MANCHESTER, N.H. – In a game that saw 14 different lead changes, the Saint Anselm College men's basketball team was downed by Southern New Hampshire University on Wednesday, dropping an 86-85 contest at Stoutenburgh Gymnasium.
Saint Anselm falls to 5-2 on the year and to 3-1 against Northeast-10 Conference opponents. SNHU remains without a loss in seven games and has not lost any of its four league fixtures. The Hawks head to Merrimack this Saturday, Dec. 2 for a 3 p.m. showdown with the Warriors.
The Hawks shot a collective 55.6% in the game (30-for-54) but did not make a field goal across the final 5:02 of regulation time. Tim Guers picked up 32 points, making 12-of-14 shots at the foul line, while Cody Ball struck for 20 points and seven rebounds. Gustav Suhr-Jessen recorded a career-best 14 points in only 17 minutes.
Taylor Fortin picked up 10 of his team's 23 assists. He has reached double-digit assist totals in three of his seven games to begin the year.
Saint Anselm made quick work of an early 7-2 Penmen lead with seven-straight points in 1:04 to capture a 9-7 lead. The advantage would change eight different times in a first half that saw the hosts commit 13 turnovers – Guers and Suhr-Jessen kept the Hawks in the game, scoring 11 points apiece.
The Hawks opened up an 11-point lead with 10:07 to go in regulation time as an Austin Nydegger triple preceded a Taylor Fortin layup, creating a 68-57 lead. SNHU opted for the long ball to score its next nine points, making three triples to carve into the Hawks double-digit lead.
A 14-point scoring run by the Penmen stunned the Hawks as they suddenly saw themselves trailing by three points, 80-77, with 3:04 to go. Down by two with 70 seconds to go, the Hawks made all of their free throws but Chris Walters made a jumper with 47 seconds left and made 1-of-2 free throws with 18 seconds to go, lifting the Penmen to an 86-85 lead.
With 18 seconds left in the game, Saint Anselm was unable to generate a shot as the stout Penmen defense stood tall at the game's critical juncture.
Walters led SNHU with 26 points with Dimitri Floras adding 21 points of his own.
Head Coach Keith Dickson was presented with the game ball from his 600th career win, achieved on Sunday against LIU Post, in a pre-game ceremony.