MANCHESTER, N.H. – Freshman BJ Cardarelli (Manchester, Conn.) led four Southern New Hampshire University players in double figures with a season-high 24 points as the Penmen pulled away from Saint Anselm College 81-65 in Northeast-10 men's basketball Tuesday night at the SNHU Fieldhouse. The Penmen improved to 3-1 and 1-1 in the NE-10, while the Hawks, who were picked third in the NE-10 preseason poll, are now 2-3 and 0-2 in the league.
In 20 minutes off the bench Cardarelli was 7-11 from the field, 2-5 from three-point land and 8-8 at the free throw line while also grabbing a game-high eight rebounds. Classmate Elijah Bonsignore (Felton, Del.) made all three of his three-point attempts and finished with 16 points and three blocked shots, while Aleksandar Dobrovic (Podgorica, Montenego) totaled 15 points on 6-7 shooting while adding five rebounds and three steals. Tory Stapleton (Rahway, N.J.) recorded 10 points while grabbing seven rebounds and handing out four assists.
Dino Mallos led Saint Anselm with 14 points, while Jack Keough added 13 points and eight rebounds.
Southern New Hampshire, which trailed 41-35 at halftime, opened the second half on a 7-0 run and a layup by Dobrovic at the 17:14 mark gave the Penmen a 42-41 lead. The lead was short-lived, as a James Morse basket on Saint Anselm's next possession gave the guests the lead. SNHU took the lead for good on a three by Josh Morgan-Green (Upper Marlboro, Md.) with 11:23 left that made it 54-51.
Saint Anselm pulled within one, 61-60, with 6:49 left on a layup from Keough, but the Penmen used a 9-0 run to take control, and a Dobrovic three with 2:39 to play made it 70-60. Southern New Hampshire led by at least nine points the rest of the way.
The guests took an early 16-7 lead with just over 14 minutes to go in the first half on a conventional three-point play by Dominic Borelli. Trailing 23-16 with 8:16 left, the Penmen used a 7-0 run to tie the game 5:20 before intermission on a Bonsignore three-pointer. With the game tied 30-30 with 2:33 to go, the Hawks closed the frame on an 11-5 run to take a 41-35 lead into the locker room.
Southern New Hampshire shot a blistering 58.3% (14-24) over the final 20 minutes and 51.9% (27-52) for the contest while holding the Hawks to 32.1% shooting over the final 20 minutes and 39.3% for the game. The Penmen outrebounded Saint Anselm 41-28 and held a commanding 45-11 advantage in bench points.
SNHU returns to action on Sunday when it travels to UMass Lowell for a 4:00 contest. The River Hawks were the preseason pick to win the Northeast-10 in the preseason coaches poll.