DURHAM, N.H. –– Sophomore forward Janeka Lopp made a pull-up free throw jumper with 3.7 seconds remaining in the game to give the University of Hartford women’s basketball team a 56-54 victory against the University of New Hampshire at Lundholm Gymnasium on Thursday night.
With the loss, UNH fell to 13-14 overall and 8-10 in America East to be the No. 6 seed in the upcoming America East Championships (at the University of Vermont). The Wildcats will play third-seeded Delaware in a March 9 quarterfinal game. Hartford improved to 14-13 overall and 9-9 in the conference and will face No. 4 Northeastern in the quarterfinals.
UNH used a 15-0 run to take a 54-49 lead with 1:42 to play. Laquanda Brickhouse converted a three-point play to pull the Hawks within 54-52 at 1:22, then Angie Pezzetta made a pair of free throws to tie the game with 43 seconds to play. UNH failed on its chance to regain the lead and Hartford took possession with 14 seconds on the clock to set up Lopp’s heroics.
Kelly Donohue’s (Rochester, N.H.) inbounds pass was intercepted by Hartford, but a travelling call gave possession back to the Wildcats with 1.3 seconds to go. Donohue inbounded the ball to Kiki Proctor (Harrisburg, Pa.) in the right corner, but her game-winning 3-point attempt went off the rim.
New Hampshire rolled out to a 20-6 advantage in the opening seven minutes of the game. Hartford closed the half with a 9-3 run to pull within 33-26 at halftime.
The Hawks continued to surge in the second half and grabbed their first lead of the game, 37-36, with 13:24 remaining. Hartford pushed its advantage to 49-39 over the next eight minutes before the Wildcats netted 15 consecutive points.
It was the last home game for senior center Orsi Farkas (Budapest, Hungary), who recorded 10 points and six rebounds. Proctor led the ‘Cats with 14 points and Donohue added 13.
Kenitra Johnson scored 21 points off the bench for Hartford.
The game also marked the end of a UNH career for Allison Godfrey (Haverhill, Mass.). Various injuries have limited the forward to 23 games over the last two seasons, but Godfrey did average 10.5 ppg and 6.8 rpg as a sophomore in the 1997-98 season.