STONY BROOK, N.Y.-- The University of New Hampshire women's basketball team, which has now won five of its last six contests, improved to 2-0 in America East play with an impressive victory on the road at Stony Brook on Saturday afternoon, 63-56. The Wildcats improve to 6-5 overall, while the Seawolves fell to 2-9 and 1-1 in the conference.
Leading the way for the Wildcats once again was senior center Maren Matthias (Guilford, Conn.), who recorded a double-double with 15 points and 12 rebounds, while she also blocked four shots for the second consecutive game and had two assists and two steals. Matthias, the 22nd-leading scorer in Division I women's basketball, was averaging 19.9 ppg. heading into the contest and was named America East Player of the Week on Monday.
Stony Brook, which had its latest lead of the contest with 19:18 to play in the first half (2-1), never let UNH pull very far away until just before the intermission. The Wildcats opened up an 11-point advantage (26-15) with 6:48 to go in the stanza after scoring seven unanswered points, one a three-pointer by freshman forward Kate Dillon (Overland Park, Kan.), another a jumper by freshman forward Danielle Clark (Corinna, Maine) and a layup by sophomore guard Ebony Woods (Philadelphia, Pa.). However, the home team went on a 7-2 run of their own from 3:54 until the :56 second mark to cut the UNH lead to just two points (29-27). UNH led at the intermission by five points (33-28) after Clarke completed a three-point play with 11 seconds remaining before the break.
The second half was more of the same as the Wildcats would pull away and Stony Brook would fight back. But UNH gradually built up another 11-point lead (48-37) with 8:32 remaining in the contest. Stony Brook once again reeled in the Wildcats and cut the UNH advantage to just three points (55-52) on a jumper by Sherry Jordan with 2:56 to go.
But Matthias responded with a pair of key rebounds and a pair of layups at the 2:26 mark and then with 1:42 left to build a six-point UNH lead (59-33).
One last gasp in the form of a three-pointer by Stony Brook's Mykeema Ford made it a four-point difference with 24 seconds to play, but UNH held on thanks to a free throw by Clark, followed by a pair of free throws from sophomore guard Ebony Woods with :08 to go to earn UNH the 63-56 victory.
In addition to the 15 points by Matthias, Woods also scored in double digits with 11 points. UNH head coach Sue Johnson utilized nine different players and all scored. Stony Brook was led by Jordan's 18 points, while Jessica Smith and Ford each had 11. The difference in the contest was the shooting percentages,, as UNH connected on 22-48 field goals from the floor (.458), while the Seawolves took 70 shots, but made just 22 (.314). UNH was also more successful from the three-point line, making 6-17 as compared to 2-15 for the home team.
The Wildcats will return to action on Jan. 14. when the squad travels to Orono to take on America East rival Maine. Game time is 7 p.m.