ALBANY, N.Y. – Junior Patrick Konan (Gainesville, Fla.) notched a career-high 24 points and senior Chandler Rhoads (Berryville, Va.) scored his 1,000th career point, but the University of New Hampshire men's basketball team fell at Albany, 56-49, Thursday evening at SEFCU Arena.
New Hampshire drops to 8-19 overall and 4-11 in America East play, while Albany improves to 21-9 on the season and 9-6 in conference action.
Rhoads became the 29th member of the 1,000-point club when he knocked down a 3-pointer with 11:38 left in the second half. Rhoads, who tallied nine points, five rebounds and three assists, finished with 1,002 points and moved past Pat Manor (1,000) for 28th on the all-time scoring list.
Konan, who was named the America East Player of the Game, shot 9-of-10 from the floor and a perfect 6-of-6 from 3-point range.
Mike Black led Albany with 23 points, while Sam Rowley added 11 points. Albany outrebounded the Wildcats, 37-28, and shot 41.3 percent (19-46) from the floor. UNH shot 34 percent (17-50) from the field and held the Great Danes to 28 percent shooting in the first half.
Albany jumped out to a 6-2 lead to start the contest before Konan and Ferg Myrick (Philadelphia, Pa.) knocked down back-to-back 3-pointers on consecutive possessions for the 8-6 advantage. Albany answered back with a quick 3-pointer and followed with a free throw, but Konan converted a tough reverse layup to even the score at 10-10 with 14:31 left in the first half.
After Black hit a 3-pointer for the Great Danes, the Wildcats countered with a balanced attack as Jeron Trotman (Huntsville, Ala.) and Frank Okeke (DeSoto, Texas) scored consecutive baskets to put the visitors on top, 15-13, at 10:22.
From there, Konan took over on the offensive end as he drilled a trio of 3-pointers over the next 5:30 to put UNH in front, 24-19. Rhoads added a free throw to counter a pair of Albany foul shots as the Wildcats held a 25-21 lead at intermission.
Konan led all players with 14 points in the opening 20 minutes, shooting 5-of-5 from the floor and 4-of-4 from long range.
UNH opened the second half with a quick layup by Rhoads, but Albany followed with nine unanswered points. After the Wildcats broke up the stretch with a jumper from Konan, the Great Danes tacked on five straight points to complete the 14-4 run and move in front, 36-28, at 12:18.
Rhoads then hit a 3-pointer to spark a 6-0 run for the Wildcats and trim the deficit to 36-35. Albany responded with a pair of buckets, but Myrick drilled a trifecta to pull the Wildcats within two, 40-38, with 8:14 remaining.
Albany went on a 5-1 run to take a six-point lead, but Konan hit another 3-pointer to keep the Wildcats within three with just under six minutes left to play. After Albany countered with a pair of layups, it was Konan again with a 3-pointer to slice the lead to four, but the Great Danes used a conventional three-point play by Rowley to push the lead to 52-45 at 4:13.
The teams notched four points apiece to close out the contest, but the Wildcats could not get a timely 3-pointer to fall and the Great Danes went 4-of-4 at the free throw line to seal the win.
The Wildcats wrap up the regular season on Sunday, March 3 when they play host to Maine on Senior Day at 1 p.m. For tickets, visit www.unhwildcats.com or call (603) 862-4000, extension 5.