BURLINGTON, Vt. – Junior forward Kaylee Kilpatrick (Saint John, New Brunswick) set a new season-high in scoring with 17 points to lead the University of New Hampshire women's basketball team to a 71-50 win over the University of Vermont at Patrick Gymnasium on Wednesday night.
New Hampshire wins its third consecutive game, improving to 17-9 overall and 11-2 in America East. Vermont drops its sixth-straight decision and falls to 6-20, 3-10.
Head coach Maureen Magarity sets a career-high in wins in a single season with 17. UNH has notched its most wins since the 1998-99 campaign (19-8, 13-5 AE).
Four Wildcats registered double digits in scoring. Behind Kilpatrick's 17 points, sophomore forward Corinne Coia (North Smithfield, R.I.) notched 12 points on 4 of 4 shooting from the floor. Junior guard Ariel Gaston (Toledo, Ohio) tallied 11 points. Sophomore guard Elizabeth Belanger (Acton, Mass.) logged 10 points and grabbed a team-high eight rebounds.
Freshman forward Kristina White tallied a game-high 19 points on 7 of 10 shooting for Vermont. White also paced the shooting from beyond the arc with four treys on six attempts. Sophomore forward Gracia Hutson was just shy of a double-double with nine points and nine rebounds.
New Hampshire shot 26 of 57 from the field to log a .456 field goal percentage. The Catamounts were hindered to 18 of 54 (.333) shooting and 5 of 17 (.294) from beyond the arc. UNH benefited from points off the bench with 29.
The Wildcats opened the match, jolting to a 10-2 run with baskets from Coia and Gaston. New Hampshire stretched its lead to 16-2 with 13:32 left in the first half. Junior forward Niki Taylor logged the first field goal for the Catamounts at 13:09, snapping the shooting drought. Belanger countered for UNH with a jumper in the paint to lead 18-4 with 12:54 left in the frame.
White sparked a 6-2 run for Vermont, slashing the New Hampshire advantage down to 10. After trading points, Kilpatrick muscled her way to back-to-back and-one conversions. The six-point swing upped the Wildcats' score to 30-17 with 4:05 left in the first half. Gaston capped off the half with converting a 3-point play of her own as UNH held a 34-21 lead.
New Hampshire continued its consistent scoring into the second half, getting contributions from Kelsey Hogan (Nashua, N.H.), Belanger and Coia. The Wildcats raised the score to 42-22 with 15:51 left in the second frame. UNH extended its lead to 20 at 51-24, capped off by a layup from Sarah-Marie Frankenberger (Gross Gerau, Germany).
White tried to jump start the Catamount offense with the 3-ball. However, New Hampshire continued to trade baskets. The Wildcats carried their lead to 60-34 with 7:35 remaining in regulation.
After being held to just nine free throws in the first half, UNH began to attack the paint. The Wildcats forced the Catamounts over the foul limit and converted 13 of 17 free throw attempts. Despite a 12-point second half from White, New Hampshire preserved its lead and notched the 71-50 victory.
The Wildcats wrap up the regular season with a three-game homestand. UNH welcomes the University of Massachusetts Lowell for the first match of a basketball doubleheader on Saturday, Feb. 22 (1 p.m.), aired on Fox Sports College Atlantic. The UNH men's basketball team will also play the River Hawks, set for a 3:30 p.m. tip-off. For tickets, visit www.unhwildcats.com or call (603) 862-4000.