DURHAM, N.H. – Junior forward Denise Beliveau (Framingham, Mass.) registered a game-high 19 points and 10 rebounds, earning her fifth double-double of the season, but the University of New Hampshire women's basketball team fell to the University of Hartford, 57-50, Wednesday evening at Lundholm Gymnasium.
Beliveau, who notched her ninth career double-double in the contest, took home America East Player of the Game honors for the Wildcats, rounding out the evening with three assists and two steals. She finished the contest 7-of-12 from the floor, 2-of-4 from deep, and a perfect 3-of-3 from the charity stripe.
Ilicia Mathis earned player of the game honors for the Hawks, finishing with 15 points and nine boards.
After being down by as many as eight points in the second frame, Lauren Wells (West Chester, Pa.) jumpstarted the Wildcats late in the stanza, sinking a layup that set off a 7-0 run, knotting the score at 48-48 with 3:13 remaining in the contest.
Kelsey Hogan (Nashua, N.H.) would follow up with a mid-range jumper and Beliveau polished off the stretch with a 3-pointer from the top of the key, on a scoring run that lasted 2:07. However, the Hawks were quick to respond, as Mathis silenced the run, drilling a jumper that kicked off a 9-2 scoring stretch by the visitors to close out the contest and preserve the victory.
After possessing a 24-23 edge at the break, New Hampshire fell behind early in the second frame, as Alex Hall knocked down a pair of free throws to ignite an 11-2 run that gave the Hawks their largest lead of the contest with a 34-26 advantage with 14:18 to play.
The Wildcats would battle back following a Mathis 3-pointer, as Kelley Flynn (Hopkinton, N.H.) knocked down a baby hook shot and Hogan drilled a trifecta on back-to-back possessions to breathe life into UNH, setting off a 10-2 scoring run that lasted 3:15.
Cari Reed (Oswego, N.Y.) capped off the stretch with a 3-pointer from the right wing on a feed from Abigail LaRosa (Hampton, N.H.) that evened the score at 36-36 with 10:42 remaining.
Despite New Hampshire offensive outburst, the Hawks were quick to answer the call, responding with a 12-5 run that lasted over four minutes, giving Hartford a seven-point edge just inside the seven-minute mark. Beliveau provided UNH's only offense during the stretch, netting a layup and three points the old-fashioned-way on a tough layup from the right block that she followed up with a made free throw.
The first frame was a seesaw battle between both squads, with neither team holding more than a three-point advantage for the first 10:22 of the action. The Wildcats would claim the largest lead of the contest to that point after Hogan knocked down a jumper and Beliveau banked in a layup on consecutive trips up the floor, putting UNH up 16-11 at 9:38.
That advantage wouldn't last long as the Hawks pieced together a 10-4 run immediately following Beliveau's layup, reclaiming the lead for the first time in more than 13 minutes. Mary Silvia iced the run, knocking down a 3-pointer at 5:41 to give Hartford the lead, setting the score at 21-20.
Hogan sank a jumper on a feed from Beliveau to snap a stretch of five unanswered points by the visitors, as the 'Cats outscored the Hawks 4-2 in the final moments of the first frame to claim the advantage at the intermission.
The Wildcats return to action on Saturday, Jan. 15 (1 p.m.) when they face off against Stony Brook University at Lundholm Gymnasium.