BALTIMORE, Md. – Kelsey Hogan (Nashua, N.H.) tied her career high of 20 points, but the University of New Hampshire women's basketball team was defeated 59-50 by UMBC in Wednesday night's America East action at the RAC Arena.
UNH, which had defeated UMBC by one point in early January, is now 9-14 overall and 4-7 in America East. UMBC improved to 9-16, 5-7.
Hogan, who was named UNH's America East Player of the Game, also tied her personal best with four 3-pointers for the second consecutive game; she was also credited with three rebounds and two assists. Morgan Frame (Waterville, Maine) finished with nine points and eight rebounds. Kaylee Kilpatrick (Saint John, New Brunswick) also had eight rebounds.
UMBC was led by Kristin Coles (16 points, nine rebounds) and Raven Harris (16 points, seven rebounds, four assists, three steals).
After falling behind 3-0, the Wildcats took a 4-3 lead when Hogan scored a layup on a right baseline drive at 17:35 and Kilpatrick hit a free-throw jumper at 16:50. It proved to be their only lead of the game. UMBC, behind six consecutive points from Ashley Lambert, responded with an 8-0 run to build an 11-4 advantage.
Stephanie Spoto (Pittsford, N.Y.) converted Hogan's long outlet pass into a layup at 11:34 to trim the deficit to five points. Following a basket by Coles that pushed the score to 13-6, Hogan drilled a 3-pointer from the left corner and Spoto hit a jumper from the right elbow to lift the 'Cats within 13-11 at 9:37. Frame's fastbreak layup made it a one-point game, 14-13, at 8:51.
UNH trailed 18-13 when Elizabeth Belanger (Acton, Mass.) hit a 3-pointer from the top of the key to pull the 'Cats within two points. UMBC scored six consecutive points to extend the advantage to 24-16 before Frame's three-point play reduced the margin to five points at 4:24. The Retrievers outscored the visitors 3-1 the rest of the half to take a 27-20 lead into halftime.
The teams traded scores the opening five minutes of the second half and Hogan's 3-pointer from the left wing closed the deficit to 35-29 at 14:20. UNH trailed by nine points, 38-29, when Belanger hit one free throw at 13:12 and then Spoto found Jilliane Friel (Durham, N.H.) on a backdoor cut for a layup at 12:30. Following a defensive stop, Spoto's short jumper trimmed the deficit to 38-34 at 12:01.
UMBC answered with a 9-1 run the next four minutes to build a 12-point lead of 47-35 with 8:18 remaining and the Retrievers seemingly held an insurmountable 54-41 lead with 1:02 to play, but the Wildcats closed with a flourish.
Hogan hit a 3-pointer just four seconds later and UNH called its fourth timeout of the game. Following a pair of Harris foul shots, Hogan buried another shot from 3-point range to advance the score to 56-47 with 47 seconds on the clock. Coles, who made all six field goal attempts in the game, missed both free throws and Friel's 3-pointer from the left wing sliced the margin to 56-50 with 26 seconds remaining.
Out of New Hampshire's final timeout, the Wildcats immediately fouled Kim Browning but she hit both foul shots. She hit one more with 20 seconds left and Harris grabbed the rebound off the missed second free throw with 20 seconds to play to secure the victory.
New Hampshire returns to action Feb. 16 (1 p.m.) at Boston University. The Wildcats then begin a three-game homestand Feb. 20 (7 p.m.) against the University of Hartford.