Franklin Pierce Pulls Away From Women's Basketball


MANCHESTER, N.H. - Johannah Leedham totaled 28 points to lead Franklin Pierce University to a 66-53 Northeast-10 women's basketball victory over Southern New Hampshire University Thursday night at the SNHU Fieldhouse.  The Ravens, who are the leading team in the "Others Receiving Votes" category of this week's ESPN/USA Today/WBCA Division II poll, improved to 15-4 and 12-3 in the NE-10 with their ninth win in a row, while the Penmen are now 11-8 and 6-8 in the league.

Leedham finished 8-14 from the floor and also added six rebounds and five steals.  Kirsten Doldoorian drained three second-half three pointers and finished with 11 points, while Vanessa Power was 3-3 behind the arc in the second half and added nine points for Franklin Pierce.

Stephanie Houghton (Manchester, NH) led Southern New Hampshire with 11 points and three assists, while Alyssa Whitney (Somerville, MA) was 5-6 from the floor and registered 10 points, four assists and a pair of steals.  Ashara Carrington (Marblehead, MA) and Brooke Lefort (Cumberland, RI) finished with nine and eight points, respectively, for the Penmen.

After trailing by eight at halftime, Franklin Pierce used a 14-2 run capped by back-to-back three pointers by Power to take a 42-35 lead with 11:25 remaining.  The Ravens extended their lead to nine, 48-39, on back-to-back triples by Leedham and Doldoorian, but SNHU would counter with seven straight points and a layup by Lefort with 7:44 to go made it a 48-46 game.

Franklin Pierce took a 56-48 lead with just over six minutes to go on a Doldoorian three.  The Penmen cut the lead to three, 56-53, with 3:37 left on a tough floater by Whitney, but the Ravens would hold the hosts scoreless the remainder of the way.  FPU sealed the win by going 6-6 from the floor in the final minute.

Southern New Hampshire used a 6-0 burst midway through the first half to take a 17-10 lead on a Whitney basket with 10:18 left in the period.  The Ravens cut the lead to one twice, the second time at 19-18 with 6:41 to play on a basket by Tori Aherns, but the Penmen closed out the half by scoring nine of the final 11 points, and a basket by Lefort with just over two minutes to play made it 28-20, which would be the halftime score.

After shooting 33.3% in the first half, Franklin Pierce shot 55.6% (15-27) over the final 20 minutes and was 8-11 (72.7%) behind the arc in the second half and 56.3% for the game.  The Ravens overcame 22 turnovers by outrebounding the Penmen 41-30.

Southern New Hampshire returns to action Saturday afternoon when it travels to UMass Lowell for a 2:00 contest.