DURHAM, N.H. - Senior Denise Beliveau (Framingham, Mass.) amassed a game-high 19 points and seven rebounds to lead the University of New Hampshire women's basketball team to a 63-53 America East conference victory against Stony Brook at Lundholm Gymnasium on Monday night.
UNH upped its record to 10-7 overall and 3-2 in the league. Stony Brook suffered its fifth straight setback to tumble to 4-15, 1-5 AE.
Beliveau, the America East Player of the Game for UNH, shot 6-of-8 from the floor and 2-of-3 from long range, adding three steals. Junior Morgan Frame (Waterville, Maine) turned in 11 points and six boards, while junior Cari Reed (Oswego, N.Y.) finished with 10 points.
Whitney Davis earned player of the game honors for the Seawolves as she recorded a team-high 17 points and five rebounds.
As a team, the Wildcats shot 47.1 percent (24-51) from the field, including 50 percent in the first half.
The teams were tightly contested early on as Stony Brook held a slim two-point lead just over five minutes into the contest, but Beliveau knocked down a 3-pointer to kick off a 7-0 run, giving UNH a 16-11 lead at the 12:40 mark.
After trading baskets, junior Jilliane Friel (Durham, N.H.) drained a pair of free throws and senior Kelley Flynn (Hopkinton, N.H.) fought inside for a tough lay-in to push the home lead to nine, 22-13.
From there, the two squads swapped short jumpers and trips to the free throw line as the Seawolves trimmed the advantage to four at 25-21. UNH responded with 11 unanswered points as Reed drilled back-to-back treys and senior Abigail LaRosa (Hampton, N.H.) followed with a 3-pointer of her own to push the Wildcats on top, 36-21, at the 3:13 mark.
Despite four points by the Seawolves to end the half, the home side held on to a 36-25 advantage at halftime.
Stony Brook opened the second half with an 8-0 run to trim the lead down to three, but the Wildcats regrouped with consecutive baskets for the 40-33 lead with 15:42 remaining. The Seawolves then turned to the long-range shot, using a pair of 3-pointers to fuel an 8-2 run to pull within one at 42-41.
After trading jumpers and still with a one-point advantage, UNH went to Beliveau for its next seven points to open up a 53-44 advantage with 7:41 left in the contest.
Stony Brook managed to trim the lead down to six on three occasions down the stretch, but could not get closer as the Wildcats went 6-for-6 at the free throw line in the closing 2:24 to seal the victory.
The Wildcats will visit first-place Boston University at Case Gymnasium on Thursday night at 7 p.m. in a pivotal league matchup. UNH returns home on Sunday, Jan. 22 when they host Binghamton at 1 p.m. The game will be broadcast on WBIN-TV. For tickets, and more information, visit www.unhwildcats.com or call (603) 862-4000, extension 5.