Women's Basketball Knocks off Nationally-Ranked Ravens 54-51

RINDGE, N.H. – Visiting Southern New Hampshire University held No. 13 Franklin Pierce University to just 28.8% shooting for the game as it upset the Ravens 54-51 in Northeast-10 women's basketball Sunday afternoon at The Fieldhouse.  The Penmen, who had dropped nine in a row to the Ravens dating back to the 2005-06 season, upped their record to 4-7 and 2-5 in the NE-10, while FPU is now 9-4 and 5-2 in the league.

Megan Smith (Smithfield, Maine) led a balanced Southern New Hampshire attack with 11 points and seven rebounds, going 5-10 from the floor.  Sloane Sorrell (Berwick, Maine) finished with 10 points in just 13 minutes after being in foul trouble most of the game, while Magdala Johnson (Sandown, N.H.) recorded eight points and four assists, while Julia Houghtaling (Franconia, N.H.) pulled down 12 rebounds and added seven points.  Houghtaling's 12 rebounds moved her into 10th place in SNHU history in that category, while she also passed the 900-point mark for her career.

Marielle Giroud led all scorers with 24 points and 13 rebounds for Franklin Pierce, going 8-15 from the floor, while Jewel White added 10 points and 10 rebounds.

Southern New Hampshire led 28-24 at halftime and opened the second half on a 7-0 run to build a 35-24 lead with just under 16 minutes to play on a basket by Smith.  Franklin Pierce, which did not score until the 13:55 mark of the second, countered with an 11-1 run and a basket by Giroud with 10:33 to play made it 36-35 Penmen.  SNHU would get baskets on its next two possessions from Megan Spanarkel (Tinton Falls, N.J.) and Smith to make it 40-35.

With the Penmen clinging to a 44-42 lead with 6:34 to play following a Giroud three, freshman Kelly Chergey (Bow, N.H.), seeing action as SNHU post players Houghtaling and Sorrell were saddled with four fouls, converted back-to-back baskets to make it 48-42 with 5:43 to play.  Another Smith basket with just under five minutes left made it 50-42.

Franklin Pierce used a 7-0 spurt to pull within one, 50-49, on a Leika Cowen conventional three-point play with 1:46 left.  Sorrell would score at the other end to make it a 52-49 game, but after the teams traded empty possessions, Giroud would put back her own miss with 18 seconds to play to once again make it a one-point ballgame.

With only five team fouls to that point, the Ravens had to give a foul before sending Michelle DeRoma (West Roxbury, Mass.) to the line with 13 seconds to go.  DeRoma would sink both ends of the one-and-one and a three attempt by Giroud was off the mark.  Houghtaling would be fouled on the rebound but missed the front end of the bonus.  FPU grabbed the rebound but was unable to get a final shot off.

Franklin Pierce owned an 11-6 lead 8:25 into the game following a three by Brittany Martelle, but the Penmen would score the next nine points to take a 15-11 lead on a three by Johnson with 8:43 to go.  A pair of Tiffany Johnson free throws eight minutes before halftime gave the hosts a 16-15 lead, but the Penmen would take the lead for good with 6:30 on the clock on a three by Christine Duffy (South Boston, Mass.).  SNHU led by as many as seven in the first half and took a 28-24 lead into the locker room.

Southern New Hampshire held the Ravens to just 28.8% shooting for the game, including a 5-22 (22.7%) effort behind the arc.  The Penmen shot 43.1% for the game, while Franklin Pierce held a slight 39-38 rebounding advantage.

SNHU returns to action Wednesday night when it hosts Adelphi University in a 5:30 contest at the SNHU Fieldhouse.