HANOVER, N.H. - Behind a stingy defensive effort and a double-double effort from Kaylee Kilpatrick (Saint John, New Brunswick), the University of New Hampshire women's basketball team snapped a two-game skid over Dartmouth College 54-37 at Leede Arena Saturday afternoon.
The Wildcats improve to 4-4 while the Big Green fall to 1-6 in the non-conference match.
Kilpatrick snagged 12 rebounds while tallying 10 points in the win. In addition, the 6-4 forward racked up three blocks and 26 minutes. Sophomore guard Elizabeth Belanger paced the scoring for UNH with 11 points in 30 minutes played. Classmate and forward Corinne Coia (North Smithfield, R.I.) tallied 10 points while guards Kelsey Hogan (Nashua, N.H.) and Kristen Anderson (Greene, Maine) earned eight points each.
New Hampshire went 21 of 55 from the field (38.2 percent) while Dartmouth was held to a season-low 14 of 59 shooting (23.7 percent). The Wildcats owned the rebounding advantage with a plus-eight edge of 45-37. Dartmouth forced 12 turnovers while conceding 10.
The Wildcat defense impeded the Big Green offense throughout the first half, holding the Big Green scoreless for the first 7:32. In addition, Dartmouth did not hit its first field goal until 9:56 left in the first half.
New Hampshire opened up the scoring as Belanger tallied five of the team's eight points. Following an Ariel Gaston (Toledo, Ohio) field goal, Coia flicked up back-to-back layups to lead 16-2. UNH extended its lead as Anderson drained two 3-pointers sandwiched between a Coia field goal.
Trailing 21-4 with 5:17 remaining in the first, Dartmouth slashed the Wildcats' lead down to 11 with consecutive treys from junior guard Kamala Thompson. After an Abbey Scmitt layup, New Hampshire closed out the half with a jumper from Sarah-Marie Frankenberger (Gross Gerau, Germany) and three points from Belanger to lead 27-14.
Dartmouth attempted to surge back in the second half as the Big Green scored the first four points in the frame to trail 27-17. New Hampshire countered with a 3-pointer from Gaston and a layup from Hogan.
Being held for just two points in the first half, freshman guard Fanni Szabo sparked eight points in the ensuing half to jump-start the Big Green offense.
However, UNH would keep its double-digit cushion for the remainder of the second half as New Hampshire worked the post. Despite being held scoreless in the first half, Kilpatrick notched all of her 10 points in the second half on 4 of 9 shooting and 2-for-2 from the free throw line.
Dartmouth tried to rally again as the Big Green pulled within 10 at 45-35 with 4:54 remaining on a 6-0 run. New Hampshire answered with a 7-0 run powered by the tandem of Belanger and Kilpatrick in a span of 1:15. The 'Cats defense would close out the game without surrendering a field goal in the final 4:54 of the half and allowed just two free throws. Kilpatrick capped off the match with a jumper to give New Hampshire the 54-37 victory.
The Wildcats return to the court on Sunday, Dec. 15 (3 p.m.) as UNH visits Boston College for a non-conference match up. New Hampshire's next home contest will be on Wednesday, Dec. 18 (12 p.m.) as the Wildcats host the Cleveland State University Vikings on Education Day. For tickets, visit UNHWildcats.com or call (603) 862-4000, extension 5.