WORCESTER, Mass. – Cari Reed (Oswego, N.Y.) scored a 3-point field goal with three seconds remaining in regulation to lift the University of New Hampshire women's basketball team to Saturday afternoon's 68-65 non-conference victory against College of the Holy Cross at Hart Center.
UNH, which opened the 2012-13 season with a 57-51 victory at Yale University on Nov. 14, is 2-0 for the first time since the 2005-06 season. Holy Cross, which ended the Wildcats' season a year ago with a 63-59 first-round win at home in the Women's Basketball Invitational, is now 1-2.
Reed, selected as America East Player of the Game, recorded her second career double-double with 18 points and personal-best 12 rebounds, both of which were game highs, and also had four assists. With three 3-pointers in the game, Reed climbed to No. 7 on UNH's career leaderboard at 124.
Morgan Frame (Waterville, Maine) finished with 17 points (7-for-10 field goals and 3-3 free throws), three rebounds and three steals while Kelsey Hogan (Nashua, N.H.) tallied 14 points (6-10 FGs), five rebounds and matched her career high of nine assists. Kaylee Kilpatrick (St. John, New Brunswick) also scored in double digits with 10 points on 5-for-6 shooting.
Holy Cross also had four players score in double figures as the starters accounted for 62 of the team's 65 points. Alex Smith (16 points) was followed by Raquel Scott (14), Brisje Malone (12) and Christine Ganser (11).
UNH recorded 22 assists on 29 field goals and shot 47.5% from the floor while outrebounding the Crusaders, 31-24.
The Wildcats trailed 56-46 with eight minutes remaining, but Frame ignited a 15-0 run with a layup at 7:43. She scored the initial nine points of the spurt, including the three-point play that pulled the 'Cats within 56-55 at 5:37, and Kilpatrick's layup put UNH back in front at 4:44. Layups by Frame and Elizabeth Belanger (Acton, Mass.) gave the visitors its largest lead of the game, 61-56, at 3:56.
After Holy Cross pulled even, 61-61, Frame scored a layup on the next possession to give New Hampshire a two-point lead at 1:59. Following a defensive stop, UNH called time out at 1:27 and Frame's jumper made it 65-61 in favor of the 'Cats.
Parker made two foul shots with 40 seconds left to trim the deficit to 65-63, UNH committed a turnover and Parker's jumper leveled the score with 27 seconds to play.
The 'Cats called a timeout with 20 seconds remaining and set up Reed hit the game-winning 3-point shot off a pass from Hogan. Smith's desperation 3-point attempt at the buzzer was off the mark.
The Crusaders built an 8-2 lead in the opening three minutes of the game but a pair of Reed 3-pointers lifted the 'Cats within 10-8 at 15:32. Following a jumper by HC's Scott, Hogan made a layup at 13:55 and drilled a 3-pointer at 12:44 to give UNH its first lead of the game, 13-12, and then she made another layup to extend the advantage to three points.
Holy Cross responded with a 7-0 run spanning the next three minutes to take a 19-15 lead at 8:54. Reed ended that spurt with a conventional three-point play at 8:25 to trim the deficit to 19-18.
With the home team leading 21-20 at 4:30, the teams exchanged a series of 3-pointers to push the score to 27-23 in favor of the Crusaders. New Hampshire forged the second tie of the game, 27-27, on back-to-back baskets by Kilpatrick and Ariel Gaston (Toledo, Ohio) at 3:09 and 2:46, respectively. Holy Cross surged ahead 32-27 before Stephanie Spoto (Pittsford, N.Y.) closed the first-half scoring on a jumper with six seconds to play.
HC opened the second half with a 7-2 run to build its largest lead of the game – eight points – at 39-31. Three minutes later, the Crusaders still held an eight-point advantage (43-35) but back-to-back baskets by Reed (at 15:09) and Hogan (14:27) pulled the 'Cats within 43-39.
Ganser's 3-point field goal extended the Holy Cross lead to 50-41 at 12:30 and two minutes later the advantage grew to double digits, 54-43, but that's when Frame sparked UNH's comeback.
New Hampshire returns to action Nov. 20 (7 p.m.) at Boston College. The Wildcats' home opener is Nov. 25 against Cornell University. Game time at Lundholm Gym is 1 p.m.