Women’s Basketball Nearly Erases 21-Point Deficit in 66-54 Defeat at SNHU

MANCHESTER, N.H. – Junior Briana Jones (White Plains, N.Y.) scored a team-high 14 points, but the Saint Anselm College women's basketball team came up short against Southern New Hampshire University, 66-54, Wednesday evening at the SNHU Fieldhouse.

The Hawks drop to 4-16 on the season, including 1-15 in Northeast-10 play, while the Penmen improve to 11-9, 8-8 NE-10.

Jones shot 6 of 14 from the floor and 2 of 2 at the line, while collecting three rebounds. Freshman Raquel Johnson (Long Beach, Calif.) netted 12 points (6-9 FG) in 18 minutes off the bench, with sophomore Allie Jones (So. Kingstown, R.I.) adding 11 points (4-11 FG; 3-4 FT) and seven boards.

Saint Anselm led 6-4 early on when the Penmen scored seven straight – with four from Sloane Sorrell and three from Deb Lavalley – to grab an 11-6 advantage at the 14:56 mark of the opening half. The Hawks had whittled it to three at 14-11 when SNHU crafted an 8-0 run, highlighted by four points from Victoria Wiseman, to open up a 22-11 lead midway through the stanza.

With the margin still 11 over three minutes later, the Penmen ripped off a 12-2 run – with six points from Michelle DeRoma – to widen the gap to 38-17 with 2:21 on the clock. A Johnson layup closed the scoring with 18 seconds left.

Layups from Briana Jones and Johnson opened the second-half scoring, but a 6-0 spurt pushed the lead back to 21 at 44-23 with 15:33 remaining. A three-point play by Allie Jones halted the run and kicked off a 10-0 stretch for the Hawks. Freshman Krista O'Gara (New Fairfield, Conn.) followed with a 3-pointer before junior Ashley Viselli (Groveland, Mass.) sank a pair at the line. Allie Jones then capped the run with a layup that cut it to 44-33 with 12:49 left.

The Hawks trailed 48-35 when Briana Jones and Johnson alternated baskets over four possessions to cut the deficit to five at 48-43 with 8:19 to play. After the teams traded scores, a pair of Allie Jones free throws pulled Saint Anselm within three at 50-47 with 6:33 remaining.

With the gap at four, the Penmen scored the final eight points of the game to stifle the Hawks' comeback and pull away for the win.

O'Gara chipped in seven points (2-3 FG; 1-1 3-FG; 2-3 FT), while Viselli added five points, four rebounds, two steals, a block and an assist. Senior Curran Leighton (Dover, N.H.) pulled down a game-high eight rebounds to go along with three points and a pair of assists.

SNHU outshot Saint Anselm, 45.7 percent (21-46) to 41.2 percent (21-51), while both teams shot 25 percent from deep. The Hawks held a 34-30 edge in the paint, while each team grabbed 30 rebounds. The Penmen turned it over just 12 times and the Hawks committed 16 turnovers.

Sorrell and Wiseman recorded a game-high 16 points for Southern New Hampshire.

The Hawks return to action Saturday, Feb. 9 at 1:30 p.m. when they play host to Bentley University at Stoutenburgh Gymnasium. Stay up-to-date with the latest news, including game previews and recaps, directly from the Saint Anselm College athletic department by liking us on Facebook (http://www.facebook.com/STAHawks) and following us on Twitter (http://www.twitter.com/STAHawks).