Mar 3, 2016 11:19 AM
GOFFSTOWN - Saint Anselm College hosted Southern New Hampshire University in a playoff matchup for the conference semifinals Wednesday night.
The cross-town rivalry provided a chance for a title, and the tension was at an all-time high thanks to the dramatic ending in their last meeting, only eight days ago.
"We knew that last game was such a fight, and with that double OT, you know?," said Rodney Sanders, a senior forward for SNHU. "Both teams exhausted being that we won as the buzzer beater; we knew they were going to be a little emotionally shaken up from that one, so we knew we had to jump on them before they could jump on us tonight."
Add to the storyline, the possibility of the end of an era.
"As you saw here tonight- the energy, the passion, you know, these two schools go back a long ways in terms of the rivalry and I've been part of this for 31 years and I hate to see it go," said SNHU's head coach Stan Spirou
The Penmen had that jump they wanted. Sanders was 9 of 17 from the field, including 2 of 7 from beyond the arc, with six rebounds and three assists. Redshirt-sophomore Chris Walters posted 16 points, eight rebounds and two steals. Adrian Oliveira, a junior, added a career-best 14 points, including 10 in the first half. Spirou praised the team's defense as the reason why they were able to pull ahead and stay ahead, winning the conference semi-final 75-59.
"In my 39 years, this is probably the best we've played defensively," said Spirou.
Up next- Bentley University who the Penmen have lost twice to this season.
"They have people we have a hard time guarding," said Spirou. "Their inside person can go out and hit threes, that presents problems with us."
The Northeast-10 Championship will be at Bentley, Saturday at 1 p.m.