November 13, 2009

WOMEN’S BASKETBALL TAKES OUT ST. JOSEPH’S, 64-56

DURHAM, N.H. - Denise Beliveau (Framingham, Mass.) notched 21 points and tallied nine rebounds, propelling the University of New Hampshire women's basketball team to a 64-56 win over St. Joseph's University Friday night at Lundholm Gymnasium.

With the win, the Wildcats improve to 1-0 overall and defeat an Atlantic-10 team for the first time since Dec. 4, 2005, when they defeated Massachusetts 59-43 at home. As for the Hawks, they fall to 0-1 overall on the young season.

The Hawks would score the first two buckets of the contest as Ashley Prim and Mariame Djouara both scored in the first minute of the game to give the visitors the early edge. However, the lead was short lived, as the ‘Cats answering with a 9-0 run and would not surrender a lead again for the rest of the half.

Beliveau, who was named the America East Player of the Game, sparked the run as she torched a 3-pointer at 18:45. Candace Williams (Norfolk, Mass.) would follow with a jumper about minute later to give UNH its first lead of the night with score at 5-4.

Beliveau and Williams would continue to pile it on in the next five minutes as they each buried a basket in back-to-back possessions, to put the ‘Cats up 9-4 at 16:01.  The Wildcats would continue their hot shooting in next eight minutes of play, as they went on a 16-8 run, to give the home team the early 25-12 edge.

Despite the run, the Hawks would claw back in the final minutes of the first half, as they posted a 10-0 run, sparked by a 3-pointer by Amy Gillespie at 5:07. St. Joseph's would keep pace in the remaining minutes, as Michelle Baker knotted the score at 27-27 on the first of two free throws with 0:51 remaining. However, the ‘Cats would enter halftime in control of lead with score 30-27.

Both teams opened up the second half trading basket for basket, until the Hawks began to capture momentum once again, going on a 9-2 run in a two minute stretch midway through the stanza.

Shelby Smith got it started for the Hawks as she drilled a trifecta from Katie Kuester at 14:46. Amy Simpson (Waterford, Conn.) would respond by setting up Racheal Fowler (Glassboro, N.J.) with a basket of her own as she layed the ball in at 14:05 to make the score 37-36, in favor of the visitors.

Smith would rebuttal with a pair of 3-pointers in successive possessions, to give the Hawks their largest lead of the night, with score 43-36 at 12:58.

The Wildcats would trade baskets with the Hawks in the next three minutes of play, however, would catch spark as Williams layed the ball in at the nine-minute mark to start a 10-2 run, pushing the ‘Cats ahead 51-49 with 7:37 remaining.   

St. Joseph's would strike back on the ensuing possession with a 3-pointer from Gillespie, to give the visitors the lead once again, with the score 52-51. The Hawks would follow with another basket, as Brittany Ford layed the ball in to give the visitors a three-point advantage at 4:28.

That would be the last time the Hawks would hold the lead for the rest of the game, as New Hampshire posted a 10-2 scoring run to close out the action, securing the victory. Beliveau knocked down four free throws during the stretch, as she went a perfect 10-10 from the charity stripe on the evening.

Williams finished off the night with 15 points and five rebounds. Wells tallied 12 points and one block. Simpson chipped in with two points, six boards and five assists. As for the Hawks, Smith led the team with 14 points. Brittany Ford added 13 points and six rebounds and two steals.

The Wildcats outscored the Hawks 20-6 in points in the paint. New Hampshire shot a 44.7 percent clip from the floor, including a 45.8 clip in the second half. As for the Hawks, they finished with a 27.7 shooting percentage from the floor for the contest.

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