HANOVER, N.H. - Candace Williams (Norfolk, Mass.) dropped in a team-high 13 points, but the University of New Hampshire women's basketball team fell to Dartmouth College in dramatic fashion, 49-48, Tuesday night at the Leede Arena.
With the win the Big Green improve to 6-9 overall and 1-0 in Ivy League play, while the Wildcats move to 6-12 overall and 1-4 in America East action.
With the score 49-48 in favor of Dartmouth in the closing moments of regulation, Denise Beliveau (Framingham, Mass.) had a chance to put the Big Green away, as she took the ball from the top of the key into the paint but rimmed out a layup that landed out of bounds off the hands of a Dartmouth defender.
UNH retained possession with 11 seconds remaining and got the ball to Beliveau at the elbow, but was stripped by Meghan McFee, who was quickly fouled by Beliveau with seven seconds on the clock. McFee missed the one-and-one free throw attempt as Racheal Fowler (Glassboro, N.J.) ripped down the board off the miss and got it up to Amy Simpson (Waterford, Conn.) who attempted to heave the ball up at half court for one last shot, but couldn't get it off in time, as the Big Green held onto the win.
Dartmouth kicked off the game with an 8-0 run, as Sasha Dosenko capped off the stretch with a layup at the 16-minute mark.
Beliveau snapped the run with an up-and-under layup in the paint, sparking a 15-0 UNH run that lasted nearly five minutes. The stretch featured a trio of 3-pointers, two which came on back-to-back possessions by Lauren Wells (West Chester, Pa.) and Amy Simpson (Waterford, Conn.) to knot the score even at 8-8 with 14:09 remaining in the frame.
From there Candace Williams (Norfolk, Mass.) would pick up the pace for UNH netting the next nine points for the ‘Cats, including five of which came unanswered by Dartmouth. Brittney Smith broke up Williams' hot pace as she dropped in three points the old-fashioned-way at 11:09.
The Big Green would catch fire midway through the stanza as an 11-4 run sparked by a Margaret Smith jumper reclaimed the lead for the home team, pushing ahead 22-21 with 5:24 remaining in the frame. Michelle Meyer and McFee both hit 3-pointers to cap off the run, giving the home its first lead in nearly 10 minutes.
Diamon Beckford (Philadelphia, Pa.) hit a pair of free throws following the stretch, but it wasn't enough to slow the pace of the Big Green, who came back with six unanswered points, as Louise Vanden Bosch knocked down a 3-pointer to give the home team a five point lead with the score 28-23 at 3:22.
UNH came back strong as Simpson nailed a jumper to end the scoring drought, helping guide the ‘Cats to a 9-4 run to close out the half, evening the score at 32-32 at the intermission.
Dartmouth started the second half scoring the first two baskets of the stanza, as Dosenko buried a jumper and Betsy Williams added a 3-pointer to push the home team to a 37-32 lead with 17:41 to play.
Kelley Flynn (Hopkinton, N.H.) and Beliveau helped New Hampshire get back on track, combining to bury three free throws, cutting the deficit down to just two points with the score 37-35.
For UNH, the success at the charity stripe ignited a 9-4 run, as the ‘Cats followed the made free throws scoring six points in the paint, to even the score at 41-41 with 9:31 remaining.
Moments later, Betsy Williams would disrupt UNH's offensive stride, dropping in pair of free throws, to give the Big Green a 43-41 lead. Following the made free throws, the two squads would trade baskets with one another until Smith buried the first of two free throws to give Dartmouth the 47-46 lead, as the home team closed out the game with five unanswered points to secure the victory.
In addition to scoring 13 points, Williams tallied nine rebounds and a steal on her way to being named the America East Player of the Game for New Hampshire. She now has 604 rebounds in her career and is one of just eight Wildcats all-time to tally at least 1,000 points and 600 rebounds in program history.
Flynn added a career-high seven points and 13 rebounds in the contest. Beliveau chipped in with eight points, five boards and three steals. Simpson finished the night with five points and seven assists. She now has 992 points in her career and is on pace to become the first Wildcat to notch over 1,000 points, 250 assists and 100 steals in program history.
Smith led the way for the Big Green, notching a game-high 16 rebounds and 14 points, along with three blocks and two assists. Betsy Williams finished with nine points and eight boards.
The Wildcats return to action on Friday at 7 p.m. when they travel to Albany to take on the Great Danes at the SEFCU Arena.