MANCHESTER, N.H. – Jewel White totaled 21 points and 18 rebounds to lead Franklin Pierce University to a 58-57 Northeast-10 women's basketball victory over Southern New Hampshire University Saturday afternoon at the SNHU Fieldhouse. The Ravens, who are ranked No. 5 in the East Region, won their eighth straight to improve to 18-5 overall and 14-3 in the NE-10 while the Penmen are 10-11 and 8-9 in the league.
White, who leads the NE-10 in rebounding and is second in scoring, finished 8-16 from the field and 5-6 at the free throw line. Lekia Cowen was the other Raven in double figures, as she finished with 13 points. Tiffany Johnson added nine points and four rebounds.
Julia Houghtaling (Franconia, N.H.) led Southern New Hampshire with 21 points and seven rebounds, going 9-9 at the free throw line on the afternoon. Megan Smith (Smithfield, Maine) recorded 10 points, while Deborah LaValley (Rochester, N.H.) matched her career high with eight points off the bench.
The Penmen trailed by as many as 10 in the second half, but used a 7-1 run to pull within one, 54-53, on LaValley's three-pointer with 3:33 to go. FPU would score the next four points and a jumper by Cowen with 1:50 left made it a 58-53 game. After the two teams traded empty possessions, Smith would make it 58-55 with just under a minute left on her basket.
On FPU's next possession, Houghtaling would come up with a steal, giving the Penmen the ball back with 38 seconds to go. Houghtaling would convert a layup to make it 58-57 with 34 seconds left. The Penmen would get the ball back with 3.2 seconds to play when they forced a Raven shot-clock violation.
Inbounding under the Franklin Pierce basket, the Penmen would quickly advance the ball to midcourt and call their final timeout with 1.4 seconds to play. Inbounding at midcourt, SNHU was unable to get a final shot away before time expired.
SNHU held a 26-25 lead at halftime, but the Ravens outscored the Penmen 17-6 over the first six minutes of the second half and took their largest lead, 42-32, with 14:17 remaining on a layup by White. The hosts countered with an 8-0 spurt and a pair of free throws by Houghtaling with 11:19 to play made it 42-40.
In a first half that saw eight lead changes, SNHU held a 13-7 lead midway through the first half following a basket by LaValley. The Ravens reeled off a 10-1 run, and a three by Amanda Saab 7:32 before halftime put FPU on top 17-14. The Penmen would take a 26-25 lead into the locker room when Libby Cullerot (Henniker, N.H.) knocked down a three 22 seconds before intermission.
Franklin Pierce held a 42-32 rebounding advantage, including a 9-2 edge on the offensive glass. SNHU was 15-17 at the free throw line as opposed to FPU's 10-14 effort, but the Ravens were 6-21 behind the arc, while the Penmen were 4-7 from downtown. The Penmen also registered a season-high six blocked shots.
Southern New Hampshire returns to action on Tuesday night when it travels to UMass Lowell for a 5:30 contest.
The SNHU women's basketball team donned pink jerseys for Saturday's "Pink Zone" game to raise breast cancer awareness. View more photos from the game here.