MANCHESTER, N.H. – The Saint Anselm College women's basketball team posted a 71-62 victory over Southern New Hampshire University on Wednesday at Stoutenburgh Gymnasium.
Saint Anselm improves to 17-7 overall on the season and to 12-7 against Northeast-10 Conference opponents, defeating Southern New Hampshire (16-10, 10-9 NE10) for the 10th time in the last 11 games. The Hawks have reached at least 17 overall victories for the fourth-straight campaign, owning a 71-39 record in that span.
At day's end, the win helped the Hawks draw even with the Penmen in the chase for the Queen City Cup, the battle for Manchester sports bragging rights.
Junior Shannon Ryan (Plattsburgh, N.Y.) picked up a double-double, scoring 15 points and recording 10 rebounds alongside two blocks. Sophomore Peyton Steinman (Pittsfield, Mass.) scored 19 points, securing seven rebounds, with classmate Grace Guachione (Pittsfield, Mass.) totaling 11 points and a career-high nine assists.
Ryan enters her next game with 985 career points, putting her within reach of becoming only the 19th student-athlete in team history to reach the 1,000-point plateau. Across a 57-game career that spans two years on the Hilltop following a freshman campaign at Boston College, Ryan stands second all-time with 18.5 points per game.
The Hawks and Penmen battled to a 22-22 score with 2:37 to go in the first half following a layup in the paint by junior Julia Thissell (Hopkinton, Mass.). Saint Anselm forced a turnover on the very next possession as Steinman picked up the steal and fed freshman Eva Mazur (South Portland, Maine) for the fast-break layup only seconds later, putting the Hawks ahead for good.
Saint Anselm grew its lead to 10 points near the midpoint of the third quarter, using an 8-2 scoring run to capture a 43-33 lead with 14:48 to go in regulation time. Penmen standout Kylie Lorenzen posted 10-straight free throw makes in the third quarter alone, pacing all scorers while also securing four rebounds in the period.
Between the third and fourth quarters, Southern New Hampshire scored 21 of the game's 34 points across a span of just over eight minutes, shrinking the hosts' lead to two points, 54-52, with 6:32 left. Five-straight points by the Hawks followed that strong Penmen display, capped by a Steinman triple with 4:41 to go that recreated a seven-point lead.
Guachione had six of her career-high nine free throws in the game's final 42 seconds, putting the game out of reach for the Penmen. The sophomore assisted four of her team's five fourth-quarter baskets, allowing the Hawks to hold off a late-charging Penmen side.
Lorenzen finished with 29 points and 16 rebounds, scooping up four of those caroms on the offensive side of the ball. Both teams combined to shoot 60 free throws in the contest, with the Penmen holding the slight edge (76.7%-to-70%) in made shots from the charity stripe. Southern New Hampshire had only one offensive rebound in the game's final 20 minutes.
The Hawks host Saint Michael's this Saturday, Feb. 23 at 1:30 p.m. on Senior Day.