HANOVER, N.H. – Three players scored in double-figures and senior Denise Beliveau (Framingham, Mass.) posted a game-high 15 points and 13 rebounds as the University of New Hampshire women's basketball team knocked off Dartmouth, 58-53, Wednesday evening at Leede Arena.
With the win, the Wildcats move to 3-2 on the season, while the Big Green drop to 2-4 overall.
Beliveau recorded her third double-double of the season, finishing with five steals. Sophomores Sarah-Marie Frankenberger (Gross Gerau, Germany) and Bridgette McKnight (Norristown, Pa.) both enjoyed career nights, scoring 14 and 10, respectively. Frankenberger shot 6-of-13 from the floor, while McKnight shot 4-of-8 and also added seven rebounds and four steals.
Junior Faziah Steen paced the Big Green with 15 points. As a team, the Wildcats shot at a 32.8 percent clip and posted 15 steals off 22 Dartmouth turnovers.
The teams traded points at the opening of the contest for even play, until the home side netted four straight baskets for the 13-6 lead at the 14:11 mark. The Wildcats answered right back with a 14-0 run, highlighted by a pair of 3-pointers by Frankenberger and Beliveau, pushing UNH on top, 20-13 with just under 10 minutes left in the first stanza.
After Dartmouth responded with consecutive buckets to pull within two, 20-18, the Wildcats ended the half on a 15-6 stretch over the course of 6:55, as the visitors went into the locker room with a 35-24 at halftime. The stretch was headlined by an 11-0 run, sparked by a conventional 3-point play by Frankenberger, while the team posted 12 steals in the opening frame. Frankenberger led all players with 14 points on 6-of-7 shooting from the floor, while Beliveau added 12 points and eight boards.
Dartmouth started the second half with a 9-2 run in the span of two minutes, as Steen drilled three treys to pull the home side within four, 37-33.
Sophomore Kelsey Hogan (Nashua, N.H) snapped the stretch with a pair of free throws about a minute later, but the Big Green answered with a 5-1 run to pull within three at 41-38. UNH halted the Big Green's momentum with a 5-0 run as Beliveau stepped back for a trifecta, followed by a steal and subsequent lay-up by senior Abigail LaRosa (Hampton, N.H.), for the 46-38 advantage at 13:00.
The back-and-forth action continued over the next six minutes, until the Wildcats clamped down on the defensive end and took advantage of several trips to the line for the 53-45 lead with 4:30 left to play.
Slowly but surely, the Big Green chipped away at the lead as a pair of free throws pulled the home team within three at 57-53 with 42 seconds remaining. After a LaRosa free throw increased the UNH lead to five, the Wildcat defense stepped up in the final 35 seconds, preventing the Big Green to find a quality shot as time expired for the victory.
The Wildcats open up a three-game homestand on Saturday, Dec. 3 when they play host to Holy Cross at 2 p.m.