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Mar 9, 2016 5:06 PM

SNHU basketball heads to NCAA tournament once again

MANCHESTER- The SNHU men's basketball team is heading to the NCAA tournament for the second year in a row.

As the No. 8 seed, they will head to Philadelphia to play at top-seed Holy Family on Saturday. The team said the experience from last year will make a difference this time around.

"What we have is a reference point," said head coach, Stan Spirou. "They know what it takes to win the region. They know what it takes to win close games."

After winning the Northeast-10 Championship last weekend against Bentley University, this week the team will play Holy Family who they defeated 74-69 in their only meeting this season.

"We don't see their style enough in our league," said Spirou on the Tigers' play in their own zone. "We need to make some outside shots in order to have an opportunity to win."

Last season, the team made it to the Elite 8, but the Penmen said they have added motivation this season, having to prove themselves after key players graduated.

"We have a lot of doubters from the beginning of the season. Until now you know we weren't projected to win or anything like that, and I think that's what fuels us," guard Rodney Sanders said.

Sanders leads the way for the Penmen. The senior averages 20 points per game and has the best three-point percentage on the team. His play and demeanor has earned high praise.

"Your best players, if they're role models on and off the court, I think the others follow," coach Spirou said. "No one in my 31 years has worked harder when it comes to practice, every day."

Wednesday was the last practice for the Penmen before heading south for Holy Family. It's the first ever time these two teams have met in the tournament.

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