BOSTON, MA -- Marcus Blossom scored a season-high 23 points and had five assists to lead Northeastern to a 78-66 win over New Hampshire in an America East basketball game at Cabot Gym on Monday. In the America East opener for both teams, the Huskies earned their first win of the season after an 0-4 start. UNH lost its third straight and fell to 1-5.
Freshman Toby Brittian, whose previous season high was four points, added 17 points for NU, 13 coming in the first half as NU built a 36-24 lead at intermission. Jean Bain had 11 points and four assists for the Huskies. Marcelle Williams and Assane Faye scored 14 points apiece to pace the UNH attack, while Colin Donahue and Rob Marquardt added 13 and 10, respectively.
The game was even early on as there were four ties and five lead changes in the first 15 minutes. After a pair of free throws by NU's Tim West tied the game at 21, Chris Brown hit a jumper to give UNH its last lead of the night, 23-21, with 6:37 to go before halftime. UNH went cold after that, missing five straight shots from the field and turning the ball over five times in the next six minutes. NU took advantage, going on a 15-1 run to close the half with a 12-point lead at 38-26. Brittian had seven points during the surge and finished the half with 13 points on 5-8 shooting. UNH shot just 29 percent (9-31) from the field in the first half.
The Wildcats came out in the second half and used a 10-6 spurt to get back within eight at 44-36 after a three-pointer by Williams with 15:22 showing. UNH would get no closer, however, as the Huskies answered with a 15-7 run to push the lead back out to 16, 59-43, with 9:26 to go. NU extended the lead to as much as 19 after a Dwayne Barnes free throw made it 74-55 with 1:47 left. UNH closed the game on an 11-4 run, making the second half a 42-42 tie.
After getting outrebounded in blowout losses to Florida and Brown by an average of nearly 30 boards, UNH won the board battle against NU 44-36. Faye had a game-high 11 rebounds, while Donahue had 10. The Wildcats had no answer for the Husky backcourt, however. Blossom scored 17 of his 23 in the second half. NU's primary guards -- Blossom, Bain and Kringe -- entered the game shooting a combined 33.3 percent from the floor, 23.9 percent from beyond the arc. The three shaked their collective slump against the Wildcats with Blossom finishing 10-16, Bain 5-7 and Kringe 1-3. It was a season-high 78 points for the Huskies, who came into the game with the America East's lowest scoring average.