Southern N.H. Halts Men's Basketball, 76-58

Largey was the lone Skyhawk in double figures with 17 points on 6-of-9 shooting, including 3-for-5 from long range. (PHOTO BY Bob Blanchard)

Walters nets game-high 24 points and nine rebound to lead Penmen

MANCHESTER, N.H. (February 18, 2017) – Southern New Hampshire University, ranked fourth in both the NCAA Division II East Regional rankings and D2SIDA East Region poll, put Stonehill College's postseason hopes in jeopardy with a 76-58 triumph in Northeast-10 Conference men's basketball action at SNHU Fieldhouse this afternoon.

While Southern New Hampshire (19-6, 15-5 NE10) clinched the NE10's Northeast Division title, Stonehill's (14-12, 9-11 NE10) postseason aspirations were dealt a big blow with the loss as the Skyhawks fall one game adrift of rival Bentley University (13-12, 10-10 NE10) in the Division standings heading into Tuesday's regular season finales. Stonehill must defeat Saint Michael's College on Senior Night at Merkert Gymnasium on Tuesday at 7:30 p.m., and have Bentley lose at Merrimack College the same night to reach next week's NE10 Tournament. Stonehill holds the head-to-head tiebreaker with the Falcons. SNHU wraps up the regular season on Tuesday at crosstown rival Saint Anselm College at 7:30 p.m.

Junior Chris Walters (Stamford, Connecticut/St. Thomas More) paced SNHU with a game-highs of 24 points and nine rebounds to go with three assists, three steals and two blocked shots. He made 9-of-14 shots from the field, including 1-for-2 from three-point range, and converted 5-of-7 free-throws for the contest. Senior Devin Gilligan (Amherst, New Hampshire/Kimball Union) added 14 points, connecting on 4-of-5 three-pointers, with eight rebounds, two assists and two steals, while sophomore Daquaise Andrews (Queens, New York/Thomas Jefferson) finished with 13 points, seven boards, three assists and three steals.

Freshman Daniel Largey (Oceanport, New Jersey/Peddie School) was the lone Stonehill player in double-figures with 17 points on 6-of-9 shooting, including 3-for-5 from beyond the arc, and four rebounds (three offensive). Junior Isaiah Bess (LaGrange, Maine/Hampden Academy) scored his eight points in the first half, adding a team-high eight rebounds along with senior Ryan Logan (Fredericktown, Ohio/Fredericktown) who had a streak of 19 straight games scoring in double figures ended with four points.

Bess scored eight first half points to go with a team-high eight rebounds. (PHOTO BY Bob Blanchard)

SNHU forced 25 Stonehill turnovers, resulting in a 27-19 advantage in points off, while shooting 50-percent from the field (29-for-58), including 10-for-20 (50%) from three-point distance. The Skyhawks were held to 40-percent shooting (22-for-55), including 6-for-25 (24%) from beyond the arc.

Outside of Stonehill scoring the opening basket of the game, Southern New Hampshire led start to finish. The Penmen quickly grabbed a nine point lead (13-4) after a Walters triple six minutes into the game and then Walters gave them their first double figure lead (17-7) with a layup with 10:48 remaining in the first half. Stonehill climbed back within four (27-23) when junior Ryan Roach (Weymouth, Massachusetts/Cardinal Spellman) made one of two free-throws with 4:21 remaining, but SNHU closed the half with a 14-4 run to take a 14-point lead (41-27) into the intermission, capped by a Gilligan three-pointer with five seconds left.

Gilligan opened the second half with another triple, which was answered by three-pointers by Largey and freshman Will Moreton (Minneapolis, Minnesota/Edina) for Stonehill to cut the gap to 11 (44-33) 97-seconds in. SNHU stretched its lead to 19 with an Andrews three-pointer and two free-throws by Walters, but Stonehill was able to draw within 11 (52-41) with 13:14 left after back to back three-pointers by Roach and junior Joel Berroa (Lawrence, Massachusetts/Bridgton Academy). The Skyhawks pulled within eight (58-50) after a Largey three with seven minutes still to play, but would get no closer as the Penmen responded with a game-deciding 18-6 run to open a 20 point lead (76-56) to seal the win after a Gilligan triple with 65-seconds left.

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