MANCHESTER, N.H. – Competing for the first time at downtown Manchester's SNHU Arena, the Saint Anselm College women's basketball dispatched the Penmen of Southern New Hampshire University by a 61-54 score in a Queen City Cup clash.
The Hawks (16-10, 12-7 NE10) hold outright possession of third place in the Northeast Division of the Northeast-10 Conference with the victory. Southern New Hampshire has dropped both of its games to Saint Anselm this year, falling to 15-10 overall and to 11-8 against league opponents.
With his team's victory, Head Coach Corey Boilard secured his 100th career coaching win. In 163 games between Johnson & Wales (R.I.) University and his brief tenure on the Hilltop, Boilard is 100-63 (.614).
Sophomore Shannon Ryan delivered her 14th double-double of the season, scoring 20 points and reeling in 14 rebounds. Senior Ali Glennon, a native of nearby Bedford, N.H., racked up 16 first-half points and finished with 17 on the game. Classmate Clairee Putnam potted 15 points and made two three-point baskets.
Saint Anselm played the majority of the second half with the lead, but the Penmen cut the score to 53-51 with under 2:15 to go in regulation time. After a heavy foul with 1:57 to go, Steinman made both of her free throws to re-establish a four-point bulge for the Hawks. Both teams traded possessions in the next minute, but SNHU was 0-for-3 from the floor during that span.
With just under a minute to play, the Hawks picked up the rebound off of a missed shot by SNHU's Kylie Lorenzen. Forced to foul the Hawks best free throw shooter, Putnam made back-to-back free throws for Saint Anselm to put the "visiting team" ahead by a 57-51 margin with 43 seconds on the clock.
A stout Hawks defense once again did not allow a made basket and, sent to the line again following the defensive rebound, Saint Anselm improved its lead to 58-51. When the smoke cleared in the final 37 seconds, the Hawks claimed victory by a 61-54 score.
SNHU sprinted out to a 3-0 lead only 55 seconds into the game, but the Hawks countered with four-straight points to capture the lead. Ryan opened the second quarter with four-straight points to build a game-high six point lead with 7:24 to go in the first half.
Glennon continued her monster first half, creating a double-digit lead for the first time with a three-point basket with 2:20 remaining in the second. She would finish with 16 points in 17 minutes, carrying the Hawks into halftime with a 32-25 advantage. The Hawks also enjoyed a 22-to-19 edge in overall rebounding through the first 20 minutes.
The Hawks also fired off 12 points in the paint during the second quarter in which the squad shot 8-for-13 (61.5%).
The Penmen opened the second half on a 9-4 scoring run where Ryan alone had her team's four points scored. Following a media timeout, SNHU cut the Hawks lead to two points before Saint Anselm scored seven-straight points – during that span, a Putnam triple packed the biggest punch to eventually lift her team to a 45-39 lead after three periods of action.
Ashley Briggs sparked a brief scoring run for the Hawks shortly into the fourth quarter with a jumper just inside the arc. Putnam scored the next points of the game following a three, putting Saint Anselm up by a 50-42 margin and forcing a SNHU timeout with 7:08 left in regulation time. Prior to SNHU cutting the lead to two with 2:16 left, both teams combined for only10 points across the next four-plus minutes.
Lorenzen scored 13 points for Southern New Hampshire while Brianna Camara scored 12 points, missing a double-double by one rebound. The Penmen shot only 30.3% for the game, making 20-of-66 shots while shooting below 64.3% from the charity stripe (9-for-14).
Saint Anselm will head to Winooski, Vt. for a 1:30 p.m. tilt against the host Purple Knights from Saint Michael's College on Saturday, Feb. 17. The Hawks host Stonehill in its regular-season finale on Tuesday, Feb. 20 at 5:30 p.m.