DURHAM, N.H. - Maren Matthias (Guilford, Conn.) poured in 26 points and grabbed nine rebounds to lead the University of New Hampshire to its third-straight victory and fifth in six games, a 60-50 triumph over Hartford at Lundholm Gymnasium Wednesday night. UNH, which remained in a fourth-place tie with Stony Brook in America East after the Seawolves' 80-68 win over Albany, improved to 12-14 overall and 7-8 in America East. The Hawks fell to 6-20 and 4-11 in America East.
Matthias was 12-18 from the floor in her seventh 20-point game of the season, with 16 of those points coming in the first half. Lindsay Adams (Theresa, N.Y.), the reigning America East Player of the Week, netted 11 points, while Aubrey Danen (Oconomowoc, Wis.) and Colleen Mullen (Chelmsford, Mass.) each finished with nine points. Liz Stich led Hartford with 12 points.
Trailing 31-30 at halftime, the Wildcats went on a 9-2 run to start the second half to take a 39-34 lead on a Matthias basket with 16:46 to play. The Hawks stormed back to claim a 40-39 advantage on a Stich trifecta with 13:15 to go. After trading baskets, New Hampshire took the lead for good with 7:44 left when Matthias converted a layup. An Adams trey followed by a Danen basket pushed the Wildcat lead to six, 48-42, with 6:14 on the clock. Jess Clark cut the lead to 49-45 with 5:22 to play on a pair of free throws, but Hartford got no closer.
The first half was fairly even as the frame saw eight lead changes. Hartford took its largest lead of the game, 27-22, with 4:25 left, but a Matthias three-point play with 2:21 to go in the opening stanza capped a 6-0 run and gave UNH a 28-27 edge. The visitors took a 31-30 lead into the locker room.
UNH allowed Hartford to shoot just 6-24 from the floor in the second half and 33.3% for the game (20-60), while the 'Cats shot 44.9% from the floor. The Wildcats outrebounded the Hawks 44-34 and blocked seven Hartford shots, with Geneva Livingston (Red Bank, N.J.) recording a career-high four swats.
Prior to the game, UNH honored four seniors playing in their last home game as Wildcats, Danen, Mullen, Emily Caschera (Ballston Lake, N.Y.) and Taylore Jarvis (Nazareth, Pa.)
New Hampshire closes out the regular season Saturday (March 8) when it travels to Binghamton for a 1 p.m. contest.