Bridgeport Holds off Women's Basketball 66-53

MANCHESTER, N.H. – Elinor Avny knocked down four three-pointers and totaled 18 points to lead the University of Bridgeport to a 66-53 women's basketball win over Southern New Hampshire University in the second round of the SNHU Holiday Classic on Thursday at the SNHU Fieldhouse.  The Purple Knights improved to 4-7 with the victory, while the Penmen are now 3-7 on the season.

Avny finished 7-12 from the floor and 4-7 behind the arc to lead four Purple Knights in double figures.  Kelly Keil totaled 13 points and nine rebounds while also blocking four shots, while Julia Colley and Ivana Savic each added 10 points.  Elsebeth Birman registered nine points, five rebounds and five assists for the Purple Knights.

Julia Houghtaling (Franconia, N.H.) was the lone Penmen player in double figures, as she totaled 19 points and 13 rebounds for her fifth double-double in eight games.  Her 13 rebounds also matches her career high.  Magdala Johnson (Sandown, N.H.) finished with nine points for Southern New Hampshire, while Megan Smith (Smithfield, Maine) added eight points off the bench.

Bridgeport held a 28-15 lead at halftime and extended that lead to 48-24 with 11:23 left following a layup by Edna Marant.  The Purple Knights held a 54-33 lead with just over nine minutes to play when the Penmen reeled off 13 unanswered points to pull within eight, 54-46, with 4:28 to go on a layup by Houghtaling. 

Savic would stop the run by knocking down a three on Bridgeport's next possession, but Smith would make it a 57-48 game with 3:30 left when she converted a layup.  That would be as close as the Penmen would come as the guests scored the next five points to build a 14-point advantage with just under two minutes to go.

The Purple Knights never trailed, scoring the game's first five points.  Bridgeport would outscore Southern New Hampshire 13-2 over the final 5:28 of the first half and a layup just before the buzzer by Keil gave UB a 28-15 halftime lead.

Bridgeport shot 51.9% (14-27) in the second half and 44.1% for the contest while limiting Southern New Hampshire to 21.1% shooting in the first half and 37.7% for the game.  The Purple Knights outrebounded the Penmen 39-37 and forced 20 SNHU turnovers that led to 21 points.

Named to the All-Tournament Team were Avny, Houghtaling, Jacqui Brugliera and Elise Caira of Bentley University and Connie Simmons of Dowling College.  Bentley defeated Dowling 68-57 in Thursday's first game.

Southern New Hampshire returns to action Sunday when it travels to No. 13 Franklin Pierce for a 1:30 Northeast-10 Conference game.