January 25, 2012

Men's Basketball Escapes With 69-67 Win at Southern Connecticut

NEW HAVEN, Conn. – Southern New Hampshire University held off a furious Southern Connecticut State University rally to post a 69-67 Northeast-10 men's basketball victory Wednesday night at Moore Fieldhouse.  With the win, the Penmen improve to 11-8 overall and 7-7 in the NE-10, while the Owls now stand at 8-10 and 6-8 in the league.

The win extends SNHU's winning streak against Southern Connecticut to 14 games, with the last Owl victory coming in the 2001-02 season.

Freshman Aleksandar Dobrovic (Podgorica, Montenegro)led Southern New Hampshire with a season-high 17 points, going 6-11 at the free throw line.  BJ Cardarelli (Manchester, Conn.) finished with 14 points on 6-10 shooting, while Tory Stapleton (Rahway, N.J.) added 11 points for the Penmen.  Elijah Bonsignore (Felton, Del.) recorded seven points, eight rebounds and six blocked shots.

Trevon Hamlet led a balanced SCSU attack with 13 points and seven rebounds, while Greg Langston and Tylon Smith added 12 and 11 points, respectively.

Southern New Hampshire held a 65-54 lead with just over four minutes to play following a basket by Bonsignore, but the Owls would score 12 of the game's next 13 points, and a basket by Langston with 25 seconds to go tied the game 66-66.  Langston fouled Dobrovic on the inbounds, and Dobrovic would sink a pair at the line to give the Penmen a 68-66 lead with 22.4 seconds to play.

Smith would be fouled with 7.5 seconds left, making his first free throw attempt but missing the second.  Stapleton would grab the rebound and get fouled.  With the Penmen in the double-bonus, Stapleton made 1-of-2 to make it a 69-67 game with 5.3 seconds to go.  Langston would attempt a potential game-tying shot as time expired, but his attempt was blocked by Bonsignore.

The guests trailed 37-36 at halftime but used a 9-0 run to build a 57-49 lead with 11:38 remaining following a three by Lucas Croteau (Rochester, N.H.).  The Owls pulled within six with 8:23 left on a Luke Houston three that made it 60-54, but the Penmen countered with five unanswered points to take a 65-54 lead with 4:06 left.

Southern Connecticut jumped out to an early 9-2 lead and led 20-14 when the Penmen scored nine unanswered points to take a 22-20 lead with 8:02 left on a Cardarelli trifecta.  The two teams would trade the lead nine times the remainder of the half, and a pair of Langston free throws 21 seconds before intermission gave the hosts a 37-36 lead at the break.

Southern New Hampshire shot 41.3% for the game and connected on just six of their 25 three-point attempts, while the Owls shot 38.1% overall and behind the arc (8-21).  The Owls outrebounded the Penmen 41-40, but SNHU recorded a season-high nine blocked shots.

SNHU returns to action Saturday afternoon when it hosts American International College in a 3:00 Northeast-10 tilt.