HAMDEN, CONN. - Candace Williams (Norfolk, Mass.) tallied 18 points but it was not enough to lead the University of New Hampshire to its third straight victory, falling to Quinnipiac University 68-54 on Sunday afternoon at TD Bank Sports Center.
It was a back-and-forth battle for both squads during the first five minutes of the action with score 6-4 in favor of the Bobcats. Quinnipiac would soon begin to pull away from the Wildcats as they posted nine unanswered points to build its lead up to eight with the score 17-4, as Courtney Kaminski polished off the run with a bucket at 11:25.
For the next nine minutes of play UNH would find its stroke offensively as they traded baskets with Quinnipiac, setting the score at 35-19 with 3:29 remaining in favor of the home team. New Hampshire would finish out the half on a strong note as they put together a 6-2 run to close out the first frame, with the score 37-25.
Denise Beliveau (Framingham, Mass.), Amy Simpson (Waterford, Conn.) and Williams led the way for UNH, as they each tallied a basket during the stretch. Williams and Beliveau provided the offensive spark for the Wildcats during the stanza, notching six and seven points, respectively.
The action would keep pace for the first four minutes of the second half as both UNH and Quinnipiac would continue to trade baskets, setting the score at 41-28 in favor of the home team, following a pair of free throws by Williams with 16:37 remaining.
Williams would knock down another pair of free throws at 15:57, which sparked a 4-1 run by the Wildcats that cut the Bobcats' lead down to just 10 points. Kelley Flynn (Hopinkton, N.H.) finished off the stretch as she powered up a layup at 15:20, with the score 42-32.
On the ensuing possession, Courtney Kaminski buried a jumper to spark a stretch in which the Bobcats scored six unanswered points, building their lead up to 16 points, with the score 48-32 with 13:48 remaining.
New Hampshire would answer the call, as Beliveau layed the ball in at 13:21 to kick off an 8-3 scoring run. With the stretch, UNH was able to cut Quinnipiac's lead back down, narrowing the gap to just 11 points at 10:44.
Despite UNH's late offensive charge, Quinnipiac would catch fire with just under the 10 minutes to play, posting a 12-3 run, that ended on a Jacinda Dunbar layup at 5:39. The run would be a tale of things to come for the Bobcats as they held their largest lead of the game with a 22-point advantage with 3:04 remaining and the score set at 68-46.
The Wildcats would finish out the game with an 8-0 run, cutting the Bobcats' lead down to 14, but the offensive spark was too little to late, as time expired with the Bobcats on top 68-54.
Williams, who was named America East Player of the Game, finished the afternoon with 18 points, six boards and a steal. Beliveau tallied 13 points, seven rebounds and two assists.
As for Quinnipiac, Felicia Barron led the way with 14 points, six assists and three rebounds. Jacinda Dunbar and Kathleen Neyens each finished in double-figures, with 12 and 11 points, respectively.
The Wildcats return to action on Thursday, Dec. 3 for the second stop of a three-game road trip traveling to Seton Hall to take on the Pirates at Walsh Gymnasium at 7 p.m.