Southern New Hampshire Holds Off Stonehill, 66-59

Sophomore Mary Louise Dixon finished just an assist shy of a double-double as she matched her season-high with 23 points to go with nine assists and six rebounds tonight. (PHOTO BY Bert Lane) 

Sorrell double-double, including 17 second half points, leads Penmen to victory

MANCHESTER, N.H. (February 14, 2012) – Southern New Hampshire University held off a late Stonehill College rally to claim a 66-59 victory in Northeast-10 Conference women's basketball action at SNHU Fieldhouse tonight.

Junior Sloane Sorrell (Berwick, Maine/Noble) posted a double-double to lead Southern New Hampshire as she scored 19 points (17 second half), including the 1,000th of her career, with ten rebounds and four steals as she shot 7-of-11 from the field and converted 5-of-7 free-throws. Sophomore Victoria Wiseman (Montreal, Quebec/New Hampton School) added 12 points off the bench on 4-of-6 shooting from the field, including 2-for-2 from three-point range, while converting 2-of-4 free-throws to go with seven rebounds in 22 minutes. Senior Megan Smith (Smithfield, Maine/Skowhegan) contributed 12 points on 6-of-9 shooting, and four rebounds, while classmate Christine Duffy (South Boston, Mass./Archbishop Williams) dished out 12 assists.

Sophomore Mary Louise Dixon (Wellesley, Mass./Wellesley) led Stonehill as she matched her season-high for the second straight game and fourth time this season overall with a game-high 23 points on 9-of-19 shooting from the field to go with nine assists, six rebounds and two steals. Freshman Tori Faieta (Lynn, Mass./Saint Mary's) added ten points, shooting 3-for-6 from the field and 4-for-5 at the free-throw line, with seven rebounds. Sophomore Asia Ewing (Westford, Mass./Westford Academy) chipped in eight points, seven boards, two assists and two steals.

Freshman Tori Faieta contributed ten points and seven rebounds tonight. (PHOTO BY Gil Talbot)

Southern New Hampshire shot 50.9-percent (27-for-53) from the field, including 3-for-6 (50%) from three-point range, while converting 9-of-17 (52.9%) free-throws. The Penmen enjoyed a 25-9 advantage in points off the bench. Stonehill shot 41.1-percent (23-for-56) from the field, but was 48.1% (13-27) in the second half to get back in the game. The Skyhawks finished with a 35-32 rebounding advantage, but SNHU outscored the guests 6-0 in second chance points.

Southern New Hampshire turned back a Stonehill rally from 11 points down in the second half to claim the key NE-10 win. The Skyhawks trailed by 11 (42-31) with 13:21 left in regulation after two straight Wiseman layups. Stonehill used a 10-2 surge to close within two (43-41) after a Ewing three with 10:20 to play. SNHU regained an eight point lead (49-41) on a jumper by senior Megan Spanarkel (Tinton Falls, N.J./Red Bank Catholic) two minutes later.

The SNHU lead was still eight (53-45) after a Michelle DeRoma (West Roxbury, Mass./Mount Alvernia) jumper with 5:35 left before Stonehill closed the gap again. A Ewing jumper pulled the Skyhawks within a point (55-54) with 3:23 left. After a layup by freshman Brooke Springfield (Jaffrey, N.H./Conant), Ewing buried a three to knot the score (57-57) with 2:50 to play.

That would prove to be Stonehill's final field goal of the night as Southern New Hampshire scored the final seven points of the contest, led by four from Sorrell, to seal the victory. The Skyhawks misfired on their last seven shots from the field over the final 2:50 after Ewing's game-tying three-pointer.

Southern New Hampshire charged out to a ten point lead (13-3) after a Smith layup seven minutes into the contest. The Penmen lead grew to 11 (18-7) after a Spanarkel jumper with 9:28 remaining in the half and was still ten (25-15) following a Springfield layup 3:12 before the intermission. Stonehill finished the half strong, drawing within two (27-25) after a Dixon layup with 25-seconds to play, before Duffy sent SNHU into halftime with a four point (29-25) lead with a layup with eight seconds left.

Southern New Hampshire, who never trailed on the night, used a 13-4 run after Faieta scored the first basket of the second half, to regain its 11 point (42-31) cushion with 13:21 remaining.

Stonehill (12-12, 8-12 NE-10) is back in action on Saturday when it visits rival Bentley University, ranked sixth in this week's USA Today/ESPN/WBCA Division II poll, at 1:30 p.m. The Skyhawks return home next Tuesday, February 21, to close out the regular season against Saint Anselm College at Merkert Gym at 5:30 p.m. Southern New Hampshire (18-8, 13-7 NE-10) visits Merrimack College on Saturday at 1 p.m.

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