DURHAM, N.H. - Junior Alvin Abreu (Lynn, Mass.) poured in a season-high 25 points as the University of New Hampshire men's basketball team earned a 67-55 win against Central Connecticut State University on Wednesday evening at Lundholm Gymnasium.
The Wildcats even their record at 3-3, including a perfect 3-0 at home, while the Blue Devils fall to 2-5.
Abreu, UNH's America East Player of the Game, broke out on 9 of 14 shooting, including 4 of 7 from behind the arc, and was 3-for-4 at the line to go along with three assists, two rebounds and a steal in 36 minutes.
After Central Connecticut started the game on a 7-2 run, the Wildcats came back with a 9-2 run of their own - with seven points coming from Abreu - to take an 11-9 lead at 15:09. Senior Radar Onguetou (Yaounde, Cameroon) sparked the run with a tough layup inside after Abreu found him with a great pass exactly three minutes earlier.
The Blue Devils hit back with a basket to tie the game at 11 and the remainder of the half went back and forth, with neither team grabbing a lead larger than three until there were under two minutes on the clock.
With the game knotted - for the fifth time - at 25 with 2:50 remaining, UNH took the lead for good when Onguetou reeled in an offensive rebound and layed the ball in. CCSU shaved the deficit in half with a free throw from David Simmons, but junior guard Tyrone Conley (Burlington, Vt.) sank a 3 to give the Wildcats a 30-26 lead with 1:44 to go. Vince Rosario came right back with a 3 of his own, but Abreu nailed another jumper with 52 seconds on the clock to close the scoring and give the ‘Cats a 32-29 lead at the half. Abreu had a monster opening half with 16 of his game-high 25 points coming on 6 of 8 shooting, including 3 of 5 from deep.
UNH opened the second half with seven straight points to take a 39-29 advantage 3:07 in. After the Blue Devils cut their deficit to five, Conley sank a trey and Abreu made another jumper to re-gain the 10-point lead at 44-34 with 10:59 remaining. Following a Joe Seymore free throw, Conley pushed the lead to 11 after taking a pass from sophomore Russell Graham (Norristown, Pa.) on the fast break and throwing it down with one hand over a Central Connecticut defender. Graham handed out five assists and added six points, three rebounds, a block and a steal.
A 9-3 CCSU run - sparked by a Shemik Thompson basket and capped by a Thompson 3-pointer - made it 48-42 with 6:44 to go. The Blue Devils would get as close as 49-44, but Conley and Abreu drilled 3-pointers to cap an 8-0 run that made it 57-44 with 3:41 left. Central Connecticut used a 9-4 spurt to climb to within eight, but UNH scored six straight, getting its exclamation point from a Dane DiLiegro (Lexington, Mass.) double-pump dunk after he slipped ahead of the pack and took a feed from Conley that gave the Wildcats their largest lead of the night at 67-53 with 35 seconds on the clock.
Conley finished with 16 points, six rebounds, three assists and a steal, but busted out in the second stanza with 13 points after he shot 3 of 5 from the floor, including a perfect 2-for-2 from deep, and made five of his six shots at the stripe. Onguetou matched his season high with 12 points to go along with six rebounds, while DiLiegro tallied eight points, three boards and two assists in 40 minutes.
After a defensive struggle in their previous game against the Big East's Pitt, the Wildcats came out on fire and stayed hot throughout the game as they shot 50 percent (23-46) from the field, including 42.9 percent (9-21) from behind the arc. The ‘Cats, who held the Blue Devils to 41.2 percent (21-51) shooting overall, and just 27.8 percent (5-18) from deep, were also a season-best 75 percent (12-16) at the line. UNH held the advantage on the glass, as well, outrebounding CCSU, 32-23.
Thompson led Central Connecticut with 20 points on 7 of 16 shooting, while Seymore added 10 in defeat.
The Wildcats return to action
Saturday, Dec. 12 at 4 p.m. when they travel to take on Hofstra at
the Mack Sports Complex.