The Northeastern women's basketball team ended a five-game skid with a key conference victory of visiting New Hampshire, 74-61, on Tuesday night at Solomon Court.
The Huskies, who now improve to 12-14 overall and 6-11 in America East play, move into a tie with UNH, which drops to 10-16 overall and 6-11 in league play. Northeastern and the Wildcats are in a tie for eighth place, and sit a half-game behind Vermont and Stony Brook, which both play in games Wednesday night.
The Huskies and UNH were evenly matched through the first 20 minutes of play, but it was Northeastern that held a slight advantage heading into the locker rooms, 30-28. Sophomore Michelle Decerbo helped lead NU with 10 points on 4-7 shooting.
In the second half, it was sophomore Maralene Zwarich who took over, scoring 12 of her game-high 20 points in the final 20 minutes of action. Zwarich was 8-12 from the field and 4-4 from the free throw line in 27 minutes of play. The Huskies opened up the half on a 12-4 run that put them in control of the game, leading 42-32 with with 14:23 to play in the game.
The Wildcats kept the game within range over the next eight minutes, but Northeastern would jump out to a 15-point lead with under five minutes to play.
With the Huskies up 59-44, New Hampshire found some life, and went on a 9-0 run to pull within six points with 3:14 to play in regulation. From there, Northeastern was able to regroup itself, hitting key free throws down the stretch to hold on for the win.
Northeastern's success came from the free throw line, as the Huskies shot 87.1 percent (27-31) for the game. The Huskies also shot 61.1 percent (11-18) from the field in the second half, and finished with a shooting percentage of 47.9. NU forced the Wildcats into 24 turnovers, grabbing 14 steals in the game.
Coming in behind Zwarich's 20 points was Decerbo, who matched her career-high with 16 points on 5-9 shooting from the floor and a perfect 6-6 from the free throw line. Freshman Jody Burrows also put up solid numbers, finishing with 13 points on 5-7 shooting from the field.
For New Hampshire, Danielle Clark had team-highs of 17 points and seven rebounds. Ray Williams tied her career-high with 16 points, while Ebony Woods finished with 10 points.