MANCHESTER — A rollercoaster night for the Saint Anselm College women’s basketball team on Wednesday ended on a high note.

The Hawks let an early double-digit edge evaporate before re-establishing it down the stretch to take down previously undefeated Southern New Hampshire University 74-63 in a Northeast-10 Conference showdown at Stan Spirou Field House.

Saint Anselm (6-1, 3-1 NE-10) beat SNHU (6-1, 2-1 NE-10) for the ninth time in 10 meetings with Grace Guachione scoring 11 of her 19 points in the fourth quarter to help the Hawks break open what was a tight contest for much of the night.

Shannon Ryan and Peyton Steinman were forces in the paint and instrumental in the Hawks’ win as each posted a double-double. Ryan scored a game-high 25 points and pulled down 17 rebounds while Steinman dropped 17 points to go along with a career-high 18 boards.

Kylie Lorenzen led the Penmen with 20 points and 11 rebounds while Brianna Camara (13 points) and Karlee Zillak (10 points) were also in double digits.

The Hawks began the game on a 13-2 run before allowing the Penmen to crawl back to within four points by the end of the quarter. Saint Anselm managed to keep the lead throughout the first half and a stretch after halftime, but SNHU finally overcame its early hole and grabbed its first lead when on a three-point play from Pelham’s Danielle Sirois with 5:57 left in the third quarter.

Momentum swung back to the Hawks for good midway through the fourth as they spun off a 12-4 spurt to regain a 10-point edge with four minutes to play. SNHU’s misfortune in the fourth quarter came in part from a 14-2 rebounding advantage for Saint Anselm. The Hawks won the overall rebound battle 54-35.

jduball@unionleader.com