Women's Basketball Surges past Maine, 67-47

ORONO, Maine – Sophomore Cari Reed (Oswego, N.Y.) led three Wildcats in double-figures, netting a career-best 27 points, propelling the University of New Hampshire women's basketball team to a 67-47 victory over the University of Maine Wednesday night at Alfond Arena.

The win, which is UNH's third in the last four games, improves the Wildcats to 6-14 overall and 3-5 in America East play. The Black Bears, who registered the lowest point total of any UNH opponent this season, fall to 3-17 overall and 1-7 in conference action with the loss.

Reed was named the America East Player of the Game for New Hampshire, notching the highest single-game point total of any Wildcat this season. She is also the first 'Cat to notch 10 field goals in a game since Candace Williams did so against Boston University on Jan. 17, 2009. She finished the evening 10-for-17 from the floor and 6-for-11 from beyond the arc. Her six 3-point field goals are a career best. She also added four rebounds and one assist in the win.
Kate Early
 

Tanna Ross earned player of the game honors for Maine, finishing with a team-high 18 points, six rebounds and two assists.

Kelsey Hogan (Nashua, N.H.; 15) and Kate Early (Corning, N.Y.; 11) also scored in double-digits for UNH, marking the fifth time this season three 'Cats have finished in double-figures. Early's point total was a season best and fell just one short of her career high.

Denise Beliveau (Framingham, Mass.) chipped in with 13 rebounds and six points, while also matching a career best with six assists.

After a see-saw battle for much of the first half, New Hampshire picked up the pace in the last four minutes of the frame, posting 13 unanswered points to close out the stanza and give the Wildcats a 26-24 edge at the intermission.

Reed ignited the 'Cats after being held scoreless for the first 16 minutes of the action, knocking down a 15-foot jumper from the left wing, halting a 7-0 Maine run at 3:51. After a change of possession Ross fired back with a 3-pointer, pushing Maine ahead 24-18 with 3:38 remaining.

That would be the last time the Black Bears would score for the rest of the frame, as Reed sank 3-pointers on back-to-back possessions to tie the score at 24-24 with 1:21 remaining. Beliveau capped off the run driving hard to the rack through a herd of defenders, getting into the lane and laying the ball off the window from the right side to put UNH up 26-24 with 42 seconds left in the stanza.

Reed kept up the hot shooting at the start of the second frame, banging in a pair of threes on back-to-back possessions, building UNH's lead to eight at the 18-minute mark. Ross would sink a 3-pointer and Ashleigh Roberts banked in a layup on two straight trips up the floor, cutting the deficit down to three about a minute later.          

The 'Cats responded on the defensive end, limiting the Black Bears to just two points over the next 3:35, posting a 10-2 run on the back of Reed, who scored every basket during the stretch, pushing the Wildcat lead to its highest margin to that point with a 42-31 edge at 14:20.
Kelsey Hogan

New Hampshire scored on three straight trips up the floor to kick off the run, as Reed set off the stretch, grabbing an offensive rebound on the right block and banked in a layup off the window at 17:15. On the ensuing possession she used a high screen set by Jill McDonald (Middlebury, Vt.), firing in a trifecta from the right wing, and capped things off with a baseline 15-footer on a feed from Jilliane Friel (Durham, N.H.).

A Shareka Maner layup and Ross trifecta would snap Maine's scoreless streak, but UNH kept piling on the points as a baby hook shot in the lane by Early ignited a 20-4 run that lasted over seven minutes. The senior would add a jumper about a minute later and Hogan drained a 3-pointer from the right wing on the possession that followed, as New Hampshire tallied seven unanswered points to set off the stretch.

UNH would close out the run just as strong, posting seven unanswered points once again, as Beliveau set up Early with a pair of transition layups less than a minute apart and the Wildcats knocked down 3-of-6 free throws from the charity stripe to take a 60-42 lead with 5:21 remaining. Early scored all 11 of her points during the stretch, as she guided the 'Cats to a 22-point advantage, giving them a lead they would not relinquish.

The Wildcats return to action on Saturday, Jan. 29 (1 p.m.) when they face Boston University at Case Gymnasium.
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