CLEVELAND – Cari Reed (Oswego, N.Y.) recorded her third double-double of the season with team highs in both points (12) and rebounds (10), but the University of New Hampshire women's basketball team was defeated 58-47 by Cleveland State University in Saturday afternoon's non-conference action at Wolstein Center.
UNH, which has alternated wins and losses the past five games, is now 5-6 overall. CSU won its sixth consecutive game to improve to 7-4.
Reed also tallied a career-high four blocks and matched her season high of four assists in 39 minutes to garner America East Player of the Game. Kelsey Hogan (Nashua, N.H.) finished with 10 points, four assists and three rebounds for the Wildcats, who shot 21 of 65 (32.3%) from the floor, including 4-for-20 from 3-point range, but did tally a 40-32 edge in rebounds.
The Vikings, who shot 42.6% from the floor, were led by Shalonda Winton (22 points, nine rebounds, three steals, two blocks). Imani Gordon contributed 12 points, four rebounds and three blocks.
With the score tied 2-2 at 17:30, CSU scored seven consecutive points to build a 9-2 lead on Gordon's 3-pointer at 14:38 – UNH was unable to pull even the rest of the way. A short jumper by Elizabeth Belanger (Acton, Mass.) stopped the run and lifted the Wildcats within 9-4 at 13:58.
Winton made the second of two free throws to give the Vikings a 12-6 lead at 6:30, but Reed caught Hogan's long outlet pass and scored on a layup to quickly trim the deficit to 12-8. Following a steal by Belanger, the 'Cats pulled within two points, 12-10, when Kaylee Kilpatrick (Saint John, New Brunswick) scored from the right blocks on a sweeping shot off the glass.
Kiersten Green's basket pushed the lead to six points, but once again Hogan found Reed in transition for a layup that made the score 16-12 at 4:00. Reed lifted UNH within two with the shot clock winding down at 3:13 when she corralled an offensive rebound and scored on the putback.
Baskets by Winton and Gordon extended CSU's lead to 20-14 at 2:56 but Kilpatrick's low-post move from the middle of the lane to the right blocks made it a four-point game at 1:50. Winton and Honesty King hit back-to-back 3-pointers gave the Vikings their largest lead of the half, 26-16, with 35 seconds left in the half. Hogan cut down the right side of the lane for a layup with 16 seconds on the clock to close the first-half scoring.
New Hampshire opened the second half with an 11-5 spurt to close within 31-29. A pair of Reed putbacks started the run, which closed with a 3-pointer by Lauren Wells (West Chester, Pa.) at 14:42. Belanger also hit a runner down the middle of the lane off the glass and Kilpatrick maneuvered from the right blocks under the basket for a reverse layup during the spurt.
Cleveland State responded with seven consecutive points, capped by Winton's second 3-pointer of the game at 12:45 to give the home team a 38-29 lead.
UNH rallied back within three points, 38-35, when Hogan hit a 3-pointer at 11:46 and Morgan Frame (Waterville, Maine) completed a traditional three-point play at 9:39.
UNH had a chance to pull closer on its next possession, but turned the ball over. Winton made a pair of foul shots and a Green field goal extended the Vikings' advantage to 42-35 at 8:01.
Reed's jumper from the left elbow at 7:40 and Hogan's 3-pointer from the left corner at 6:09 lifted the 'Cats within two points, 42-40. Cori Coleman's pair of 3-pointers sandwiched a Kilpatrick layup – off Reed's touch pass on the right blocks – to push CSU's advantage to 48-42 at 5:09.
UNH went 0-for-4 on its next two possessions and then Haley Schmitt capped the Vikings' extended possession – the home team grabbed two offensive boards – with a layup for a 50-42 edge at 3:20.
Belanger drilled a 3-pointer from the top of the key to lift the 'Cats within five points at 3:07. Gordon responded with a three-point play at the other end of the court for a 53-45 cushion. Hogan answered with a drive through the left side of the paint to trim the deficit to 53-47 at 2:29, but UNH did not score the rest of the way as the visitors went 0-for-3 with a turnover on the last four possessions.
Following Winton's jumper at 1:59, the Vikings made 3 of 4 free throws in the closing minute to secure the victory.
New Hampshire returns to action Dec. 29 (4 p.m.) at Colgate University. The Wildcats' next home game is Jan. 5, 2013 vs. Stony Brook University. That game will mark the 1,000th in program history and fans will be invited to be a part of the commemorative photo.