NEW BRITAIN, Conn. – Three Wildcats scored in double-digits for the first time this season, but it wasn't enough, as the University of New Hampshire women's basketball team fell to Central Connecticut State University, 61-48, Sunday afternoon at Detrick Gymnasium.
Kelsey Hogan (Nashua, N.H.) led all UNH scorers with 11 points, adding five boards and five assists. Denise Beliveau (Framingham, Mass.) registered 10 points and eight rebounds. Cari Reed (Oswego, N.Y.) rounded out UNH's double-digit scorers with 10 points and six boards.
Kerrianne Dugan notched a career-high 26 points and seven rebounds for the Blue Devils.
With the loss the Wildcats fall to 1-7 on the season, while the Blue Devils snap a two-game losing streak, improving to 6-2.
Central Connecticut kicked off the afternoon with five unanswered points, piecing together a 9-2 run, as Kirsten Daamen sank a layup at 15:19 to cap off the stretch, giving the home team the early edge.
New Hampshire battled back trading baskets with CCSU for the next 5:28, until the Wildcats caught fire stringing together an 11-2 run, jumping ahead 22-18 with 6:35 remaining in the first frame.
Hogan put the 'Cats on her back, pouring in seven points during the stretch, including a three pointer from the top of the key that gave UNH its first lead of the contest. On the ensuing possession Reed added a trifecta of her own, pushing New Hampshire's lead to four to cap off the stretch.
Brooke Bailey would help the Blue Devils get back on track when she sank a jumper that set off a 6-1 run, helping the home team take a 24-23 lead with 4:48 remaining in the frame.
UNH would control the pace the rest of the way, outscoring CCSU 13-8 to close out the first half. Jill McDonald (Middlebury, Vt.) got things started as she banked in a layup to take back the lead and Lauren Wells (West Chester, Pa.) added a baseline 3-pointer off a swing pass by Hogan on the ensuing possession to put the visitors up 28-24 at 4:08.
CCSU would come back and score six points in the last 2:38, but Jilliane Friel (Durham, N.H.) helped preserve the lead, receiving an inbound pass under the basket and muscling her way to the hoop for a tough one-handed jumper in the lane with 1:09 remaining. On the ensuing possession she was it again, taking her defender off the dribble and slashing to the middle for a free throw line jumper that gave UNH a 36-32 edge at the break.
Despite being down at the half, the Blue Devils kicked off the second frame with eight unanswered, taking back the lead with a 40-36 advantage with 14:52 left in regulation.
However, New Hampshire came back strong with a 9-3 run, as Beliveau sparked the stretch with a pair of free throws at 14:25. On the ensuing possession, McDonald delivered with a layup and Reed quickly followed with a jumper in the lane off an inbound pass from Hogan that put the 'Cats up 42-41 with 12:25 remaining.
Following UNH's run, the Blue Devils fired back with eight unanswered, part of an 18-3 run by the home team to close out the contest. The Wildcats did not register a field goal for the last 7:35 of the game, as CCSU was able to hold on in the closing moments of the action.
The Wildcats return to action on Wednesday, Dec. 22 (5 p.m.) when they take on Quinnipiac at Lundholm Gymnasium.