MANCHESTER - With six games remaining in the regular season, the Southern New Hampshire University women's basketball team is peaking at the right time.
The Penmen got off to a strong start against St. Anselm College on Wednesday night and kept on hammering the Hawks en route a 66-54 victory at the SNHU Fieldhouse.
Sloane Sorrell missed only two shots from the floor and led SNHU with 16 points and seven rebounds, and Victoria Wiseman came off the bench to score 16 points. The Penmen improved to 11-9 overall and 8-8 in the Northeast-10 Conference.
A setback against American International on Saturday - a 58-42 loss - was the only recent game in which head coach Karen Pinkos wasn't excited about the way things are going. SNHU has won five of seven.
"We're on a roll. It just feels like we're playing good team basketball, and we're getting more consistent," Pinkos said. "We had that game at AIC when we simply couldn't make a shot and scored 11 points in the first half, but aside from that, we've been steadily improving."
Sorrell was nearly unstoppable in the first half against the Hawks, shooting 4-for-4 and scoring eight points as SNHU took a 38-19 lead. Starting guard Michelle DeRoma also had a strong game, finishing with 14 points and four assists. Conant of Jaffrey product Brooke Springfield had four points and four assists for the winners.
Briana Jones had 14 points for the Hawks, who dropped to 4-16 overall and 1-15 in the conference. Raquel Johnson added 12 points and Allie Jones 11.
The Penmen consistently attacked the basket, inducing 22 fouls by the Hawks. SNHU made 20 of 25 free throws. The next two weeks will determine if the Penmen finish in the top half of the conference or the bottom half.
"You never know in this league. You can jump ahead two or three spots with a win. You can also drop that many spots very quickly," said Pinkos, whose team scored 28 points off the bench against St. A.
"You always want the team to peak at the end of the season, but you just don't know if it's going to happen. You have to get over those injuries and bumps along the way," Pinkos said. "I'm just glad how things are going right now."kgray@unionleader