HARTFORD, Conn. – Ferg Myrick (Philadelphia, Pa.) scored a game- and season-high 20 points, but the University of Connecticut held off the University of New Hampshire, 61-53, in Thursday night's non-conference men's basketball game at the XL Center.
New Hampshire falls to 2-4 overall, while Connecticut improves to 6-1 on the season.
Myrick shot 7-of-20 from the field and added seven rebounds and a pair of blocks. Junior Chris Pelcher (Albany, N.Y.) posted 16 points on 6-of-12 shooting and a career-high 12 boards for his second double-double of the season to go along with three blocks. Senior Chandler Rhoads (Berryville, Va.) notched nine rebounds and a season-high six assists.
Ryan Boatright led the Huskies with 19 points, while Omar Calhoun also reached double-figures with 16 points. DeAndre Daniels chipped in with 10 rebounds.
Connecticut opened with back-to-back baskets before junior Patrick Konan (Gainesville, Fla) managed to get to the line and sink a free throw to put the Wildcats on the board. On the next possession, Konan knocked down a tough running jumper to trim the deficit to 4-3 at 17:49.
The Huskies bounced back with eight unanswered points to stretch their lead to 11-3 with 15:59 remaining. UNH answered with an 8-2 run as Pelcher and Myrick scored four points apiece during the stretch to pull the Wildcats within two, 13-11, at the 11:21 mark.
UConn responded with three straight free throws from Boatright, but UNH went right back to Pelcher down low for the quick bucket to stay within three. After a UConn jumper, Myrick raced down the other end of the floor and knocked down a shot from beyond the arc to slice the deficit back to two, 18-16, with 8:33 left to play in the opening half.
The home side held the Wildcats scoreless over the next 6:30 to build a nine-point lead, before Pelcher hit a post hook in the final minute of play, but the Huskies held a 25-18 advantage at intermission. Pelcher led the visitors with eight points and seven rebounds in the first half, while Myrick notched seven points and six boards.
The teams swapped baskets to open the second half until Konan stepped back and drilled a 3-pointer to pull the Wildcats within four, 27-23, at 18:18.
From there, the Huskies rattled off five unanswered until Myrick swept across the paint with a driving layup and drew the foul for the eventual 3-point play to cut the lead to six.
After the teams traded a series of baskets, UConn increased its lead to nine points on a trio of free throws by Boatright, but Myrick came back on the other end and nailed a trey to bring the led back down to six. The Huskies answered with a put-back bucket, but Konan hit another 3-pointer to trim the lead to five, 42-37, and force a UConn timeout with 8:35 left to play.
The Huskies maintained a six-point lead over the next 1:30 before Myrick knocked down another 3-pointer to bring the visitors within 46-43 with 6:10 remaining. The Wildcats stayed within four at the 4:22 mark on a layup by Rhoads, but the Huskies answered with seven straight points to move out in front, 57-46, with less than two minutes to play.
UNH made another run at the end with a 7-0 stretch in less than a minute of game action to trim the lead to four with 36 seconds to go, but UConn hit all the necessary free throws down the stretch to seal the victory.
The Wildcats kick off a three-game homestand on Saturday, Dec. 1 when they play host to Brown at 1 p.m. The game will be broadcast live on WBIN-TV and Fox College Sports.