PROVIDENCE, R.I. - Senior Colleen Mullen's (Chelmsford, Mass.) off-balance three-pointer at the buzzer sent the University of New Hampshire women's basketball to overtime with Providence, but the Friars outscored the 'Cats 13-6 in the extra session to post a 79-70 victory Saturday afternoon at Alumni Hall.
Trailing 66-63 with 6.5 seconds remaining in regulation, Mullen took an inbounds pass in UNH's defensive end, dribbled the length of the court and heaved a shot as she was falling down that banked off the backboard as the horn sounded to knot the game at 66-66.
But the Friars (6-3) got six points from Catrina Hawley-Stewart and five from Jenese Wilcox in the overtime to hang on for the win. UNH (3-5), which had great success pounding the ball inside, received solid performances from sophomore Maren Matthias (Guilford, Conn.), who hit for a career-high 22 points to go along with 12 rebounds, and senior Aubrey Danen (Oconomowoc, Wis.), who set a season-high with 21 points while pulling down seven boards.
The Wildcats led 29-25 halftime before the Friars opened the second half scoring six of the first eight points to knot the game at 31-31. UNH responded with a 7-0 spurt of its own to go up 38-31. The Friars battled back, however, and went on a 18-6 run to grab a 51-46 lead with 8:43 remaining in the second half. The 'Cats regained the lead, 55-53 on a Mullen (11 points) long-distance three-pointer and took their largest lead of the night, 60-53 on Danen's three-pointer from the top of the key with 5:06 remaining. Providence, however, used free throw shooting to get back in the game and retook the lead, 64-63 on Ryann Kilgore's jumper with only 33 seconds remaining. After a UNH miss and foul, Kristin Quinn hit two free throws to give the Friars a three-point edge, setting up Mullen's heroics.
Providence finished the game shooting close to 70 (23-33) percent from the free throw line, while UNH managed to hit on just 7 of 16 from the charity stripe.
UNH plays the final game of a three-game road trip Thursday night (12/13) at UMass. The 'Cats return home Dec. 29 to take on Sacred Heart at Lundholm Gymnasium at 3 p.m.