DURHAM, N.H.-- Senior center Ben Sturgill (Hamilton, Ohio) had 19 points and 10 rebounds for a double-double to lead the University of New Hampshire men's basketball team to a 73-64 victory and a season sweep over UMBC on Saturday afternoon at Lundholm Gymnasium.
The Wildcats (7-12 overall, 3-7 America East) led nearly the entire game and took the lead for good at 14:47 on a layup by sophomore guard Jermaine Anderson (Beverly, Mass.) that made it 7-5. UNH gradually led by a much as a 15-point lead (36-21) on a jumper by senior Damione Liddell (Omaha, Neb.) capping off a 7-0 run. UNH, which led 36-23 at the half, shot 50 percent in the opening stanza (15-30).
It was a different story in the opening of the second half as the Retrievers (9-10, 4-6) came out of the lockerroom on fire and put together an impressive 10-2 run that cut the UNH lead to just three points on a three-pointer by Rashad Bilal to make it 38-3535. Following several small runs by both teams UMBC made one final gasp and cut the UNH lead to just three points again (50-47) on a free throw by Rob Gogerty. However, UNH had answers again and held on from the free throw line in the closing minutes, making their final seven attempts to capture the 73-64 victory.
In addition to Sturgill, UNH received double-digit scoring performances from freshman point guard Chris Vetrano (Andover, Mass.) who poured in 15 points and was 3-7 from behind the three-point arc and 6-8 from the charity stripe. Junior guard Iaonnis Karalis (Athens, Greece) contributed 10 points, while also pullling down five rebounds and dishing off five assists.
UMBC was led in scoring by Cory McJimson and by Gogerty, who each finished the afternoon with 12 points, while Bilal chipped in 10 points.
UNH outrebounded the visitors by a 35-30 margin and the Wildcats offense moved the ball well, as players dished off 17 assists as compared to just nine turnovers. The Wildcats also shot well as a team from the charity stripe, making 20-26 shots for a shooting percentage of .769.
The 'Cats will return to action on Wed., Feb. 2 when the squad entertains Northeastern. Game time is 7 p.m. in Lundholm Gymnasium.