When and Where: February 20, 2018 – Worcester, Mass.(Laska Gymnasium)
Score: Southern New Hampshire University 79, Assumption College 75
Records: SNHU 15-11 (11-10 NE10), Assumption 7-20 (3-18 NE10)
Senior Chris Walters (Stamford, Conn.) and junior Daquaise Andrews (Queens, N.Y.) combined for 44 points to lead the Southern New Hampshire University men's basketball team to a 79-75 triumph over Assumption College on Tuesday night in the regular-season finale at Laska Gymnasium.
Walters led the way with 24 points (7-11 FG, 4-5 3-FG, 6-7 FT), including 18 before the break, eight rebounds, two assists and two steals, while Andrews posted 20 points (9-15 FG, 2-4 FT), including 14 after halftime, eight rebounds, a career-high seven steals and two assists. Senior Dimitri Floras (Merrimack, N.H.) rounded out the double-figure scorers for the Penmen with 13 points (4-8 FG, 1-2 3-FG, 4-4 FT), a career-best seven assists and three rebounds.
Joe Sullivan poured in a game-high 26 points for the Greyhounds, while Ben Vujadinovic added 17.
With the score tied, 7-7, more than four minutes in, Southern New Hampshire seized the lead for good when junior Charlie Russo (Syracuse, N.Y.) connected on a 3-pointer that sparked a 28-9 rush that put the Penmen in front, 35-16, with 7:42 remaining in the opening half. Six scorers contributed to the run, including Walters, who led the way with 11, and Russo, who added six.
Back-to-back treys from Sullivan made it a 13-point game with seven minutes to go before a 7-0 run later in the frame trimmed the Assumption deficit to nine at 40-31 with under three minutes on the clock. SNHU would take a 44-33 advantage into the locker room.
The Penmen opened the second half with a 13-4 blitz that gave them an even 20-point lead at 57-37 less than six-and-a-half minutes in. Andrews sparked the run with eight straight, as he led the way with 10 points during the stretch.
A Floras triple less than two minutes later gave Southern New Hampshire its largest lead of the night at 62-41 with 11:43 remaining, but eight quick points brought Assumption to within 13 at the 10:13 mark.
The visitors held an 11-point advantage with 3:46 left when the Greyhounds embarked on a 13-4 flurry – with six points from Vujadinovic – to slash their deficit to 77-75 with just over a minute on the clock. Following a Penmen turnover, Assumption missed a chance to tie it with more than 10 seconds to play and were forced to foul. Floras drilled both free throws with more than six ticks remaining to seal it.
Junior Jon Martin (Manchester, N.H.) matched his career high with nine points (3-3 FG, 3-3 3-FG), while Russo returned from a two-game absence to contribute six points (2-5 FG, 2-5 3-FG).
-With Bentley University beating Franklin Pierce University, Southern New Hampshire officially garners the No. 5 seed in the NE10 Northeast Division and will travel to take on Southern Connecticut State University, the Southwest's No. 4 seed, in a first round contest Friday, Feb. 23 at 7 p.m.
-Southern New Hampshire outshot Assumption, 52.8 percent (28-53) to 50 percent (28-56), including 63 percent (17-27) to 48.1 percent (13-27) in the opening half and 50 percent (11-22) to 40.7 percent (11-27) from beyond the arc. SNHU was also better from the line, 80 percent (12-15) to 72.7 percent (8-11).
-The Penmen turned in a slightly better assist-to-turnover ratio (16/11-16/12), while the Greyhounds narrowly won the paint (32-20). Rebounding was even at 27-all.
The Penmen return to action Friday, Feb. 23 (7 p.m.) when they travel to take on Southern Connecticut State University in an NE10 Championship first round contest Friday, Feb. 23.
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