ALBANY, N.Y. – Cari Reed (Oswego, N.Y.) recorded 11 points, six rebounds and three blocks for the University of New Hampshire, but the Wildcats were defeated 78-43 by the University at Albany in Wednesday afternoon's America East conference women's basketball action at SEFCU Arena.
UNH is now 6-10 overall and 1-3 in America East while Albany won its fifth consecutive game to improve to 13-3 overall and 4-0 in the conference.
Reed, who had seven first-half points on 3-for-3 shooting from the floor, was named UNH's America East Player of the Game. Sarah Royals, with three points, two rebounds and 10 assists, received that distinction for UA, which shot 52.5% (31-59) from the floor while limiting the Wildcats to 24.4% (10-41).
UA's Ebone Henry and Lindsey Lowrie tied with a game-high 16 points and Shereesha Richards recorded a double-double with 12 points and 10 rebounds.
The Great Danes, who finished with a 45-25 rebounding advantage, raced out to a 7-0 lead before Elizabeth Belanger (Acton, Mass.; eight points) hit a transition layup to put UNH into the scoring column at 16:58. Morgan Frame (Waterville, Maine) hit the first of two free throws at 16:02, then Reed grabbed the offensive rebound off the second foul shot and made the putback to lift the Wildcats within 7-5. Lowrie made the first of her five first-half 3-pointers but Reed answered with her own shot from beyond the arc to lift the 'Cats within 10-8 at 15:18.
UA edged ahead, 19-10, before Kaylee Kilpatrick (Saint John, New Brunswick) hit two of her career-high six free throws to trim the deficit to seven points at 12:12. Julie Forster's jumper and a pair of Henry foul shots extended the advantage to double digits, 23-12, midway through the first half.
A short-range jumper by Stephanie Spoto (Pittsford, N.Y.) pulled UNH within single digits, 23-14, at 7:35 but Albany scored the next 15 points in a span of 3:30 to build a 38-14 lead. New Hampshire inched within 21 points, on a 6-3 spurt in which Kilpatrick and Ariel Gaston (Toledo, Ohio) hit two free throws and Reed made a layup.
The Great Danes led 42-20 at halftime and opened the second half with a 7-0 spurt. Kendall Martenet (Waukesha, Wis.) hit two foul shots – UNH scored 14 of its 23 second-half points on free throws – to stop the run at 16:07.
Spoto, who recorded a career-high three steals, scored on a putback at 13:58 and Lauren Wells (West Chester, Pa.) hit a 3-pointer at the top of the key at 12:41 to pull the Wildcats within 52-29. UA quickly responded, however, with eight consecutive points in less than two minutes.
UNH scored its next seven points from the foul line before Belanger converted a layup into a three-point play at 2:43.
New Hampshire returns to action at home Jan. 19 (2 p.m.) in the opener of a women's and men's UNH basketball doubleheader against Boston University. Both games will be televised on WBIN and FOX College Sports Atlantic.