Women's Basketball Edged by Saint Anselm

MANCHESTER, N.H. – Epiphany Smith totaled 16 of her game-high 23 points after halftime as Saint Anselm College completed a season sweep of Southern New Hampshire University with a 55-54 win in Northeast-10 women's basketball Thursday night at the SNHU Fieldhouse.  The win improves the Hawks to 9-11 and 6-10 in the NE-10, while the Penmen are now 10-10 and 8-8 in the league.

Smith was 6-10 from the floor in the second half and 9-21 for the game.  Megan Howard was the other Hawk in double figures as she finished with 10 points and 12 rebounds.  Meg Morrissey and Curran Leighton totaled seven points apiece.

Megan Smith (Smithfield, Maine) led Southern New Hampshire with 13 points, while Sloane Sorrell (Berwick, Maine) finished with 11 points.  Julia Houghtaling (Franconia, N.H.) recorded her ninth double-double of the season with 10 points and 10 rebounds.

SNHU held a 42-35 lead with just under nine minutes to go, but the Hawks would go on a 10-4 run and a pair of free throws by Morrissey with 5:09 to go pulled Saint Anselm within one, 46-45.  The guests took their first lead since early in the second half on an Epiphany Smith three with 2:44 remaining that made it 53-51.  Saint Anselm extended the lead to 55-51 on a Smith basket with 2:04 to go.

The Penmen would pull within one, 55-54 with 53 seconds to go on a layup by Sorrell.  Epiphany Smith would miss a three and SNHU would collect the rebound, but turned the ball over with 30 seconds left.  SNHU would foul Morrissey with 17 seconds to go.  Morrissey would miss the front end of a one-and-one and Sorrell grabbed the rebound.

SNHU called timeout with 12 seconds left.  Houghtaling got the ball in the post but stepped on the baseline with 3.8 seconds left.  The Penmen would get one last chance when they forced the Hawks into a five-second violation on the inbounds.  SNHU would run a play that gave Sorrell an open look at a 12-footer, but her attempt was off the mark and the guests collected the rebound and were fouled with 0.4 seconds remaining.

Tied 23-23 at halftime, Saint Anselm jumped out to a 31-26 lead four minutes into the second half following a three-point play by Epiphany Smith.  Southern New Hampshire countered with a 14-2 run, and a layup by Megan Smith with just over 10 minutes to go gave the Penmen a 40-33 lead.

In a first half that saw six lead changes, the Penmen jumped out to an 11-6 lead.  Saint Anselm answered with a 10-0 run, taking a 16-11 lead with 7:36 left on a three by Kierra Moore.  SNHU scored the game's next six points to take a 17-16 lead on a pair of free throws by Sorrell with 5:59 to go before intermission.  Epiphany Smith would make a basket with nine seconds left to tie the game 23-23 at the break.

Southern New Hampshire outrebounded Saint Anselm 43-30 and took 15 more trips to the free throw line, but were 15-22 at the stripe while the Hawks were 5-7.  The Penmen limited the Hawks to 34.9% shooting for the contest, but 21 turnovers led to a 22-12 Saint Anselm edge in points off turnovers.

SNHU returns to action Saturday when it hosts Franklin Pierce University in a 1:30 contest at the SNHU Fieldhouse.  That game will be SNHU's annual WBCA "Pink Zone" event for breast cancer awareness.