When and Where: February 10, 2018 – No. Andover, Mass. (Hammel Court)
Score: Merrimack College 74, Southern New Hampshire University 58
Records: Merrimack 16-9 (12-6 NE10), SNHU 13-10 (9-9 NE10)
Senior Chris Walters (Stamford, Conn.) netted a game-high 27 points, but the Southern New Hampshire University men's basketball team came up on the short end of a 74-58 decision against Merrimack College on Saturday afternoon at Hammel Court.
Walters, who scored 20 points before halftime, was 8-for-15 from the field, including 4-for-7 from beyond the arc, and 7-for-8 from the line, while grabbing six rebounds and dishing a pair of assists. Junior Daquaise Andrews (Queens, N.Y.) recorded 15 points (6-16 FG, 3-3 FT), including 13 in the second half, four boards, three assists and two steals.
Juvaris Hayes tallied 17 points, seven assists, five rebounds and three steals to pace the Warriors, who also received 16 points from Ryan Boulter.
Merrimack trailed, 4-2, less than three minutes in when 13 straight points – with four each from Tawayne Anderson Jr. and Boulter – gave it a 15-4 lead with 13:14 remaining in the opening half. Khalief Crawford's 3-pointer at the 16:09 mark put the Warriors in front for good at 7-4.
Southern New Hampshire had whittled the deficit to eight when six straight from the hosts, including the first four from Devon Moore, widened its advantage to 23-9 with 8:15 to play. An 8-2 counter-run, with the first six points from Walters, pulled the Penmen within 25-17 with 6:33 left, but a Hayes trey sparked a 5-0 spurt that made it a 13-point game with 5:13 to go.
A pair of 3-pointers from Walters would highlight a half-ending 6-2 stretch that trimmed SNHU's halftime deficit to 40-32.
Merrimack held a 51-40 lead seven minutes into the second half when nine straight points, including seven from Andrews, slashed the gap to 51-49 for Southern New Hampshire with just over 10 minutes left in the game. The Warriors responded with a 10-0 blitz, with treys from Moore and Boulter bookending a pair of Anderson Jr. buckets, to run the lead to 12 at 61-49 with 7:18 remaining.
The Penmen would never get closer than 10, with Merrimack scoring the final five points of the game to increase the final margin.
Senior Dimitri Floras (Merrimack, N.H.) chimed in with five points (2-6 FG, 1-2 3-FG) and three rebounds in his return from a two-game absence, while junior Charlie Russo (Syracuse, N.Y.) also added five points (2-3 FG, 1-2 3-FG). Sophomore Eamonn Joyce (Medford, Mass.) chipped in three points (1-6 FG, 1-2 FT) and six boards.
-Southern New Hampshire, which had won two of three entering the day, remains in a fourth-place tie with Bentley University in the NE10 Northeast Division standings with three games to go.
-Walters became the ninth member of the program to score 1,800 points.
-Walters has scored 20 or more points in eight straight games, including 25-plus in six consecutive contests.
-Walters saw his streak of 44 consecutive free throws dating back to Jan. 27 come to a close with a miss with 3:49 left in the game.
-Merrimack outshot Southern New Hampshire, 56.6 percent (30-53) to 39.2 percent (20-51), from the field, 40 percent (6-15) to 35.3 percent (6-17) from beyond the arc and 88.9 percent (8-9) to 80 percent (12-15) from the stripe.
-The Warriors won the glass (30-26) and paint (42-26), while featuring a better assist-to-turnover ratio (14/12-8/13) and holding advantages in points off mistakes (22-7) and second chance points (12-6).
The Penmen return to action 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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