DURHAM, N.H. - The New Hampshire Wildcats clamped down on the defensive end of the floor and scored enough points offensively to defeat the Albany Great Danes, 53-43, in the America East opener for both teams Wednesday night at Lundholm Gymnasium.
The Wildcats held the Danes to 21.4 percent shooting from the field in the first half as they jumped out to a 15-point halftime lead. Most of the damage was done while Danielle Hutcheson, Albany's all-conference performer, sat on the bench for the last 14:30 of the half after picking up her second foul.
UNH went on a 21-5 run over the last seven and a half minutes of the first half and the first eight and a half minutes of the second half to extend its lead to 38-18. Albany basically traded baskets with the Wildcats the rest of the way, scoring the final seven points of the game to close the final margin to ten points.
Danielle Clark (Corinna, Maine) led UNH with 12 points, while Ebony Woods (Philadelphia, Pa.) added 11 points on three made three-pointers. Both Clark and Woods pulled down five rebounds each to lead the Wildcats. Kate Poulin (Kitchener, Ontario), making her first start since the Marist game on November 29, contributed three assists, two blocked shots, and six steals in 32 minutes of action.
Another change in the Wildcat starting lineup was the insertion of sophomore Ray Williams (Mississauga, Ontario), who scored eight points and grabbed four rebounds. The Wildcats forced the Danes into 22 turnovers.
Hutcheson recovered from her first half foul trouble to score 12 points and pull down ten rebounds in the game. Maree Jones also earned a double-double with 12 points and a game-high 12 rebounds, but Albany (5-5, 0-1 America East) was hurt by the cold shooting of guard Jen Schumacher, who missed all 11 field goal attempts, including all nine attempts from behind the three-point line.
New Hampshire (5-5, 1-0 America East) continues its three-game homestand Saturday afternoon, facing the Stony Brook Seawolves beginning at 1 p.m. at Lundholm Gymnasium.