- The Score: Southern New Hampshire 72, Assumption 71
- Record: Southern New Hampshire (5-0, 3-0 NE10), Assumption (2-4, 2-2 NE10)
- Location: Worcester, Mass. (Laska Gymnasium)
The Lead: Assumption led by six points at the half but Southern New Hampshire stormed back to lead over the final ten minutes of action. The Hounds kept it close and had a chance to tie the game in the final seconds, but a three-point attempt rimmed out and a jumper at the buzzer wasn't enough as they fell 72-71 in conference play on Wednesday evening.
HOW IT HAPPENED:
- The game was tied two minutes into the contest and the teams continued to trade baskets over the next five minutes, with a layup by Marcus Murray (Washington, D.C. / John F. Kennedy) putting Assumption in front 16-13. That jumpstarted a 10-0 run and the Hounds eventually stretched its lead to 27-15 on a triple by Declan Soukup (Melbourne, Australia / Hallam Senior College) at 8:35.
- Devin Gilligan ended the run with a three for the Penmen and they used a run of their own to pull within five, 31-26, with five minutes remaining in the half. Assumption pushed the lead to eight in the final two minutes, but SNHU scored the final three points for a 37-31 margin at the break.
- A Damien Rance (Melbourne, Australia / Pope John XXIII) layup at 19:21 gave the Hounds a 41-33 lead, though the Penmen responded with the next nine points to pull in front 42-41. The teams traded baskets over the next ten minutes, before a 5-0 run put SNHU ahead 61-55 at 7:02.
- Trailing by seven, 70-63 with just 70 seconds remaining, Murry drew contact going to the basket and connected on the ensuing free throws. Assumption got stops on each of its next two possessions and Murray made four more foul shots for only a 70-69 deficit with 14 seconds on the clock.
- After an Assumption foul and two SNHU free throws, the Hounds drew up a final play for a game-tying triple with six seconds left. Justin Tuckson (Stafford, Va. / Christ Chapel Academy) got the shot off cleanly in the waning seconds and it rolled around the rim and out before bouncing to Karl Ziegler (Annandale, Va. / Annandale). He was only able to turn and fire from the elbow as time expired to provide the one-point margin.
INSIDE THE NUMBERS:
- Assumption shot 41.7 percent from the floor overall, but just 37.0 percent in the second half. The Hounds were outstanding from the foul line, making 15 of 16. However, the Penmen attempted 18 more free throws, shooting 23-for-34 from the charity stripe.
- SNHU shot 35.5 percent from the floor for the contest and went just 5 of 23 from downtown, but the Hounds were only able to force nine turnovers while committing 16 of their own. They did own a slight 42-37 rebounding edge.
- Ziegler posted a double-double of 20 points and 12 rebounds with two steals, while Murray was in double figures with 18 points, five rebounds and two assists.
- Soukup added 15 points, five assists and two rebounds while Patrick Fleming (Dobbs Ferry, N.Y. / Iona Prep) chipped in four points and six boards.
- Walters led the Penmen with 27 points, nine rebounds, four assists and five steals, while Gilligan supplied 15 points and four boards.
- Assumption returns to action on Saturday when the team travels to play Franklin Pierce at 3:30 pm.