DURHAM, N.H.- Junior center Blagoj Janev (Sydney Australia) scored 14 points, while junior forward Jamaal Caterina (Portland, Maine) added nine points and a game-high 11 rebounds to lead the University of New Hampshire men's basketball team to a 59-51 America East victory over Stony Brook on Wednesday evening.
The Wildcats, now 10-15 overall and 7-7 in the conference did not start out strong as Stony Brook (4-20, 2-11) took charge early and opened up a 20-10 advantage with 8:15 to play in the first half. However, UNH turned up the defense and took the lead at the half, 24-22, thanks to a 14-2 run to close out the opening stanza.
It was a close battle throughout the second half as the two teams played to four ties until UNH took the lead for good on a jumper by junior guard Jermaine Anderson (Beverly, Mass.) to make it 32-30 in favor of the Wildcats with 14:25 to play. UNH led by as many as six points (43-37) on a dunk by Caterina with 9:04 to play, but a three-pointer by Bobby Santiago cut the lead to three. UNH put together one final surge to open up a 51-41 lead with 4:20 to play, thanks to six points by Janev during the stretch, including a three-pointer and a layup.
UNH, the top free throw shooting team in the conference, connected on six straight attempts in the final 1:59 of the contest, four by Anderson, to hold on for the victory.
The Wildcats shot very well in the game, connecting on 19 of 38 shots from the floor for a field goal percentage of .500 and the team continues to capitalize at the charity stripe after making 16 of 18 attempts for a mark of .889. The Seawolves did not shoot well, hitting just 30.8 percent from the floor (16-52) and making just 13 of 21 shots from the free throw line (.333.)
No Stony Brook players scored in double digits, but the squad was led by Antwan Hardy with nine points and by Mitchell Beauford with eight.
UNH returns to action on Sunday, Feb. 19 when the squad travels to play at Maine. Game time is 1 p.m. The final regular season home game for the 'Cats will be Feb. 23 vs. Albany. Game time is 7 p.m. in Lundholm Gym. Tickets are available online at www.unhwildcats.com/tickets.