DURHAM, N.H. – Morgan Frame (Waterville, Maine) recorded 11 points and seven rebounds, but the University of New Hampshire women's basketball team was defeated 43-32 by Central Connecticut State University at Lundholm University on Sunday afternoon.
UNH, which had won its previous two home games of the season, is now 4-5 overall. CCSU won its second consecutive game to improve to 4-3.
In addition to Frame's effort on the glass, Kaylee Kilpatrick (Saint John, New Brunswick) pulled down a career-high 10 rebounds and Cari Reed (Oswego, N.Y.) had eight boards as UNH recorded a 43-36 rebounding advantage.
The Blue Devils were led by Jaclyn Babe's game-high 14 points and seven steals. Jessica Babe added seven points and a team-high eight rebounds. CCSU's pressure defense led to 12 steals on UNH's 27 turnovers and 12 fastbreak points. The defensive effort also limited the Wildcats to 23.5% shooting from the floor, and that included 0-for-17 on 3-point attempts.
Both teams struggled offensively from the opening tip and CCSU scored the game's first points on a Kirsten Daamen layup at 17:10. The visitors inched ahead on baskets by Jaclyn Babe at 14:23 and 13:08 before Frame's layup put UNH into the scoring column at 12:40. Until that basket, the 'Cats were 0-for-6 from the floor with six turnovers.
A three-point play by Frame lifted the 'Cats within 8-5 at 11:06 and the teams traded baskets as Reed's layup advanced the score to 14-11 in favor of the Blue Devils at 7:38.
UNH trimmed the deficit to two points, 20-18, at 1:55 when Reed made 1 of 2 foul shots. Central Connecticut's Kaley Watras stole the ball and made a fastbreak layup at 1:26 to close the first half scoring at 22-18.
In the first half, New Hampshire went 6 of 24 (25%) from the floor and committed 15 turnovers. CCSU was slightly better at 35.5% (11 of 31) with 11 turnovers.
Kelsey Hogan (Nashua, N.H.) opened the second half with a jumper to lift UNH within 22-20. The Wildcats would also pull within two points at 24-22 on Reed's jumper at 16:05, and then at 27-25 on a three-point play by Elizabeth Belanger (Acton, Mass.) at 15:01.
CCSU went on a 7-1 run the next three minutes capped by a Jaclyn Babe layup at 11:51 to extend the advantage to 34-26. The Wildcats pulled back within four points, 34-30, on Frame's layup at 10:27 and a short jumper by Lauren Wells (West Chester, Pa.) at 8:32.
Frame made a short jumper on the right blocks to make the score 36-32 at 7:11 but the Wildcats did not score the rest of the way.
The Blue Devils inched ahead on Daamen's jumper at 6:13 and a Jaleen Thomas layup at 4:35. UNH committed a turnover on two of its next three possessions but still faced just a 40-32 deficit with the ball and two minutes remaining.
Wells missed a long jumper, however, and then the 'Cats sent Jessica Babe to the foul line in a 1-and-1 situation with 1:36 to play. After she made one shot to push the score to 41-32, Reed's 3-pointer was off target and then Jaclyn Babe made two free throws to extend the cushion to 43-32 with 1:15 on the clock. UNH missed all three field goal attempts on its final three possessions to close the game.
The 32 points marked the lowest total by a UNH team since Feb. 4, 2009, when the Wildcats lost 59-32 – also at home – to the University of Hartford.
New Hampshire returns to action Dec. 17 (7 p.m.) when it concludes a three-game homestand against Wagner College.