No. 7/8 women's basketball edges Southern N.H., 84-83

No. 7/8 women's basketball edges Southern N.H., 84-83

MANCHESTER, N.H. – The nationally-ranked Saint Anselm College women's basketball held on for an 84-83 victory over its cross-town rival Southern New Hampshire University on Tuesday at the Stan Spirou Field House.

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Saint Anselm, ranked seventh in NCAA Division II according to the D2SIDA National Media Poll, improves to 5-0 with its third Northeast-10 Conference win of the 2019 season. The Penmen have lost eight consecutive games to Saint Anselm, falling to 4-3 overall and to 0-2 against league opponents.

Senior Shannon Ryan (Plattsburgh, N.Y.) scored a career-high 33 points, finishing 13-for-23 from the floor while notching 17 rebounds on the evening for her 43rd career double-double. Junior Peyton Steinman (Pittsfield, Mass.) scored 15 points with 11 rebounds and freshman Macy Spinks (Luton, England) and senior Sara Messler (Durham, N.H.) each posted 11 point evenings.

Saint Anselm led by as many as 17 points near the midpoint of the second quarter, but the Penmen came from behind to take an 83-81 lead with 50 seconds left in the contest thanks to a Gyanna Russell layup in the paint. Following a Penmen time-out, the Hawks countered with a layup from Steinman with 37 seconds left to tie the game at 83.

After a missed Southern New Hampshire layup, the Hawks went up the floor and possessed the ball with under five seconds to go. With exactly 2.3 seconds left on the clock, Spinks was fouled with her back to the basket – with five team fouls for the Penmen, Spinks went to the line where she made the second of her two free throw attempts.

A timeout by SNHU brought the ball up court and set up a last-second play on offense. Driving the lane, Southern New Hampshire got a desperation shot off but it would not fall. The Hawks would hang on to the victory despite being outscored by the hosts, 26-15, in the game's final 17:11.

The Hawks scored 33 points in the first quarter alone, fueled by 16 points from Ryan in only 8:17 of game play. The Hawks used a 10-point scoring run to build a game-high lead of 11 points with 1:45 to go in the stanza, using 12 paint points, four second chance points and three fast-break points to key the strong stretch.

Saint Anselm built its lead to a game-high 17 points with a 24-8 run that spanned the first and second quarters and just over six minutes of game play. In total, the Hawks carried a lead of 49-40 to the locker room thanks to making 19 of the squad's first 30 shots (63.3%) and all six free throw attempts.

Russell finished with 30 points for the Penmen, followed by Victoria Dean and her 29 points.