DURHAM, N.H. – Sophomore Candace Williams (Norfolk, Mass.) led the University of New Hampshire women’s basketball team in scoring and rebounding, but a 15-point second half effort by Courtney Pilypaitis lifted the University of Vermont past the Wildcats, 61-54, Tuesday evening at Lundholm Gymnasium.
    Candace Williams tallied 19 points, 11 in the first half and pulled down eight rebounds in the game for the Wildcats, who fall to 6-17, 3-8 in the America East, while the Catamounts improve to 18-7 and 9-3 in conference play. The forward was named the America East Player of the Game for the Wildcats.
    Two of the three Wildcats scoring in double-figures reached that plateau in the first half, as New Hampshire shot 41.4 percent (12-of-29) from the floor in the opening frame. The Catamounts shot just 19.2 percent in the first half, going 5-for-26 from the floor.
    It was back-and-forth affair early on as both teams exchanged baskets to make it 10-10 with 11:06 remaining. New Hampshire held the Catamounts without a field goal for 13 minutes of action, making it 31-19 with 2:29 left to play. Vermont hit 11 free-throws during that time, but seven points by Denise Beliveau (Framingham, Mass.) during that time allowed for a 10-point halftime lead, 35-25. Beliveau finished the half with 13 points, while Candace Williams, who went 7-for-11 in the game, notched 11 points in the opening frame.
    To open up the second half, Vermont went on an 11-2 run to make it a one-point game, 37-36, with 16:28 remaining. The Wildcats quickly pulled ahead by four, 40-36, on an old-fashioned three point play by Candace Williams at 16:13. The Catamounts finally evened the score, 40-40, on two free-throws by Pilypaitis with 13:49 left to play. Pilypaitis then stole the ball and delivered it to Amy Rozenkrantz who nailed a jumper to put Vermont on top, 42-40, with 13:31 remaining.
    Another old-fashioned three point play, this time by Jacinda Williams, put the Wildcats back ahead, 43-42, at 12:56. New Hampshire pulled ahead by as many as six points, 50-44, with just over seven minutes remaining, but an 8-2 run by the Catamounts netted the score once again, 52-52, with 4:03 left to play on a 3-pointer by May Kotsopolous. Pilypaitis, who finished the game with 19 points, put the Catamounts ahead for good, 54-52, with 2:11 remaining. Kotsopolous finished the game with 14 points and six steals for Vermont.
    New Hampshire did not hit a field goal in the final four minutes of action and committed 16 second-half turnovers. Jacinda Williams (Poughkeepsie, N.Y.) tallied 10 points for the Wildcats, while Beliveau notched 15 and pulled down seven boards to go along with four steals. Racheal Fowler (Glassboro, N.J.) also contributed as she pulled down eight rebounds and delivered four points in the game. Vermont pulled down 19 offensive rebounds for 14 second-chance points. The visitors outrebounded the Wildcats, 41-35.
    The Wildcats will host the Retrievers of UMBC on Saturday, Feb. 23. Tickets are still available for the 1 p.m. tipoff. All fans are encouraged to wear pink to the “Think Pink” breast cancer awareness event.
View: Mobile | Desktop