DURHAM, N.H. – Senior Chandler Rhoads (Berryville, Va.) scored a team-high 13 points and pulled down six rebounds, but the University of New Hampshire men's basketball team was defeated 51-40 by Hartford in Thursday night's America East matchup at Lundholm Gymnasium.
UNH, which suffered its ninth consecutive loss, fell to 4-14 overall and 0-6 in America East competition, while Hartford snapped a three-game skid to up its record to 11-9, 4-3 in AE action.
In addition to Rhoads, who was named the America East Player of the Game, seniors Ferg Myrick (Philadelphia, Pa.) and Chris Matagrano (Sayreville, N.J.) also reached double figures with 10 points apiece. Junior Patrick Konan (Gainesville, Fla.) posted a game-high eight rebounds.
Sophomore Mark Nwakamma registered a game-high 23 points for Hartford, while Evan Cooper chipped in with 10 points.
Hartford shot 41.7 percent (20-48) from the field and limited the Wildcats to 34.9 percent (15-43) from the floor and 0-10 from 3-point range. New Hampshire outrebounded the Hawks by a margin of 32-28.
Hartford kicked off the contest with a 7-4 stretch before Rhoads slashed to the basket for a driving layup to cut the lead to one, but the visitors answered right back with consecutive baskets for the 11-6 lead at 9:37.
After the teams traded layups, UNH reeled off a 7-1 run as Matagrano scored in the paint to push the Wildcats on top, 15-14, at 5:16. The Hawks responded with a 5-2 stretch, sparked by a 3-pointer from Yolonzo Moore, but Matagrano drained a pair of free throws to even the score at 19-19 at halftime.
New Hampshire opened the second half with a 6-2 run, including a pair of baskets from Rhoads, but Nwakamma drilled back-to-back shots to even the score at 25-25 with 14:10 remaining.
From there, the teams remained tied after swapping baskets, until Nwakamma hit three-straight jumpers and Wes Cole drilled a 3-pointer to push the visitors in front, 36-27, at 10:05.
Facing an 11-point deficit, UNH pulled within seven with 4:54 left to play after consecutive layups from Konan, but the Wildcats could not get closer as the Hawks held on for the victory.
The Wildcats return to action on Saturday, Jan. 26 when they visit Binghamton at 7 p.m.