WORCESTER, Mass. – Despite making a late push and outscoring its opponent in the second half, the University of New Hampshire women's basketball team couldn't overcome a 17-point first half deficit, falling to the College of the Holy Cross, 78-67, Tuesday night at the Hart Center.
Denise Beliveau (Framingham, Mass.) led UNH with a season-high 16 points and 13 rebounds. She finished the night with four assists and three steals. Cari Reed (Oswego, N.Y.) was New Hampshire's other double-digit scorer, finishing with 13 points, including a perfect 6-for-6 from the charity stripe.
Holy Cross outshot UNH 40.4 percent (23-57) to 39.0 percent (23-59), however, the 'Cats held the edge in the second half 45.9 percent (17-37) to 42.9 percent (12-28). New Hampshire outscored Holy Cross 48-42 in the second frame.
After controlling the lead for more than 18 minutes, a Whitney Fremeau jumper gave Holy Cross its largest advantage of the night, holding a 68-45 edge with 6:00 left in the contest. However, threats of losing that advantage came moments later when Lauren Wells (West Chester, Pa.) gave New Hampshire new life, drilling a 3-pointer from the top of the key sparking a string of 14 unanswered points by the visitors.
The 'Cats kept the Crusaders scoreless for nearly five minutes, making a living on the charity stripe, with three Wildcats combining to go 7-for-8 from the line during the stretch. Beliveau led the way, notching one from the stripe, while also tallying a pair of layups to cap off the run, cutting the score to 68-59 with 1:48 to play.
Holy Cross battled back with four unanswered, but New Hampshire wouldn't be silenced, posting an 8-3 run over a span of 16 seconds, cutting the deficit to just eight points. However, the run wasn't enough, as the Crusaders' early lead was too much to overcome for the Wildcats.
New Hampshire kicked off the contest with a 9-1 scoring stretch that lasted nearly five minutes, as Sarah-Marie Frankenberger (Gross Gerau, Germany), Beliveau, and Reed all knocked down trifectas to give the 'Cats the early edge.
The Crusaders responded with a 15-4 run, sparked by a pair of free throws by Meredith Ward at 15:29, pushing the home team ahead 16-13 with 8:22 remaining in the first frame. Alyssa May and Fremeau dropped in four points apiece during the stretch for Holy Cross.
The Crusaders would continue to pile on the points in the ensuing moments of the game, adding a 18-6 run, as Alex Smith added a pair of dagger 3-pointers at the tail end of the stretch, giving Holy Cross a 36-19 advantage at the break.
The Wildcats return to action on Monday, Nov. 29 (7 p.m.) when they take on Syracuse University at the Carrier Dome.