Today: Jul 17, 2024

Women’s basketball defeats Southern New Hampshire University

Dillon Flanigan- Sports Editor

Matt Cain- Contributor

With less than three minutes left in the fourth quarter, guard Makenzie Helms, a graduate, hit both of her free throws, putting the Owls up by two and flying them closer to a win. 

“It was senior day. We wanted to bring the energy for them,” forward Katie Williamson, a senior, said. 

The university defeated NE10’s Southern New Hampshire University, SNHU, 56-51 at James Moore Fieldhouse on Wednesday, Feb. 21. 

It was a special night full of reminiscing about the past, honoring its seniors in their last home game of the regular season.  

The Owls facing Southern New Hampshire University on Wednesday Feb. 21. Photo: Kaylee Blake

Guard Jillian Martin, a senior, was notably absent for her third straight game. Still, with a 15-10 record, the Owls needed to remain focused in the race to host a NE10 Conference Tournament game.  

It only made sense on senior night for Williamson to open the scoring for the Owls. A few minutes later, the Owls had a 9-0 scoring run. After scoring opportunities for each team, the quarter ended with the lead 15-9. 

SNHU mainly controlled the second quarter. Williamson completed a layup as Helms scored the next eight points for the Owls. The offensive tide shifted towards the visitors as they took a 26-25 lead into halftime. 

“The first half was emotional and about the seniors. In the second half, we needed to end our season and get the job done,” Head Coach Katie Lynch said.   

Williamson started the second half with a jumper, and Bonilla ended the quarter with a three-pointer. There were multiple spurts of offense for each team as SNHU outscored the Owls 20-14 in the quarter.  

“Defense limited the touches of the touches of their best player,” Bonilla said, “this played a key factor in the game.” 

After Bonilla’s three, the team scored 13 straight points, including two free throws by Helms. With the backing of improved defensive play, the Owls took a 52-46 lead. 

The game was not put away, though. Just a bit over two minutes remained for SNHU to mount a comeback. Nostalgic as it may have been watching Helms be savvy ending games, she put up the final six points for the Owls, placing the cherry on top for the win. 

With this win, the Owls now look towards the NE10 tournament and now get homecourt advantage in the first round. They will also have a week to wait and prepare for their first-round matchup.  

The Owls are now top contenders in the NE10 Conference and can make a deep playoff run in the conference tournament.  

“We know and understand it’s going to be win or go home from here on out,” Lynch said. 

The Owls will have the first game on their home floor, looking to advance in the NE10 Tournament and hopefully sit at the top of the conference. 

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