ALBANY, N.Y. – Senior Denise Beliveau (Framingham, Mass.) netted 19 points and a game-high 14 rebounds for her league-leading ninth double-double of the season, but the University of New Hampshire women's basketball team fell to the University at Albany, 68-59, in America East action at SEFCU Arena on Wednesday afternoon.
UNH drops to 12-11 overall and 5-6 in the league, while the Great Danes move to 16-9 on the season and 10-2 in conference play, maintaining second-place in the standings.
Beliveau, the America East Player of the Game for UNH, shot 6-of-12 from the floor and added three assists in 40 minutes of action. Junior Morgan Frame (Waterville, Maine) added 18 points and 10 rebounds for her fifth double-double and third in as many games. Junior Cari Reed (Oswego, N.Y.) and sophomore Kelsey Hogan (Nashua, N.H.) chipped in with eight points and five rebounds apiece, while senior Abigail LaRosa (Hampton, N.H.) added five assists.
Cassandra Callaway earned player of the game honors for Albany as she registered a game-high 20 points, including 15 in the second half.
As a team, the Wildcats shot 35.7 percent from the field and outrebounded the Great Danes by a 44-36 margin.
Albany jumped out to a quick 7-2 lead, but UNH answered with Frame down low as the junior scored UNH's first six points to pull the Wildcats within one, 7-6. After 1:30 of scoreless action, Hogan drilled a deep jumper to give the visitors the 8-7 advantage with 13:29 remaining in the opening half.
After Albany regained the lead on a 3-point play, Hogan responded with a trey from the corner, sparking a 14-5 run to push the Wildcats on top by 22-15 at the 8:25 mark. Beliveau netted nine points during the stretch, including a pair of 3-pointers and a conventional 3-point play.
The Great Danes answered back with a 10-2 run to move in front, 25-24, but the Wildcats ended the final three minutes of the stanza with a 10-2 stretch of their own for the 34-27 lead at halftime. UNH's run was highlighted by a pair of post baskets from senior Kelley Flynn (Hopkinton, N.H.) as well as 3-pointers by both Beliveau and Hogan, giving the team five treys in the first half.
Beliveau led all players with 12 points and eight rebounds in the opening 20 minutes, while Frame chipped in with 10 points and five boards.
Albany raced out to an early fast break basket to kick off the second half, but UNH responded with back-to-back scores by Frame and Beliveau to push the lead to nine, 38-29.
The Great Danes then reeled off six unanswered points to pull within three before Frame iced a pair of free throws, keeping the visitors on top by a 40-35 advantage with 15:09 remaining.
From there, the two teams exchanged scoring drives and trips to the free throw line, ending with a four-point UNH advantage, but Albany netted five straight points to take the lead at 46-45 at the 10:25 mark.
Albany's lead did not last long as Reed stepped back and hit a big 3-pointer, followed by a free throw by Frame on the team's next possession for the three-point advantage. The Great Danes came back, however, with a 13-1 run to regain the lead at 59-50 with six minutes left in the contest.
Beliveau snapped UNH's scoreless stretch with a pair of free throws, followed by another 3-pointer by Reed to trim Albany's lead to four, 59-55, at the 4:00 mark. Nevertheless, the Wildcats could not get closer as Ebone Henry countered with a layup and the Great Danes hit five free throws in the final minute to help seal the win.
The Wildcats return home on Saturday, Feb. 11 when they play host to Vermont at 3 p.m. The game will be broadcast live on WBIN-TV. For tickets to home games, and more information, visit www.unhwildcats.com or call (603) 862-4000, extension 5.