HAMILTON, N.Y. – Senior guard Tyrece Gibbs (Brockton, Mass.) had 19 points and five rebounds to help lead the University of New Hampshire men’s basketball team past Colgate University, 57-54, Wednesday night at Cotterell Court.
The win snaps the Wildcats’ three-game losing skid and improves their record to 2-3, while the Raiders drop their fourth straight and fall to 2-4.
Trailing 53-49 with 2:04 to play in the game, UNH pulled within one on a Gibbs 3-pointer and then went ahead for good (55-53) on Gibbs’ fifth trey of the night with 1:20 left. The Raiders then missed three consecutive free throws before Ben Jonson sank one to pull within 55-54 with 54 ticks left. Sophomore guard Alvin Abreu (Lynn, Mass.) then hit one of two from the line to regain the Wildcats’ two-point advantage.
Mike Venezia looked to put Colgate on top with a 3, but his miss was ripped down by sophomore forward Rony Tchatchoua (Douala, Cameroon). Tchatchoua was fouled and sent to the line where he hit one of two to put UNH up 57-54 with nine seconds remaining. Venezia’s shot to tie went long and Gibbs – the America East Player of the Game – pulled down the rebound to seal the win.
The first half was a seesaw battle until a Gibbs 3-pointer with just under five minutes to go sparked a 9-1 New Hampshire run that gave it a 23-16 lead with 2:34 remaining. Alex Woodhouse’s layup with 1:12 left closed the first-half scoring and sent both teams to the locker room with UNH on top 23-18.
The Wildcats opened up their largest lead of the game at 37-27 with 12:30 to play in the second half, but Colgate battled back, using an 11-3 run to cut UNH’s lead to 40-38 with 8:19 remaining. A monsterous dunk by sophomore center Dane DiLiegro (Lexington, Mass.) with 7:39 left gave the Wildcats a four-point cushion, but a 9-2 Colgate run gave the Raiders a 47-44 lead with 5:20 left.
A pair of Gibbs free throws cut UNH’s deficit to one, before Joe Hoban sank one of two to put the Raiders back up two, 48-46. Sophomore guard Tyrone Conley (Burlington, Vt.) and Venezia traded 3-pointers before Hoban’s layup with 2:16 to go put Colgate on top 53-49. The basket was Colgate’s last of the game as UNH outscored the Raiders, 8-1, the rest of the way to grab the win.
Conley netted 11 points with the help of three treys and filled the stat line with four rebounds, an assist, a steal and a block. Abreu tallied 10 points, two rebounds and two assists, while DiLiegro chipped in with seven points and pulled down a team-high eight rebounds. Junior forward Radar Onguetou (Yaounde, Cameroon) added six points, three rebounds and two assists, while knocking down a career-best two 3-pointers.
UNH shot 50 percent (12-24) from behind the arc – their best mark of the season – and 38 percent (19-50) overall.
Venezia led the Raiders, who shot 43 percent (20-47) from the field, with 15 points. Jonson added 12 points and seven rebounds, while Woodhouse chipped in with eight points and nine boards.
The Wildcats return to action Saturday, Dec. 6 at 1 p.m. when they play host to Brown University at Lundholm Gymnasium.