DURHAM, N.H.-- Liz Stich scored 14 points and Ikea Witt added 11 to lead the University of Hartford women's basketball team to a 59-43 victory over the University of New Hampshire Wednesday night at Lundholm Gymnasium.
The Wildcats (8-8, 4-3) took an early lead (7-4) with 15:23 to play in the first half, on a Daniel Clark layup, but a three-pointer, one of three treys in the first half by Stich, tied the game at 7-7. The Hawks (15-3, 6-1 America East) took the lead for good at 14:45 of the first stanza on the second three-pointer by Stich to make it 10-7 in favor of the visitors. UNH cut the Hartford lead to just two points (16-14) on a bucket by Ray Williams with 6:46 to go before the intermission. However, two more three pointers by Danie Wexler and Bridget Murray allowed the visitors to hold onto an eight point lead at the break (31-29).
The key to victory for Hartford came in the second half, when UNH was held scoreless from the 17:00 mark (37-31 Hartford) until 7:20 when senior center Maren Matthias (Guilford, Conn.) broke the scoring drought with layup to make it 50-33. During that scoreless stretch, the Hawks outscored the Wildcats by a 13-2 margin and opened up a 17-point lead, the largest of the contest.
UNH made several attempts at a comeback but was without the services of Matthias for much of the night due to foul trouble. She eventually fouled out with 1:15 to play in the contest.
Matthias led the 'Cats in scoring with her 24th consecutive double-digit scoring effort (13 points), despite only playing 27 minutes. Freshman forward Ray Williams (Mississauga, Ontario), shined despite the loss, scoring nine points and grabbing a team-high six rebounds.
The UNH women's basketball team will end its three-game homestand on Sat., Jan. 31 vs. America East rival Northeastern. Game time is 12 p.m. in Lundholm Gymnasium.