BALTIMORE, Md. - After jumping out to a 13-0 lead, the New Hampshire Wildcats let the UMBC Retrievers use the three-point shot to get back into the game, but made a run in the second half to put away the host school, 73-61, Saturday afternoon in America East women's basketball action at the RAC Arena.
The Retrievers did not score a point until Matea Pender hit a three-pointer with 12:33 remaining in the first half. However, by making nine three-pointers in the first half, UMBC chipped away at the UNH lead, eventually going ahead 26-25 with 2:41 left on Brittnie Hughes's jumper, the only two-point shot made by the Retrievers in the first half. Back-to-back three-pointers by Kate Dillon (Overland Park, Kan.) and Ebony Woods (Philadelphia, Pa.) gave the Wildcats the lead at the half.
The Wildcats scored 14 unanswered points in the second half to increase their advantage to 47-31 with 13:37 remaining in the game. Dillon scored six points and Woods contributed five points during the run. On a 17-3 scoring run, UMBC came within three points with four minutes left, but back-to-back three-pointers by Woods sealed the victory for the Wildcats.
Woods was perfect from the field, making all five three-point attempts on her way to a season-high 19 points. Dillon had the best game of her career, going 5-of-6 from the field to score 13 points and pull down a game-high nine rebounds. Whitney Edwards (Mount Vernon, N.Y.) and Danielle Clark (Corinna, Maine) each scored ten points, combining to go 10-of-11 from the free throw line.
It was the best shooting day of the season for UNH, as the team hit 51.2 percent of its field goal attempts (22-of-43), including 44 percent of its three-point attempts (11-of-23). The 11 made three-pointers tied the school record, set at Quinnipiac on December 3, 2003 and first matched here against UMBC on January 21, 2004. The Wildcats also made their free throws, going 18-of-23 (78.3 percent) for the game, including all eight attempts from the charity stripe in the last 1:30 of the game.
The UNH win overshadowed an amazing shooting display by Retriever senior Ana Goncharova, who went 9-of-10 from the three-point line to lead all players with 33 points. The Wildcats held Pender, the nation's leading three-point shooter coming into the game, to 2-of-11 from the field, including only 1-of-6 from the three-point line.
New Hampshire dominated the boards, outrebounding UMBC (7-10, 2-6 America East) 36-19. UNH's inside play also accounted for four blocked shots, while the Retrievers blocked only one Wildcat shot.
New Hampshire (8-9, 4-4 America East) returns home on Tuesday, February 1, to take on the Northeastern Huskies at Lundholm Gymnasium beginning at 7 p.m.