BURLINGTON, Vt. – Junior guard Chandler Rhoads (Berryville, Va.) poured in a team-best 16 points, but the University of New Hampshire men's basketball team dropped a 77-60 decision to the University of Vermont on Sunday afternoon at Patrick Gymnasium.
Rhoads was named the America East Player of the Game for UNH, finishing with four boards, one assist, one block and one steal in 36 minutes. He shot 7-for-11 from the floor and 2-for-5 from beyond the arc.
Sandro Carissimo was honored as the player of the game for UVM, registering 14 points, two rebounds and two assists.
Patrick Konan (Gainesville, Fla.) also finished in double-figures with 12 points to go along with five boards and an assist. He shot a perfect 10-for-10 from the charity stripe, tying a team-best single-game total this season. Alvin Abreu (Lynn, Mass.) was the last Wildcat to sink double-digit free throws in a game when knocked down 10-of-12 attempts from the line against Vermont on Jan. 14.
Brian Benson (Rochester, N.Y.) chipped in with four points and a game-high 11 rebounds, turning in his fifth double-digit rebounding performance of the season.
The Wildcats closed out the run with eight unanswered, as Ferg Myrick (Philadelphia, Pa.) and Garrett Jones (Chicago, Ill.) both knocked down 3s sandwiched between a Benson layup to give UNH its largest lead of the contest, 19-9, with 11:54 remaining in the first frame.
Josh Elbaum interrupted the scoring spurt with a pair of free throws, but Myrick quickly answered back on the other end of the floor when he dropped in a layup to keep the lead at 10.
New Hampshire was held scoreless for the next 4:35 while Vermont opened up a 16-0 run on a Luke Apfeld tip-in, giving the home team just its second lead of the contest, 25-21, with 7:19 remaining in the first stanza.
Abreu snapped the scoreless streak with a trey, but neither team gained much leverage in the final 6:42 of the frame, as the stretch featured three ties and 11 lead changes. UNH got an offensive jolt when Jordon Bronner (Sleepy Hollow, N.Y.) hit a pull up jumper and Jones sank a 3-pointer on back-to-back trips up the floor to give the Wildcats a 40-38 lead with 47 seconds remaining.
Despite the brief offensive spurt, Vermont came back with five unanswered to close out the frame, as Four McGlynn hit a pair of shots from the line and Clancy Rugg drained a trifecta with five seconds remaining to give the home team a 43-40 lead at the break.
The Wildcats opened the second half firing on all cylinders, scoring seven unanswered on their way to posting a 9-3 run to take back the lead, 49-46, with 14:59 remaining in regulation. Rhoads fueled the run, canning a pair of layups while Abreu sank a trey and Konan dropped in a pair of free throws to open up the stretch.
Matt Glass helped get the Catamounts back on track when he sank a jumper on a helper from McGlynn, sparking a 10-0 scoring run that gave the home team its largest lead to that point, 56-49, with 11:24 on the clock.
Abreu ended the run with a layup, as UNH outscored UVM 7-3 over the course of the next two minutes, setting the score at 59-56. Rhoads, who scored five points during the stretch, would cap off the run by snatching an offensive board in midair and slamming it home for the baseline dunk.
The three-point deficit would be as close as the Wildcats would come to reclaiming the lead, as the Catamounts held UNH to one field goal the rest of the way, finishing out the contest on an 18-4 run to hang onto the victory.
The Wildcats are back in action when they return home to take on the University of Hartford on Wednesday, Feb. 1 (7 p.m.) at Lundholm Gymnasium.