February 24, 2009

Women's Basketball Edges UMass Lowell 59-55

BOX SCORE

MANCHESTER, N.H. - Ashara Carrington (Marblehead, MA) and Stephanie Houghton (Manchester, NH) each scored 13 points to lead Southern New Hampshire University to a 59-55 Northeast-10 women's basketball victory over UMass Lowell Tuesday night at the SNHU Fieldhouse.  The Penmen won their third in a row to improve to 17-10 overall and 12-10 in the NE-10, while the River Hawks see their season come to a close at 8-19 and 5-17 in the league.

The win, coupled with a Le Moyne loss to Southern Connecticut Tuesday, put the Penmen and Dolphins in a tie for the eighth spot in the final NE-10 standings.  Le Moyne captured the lone meeting between the two teams earlier this season, so SNHU will hit the road to face the Dolphins Sunday in a NE-10 Tournament first round matchup.

Carrington was 4-6 from the floor and 5-6 at the free throw line and grabbed eight rebounds, while Houghton also grabbed six rebounds.  Julia Houghtaling (Franconia, NH) had eight points and seven rebounds for the Penmen, while Alyssa Whitney (Somerville, MA) also registered eight points.  Christine Duffy (South Boston, MA) handed out six assists.

Jen Valente led UMass Lowell with 14 points and six rebounds off the bench, while Rahshala Valentine recorded 13 points.

SNHU, which led by as many as 10 in the second half, clung to a 52-51 lead with 1:31 left following a rebound by Revital Carmon.  Houghtaling would score down low for SNHU on its next possession, but the River Hawks cut the lead to one with just under a minute left when Meghan Kirwan sank a pair of free throws.

Houghtaling would be fouled going to the basket with 37.8 seconds left and converted a pair at the line to make it a 56-53 game.  UMass Lowell would turn the ball over on its next possession and the Penmen converted 3-of-4 at the line the rest of the way to seal the win.

The Penmen trailed 26-25 at the half but scored the first four points of the second half and outscored UMass Lowell 16-5 over the first eight minutes to take a 41-31 lead with 12:12 left on a layup by Whitney.  The River Hawks would counter with a 16-6 run and tied the game at 47 with 6:11 to play on a basket by Valentine.  SNHU took the lead for good when Houghton nailed a three with 4:48 left to put the Penmen up 50-47.

UMass Lowell used a 8-2 run late in the first half to take a 24-18 lead with just over four minutes left following a layup by Valente.  The Penmen responded by scoring seven straight points, and a pair of free throws by Megan Shay (Candor, NY) with 1:10 before halftime would give SNHU a 25-24 lead.  The River Hawks would take a 26-25 lead into the locker room when Megan Barry converted a layup with 28 seconds remaining.

Southern New Hampshire generated a commanding 33-4 advantage in trips to the free throw line and went 24-33 at the stripe while UML was 3-4.  Neither team shot the ball well (SNHU 34%; UML 35.3%) and the River Hawks held a 42-39 rebounding advantage.