DURHAM, N.H. – Sophomore forward Patrick Konan (Gainesville, Fla.) notched a game-high 19 points and snared eight rebounds, propelling the University of New Hampshire men's basketball team to a 72-64 victory over the University of Vermont on Saturday afternoon at Lundholm Gymnasium.
Konan was tabbed the America East Player of the Game for UNH, finishing 7-for-9 from the floor, 3-for-4 from deep and 2-for-5 from the charity stripe in 21 minutes of action.
Brendan Bald claimed player of the game honors for Vermont, notching 12 points, two steals and one rebound.
Alvin Abreu (Lynn, Mass.) chipped in with 12 points, four boards and one helper. Scott Morris (Walkersville, Md.) added 10 points off the bench, shooting 4 of 8 from the field and 2 of 5 from beyond the arc.
After trading baskets in the early going, New Hampshire picked up the offensive pace midway through the first stanza when Morris ignited a 17-7 run with a midrange jumper, giving the home team its largest lead of the first half, 25-15, at 8:52.
The Catamounts clawed their way back into the action scoring six unanswered, sparking a 9-1 run that cut the deficit down to two, 26-24, with 5:23 remaining in the first half. The two squads would go back-and-forth for the next three minutes until Morris provided the offensive spark once again with a trey, as the 'Cats outscored the Catamounts 5-1 the rest of the way, taking a 37-32 edge into the locker room.
The Wildcats opened up the second half firing on all cylinders, draining three unanswered 3-pointers, giving them their largest lead of the contest, 46-32, at 18:07. The trio of treys kicked off what became a 15-6 run that lasted nearly seven minutes and gave UNH a 52-38 edge with 13:19 on the clock.
Clancy Rugg answered the call for the visitors, notching three points the old-fashioned-way, sparking a string of eight unanswered points, as the Catamounts outscored the Wildcats 19-5 over the course of the next 8:39 to knot the score at 57-57.
A pair of Abreu free throws at 3:51 helped stop the bleeding, as the 'Cats took back the lead and wouldn't relinquish it from that point. Brian Benson (Rochester, N.Y.) gave UNH some breathing room when he drained a clutch 3-pointer from the top of the key at 1:44, setting off a 10-4 scoring spurt to close out the action to preserve the victory.
New Hampshire outshot Vermont 46 percent (23-50) to 36.2 percent (21-58) from the floor and 45.5 percent (10-22) to 12.5 percent (1-8) from deep. The Catamounts held the edge from the charity stripe, 78.6 percent (22-28) to 69.6 percent (16-23).
The Wildcats are back in action when they battle Stony Brook University on Monday, Jan. 16 (5 p.m.) at Pritchard Gymnasium.