DURHAM, N.H. – Senior guard Kelsey Hogan (Nashua, N.H.) recorded a game-high 17 points to lead the University of New Hampshire women's basketball team over the University of Hartford, 76-71, in overtime at Lundholm Gymnasium on Sunday afternoon.
New Hampshire posts back-to-back wins and ups its record to 16-9 overall and 10-2 in America East. Hartford drops to 9-16, 6-6.
The Wildcats complete the season sweep against the Hawks for the first time since the 2002-03 season. Head coach Maureen Magarity matches a career-high in wins in a single season (16) as well as setting a personal-best in conference wins (10). UNH reaches double-digit America East wins for the first time since the 2004-05 season (10-8).
UNH logged five players in double figure scoring in the game. Hogan, the America East Player of the Game for New Hampshire, paced the squad with 17 points on 6 of 8 shooting from the field. The senior co-captain was also 3-for-4 from 3-point range. Junior guard Ariel Gaston (Toledo, Ohio) registered her first career-double-double with 14 points and a personal-best 11 rebounds. Senior forward Sarah-Marie Frankenberger (Gross Gerau, Germany) notched a career-high 15 points. Sophomores Corinne Coia (North Smithfield, R.I.) and Elizabeth Belanger (Acton, Mass.) tallied scoring efforts of 12 and 11 respectively.
Guards Amber Bepko and Morgan Lumb tallied 16 points apiece to pace the Hawks on offense. Bepko, the conference Player of the Game for Hartford, was 6 of 11 from the floor and 4 of 9 from beyond the arc. Junior forward Cherelle Moore registered a double-double effort on 10 points and 10 rebounds.
New Hampshire was 23 of 47 (.489 field goal percentage) from the field and 9 of 18 (.500) from beyond the arc. Hartford shot 25 of 69 (.362) and 11 of 36 from 3-point range. The game featured 15 lead changes and 10 occurrences of an even score.
The Wildcats trailed the Hawks in the second half, 61-57, with 39 seconds remaining. New Hampshire turned the ball over on the ensuing possession and then fouled Bepko, sending the guard for a 1-and-1. The junior's bid rimmed out and Hogan snagged the rebound. On the next possession, Belanger pulled the Wildcats within one point on a 3-pointer from the right side of the arc with 14 seconds left. Deanna Mayza of Hartford drew Belanger's fifth foul immediately after the inbound pass, taking the sophomore guard out of the game. After making the first free throw, her second attempt missed the basket and Hogan corraled the loose ball. The senior co-captain drove the length of the floor and made the game-tying layup in traffic with eight seconds left. In the last possession of regulation, Bepko heaved a last-minute trey as time expired for the Hawks. However, the attempt ricocheted off the rim and out, sending the game into overtime.
Hartford and UNH traded the first four points to open extra time to raise the score to 66-66. The Wildcats recaptured the lead on an 8-0 run, sparked by a 3-ball from Hogan. Moore tallied a Hartford basket with 21 seconds left on the clock to stop the run. In spite of that, the late-run by the Wildcats was enough to down the Hawks and earn the 76-61 victory.
The first half was closely contested as each side tallied 14 points apiece to start the game. Preceding a Hartford layup, Belanger drained a trey to give the Wildcats a 17-16 edge with 7:46 to go in the first half. Bepko responded for the Hawks, tallying a 3-pointer of her own to give the Hawks a 19-17 lead.
New Hampshire battled back to recapture the lead late in the first half. Back-to-back treys from Hogan and Frankenberger lifted the 'Cats to a 29-25 edge with 1:28 remaining in the opening stanza. The Hawks narrowed their deficit to one to close out the half, including a 3-pointer from Bepko with five seconds left.
Hartford and UNH continued to exchange leads in the beginning moments of the second half. The Wildcats held a 39-38 advantage in the second half with 16:18 on the clock. Moore ignited a nine-point streak for the Hawks to give the visiting team a 47-39 lead with 12:06 to go in the second frame.
After a 30-second timeout by New Hampshire, the Wildcats stormed back with a 6-1 run, trailing 48-46. The Wildcats overcame the eight-point deficit with 3:56 to go in regulation. Junior forward Kaylee Kilpatrick (Saint John, New Brunswick) tallied a go-ahead layup to give New Hampshire a 52-50 lead. Nevertheless, the Hawks surged ahead on a 9-3 run to lead 59-55 with 1:04 left on the clock. Frankenberger and Lumb each went 2-for-2 from the free throw line, raising their teams' scores to 61-57 with 39 seconds left in the second half.
UNH plays its last road game of the regular season, visiting the University of Vermont on Wednesday, Feb. 19 (7 p.m.). The Wildcats conclude the regular season with a three-game homestand. New Hampshire welcomes the University of Massachusetts Lowell in the first half of a basketball doubleheader on Saturday, Feb. 22 (1 p.m.). For tickets, visit www.unhwildcats.com or call (603) 862-4000.