When and Where: February 7, 2018 – Manchester, N.H. (SNHU Fieldhouse)
Score: Southern New Hampshire University 89, Bentley University 74
Records: SNHU 13-9 (9-8 NE10), Bentley 12-10 (9-8 NE10)
Senior Chris Walters (Stamford, Conn.) poured in a game-high 29 points to lead a trio of 20-point scorers, as the Southern New Hampshire University men's basketball team put forth a complete effort in Wednesday night's 89-74 win against Bentley University at the SNHU Fieldhouse to sweep the regular-season series.
Walters, who scored 19 points in the second half, shot 8-for-13 from the field, including 3-for-6 from beyond the arc, and was a perfect 10-for-10 from the stripe, while corralling eight rebounds and handing out a pair of assists. Junior Daquaise Andrews (Queens, N.Y.) registered 23 points (8-15 FG, 7-9 FT), seven boards and five steals, which matched a career high. Sophomore Eamonn Joyce (Medford, Mass.) matched his career best with 20 points (5-9 FG, 2-2 3-FG, 8-9 FT), while setting new career marks in rebounds (8), blocks (4) and assists (3).
Ryan Richmond paced the Falcons with 24 points, including 18 after the break. Chris Hudson added 15.
Southern New Hampshire, which led from start to finish, jumped out to a 9-2 lead over the opening 2:01, behind four points from Joyce. With the margin at four nearly four minutes later, five points from Joyce powered a 10-2 run that ballooned the Penmen advantage to 12 at 23-11 midway through the opening half.
Bentley had whittled the deficit to nine with just over six minutes left when back-to-back 3-pointers from sophomore Ryogo Sumino (Kanagawa, Japan) jump-started a 13-4 blitz that ran the SNHU lead to 41-23 with 2:39 remaining. The hosts would carry a 41-26 advantage into the locker room.
The Penmen would score the first seven points of the second half, including the final five from Walters, to grab their largest lead of the night at 48-26 just 1:10 in. With the lead at an even 20 nearly four minutes later, six straight from Bentley would pull it within 14 at 56-42 at the 14:02 mark.
After Southern New Hampshire carried the margin back up to 20 with 10:45 to go, a quick 9-2 burst – with treys from Richmond, Zach Gilpin and Jordan Mello-Klein – would make it a 13-point game at 67-54 with 8:26 to play.
The lead was 18 more than two minutes later when six points from Richmond carried an 8-0 flurry that cut it to 10 at 76-66 with 2:34 on the clock. The Penmen answered back with six-in-a-row to make it 82-66 with a minute-and-a-half left and they would seal it by going 7-for-8 from the line over the final 1:08.
Sumino finished with six points (2-6 FG, 2-4 3-FG), while junior Charlie Russo (Syracuse, N.Y.) chimed in with five points (2-4 FG, 1-3 3-FG) and three assists.
-Southern New Hampshire, which wins for the second time in three games, pulls into a tie with Bentley for fourth place in the NE10 Northeast Division Standings with four games to play. The Penmen, which own the tiebreaker over the Falcons, are one game back of Stonehill College.
-Andrews was honored prior to the game for becoming the 50th member of the program's 1,000-point club last Saturday at Stonehill.
-Walters has now nailed 38 consecutive free throws dating back to Jan. 27.
-Joyce, who had just one double-digit scoring performance to his credit prior to starting the last three straight games, has now scored 10 or more in all three starts and is averaging 17.3 ppg during that span.
-Southern New Hampshire outshot Bentley, 50 percent (27-54) to 41.9 percent (26-62), including 52.9 percent (9-17) to 42.9 percent (9-21) from beyond the arc. SNHU doubled up the visitors from the free throw line, despite being outshot, 92.9 percent (13-14) to 86.7 percent (26-30).
-The Penmen won the paint (30-22) and featured a better assist-to-turnover ratio (11/8-11/13), while holding an 18-13 advantage in points off mistakes. The Falcons narrowly captured the glass (33-32).
The Penmen return to action Saturday, Feb. 10 (3 p.m.) when they take on Merrimack College. The next "home" game for SNHU is Wednesday, Feb. 14 (8 p.m.) when they clash with crosstown-rival Saint Anselm College at the SNHU Arena in downtown Manchester in a contest that will air on FOX College Sports. Tickets are still available via Ticketmaster by visiting snhuarena.com.
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