MANCHESTER, N.H. – The nationally-ranked Saint Anselm College men's basketball team overcame an 11-point deficit, coming from behind to down the Penmen from Southern New Hampshire University by a 71-67 final score on Wednesday.
Saint Anselm, ranked 20th in NCAA Division II by the National Association of Basketball Coaches, improves to 20-4 overall and to 16-3 against Northeast-10 Conference opponents. The Hawks have won 20 games for the sixth time in the last seven years and locked up the NE10 Regular Season Championship with the result.
Senior Tim Guers (Langhorne, Pa.) had 14 of his game-high 23 points in the second half, fueling the double-digit comeback. Sophomore Gustav Suhr-Jessen (Virum, Denmark) scored 14 points and pulled down eight rebounds with senior Cody Ball (Londonderry, N.H.) scoring 11 points. Sophomore Alonzo Jackson (Medford, Mass.) scored 10 points in 22 minutes off the bench, throwing up two blocks.
Down by 11 points with 11:02 to go following a triple from Southern New Hampshire's Daquaise Andrews, the Hawks concluded the game on a 23-8 scoring run to steal the victory from the Penmen. With the game tied at 65 following a Guers jumper in the paint with 2:04 left, the Hawks posted a fast-break layup from Jackson to create a 67-65 lead with 86 seconds left.
Andrews attempted another "three" with 1:11 to go, but Suhr-Jessen pulled down the rebound. On the ensuing trip up the floor, Guers was fouled and made back-to-back free throws to give his team a 69-65 advantage. Andrews countered with a jumper in the paint, cutting the Hawks lead to 69-67 with 47 seconds left.
Both teams missed their next baskets, but Guers had the ball late and would go to the line with exactly three seconds left. He buried back-to-back free throws, creating a four point bulge with virtually no time remaining. A last-second heave by the Penmen missed the target, locking down a thrilling victory for the hosts in front of a raucous home crowd.
Saint Anselm trailed by six points at the break, shooting under 37% from the floor (11-for-30) while the Penmen made exactly half of their 14 field goals from beyond the arc (7-for-16), shooting just over 43% from distance. Andrews had four of those long-range shots, scoring 16 of his team's 36 points prior to halftime. Southern New Hampshire also had 14 second-chance points in building the 36-30 lead.
The Hawks tied the game at 38 shortly into the second half, but the Penmen didn't relinquish the lead and would establish four leads of nine points or greater leading up to the Hawks' comeback.
Andrews finished with 30 points for the Penmen. Shawn Montague had 13 rebounds and 10 points for the visitors.
The Hawks host Saint Michael's this Saturday, Feb. 23 at 3:30 p.m. on Senior Day.