DURHAM N.H. – Patrick Konan (Gainesville, Fla.) notched 13 points and six rebounds and Jacoby Armstrong (Sachse, Texas) chipped in with 12 points and seven boards, but the University of New Hampshire men's basketball team was dealt its fourth straight defeat, 63-52, by Holy Cross on Saturday night at Lundholm Gym.
Holy Cross drew first blood on a jump shot by sophomore Eric Green just five seconds into the game. The Wildcats responded when freshman Daniel Dion (Cedar Park, Texas) intercepted a pass just outside the three-point line and brought the ball down the court to find freshman John Edwards (Charlotte, N.C.) for the layup.
After back-to-back Crusader buckets, Dion led the retaliatory charge again with a jumper to cut the away team's lead to 7-4, with 16:55 left on the clock. Holy Cross extended its lead to six points before Konan hit a three-pointer to cut the lead to 11-7 at 14:11.
Layups by Senior Chris Pelcher (Albany, N.Y.) bookended an 8-0 Crusader's streak in just over three minutes bringing the score to 19-11 with 9:21 left in the first half. Pelcher's second layup of the night initiated an 8-0 for the Wildcats punctuated by a hard slam off the fastbreak by the senior center. Continuing the night's trend, Holy Cross put together its own eight point run, including five points off a trey and a layup from senior Dave Dudzinski, extending the Crusader lead to 10 points with 3:24 left in the half.
Dion hit a jumper from beyond the arc to make the score 27-20, but the visitors quickly reasserted their double-digit lead on another three from Dudzinski with just under two minutes to go in the first.
The teams swapped baskets to close out the half, with Konan scoring two field goals and a free throw for the Wildcats before freshman Anthony Thompson hit a layup in traffic as time expired to make the score 36-25.
Holy Cross opened the second half with two consecutive baskets to jump out to a 15-point advantage. The Crusaders continued to control the game defensively with the only New Hampshire points in the first 7:55 coming on three free throws by Armstrong and one free throw form Konan.
After Holy Cross extended its lead to 46-29 with 14:36 remaining, UNH outscored the visitors 9-2 over the next 5:00 to cut the lead to 10. Edwards hit a layup to start the run, followed by a three-pointer by Dion. Bronner added two free throws and Armstrong capped the run with a jumper from the right side.
The teams went back and forth over the next five minutes until Holy Cross' Anthony Thompson hit two free throws to give the Crusaders a 56-44 lead with 4:25 remaining. UNH launched a 7-1 run on the heels of Bronner to cut the lead to six points. Bronner hit four straight free throws, Armstrong added a jumper and Bronner notched another free throw to bring the score to 52-57, but Holy Cross would not be denied, closing out the game with a 6-0 run to take the victory, 63-52.
Konan led the Wildcats with 13 points and nine boards while Armstrong scored 12 points and collected seven rebounds. Dion added eight points for UNH and Bronner chipped with seven points and five rebounds in the loss.
Dudzinski led Holy Cross with 17 points and eight rebounds. Thompson also scored a team leading 17 points and added five rebounds and two assists in the winning effort.
With the win, the Crusaders improve to 4-3, while UNH falls to 2-4 on the season.
The Wildcats begin a two-game Nutmeg State road trip with a visit to Central Connecticut State on Wednesday, Dec. 4, at 7 p.m. New Hampshire opens America East play with a home matchup against Stony Brook on Sunday, Dec. 15, at 1 p.m. For tickets, visit www.unhwildcats.com or call (603) 862-4000, extension 5.