LOWELL, Mass. – Bianca Simmons totaled 21 points as UMass Lowell withstood a late Southern New Hampshire University and took a 92-87 Northeast-10 women's basketball victory at the Costello Athletic Center Tuesday night. The River Hawks improve to 8-14 and 7-11 in the NE-10, while the Penmen are now 10-12 and 8-10 in the league.
Simmons led five River Hawks in double figures as she also finished with eight assists and six rebounds. Krissy Little finished 6-9 from the floor and totaled 17 points, while Briana Szidat notched 13 points. Erika Sjoberg and Sha'Nay Bushner finished with 11 and 10 points, respectively, with Bushner also grabbing 10 rebounds.
SNHU graduate student Julia Houghtaling (Franconia, N.H.) finished with a career-high 33 points, going 14-25 from the field and 5-6 from the free throw line while also grabbing eight rebounds. Sloane Sorrell (Berwick, Maine) registered 21 points, going 8-11 overall and 5-5 at the charity stripe, while Magdala Johnson (Sandown, N.H.) and Christine Duffy (South Boston, Mass.) each added eight points. Duffy also handed out a career-high nine assists and grabbed five rebounds.
The Penmen trailed by as many as 12 points in the second half and trailed 65-57 with just under six minutes to go when they went on a 7-0 run capped by a Houghtaling layup with 4:10 left. SNHU took its first lead since early in the game, 72-71, on a Sorrell layup with 49 seconds left.
Simmons would give UMass Lowell the lead back on its next possession, but the Penmen reclaimed the lead with 15 seconds to go on an inbounds play when Johnson found Houghtaling cutting to the basket for a layup. UML would come up empty on its next trip, and Johnson grabbed the rebound with eight seconds to play and got fouled.
Johnson would make 1-of-2 to make it a 75-73 game. Following a timeout with 4.7 seconds left, Simmons would force overtime on a driving layup with 2.3 seconds to go, and the Penmen could not get a final shot away.
The hosts never trailed in the extra session and opened up an 80-75 lead a minute into the frame. Southern New Hampshire would cut the lead to one twice, the last on Houghtaling's layup with 2:27 left that made it 82-81. Houghtaling made a pair at the line with exactly one minute remaining that made it 84-82, but Simmons would make a layup on the next River Hawk trip and UML sealed the win by going 5-8 at the free throw line the rest of the way.
UMass Lowell jumped out to an early 9-2 lead and built a 20-10 advantage seven minutes into the game. The River Hawks held a 37-32 lead when they closed out the half on a 7-2 run and a three by Sjoberg with 42 seconds to go before halftime made it a 44-34 game at the break.
The River Hawks shot 62.1% in the first half and 49.2% for the game while the Penmen shot 51.7% in the second half and 48.5% for the contest. UML took nine more trips to the free throw line, going 21-30, while the Penmen were 17-21 at the stripe and the hosts were 7-18 from three while SNHU was 4-11 behind the arc. Both teams grabbed 36 rebounds.
Southern New Hampshire returns to action on Saturday when it travels to No. 17 Bentley for a 1:30 contest.