DURHAM, N.H. – Senior guard Kelsey Hogan (Nashua, N.H.) notched a game-high 21 points but the University of New Hampshire fell to the University of Maine, 66-62, on Senior Day at Lundholm Gymnasium Saturday afternoon.
Before the start of the game, Hogan was honored on the court in a pregame ceremony and was recognized for her dedication and performance to the UNH women's basketball program.
New Hampshire's eight-game winning streak against Maine was snapped, falling to 18-11 overall and 12-4 in America East. Maine ups its record to 16-13, 10-6.
Hogan was 8 of 16 from the field, including 3 of 7 from beyond the arc for the Wildcats. Junior guard Ariel Gaston (Toledo, Ohio) logged 11 points. Sophomore guard Elizabeth Belanger (Acton, Mass.) registered 10 points and a team-high seven rebounds.
Senior forward Ashleigh Roberts led Maine on both sides of the court with 17 points and nine rebounds. Sophomore forward Liz Wood chipped in 16 points in the win.
Maine registered a season-high 3-point percentage, registering a .611 clip on 11 of 18 shooting. The Black Bears were 23 of 55 (.418) from the floor. New Hampshire shot 22 of 54 from the field to post a .407 percentage. New Hampshire was outrebounded by Maine, 38-33.
Hogan opened the scoring in the game with a jumper to put the Wildcats up 2-0 at 17:44 in the first half. The Black Bears jetted ahead, powered by a 13-2 run to lead 13-4. Coming out of the UNH timeout at 11:10, a 6-2 Wildcat run cut the Maine lead down to five at 15-10. However, five consecutive points from Wood raised the Black Bear lead to 10 at 20-10 with 8:47 left in the first half.
New Hampshire and Maine continued to trade points entering the latter half of the first frame, as the score was upped to 25-16 in favor of the visiting team. The Wildcats managed to slash the Black Bear lead down to four at 28-24 on a jumper by Belanger with 2:35 left in the opening stanza. Maine closed out the first half with five consecutive points from sophomore guard Lauren Bodine to lead 33-24.
The 'Cats opened the half with a pair of 3-pointers made from Gaston and freshman guard Kristen Anderson (Greene, Maine). Roberts countered for Maine with a 3-ball of her own. UNH would pull within four points at 36-32 with 17:34 to go in the second half, capped off by a Belanger layup.
Maine and New Hampshire exchanged points to raise the score to 44-40 with 12:10 left in regulation. UNH cut Maine's lead in half as Gaston tallied a layup off the glass to pull within two points. Anna Heise of Maine and Sarah-Marie Frankenberger (Gross Greau, Germany) of New Hampshire traded treys, upping the score to 47-45 with 9:45 to go in the second half.
The Black Bears sparked ahead, compiling an 8-2 run that elapsed over 6 minutes, 12 seconds to lead 57-47 with 3:33 on the clock. UNH came back by chipping away at the Maine advantage in the expiring moments of the second half to trail, 63-57, with a minute to go.
The 'Cats made it a one possession game as a Hogan jumper fell followed by a Belanger 3-ball to trail, 63-62, with 33 seconds left in the second stanza.
Roberts was immediately fouled on the ensuing possession, sending the senior guard to the line. The guard notched both free throws to up the Black Bears score to 65-62.
UNH had two chances to level the score in the game. However, a free throw from Cherrish Wallace with .8 seconds left on the clock was enough for Maine to hand the Wildcats the losing decision.
New Hampshire begins postseason play at the America East Championships, hosted by the University at Albany at SEFCU Arena. UNH enters the tournament as the number three seed and is matched up against the sixth-seeded University of Vermont. The tip off is set for Friday, March 7 (2 p.m.). All rounds of the tournament will be streamed on ESPN3.com. For tickets, visit AmericaEast.com. For the latest news about UNH women's basketball, log onto UNHWildcats.com.