Southern New Hampshire Tops Stonehill, 76-66

Senior Priscilla Dodoo posted career-highs with 18 points and five steals against Southern New Hampshire tonight. (PHOTO BY Richard Orr)

Penmen take advantage of 24 Skyhawks turnovers to bounce back with win

EASTON, Mass. (December 6, 2011) – Southern New Hampshire University took advantage of 24 Stonehill College turnovers in bouncing back from two-straight defeats to claim a 76-66 victory in Northeast-10 Conference women's basketball action at Merkert Gymnasium tonight.

Southern New Hampshire enjoyed a 26-12 advantage in points off turnovers, taking full advantage of the 24 Stonehill giveaways while turning the ball over 19 times themselves. The Penmen finished shooting 47.5-percent (28-for-59) from the field, including 51.7% (15-29) in the second half, and converted 18-of-19 (94.7%) free-throw attempts on the night.

Junior Sloane Sorrell (Berwick, Maine/Noble) led four SNHU players in double-figures with 17 points (all second half) on 7-for-10 shooting from the field, while converting all three free-throw attempts, to go with five rebounds and three steals. Freshman Loretta Rocha (Espargos, Cape Verde) made all seven of her shots from the field for 14 points (12 first half) in 21 minutes off the bench to go with a team-best seven rebounds, while senior Christine Duffy (South Boston, Mass./Archbishop Williams) contributed 13 points, making 4-of-6 shots from the field, including her lone three-point attempt, and converting all four free-throws, with eight assists and three steals. Senior Megan Smith (Springfield, Maine/Skowhegan) chipped in 12 points, five rebounds and four steals off the bench.

Senior Priscilla Dodoo (Worcester, Mass./Burncoat) led Stonehill with a career-high 18 points as she made 9-of-13 shots from the field to go with four rebounds (three offensive) and a career-best five steals. Freshman Tori Faieta (Lynn, Mass./Saint Mary's) added 12 points off the bench with five rebounds and a season-high five blocked shots, while sophomore Mary Louise Dixon (Wellesley, Mass./Wellesley) finished with ten points, aided by a late 2-for-3 from three-point range, a game-high eight rebounds and four assists. Freshman Amy Pelletier (Beverly, Mass./Bishop Fenwick) chipped in with nine points and three assists.

Freshman Tori Faieta added 12 points, five rebounds and a season-high four blocks off the bench. (PHOTO BY Gil Talbot)

Stonehill finished shooting 50-percent (28-for-56) from the field, including 4-for-9 (44.4%) from behind the arc, after hitting at 60.9% (14-23) in the opening half. The Skyhawks were 6-of-8 (75%) at the line and Southern New Hampshire finished with a 31-30 edge in rebounding.

Stonehill led by a just point (31-30) at halftime after shooting 60.9% in the half as Southern New Hampshire stayed close with an 18-8 edge in points off turnovers in the opening 20 minutes. The Penmen got 26 points from the bench in the half, led by Rocha's 12.

Southern New Hampshire scored the first six points of the second half as part of an opening 18-5 run that saw the Penmen stake out a 12 point advantage (48-36) after a Duffy layup less than six minutes in. Sorrell scored four of the Penmen's opening six points and had nine points in all to lead the opening run.

Stonehill closed within eight (48-40) with 11:32 to play with back-to-back baskets from Dodoo, but SNHU pushed the lead back to 11 (56-45) with a Duffy three with 7:57 to play. The Skyhawks rallied again, drawing within two (58-56) with 5:24 remaining after a conventional three point play from Williams and two-straight layups by Faieta.

The teams traded baskets over the next two minutes before Southern New Hampshire gained some breathing room by pushing its lead back to eight (66-58) with 1:10 to play on six-straight points from Sorrell. Stonehill drew back within four (70-66) with 33-seconds to go after two-straight deep three's by Dixon, but the Penmen had the answer at the free-throw line, draining all ten attempts in the final minute to seal the victory.

Stonehill led by six on two occasions in the first half, the latter coming after a Dodoo layup with 1:44 to play. However, SNHU closed within a point at the intermission by closing the half with a 7-2 run keyed by a three-point play by Smith.

Stonehill (5-4, 2-4 NE-10) is right back in action here at Merkert Gymnasium on Saturday when it entertains top-ranked and rivals Bentley University at 1:30 p.m. Southern New Hampshire (6-2, 4-2 NE-10) hosts Merrimack College on Saturday at 1:30 p.m.

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