Burlington, VT --- With 16 points, Morgan Hall led four players in double figures as Vermont outlasted New Hampshire, 78-75, in America East women’s basketball at the Patrick Gym on Wednesday evening.
Vermont, in avenging a 73-55 loss at UNH on January 12th, takes over the America East lead at 7-2 as front-running Binghamton (7-3) lost to Albany on Wednesday. The win was the fifth straight overall and fourth consecutive in conference play for the Catamounts. After a 5-5 start, UVM has bounced back to win eight-of-ten to improve to 13-7 on the season.
The closely contested game featured seven ties and 13 lead changes –five in the last three minutes- before Hall buried a 12-foot baseline jumper with 31 seconds remaining to give the Catamounts a 76-75 lead. Jen MacAulay rebounded a UNH miss with 12 seconds to go and hit two free throws for the final margin.
Vermont took charge in the from the start with six different Catamounts scoring in a 16-4 run to take a 20-9 lead in the game's first ten minutes. Behind Libby Smith (nine first half points), UVM maintained a ten-point advantage through most of the half. But five points by Kiki Proctor keyed a 7-2 Wildcat run to close out the first half with Vermont holding a 36-31 lead at the break.
Maren Matthias’ lay-up three minutes into the second half gave UNH it’s first lead, 42-40, since the early going and then the two teams matched baskets for much of the second stanza. After five points by Hall, UVM was able to open up a 69-63 lead with just under five minutes to play before the frantic finish. UNH also stayed alive after the break by making six-for-11 from three-point range.
In addition to Hall who shot seven-for-12 from the floor and two-for-four from beyond the arc, Smith added 14 points (7-for-14 FG’s), four rebounds and four assists. Aaron Yantzi , plagued by foul trouble much of the contest, had 13 points, seven rebounds and four assists while Katie McNamara had 10 points, seven boards and four assists.
Geneva Livingston led the Wildcats with 15 points while Heidi Plencner and Maren Matthias (also five rebounds) tallied 12 apiece. Aubrey Danen added 11 points, five rebounds and a game-high five assists as they fall to 11-10 overall and 5-5 in the America East.
The Catamounts, who combined to shoot 55% from the floor in their previous two games, shot 51% tonight but made just four-of 15 three-point attempts (27%). UVM also out-rebounded New Hampshire, 36-29 and committed just 11 turnovers.