KINGSTON, R.I. – Trailing by 10 points early in the second half, the University of New Hampshire women's basketball team took charge with 15 minutes to play and ended the game on a 32-3 run to storm past the University of Rhode Island, 52-33, Sunday afternoon at the Ryan Center.
With the win, the Wildcats improve to 5-4 on the season while the Rams dip to 1-11 overall.
New Hampshire trailed 21-15 at halftime, but turned it around in the second stanza, shooting 50 percent on 14-of-28 from the floor and limiting the Rams to just 14.3 percent shooting in the half (4-of-28). In the contest, the Wildcats shot 37.5 from the field and outrebounded the Rams by a 45 to 28 margin.
Senior Denise Beliveau (Framingham, Mass.), junior Morgan Frame (Waterville, Maine) and sophomore Kelsey Hogan (Nashua, N.H.) tallied 15 points apiece to pace the UNH offense. Frame shot 5-of-9 from the floor and added a game-high 10 rebounds for the double-double performance in her first career game in a Wildcat uniform. Beliveau, who scored 13 points in the second half, added nine rebounds, while Hogan was a perfect 4-for-4 at the line and finished with three assists and two steals.
New Hampshire jumped out to a 10-6 lead at the midway point of the first half, opening up the offense to score from all areas of the court. Hogan provided a deep threat with a 3-pointer at the top of the arc, while Frame proved to be an early presence down low, either finishing the play or earning a trip to the free throw line.
The Rams answered with an 8-2 run, capped off by three straight, to claim the 14-12 lead with 7:04 remaining in the half. After a pair of free throws by Hogan evened the score at 14 apiece, the home side ended the stanza with a 7-1 stretch for a 21-15 advantage at intermission.
Frame paced the Wildcat offense with six points (2-for-4) in the opening 20 minutes, while Hogan tallied five points and three rebounds.
The teams swapped baskets to kick off the second stanza, setting up a 5-1 stretch by the Rams until Hogan snapped the streak with a reverse layup, trimming the lead down to 28-20 at the first media timeout.
After a pair of free throws pushed the Rhode Island lead to 10 points, UNH responded with a 17-0 run over the next 6:24 for the 37-30 advantage with 8:56 left to play. Beliveau paced the Wildcat comeback with eight points during the stretch, while Frame added a pair of buckets down low.
After a bucket by Corinne Coia snapped the stretch, the Wildcats ended the remainder of the game on a 15-1 run, sparked by five consecutive free throws. The commitment to an interior game allowed UNH to find some open looks as Hogan drilled a sharp jumper off a screen and Frame hit a shot in the paint. Hogan and Beliveau followed with back-to-back layups and Hogan iced a pair of free throws to complete the 32-3 stretch over the final 15:18, sealing the comeback victory.
The Wildcats look to earn their third straight win on Wednesday, Dec. 21 when they visit Wagner at 6 p.m.