ALBANY, N.Y. – Sophomore forward Patrick Konan (Gainesville, Fla.) and senior center Brian Benson (Rochester, N.Y.) registered 13 and 12 points, respectively, but the University of New Hampshire men's basketball team fell to the University at Albany, 86-63, on Wednesday evening at SEFCU Arena.
The loss drops UNH to 5-9 on the season including a 0-3 mark in America East play, while Albany improves to 11-7 overall and 3-1 in conference action. The Great Danes have notched victories in four of their last five games.
Konan was tabbed the America East Player of the Game for New Hampshire, rounding out the evening with eight boards, one steal and one assist. He shot 5-of-10 from the floor and 3-of-5 from deep in the contest.
Benson finished with 12 points on 4-of-5 shooting, knocking down 2-of-3 from beyond the arc while grabbing six rebounds. Alvin Abreu (Lynn, Mass.) was the only other Wildcat to score in double-digits, notching 11 points while registering three helpers and two boards. He has scored in double-figures in four straight games, including six of the last seven contests.
Mike Black collected player of the game honors for Albany, finishing with 17 points, nine rebounds and four assists.
Black drained a trey that set off a 19-5 run to open up the game for the Great Danes. Albany finished off the stretch with 10 unanswered points, as John Puk led the way with five points during the stretch, pushing the lead to 14 with 10:34 remaining in the first half.
Chandler Rhoads (Berryville, Va.) helped stop the bleeding, knocking down a jumper and a pair of free throws on back-to-back trips up the floor to cut the deficit to 10 at 8:27.
Despite the brief scoring spurt, the Great Danes got back on track with a 15-5 scoring run that gave them their largest lead of the half, 34-14, with 1:57 on the clock. New Hampshire still couldn't seem to find its offensive rhythm in the closing moments of the stanza and Albany took a 39-20 lead into the locker room at halftime.
Konan knocked down the opening field goal of the second frame, sinking a 3-pointer, but the Wildcats wouldn't score again until 3:22 later when Benson knocked down a trey of his own. Albany outscored UNH 11-6 during the stretch and built that scoring spurt into a 20-7 run that gave the home team its largest lead of the contest, 59-27, with 14:28 remaining in regulation.
Jordon Bronner (Sleepy Hollow, N.Y.) and Konan struck back with 3-pointers on consecutive trips up the floor, setting off a string of 12 unanswered points that eventually turned into a 22-7 scoring run that lasted 5:45.
Five different Wildcats scored during the offensive outburst, as UNH outscored Albany 8-2 to polish off the stretch. New Hampshire scored three straight trips up the floor to close out the run, capped off with an Abreu 3-pointer that cut the score to 66-49 with 8:26 remaining in regulation.
That would be as close as UNH would get the rest of the way, as the Great Danes outscored the Wildcats 19-14 to finish out the contest.
The Wildcats are back in action when they return home to host the University of Vermont on Saturday, Jan. 14 (3 p.m.) at Lundholm Gymnasium.