BURLINGTON, VT.-- The University of New Hampshire men's basketball team posted its first America East victory of the season after defeating the University of Vermont on Saturday afternoon at Patrick Gymnasium, 84-75.
The 84 total points was the most scored by the Wildcats this season and improved the squad's record to 2-11 overall and 1-4 in America East, while Vermont falls to 5-6 and 1-2 in the conference.
The Wildcats had four players score in double digits and were led by freshman guard Marcelle Williams (Teaneck, N.J.) who scored 21 points and dished off four assists. Junior center Rob Marquardt (Northport, N.Y.) may have been the deciding factor in the contest with his best game of the season, as he scored a career-high 17 points on 8x12 shooting from the floor.
The Wildcats came out hot in the second half and outscored the home team by a 14-6 margin to make the score 54-45 in favor of UNH with 14:40 to play in the contest. However, Vermont did not give up and narrowed the Wildcat lead to just one point (68-67) with 5:40 to play on a three-pointer by Tony Orciari. However, Junior guard Colin Donahue (Des Moines, Iowa) hit a three-pointer to give UNH a 71-67 advantage with 3:31 to play, followed by a jumper and a completed three-point play by sophomore forward Chris Brown (Boston, Mass.) and the Wildcats led 76-67 to complete a 8-0 run. The Wildcats held on for the victory by making 7x8 free throws in the final minute, four by Williams and three by Donahue to ice the win.
Vermont was led by Orciari, who scored a game-high 25 points.
One of the key stats of the game was points scored from the paint, as UNH scored 42 as compared to 22 by Vermont. The Wildcats also shot very well from the floor, connecting on 32x65 for a shooting percentage of .492, while holding Vermont to a mark of .414 (29x70).
The Wildcats jumped out of the gates with an 8-2 lead with 17:37 to play, but Vermont gradually closed the gap and tied the contest at 26-26 before UNH headed to the lockerroom with a 38-37 halftime advantage.
The UNH men's basketball team will return to action on Jan. 10 at Hartford.