WEST HARTFORD, Conn. - Candace Williams (Norfolk, Mass.) scored 10 points and pulled in eight rebounds, but it wasn't enough, as the University of New Hampshire women's basketball team fell to the University of Hartford, 65-35, Saturday afternoon at Chase Arena.
The loss drops the Wildcats to 8-16 overall and 3-8 in America East play, while the Hawks improve to 20-3 overall and 11-0 in conference action.
Williams earned America East Player of the Game honors for New Hampshire. As for Hartford, Diana Delva was named Player of the Game, pulling in 15 rebounds and scoring 14 points in the contest.
New Hampshire kicked off the action drawing first blood, as Williams nailed a jumper at 18:44, to push ahead with the early 2-0 lead. Moments later, Hartford would knot up the action at 2-2 with a layup by Delva, setting off a string of nine unanswered points, pushing ahead 9-2 at 15:13.
The Wildcats came back with five straight points, as Lauren Wells (West Chester, Pa.) buried a layup and Amy Simpson (Waterford, Conn.) laced a 3-pointer, setting the score at 9-7 in favor of the home team.
Jenna Peterson broke up the quick string of points with a trifecta less than a minute later, but Chrissy Hall (Northbridge, Mass.) would answer right back with a 3-pointer of her own on the ensuing possession, kicking off a 5-0 run, knotting the score at 12-12 with 11:38 remaining in the first frame.
The two squads would remain scoreless over the course of the next three minutes, until Delva sank a layup and Mary Silvia added a jumper on back-to-back trips up the floor, giving Hartford a 16-12 lead at 7:06. After a change in possession, the Wildcats would get a basket from Cari Reed (Oswego, N.Y.), cutting the score to 16-14, but it would be quickly answered as Silvia knocked down a jumper, extending Hartford's lead to four.
Williams rebuttaled with a jumper on the next trip up the floor, but it wouldn't be enough to slow the pace of the Hawks as they posted a 7-0 run that lasted just under three minutes. UNH would score the final basket of the first half, as Reed nailed a 3-pointer, setting the score at 25-19 in favor of Hartford at the intermission.
Hartford picked up right where it left off in the second frame, kicking off the half with a 17-2 run, pushing ahead 41-21 at 12:15. Williams notched a pair of free throws at 11:59, cutting Hartford's lead to 19, but the Hawks continued to pile on the points, stringing off eight unanswered, jumping ahead 52-23 with 9:40 to play.
Williams would notch UNH's first field goal of the stanza on a layup at 8:36, followed by a pair of free throws on the ensuing possession, setting the score at 55-27. Hartford came back with a 9-4 run over the course of the next 3:18, putting New Hampshire away for good.
Hartford outshot UNH 43.3 percent (26-for-60) to 24.1 percent (13-for-54) from the floor. The Hawks controlled the paint in the contest, outscoring the ‘Cats 30 to 10 under the basket. Hartford also outrebounded New Hampshire 47 to 36, including a 27 to 18 advantage on the glass in the second half.
Simpson tallied five points, three assists and two rebounds on the afternoon. Reed added five points, four rebounds and a steal.
For Hartford, Silvia chipped in with 14 points and one rebound. Peterson registered eight points and seven boards. Ruthanne Doherty finished with six points and five rebounds.
The Wildcats return to action on Saturday, Feb. 13 at 1 p.m. when they play host to the University of Maryland Baltimore County at Lundholm Gymnasium.