also chipped in five points (1-4 FG, 1-3 3-FG, 2-2 FT).
Southern New Hampshire scored the first four points of the game, but Florida Southern would tally the next 18 – with Lawton leading the way with seven points, Marello scoring five and Hanson adding four – to take an 18-4 lead with 12:50 remaining in the opening half. The score was then 23-8 near the midway point of the stanza when a 10-4 run – highlighted by 3-pointers from Andrews and Russo – pulled the Penmen within 27-18 with 5:11 left.
With the margin still nine two minutes later, Florida Southern would close the half with eight straight, including the final four from Tyler Ross, to take a 40-23 lead into the break.
-Southern New Hampshire, which had not played a game since Dec. 9, drops its second straight after beginning the season 9-0.
-SNHU is ranked 19th in the latest NABC Division II Poll and 25th in the most recent D2SIDA Poll.
-This was the first meeting between the two teams since March 25, 2015, when Florida Southern secured an 81-70 victory in the Elite Eight, en route to a National Championship.
-Walters' third straight double-double is his sixth of the season and 27th of his career.
-Florida Southern outshot Southern New Hampshire, 44.9 percent (31-69) to 37.1 percent (26-70), while the Penmen were slightly better from long distance, 20 percent (4-20) to 18.8 percent (3-16).
-SNHU was plus-six at the line, holding a large shooting advantage, 93.8 percent (15-16) to 47.4 percent (9-19).
-The Mocs won the glass (47-40), paint (40-28) and featured a better assist-to-turnover ratio (13/16-11/16). The Penmen owned a 13-2 margin in second chance points.
The Penmen return to action Sunday, Dec. 31 (2 p.m.) when they take on Saint Leo University in a game that will air live on WGIR 610-AM. The next home game for SNHU is Wednesday, Jan. 3 (7:30 p.m.) when it plays host to Pace University at the Fieldhouse in another WGIR broadcast.
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