MANCHESTER, N.H. – Julia Houghtaling (Franconia, N.H.) and Michelle DeRoma (West Roxbury, Mass.) each finished with 18 points as Southern New Hampshire University posted a 78-56 Northeast-10 women's basketball victory over Southern Connecticut State University at the SNHU Fieldhouse Saturday. The Penmen won for the sixth time in seven games to improve to 9-8 overall and 7-6 in the NE-10, while the Owls are now 6-12 and 2-11 in the league.
Houghtaling finished 9-14 from the floor and now stands just 11 points shy of becoming the 14th player in SNHU women's basketball history to record 1,000 career points. She also grabbed five rebounds and registered four steals. DeRoma was 6-8 overall and 4-5 behind the arc. Christine Duffy (South Boston, Mass.) went 6-7 at the free throw line and finished with 13 points, eight assists and five rebounds, while Sloane Sorrell (Berwick, Maine) added 10 points. Megan Smith (Smithfield, Maine) totaled nine points while Magdala Johnson (Sandown, N.H.) registered eight points and six assists.
Shelley Pierson was the lone Southern Connecticut player to finish in double figures as she totaled 11 points and 12 rebounds.
SNHU never trailed and opened up a 16-2 lead five minutes into the game following a Duffy three. The Penmen took their largest lead of the frame, 22-5, at the 12:25 mark on a Houghtaling basket, before the Owls went on a 10-0 run to make it 22-15 with 6:03 to go on an Alex Fiola three. The Penmen scored the next six points to make it 28-15 on Houghtaling's layup with 3:06 to go before the break, and led 33-19 at intermission.
Southern Connecticut made it 33-25 a minute into the second half on back-to-back threes by Sylvonya Moore and Milena Lazarevic, but the hosts would reclaim a 41-28 lead with 17:19 left on a DeRoma three. SCSU kept chipping away at the lead, and a layup by Moni Smith-Ocran with 10 minutes to go cut the lead to six, 50-44.
The Owls got within five, 54-49, on a Moore three with 6:26 to go, but that would be as close as they would get, as SNHU scored the game's next five points. SCSU made it 61-55 with 2:52 to go, but the Penmen closed out the game on a 17-3 run, going 12-13 from the charity stripe down the stretch.
Southern New Hampshire shot 53.8% in the first half and 51% (26-51) for the contest, the third time in the past five games the Penmen have shot better than 50%. The hosts also knocked down five of their nine three-point attempts. Southern Connecticut was limited to 33.9% shooting for the game, including a 7-25 effort behind the arc. SNHU, which was outrebounded 41-29, went 21-27 at the free throw line while the Owls were 9-13. Southern Connecticut also committed 25 turnovers that led to a 21-12 Penmen advantage in points off giveaways.
Southern New Hampshire travels to the University of New Haven on Tuesday night for a 5:30 Northeast-10 Conference contest.