DURHAM, N.H. – Senior guard Tyrece Gibbs (Brockton, Mass.) scored a game-high 20 points, but it was not enough to lift the University of New Hampshire men’s basketball team to its second straight win as it was defeated by Boston University, 67-49, Saturday afternoon at Lundholm Gymnasium.
With the loss, the Wildcats fall to 9-13 on the season, including 4-6 in America East play, while the Terriers win their eighth straight and improve to 14-9 overall and 9-2 in the conference.
Gibbs was awarded UNH’s America East Player of the Game, shooting 7-for-16 from the floor, including 6 of 11 from beyond the arc en route to coming up just two points shy of his career high. His six 3-pointers were a season high that matched his career best. In addition to his impressive scoring, Gibbs also tallied four rebounds, three assists and a block
Gibbs finished with 1,189 points, moving past Matt Acres (1,169), Jim Rich (1,180) and Greg Steele (1,187) for 10th place on UNH’s all-time scoring list. Gibbs’ block, the 51st of his career, moved him into a fourth-place tie with Joe Rainis on the program’s list.
The Wildcats opened up the game on a 9-2 run, starting with a Radar Onguetou (Yaounde, Cameroon) jumper from just inside the arc. The Terriers would respond with a layup by Jake O’Brien just moments later, but it would be all UNH from that point as the Wildcats would go on to score seven unanswered points.
Sophomore center Dane DiLiegro (Lexington, Mass.) began the scoring streak with a pretty up-and-under layup that was followed by a Gibbs baseline 3-pointer, which gave the Wildcats a 7-2 advantage at 17:15. Gibbs would keep the run going on the next possession when he delivered a pass to sophomore guard Alvin Abreu (Lynn, Mass.) for a fastbreak layup to push the Wildcat lead to seven points.
The Terriers would respond to UNH’s offensive outburst with a 15-2 run of their own, putting the score at 17-11 after a John Holland 3-pointer from the right wing with 9:00 remaining in the opening half. With the scored knotted at 11 with 10:48 left, it was a Scott Brittain layup that gave BU the lead for good.
Despite the run, the Wildcats would come alive once again on a 3 from the left wing at 8:06 by sophomore guard Tyrone Conley (Burlington, Vt.). The Terriers would strike back as Jake O’Brien sank a 3-pointer to push the BU lead to 21-15 at 5:58. Junior guard Colbey Santos (Onset, Mass.) continued the back-and-forth barrage with a trey of his own. Matt Wolff ended the shootout with another triple that put the Terriers up 24-18 with just under five minutes to go.
Lowe sank his first 3 of the game to widen BU’s lead to nine with 3:38 to play, but Gibbs answered with his 198th career 3-pointer, which moved him past Tommy MacDonald (197) and into second place on UNH’s all-time 3-point field goals made list, and cut the Wildcats’ deficit to 27-21. Gibbs was not done either, draining his third trey of the half to get UNH within three with 1:48 on the clock.
The Terriers would close out the period by scoring the final six points, however, receiving a 3 from Marques Johnson before an old fashioned three-point play with 19 seconds on the clock by Lowe closed the scoring with BU on top 33-24 at the halfway point.
Onguetou finished with four points and nine boards, while DiLiegro also scored four points on 2 of 2 shooting and pulled down five rebounds in the contest. Abreu netted seven points to go along with five assists, a rebound and a block, and Conley chipped in with six points, a rebound, an assist and a pair of steals.
The Terriers opened the second half the same way they ended the first, scoring six straight points – capped by a Lowe jumper – to take a 39-24 lead at 17:46. Gibbs again answered the bell, knocking down his 200th career trey to get UNH on the board in the second frame. John Holland answered with a 3 of his own before a Gibbs layup made it 42-29 with 14:52 remaining.
Three-pointers by Lowe and Holland highlighted a 7-2 run that moved the score to 49-31 at 13:25. After a pair of free throws by freshman forward Brian Benson (Rochester, N.Y.), a pass from Lowe set up a Jeff Pelage dunk that sparked a 13-3 run, which ended with the Terriers holding their largest lead of the game at 62-36 with 6:41 left.
An 8-0 Wildcat run, sparked by a pair of 3-pointers from Gibbs, brought UNH to within 18 at 62-44 with just under four minutes remaining. After the team’s traded baskets, an Abreu trifecta sliced the Wildcat deficit to 15 at 2:31. The Terriers would score the final three points, however, receiving a layup from Brittain at 2:02 before a free throw with 26 seconds on the clock closed the scoring.
Benson finished with three points, eight boards, an assist and a steal in 25 minutes.
Holland was named BU’s America East Player of the Game as he notched his first double-double of the season, scoring 16 points and pulling in 12 boards. Lowe led the Terriers in scoring with 19 points to go along with three rebounds and three assists. Brittain fell just shy of a double-double with 12 points and nine rebounds, while O’Brien also reached double figures in scoring as he recorded 10 points and seven boards.
The Wildcats will return to action Tuesday, Feb. 10 when they travel to the University of Maryland, Baltimore County to take on the Retrievers at RAC Arena at 7 p.m.