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Men’s basketball defeats Southern New Hampshire University, advancing to finals

Avery Martin- Contributor

The men’s basketball team advances to the finals against Southern New Hampshire University after a thrilling 82-73 win against Saint Anselm College on March 6.  

The Owls played great defense in the semifinal game. Guard Marty Silvera, a junior, scored a game-high 30 points, as well as nine rebounds, nine assists and three steals in a packed Moore Field House. 

Photo: Neil Bainton

It was a dramatic first half, with several fouls on both sides. The university led 13-4 in the first few minutes before Saint Anselm made it a closer match. 

Despite a brief lead from their opponents, Silvera and forward Kazell Stewart, a sophomore, were able to combine for 11 points. Forward Josh McGettigan, a graduate, scored 10 points as well.  

Silvera said, “In the first half, we came out kinda slow. We were still playing good, but I just felt like we were playing slow. But I feel like in the second half, Coach just came out with a game plan, and we just locked in and played hard.” 

Going into the second half, Silvera said Head Coach Scott Burell encouraged the team to double-down on offense while still upholding a solid defense strategy.  

After halftime, the Owls pushed ahead with a 45-36 lead. A three-point shot by guard Sean James, a junior, pushed the score to 64-50 with 8:21 to go. 

Burell said a strong defense and offense were key.  

“Our guys are locked in. They played 40 minutes of great defense, ran the ball, had real good offense. A lot of guys stepped up and had a great game. I think everybody stepped up and had a great game,” Burell said.  

Guard Mason Williams, a graduate, scored a three-pointer in the final minutes to further widen the score. Silvera scored 19 points in the half, and forward Cherif Diarra, a sophomore, scored seven. 

The Owls won 82-73. 

Burell said the important nature of the game helped the players push for the win.  

“We fought. We fought for 40 minutes. A grind-out game. They knew what to do; they’d been here before. They know how to play; they know how to win,” Burell said.  

Stewart also said the game was a hard-fought win.  

“We executed and played good defense, rebounded the ball well. And at the end of the day, playing good defense and executing is going to help us win the game at all times,” Stewart said.  

As the Owls dominated in New Haven, Southern New Hampshire won their game against Saint Michael’s College. They will advance to the finals, where the Owls are waiting for them. 

Burell said consistency is a key approach going into the final game.  

“We’re playing against a really good team- shoots the ball really well and coming off a huge win against Saint Michael’s. We just got to be focused,” Burell said. 

This will be the Owls’ second time in the finals of the NE10 Championships since 2001. They previously won the title in 2014 against the University of New Haven.  

The Owls advanced to the NE10 Championship to face Southern New Hampshire in Hooksett, New Hampshire.  

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