When and Where: January 3, 2018 – Manchester, N.H. (SNHU Fieldhouse)
Score: Southern New Hampshire University 90, Pace University 72
Records: SNHU 11-2 (7-1 NE10), Pace 5-10 (1-6 NE10)
Senior Chris Walters (Stamford, Conn.) led all scorers with 27 points to steer the 25th-ranked Southern New Hampshire University men's basketball team to a 90-72 win against Pace University on Wednesday night at the SNHU Fieldhouse.
Walters was 9 of 17 from the floor, including 2 of 6 from deep, and a perfect 7 of 7 from the stripe, while pulling down eight rebounds, dishing four assists and making a pair of steals. Junior Charlie Russo (Syracuse, N.Y.) netted a career-high 19 points (7-11 FG, 5-9 3-FG), while senior Dimitri Floras (Merrimack, N.H.) also scored 19 points (6-13 FG, 4-9 3-FG, 3-5 FT) and dished three assists. Sophomore Ryogo Sumino (Kanagawa, Japan) was the fourth member of the team in double figures with 12 points (4-8 FG, 3-5 3-FG, 1-1 FT) and a pair of helpers.
Austin Gilbertson paced the Setters with 16 points, while Greg Poleon and Brandon Jacobs added 12 and 10, respectively.
After Pace scored the game's opening basket, Southern New Hampshire responded with a 21-2 barrage to seize a 21-4 advantage just over six minutes into the contest. Russo led the way with eight points during the stretch, while Walters supported his effort with seven and Floras added four.
Seven straight points from Pace would trim the deficit to an even 10 before seven points from Walters carried a 10-4 counter-run that moved the lead to 31-15 at the 7:43 mark. The Setters would close to within 12 when 3-pointers from Russo and Floras powered an 8-2 run that made it 39-21 with under four minutes to go. SNHU would head to the locker room with its largest lead of the first half at 46-27.
Pace had whittled the deficit to 16 less than two-and-a-half minutes into the second stanza when eight points from Floras and five from Russo fueled a 19-6 blitz that ballooned the Penmen advantage to 67-38 with 13:26 remaining. The lead was 26 later in the half when an 8-0 run – with three points each from Sumino and junior Daquaise Andrews (Queens, N.Y.) – gave Southern New Hampshire its largest lead of the night at 81-47 with 6:58 to go.
With the majority of the Penmen starters out of the game, Pace closed the contest on a 25-9 run – with seven points from Gilbertson and six each from Jacobs and Kevin Smith leading five scorers.
Junior Remo Simankevicius (Melbourne, Australia) chipped in five points (1-2 FG, 1-1 3-FG, 2-2 FT), while Andrews added three points (1-4 FG, 1-2 FT), a career-high seven assists and four rebounds.
-Southern New Hampshire, which is ranked 25th in the most recent D2SIDA Poll, wins its second straight.
-Russo set new career highs in both field goals (7) and 3-point baskets (5).
-Southern New Hampshire outshot Pace, 46.8 percent (29-62) to 45 percent (27-60), including 42.9 percent (15-35) to 38.9 percent (7-18) from beyond the arc.
-The 15 3-pointers were just two shy of the program record of 17 set against Keene State College on Feb. 7, 1996, while the 35 attempts were three away from the all-time mark of 38 against Saint Michael's College on Feb. 21, 2015.
-SNHU was also plus-six from the line and held an 81 percent (17-21) to 78.6 percent (11-14) advantage.
-The Penmen turned in a much better assist-to-turnover ratio (21/10-12/22) and owned a whopping 33-13 advantage in points off mistakes. The Setters won the glass (43-29) and the paint (34-24), while holding an 18-11 margin in second chance points.
The Penmen return to action Saturday, Jan. 6 (3:30 p.m.) when they take on Southern Connecticut State University. The next home game for SNHU is Tuesday, Jan. 9 (7:30 p.m.) when it plays host to Le Moyne College at the Fieldhouse in a game that will air live on WGIR 610-AM.
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