WOMEN'S HOOP COMES UP SHORT AGAINST ALBANY IN OT, 64-62
DURHAM, N.H. - Jill McDonald (Middlebury, Vt.) led four Wildcats in double figures, pouring in 16 points and tallying a career-high 10 rebounds, but the University of New Hampshire women's basketball team fell to the University at Albany, 64-62, in overtime on Sunday afternoon at Lundholm Gymnasium.
With the loss the Wildcats drop to 8-19 overall and 3-11 in America East play, while the Great Danes improve to 10-17 overall and 3-11 in conference action.
McDonald earned America East Player of the Game honors for New Hampshire, finishing the afternoon with four blocks, two steals and two assists. Charity Iromuanya took home Player of the Game honors for Albany, tallying a game-high 29 points, nine rebounds and six assists.
Denise Beliveau (Framingham, Mass.) added 15 points, nine boards, three assists and a steal in the loss. Cari Reed (Oswego, N.Y.) and Candace Williams (Norfolk, Mass.) rounded out UNH's double-digit scorers, notching 11 points apiece.
Iromuanya buried a layup to put the Great Danes up 63-57, but a Beliveau 3-pointer cut the score to three with 1:40 remaining in overtime. Beliveau would add to the offensive charge 28 seconds later, lacing a pair of free throws to set the score at 63-62 with 1:12 to play.
Felicia Johnson knocked down the second of two free throw attempts just over a minute later to give Albany the 64-62 lead with eight seconds remaining. The Wildcats would have one last chance to tie or win game when Lauren Wells (West Chester, Pa.) took the ball up the court and came off a screen on the right wing but rimmed out a 15-foot jumper at the buzzer.
Both teams opened up play trading baskets with one another, until the Great Danes caught fire and posted a 10-2 run that lasted just under three minutes, pulling ahead 12-6 at 12:25. The ‘Cats came back scoring four unanswered points as Wells and Beliveau both sank jumpers, propelling UNH to a 14-8 run, knotting the score even at 20-20 with 2:52 remaining in the first frame.
Despite coming back to knot up the score, the Great Danes finished the half strong, as Ebone Henry knocked down a pair of free throws and Iromuanya sank a layup at the buzzer to give the visitors the 24-22 advantage at the intermission.
New Hampshire would kick off the second half hot on Albany's trail, firing off five unanswered points on its way to an 8-1 run, as Beliveau capped off the stretch with a trifecta to give the home team its largest lead of the game with a 30-25 advantage at 17:41.
Albany countered with a 9-2 run, as Iromuanya ignited the stretch knocking down a 3-pointer to reclaim the lead for the visitors with the score 34-32. Reed would break things up with trifecta of her own, but the Great Danes continued to pile on the points putting together a 17-9 run that lasted just over seven minutes.
The Wildcats were quick to turn things around, as McDonald and Reed both drained baskets on back-to-back possessions cutting the score to 51-45 at 6:26. Keyana Williams would lace a layup following the pair of baskets, but it wouldn't slow the pace of the ‘Cats as they posted a 10-3 run, capped off with a Reed 3-pointer to slice Albany's lead down to one.
Moments later, Iromuanya would add the second of two free throw attempts at 2:41 to make the score 57-55 in favor of the visitors. Neither team would score over the course of the next 2:21, until McDonald knocked down a pair of free throws to send the game into overtime with 20 seconds left in regulation.
For Albany, Henry tallied 15 points, seven rebounds and three steals. Keyana Williams chipped in with 12 points and four boards.
The Wildcats return to action on Thursday, Feb. 25 at 7 p.m. when they play host to Binghamton University on Senior Night at Lundholm Gymnasium.