Women's Basketball Gets Defensive, Defeats Dowling 50-46

MANCHESTER, N.H. – Southern New Hampshire University held Dowling College to just 30.4% shooting on the evening as it posted a 50-46 women's basketball victory in the first round of the 2010 SNHU Holiday Classic Wednesday at the SNHU Fieldhouse.  The Penmen improved to 3-6 on the season with the win, while the Golden Lions are now 4-7.

Action continues in the SNHU Holiday Classic on Thursday with No. 24 Bentley University, a 63-48 winner over Bridgeport in Wednesday's first game, taking on Dowling at 3:30.  The host Penmen face Bridgeport at 5:30.

Sloane Sorrell (Berwick, Maine) led a balanced SNHU attack with eight points and 11 rebounds, narrowly missing her second straight double-double.  Michelle DeRoma (West Roxbury, Mass.) and Megan Smith (Smithfield, Maine) finished with seven points apiece for the Penmen, while Magdala Johnson (Sandown, N.H.) and Libby Cullerot (Henniker, N.H.) adding six points apiece, with Cullerot finishing 2-4 behind the arc.  Julia Houghtaling (Franconia, N.H.) hauled down 11 rebounds and also added four points and four assists.

Connie Simmons led all scorers with 15 points for Dowling while also grabbing four rebounds.  Shayla Felder added nine points for the Golden Knights, while Rekik Worku added seven points.

Southern New Hampshire, which never trailed, used an 11-4 run to break a 10-10 deadlock and open up a 21-14 lead with 4:39 to go in the first half following a three by Cullerot.  The game would remain scoreless for over three minutes before a layup by SNHU's Megan Spanarkel (Tinton Falls, N.J.) with just over a minute to go in the first half gave the Penmen a 23-14 lead.  Dowling would end the period with a 5-2 spurt to pull it within six, 25-19, at halftime.

The Penmen opened up a 30-20 lead three minutes into the second half following a basket by Sorrell, but the Golden Lions would use a 10-2 run to pull within two, 32-30, with 14:16 to go on a layup by Sarah Schicher.  SNHU would score the game's next four points and a basket by Christine Duffy (South Boston, Mass.) with just under 13 minutes to go made it 36-30.  Dowling would counter with an 8-3 spurt and pull within one, 39-38, with 11:04 left on a Nora Bahgat layup.

Southern New Hampshire held a 48-41 lead with 5:42 left following a pair of free throws by Deborah Lavalley (Rochester, N.H.).  Dowling would use a 5-1 spurt to pull within three, 49-46, on a pair of free throws by Gamble with 2:56 left, but that would be as close as the Golden Lions would get as Southern New Hampshire held its guests without a field goal for the final 9:40.

The Penmen limited Dowling to just 30.4% shooting overall and 27.8% from behind the arc for the game while SNHU shot 40% over the final 20 minutes and 37% for the game.  Southern New Hampshire held a commanding 49-27 rebounding advantage, including a 14-7 edge on the offensive glass that led to a 15-4 advantage in second chance points.  SNHU did commit 25 turnovers but Dowling was able to turn that into only 17 points.