When and Where: January 20, 2018 – Manchester, N.H. (SNHU Fieldhouse)
Score: American International College 77, Southern New Hampshire University 71
Records: AIC 10-9 (5-6 NE10), SNHU 11-6 (7-5 NE10)
Senior Chris Walters (Stamford, Conn.) notched a double-double of 21 points and 15 rebounds, but the Southern New Hampshire University men's basketball team was handed its fourth straight loss by American International College, 77-71, Saturday at the SNHU Fieldhouse.
Walters went 7-for-20 from the field, including 2-for-6 from long range, and 5-for-6 from the stripe, while adding four blocks and three steals. Junior Daquaise Andrews (Queens, N.Y.) tallied 16 points (6-15 FG, 4-5 FT), five rebounds and five assists, while sophomore Eamonn Joyce (Medford, Mass.) was also in double figures with a career-best 10 points (2-5 FG, 2-4 3-FG, 4-4 FT).
Tahlib Swan paced four Yellow Jackets in double figures with 20 points.
With the game tied at seven early on, American International ripped off a 12-1 run – with four points from Robert Durant and three each from Kassim Kaba and Andrew Anderson – to seize a 19-8 lead with 13:05 remaining in the opening half. Southern New Hampshire, however, would respond with a 13-3 counter-run – highlighted by 3-pointers from Joyce, junior Charlie Russo (Syracuse, N.Y.) and sophomore Ryogo Sumino (Kanagawa, Japan) – to pull within one at 22-21 with 8:12 to play.
The AIC lead was five nearly four minutes later when a posterizing dunk from Walters triggered a 9-0 blitz that featured treys from Walters and Sumino, and put the Penmen into the lead at 34-30 with under three minutes to play. SNHU would bring a 38-34 advantage into the break.
A 7-0 run from the Penmen two-and-a-half minutes into the second stanza – capped by an Andrews three-point play – would run their lead to an even 10 at 49-39 with 16:10 on the clock. The gap was eight with nine minutes to play when AIC flipped the script by ripping off a 19-4 run – with 10 points from Swan and five from Kaba – to go in front, 68-61, with 3:17 left. A Kaba triple with 5:15 to go gave the Yellow Jackets the lead for good at 62-59.
A 3-pointer from Joyce with 15 seconds left pulled the Penmen within 75-71, but Kaba would drill a pair of free throws with under six seconds remaining to seal the win.
Sumino posted nine points (3-5 FG, 3-5 3-FG) and four rebounds, while Russo added six points (2-5 FG, 1-4 3-FG, 1-1 FT) and three rebounds. Senior Scott Toresco (Westfield, N.J.) also chipped in six points (3-3 FG). Senior Dimitri Floras (Merrimack, N.H.) chimed in with three points (1-10 FG, 1-3 FT), four rebounds, three assists and two steals.
-After beginning the season with nine straight victories, Southern New Hampshire has lost six of eight and drops four straight for the first time since Jan. 28-Feb. 8, 2012.
-Walters' 21 points move him past Sotirios Karapostolou (1,609) for 11th place on the program's all-time scoring list with 1,627 points.
-AIC outshot Southern New Hampshire, 42.1 percent (24-57) to 37.5 percent (24-64), from the field, 33.3 percent (5-15) to 32 percent (8-25) from long range and 88.9 percent (24-27) to 78.9 percent (15-19) from the line.
-The Yellow Jackets won the glass (42-34) and the paint (32-30), while the Penmen featured a better assist-to-turnover ratio (10/14-10/18) and held a 24-8 advantage in points off mistakes.
The Penmen return to action Tuesday, Jan. 23 (7:30 p.m.) when they take on Adelphi University. The next home game for SNHU is Saturday, Jan. 27 (4 p.m.) when it plays host to the University of New Haven at the Fieldhouse on Pink Day.
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