#19/25 Men’s Basketball Rides Huge First Half to 82-66 Win at Saint Leo


When and Where: December 31, 2017 – Saint Leo, Fla. (Bowman Center)
Southern New Hampshire University 82, Saint Leo University 66
SNHU 10-2, Saint Leo 8-9

Senior Chris Walters (Stamford, Conn.) racked up a game-high 32 points and completed his fourth straight double-double, as the No. 19/25 Southern New Hampshire University men's basketball team bounced back from Saturday's tough loss to finish out its Florida trip with an 82-66 victory against Saint Leo University on Sunday at the Bowman Center.

Walters was 9-for-18 from the floor, including 2-for-3 from beyond the arc, and 12-for-13 from the line, while corralling 11 rebounds and blocking three shots. Junior Daquaise Andrews (Queens, N.Y.) registered 20 points (9-10 FG, 2-2 3-FG), eight boards, four steals and two assists.

Isaiah Hill paced the Lions with 17 points, seven rebounds and seven assists, while Tyreece Brice, who netted his 1,000th point in a Saint Leo uniform in the contest, finished with 13.

Southern New Hampshire, which led wire-to-wire, held a 7-6 edge more than three minutes into the game when an Andrews 3-pointer set off a 25-4 avalanche that put the Penmen in front, 32-10, with 9:44 remaining in the opening half. Six different scorers contributed during the stretch, including Walters, who led the way with 10, and Andrews, who dropped in five.

The margin was still 22 more than three minutes later when another Andrews trey triggered a 15-4 barrage that gave SNHU its largest lead of the game at 51-18 with 1:47 on the clock. Senior Dimitri Floras (Merrimack, N.H.) paced the run with five points, while Walters and junior Remo Simankevicius (Melbourne, Australia) each added three. Southern New Hampshire would head to the break with a commanding 53-20 advantage.

Saint Leo came charging out of the locker room on a 19-5 run – with six points each from Hill and Brice – to slash its deficit to 58-39 with 11:49 to play. SNHU would push its lead to as many as 25 with just under eight minutes left, but the Lions would again roar back with a 16-5 blitz that trimmed the deficit to 74-60 at the 3:35 mark. Junior Searcy and Kyran McClure led the balanced attack with four points each, but time would run out on Saint Leo.

Junior Charlie Russo (Syracuse, N.Y.) tallied eight points (3-6 FG, 1-2 3-FG, 1-1 FT), two rebounds and three assists, while sophomore Ryogo Sumino (Kanagawa, Japan) posted seven points (2-4 FG, 1-2 3-FG, 2-2 FT) and three boards. Floras chimed in with five points (2-7 FG, 1-2 FT), two rebounds and four assists, with Simankevicius adding five points (2-4 FG, 1-2 FT), three boards and two helpers.

-Southern New Hampshire, which is ranked 19th in the latest NABC Division II Poll and 25th in the most recent D2SIDA Poll, snaps its two-game losing streak.
-SNHU improves to 2-1 all-time against the Lions.
-Walters, who recorded his 1,500th career point in the victory, moves into 16th all-time on the Penmen scoring list.
-Walters' fourth straight double-double is his seventh of the season and 28th of his career.
-The 53 first-half points were the most for Penmen since Feb. 17, 2016 when they scored 54 before the break at home against Franklin Pierce University. The last time SNHU shot 64 percent in the opening half was Jan. 24, 2015 when it hit at a 70-percent clip at Le Moyne College.
-Southern New Hampshire outshot Saint Leo, 56.9 percent (29-51) to 37.7 percent (23-61), including 64.3 percent (18-28) to 28 percent (7-25) in the first half and 54.5 percent (6-11) to 18.2 percent (4-22) from beyond the arc.
-The teams were pretty evenly matched at the line, with SNHU hold a slight advantage, 81.8 percent (18-22) to 80 percent (16-20).
 -The Penmen won the glass (33-31) and the paint (38-30), while holding a 28-21 advantage in points off turnovers. The Lions owned a 15-8 margin in offensive rebounding for an 18-8 boon in second chance points, while also featuring a better assist-to-turnover ratio (13/17-12/21).

Up Next:
The Penmen return to action Wednesday, Jan. 3 (7:30 p.m.) when they jump back into Northeast-10 play to host Pace University at the SNHU Fieldhouse in a game that will air live on WGIR 610-AM.

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