DURHAM, N.H. - The University of New Hampshire compiled their first win at home against Robert Morris University, defeating the Colonials, 71-65.
Blagoj Janev (Sydney, Australia) reached a season high in points with 20, shooting 6-for-13 from the field and 5-for-7 from the free throw line. Janev also had seven rebounds on the night for New Hampshire.
For most of the first half, both teams played an even game and led by no more than four points. But while New Hampshire was able to keep itself out of foul trouble, the Colonials were called on 13 fouls in the half, giving New Hampshire opportunities at the free throw line. The Wildcats converted 13-of-16 at the line.
With just under five minutes in the half, New Hampshire broke away and built a margin. Mike Christensen (Reston, Va.) converted a 3-pointer at 4:32 to put New Hampshire up 26-19. Robert Morris wouldn't have an answer until almost a minute and a half later when A.J. Jackson converted a free throw at 3:15 to pull the Colonials within six. A foul was called on the Colonials' Tony Lee and New Hampshire's Georges Djanabia (Milwaukee, Wis.) sank two free throws, scoring his first collegiate points. Tyrece Gibbs (Brockton, Mass.) converted a free throw at 2:32 to put New Hampshire up, 29-20. At the half, the Wildcats led 29-24.
New Hampshire opened the second half on an 11-0 run. Robert Morris didn't score a basket until Jackson sank a lay up at 14:32. New Hampshire was able to keep their lead throughout the half, leading by as many as 16 points.
The Colonials attempted to close the gap down the stretch. Steve Lancaster converted an open shot from behind the perimeter at 7:31, pulling the Colonials to within three. Chris Vetrano (Andover, Mass.) sank a 3-pointer at 7:11. Gibbs followed up on the next possession with a lay up and New Hampshire was still leading 55-47.
The Colonials rallied and once again attempted to close the gap. Derek Coleman hit a 3-pointer at the 40-second mark to pull Robert Morris to within three points. But a foul was called on Lancaster and Mike Christensen sank both free throws. Lancaster missed a shot from behind the arc and Colson Senat fouled Janev in an attempt to stop the clock. Janev converted both free throws, putting New Hampshire up by seven with 23 seconds remaining. With nine seconds remaining, Jackson banked a jumper, the final basket of the game.
Vetrano scored 18 points with three assists and a steal. Christensen scored 11 points while Gibbs had 12. Gibbs and Christensen were the rebounding leaders with seven. New Hampshire shot 59 percent in the second half and was 20-for-40 from the field overall.
Jackson registered a double-double for Robert Morris with 14 points and 11 rebounds.
New Hampshire (2-5) travels to Boston University on December 8 to open conference play against the Terriers.