DURHAM, N.H. – Morgan Frame (Waterville, Maine) recorded her second double-double of the season with 20 points and 12 rebounds to propel the University of New Hampshire women's basketball team to Wednesday night's 63-62 America East victory against University of Maryland, Baltimore County at Lundholm Gym.
UNH, on the strength of a .609 second-half field goal percentage (14-for-23) and a season-low nine turnovers, improved to 4-2 at home, 6-9 overall and 1-2 in America East. UMBC is now 5-11, 1-2.
Frame recorded season highs in both points and rebounds for her ninth career double-double, and the 12 rebounds led all players. She made 8 of 11 field goals as well as 4 of 6 free throws, and also tallied two assists in 35 minutes to garner America East Player of the Game for UNH.
Cari Reed (Oswego, N.Y.) finished with 14 points and seven rebounds as she shot 5-for-7 from the floor and made all four free throw attempts.
UMBC was led by Bria White (22 points, nine rebounds), who was named the Retrievers' America East Player of the Game, Brittany Crowell (17pts) and Raven Harris (13).
UMBC matched its largest second-half lead of five points, 52-47, with 8:45 remaining. New Hampshire inched closer on a Frame foul shot at 8:28 and then a Kaylee Kilpatrick (Saint John, New Brunswick) three-point play lifted the Wildcats within 52-51 at 7:48.
The teams exchanged baskets, then Elizabeth Belanger (Acton, Mass.; eight points, career-high four assists) stole the ball, dribbled to halfcourt and found Reed on the left blocks for a fastbreak layup to give UNH a 55-54 lead at 3:13.
Lauren Wells (West Chester, Pa.) hit a pull-up jumper at the foul line to extend the advantage to 57-54 at 1:31. Following an empty possession by both teams, Crowell hit a pair of free throws to lift UMBC within one point with 31 seconds remaining.
The Retrievers then committed three fouls to send Ariel Gaston (Toledo, Ohio) to the foul line for the 1-and-1 with 22.8 seconds on the clock. Gaston made the first foul shot to give the 'Cats a 58-56 lead, then White grabbed the rebound on the missed second FT. Her hard outlet pass deflected off Harris into the arms of Gaston.
UNH immediately called time out and Reed was fouled on the subsequent inbounds play. She made both free throws to give the home team a 60-56 lead with 16.3 seconds to go. UMBC advanced the ball past halfcourt and called a timeout, then threw the inbounds pass out of bounds to give the ball back to New Hampshire.
Reed drilled two more foul shots with 12.4 on the clock to give UNH its largest lead of the game – six points – at 62-56. Harris dribbled the ball and hit a deep 3-pointer on the right side to trim the deficit to three points. Following a scramble for a loose ball on UNH's inbounds play, Belanger was fouled and made the second of two FTs to push the lead to 63-59 with seven seconds remaining.
Harris hit an even deeper shot from 3-point range with 1.1 seconds left to make it a one-point margin, but time elapsed before they could get the ball back or commit a foul.
New Hampshire finished the game 24-for-48 from the floor and 14 of 19 from the foul line, whereas UMBC had a .393 field goal percentage and made 7 of 9 FTs.
In the first half, UNH trailed 4-2 at 17:00 but outscored the visitors 9-2 the next 2:30 to build its largest lead of the half of 11-6. Frame netted five points during that spurt.
White hit a jumper and 3-pointer to level the score, 11-11, at 12:06. Frame immediately responded with a layup, but a pair of Ashley Lambert foul shots forged the fourth tie of the game midway through the first half.
Belanger put the Wildcats back in front, 15-13, but layups by Lambert and White gave UMBC a 17-15 lead. Following one Kilpatrick free throw, White's 3-pointer extended the Retrievers' advantage to 20-16 at 6:41. At the other end of the court, Frame's three-point play once again made it a one-point game and she hit another foul shot at 4:03 to even the score, 20-20.
Crowell closed the first half with a flourish to give UMBC a 30-26 halftime lead. She scored the next five points to break the tie at 20, and then her second 3-pointer gave the Retrievers their largest lead of the game, 30-24, with 47 seconds left in the first half. Frame converted Belanger's pass into a layup to close the first half scoring.
UNH opened the second half with baskets by Gaston and Frame to pull into a 30-30 tie. Lewis' putback immediately put UMBC back in front, but the 'Cats surged ahead, 34-32, on Gaston's layup and Reed's jumper.
The visitors responded with back-to-back buckets by White to regain the lead, only to see UNH respond with four consecutive points to take a 38-36 lead at 15:04. Following a three-point play by White, Frame and Reed scored on the blocks to give the 'Cats a 42-39 advantage at 13:37.
The teams exchanged baskets and then UMBC went on a 6-0 run to lead 49-44 at 10:33 and the Retrievers held that five-point margin of 52-47 before UNH surged ahead down the stretch.
New Hampshire returns to action Jan. 16 (12 p.m.) at the University at Albany; the game will be broadcast online at espn3.com. The Wildcats' next home game is Jan. 19 (2 p.m.) against Boston University as the first game of a basketball doubleheader at Lundholm Gym.