Women's Basketball: Hogan hits career milestones during six-game winning streak
After finishing December off with a three-game losing streak, including losses to Boston College and Boston University, the UNH women's basketball team broke for the holidays. Having a 4-7 record didn't sit well with the team.
"We knew we were better than what our record said," forward Corinne Coia said. "I think over break we as players decided what we wanted and we came back in focused and ready to go."
For head coach Maureen Magarity, it was tough at the beginning of the season to watch how inconsistent her team was.
"Non-conference play was hard," Magarity said. "We all knew it didn't go the way we wanted. We were counting on a lot of younger players and we thought, maybe we put too much on them too soon. Some games we looked great, others not so much. So we broke over break and kind of rested and came back to see where we were at right before conference play."
The team got the ball rolling with two wins at Brown and over Yale to start off January. With some momentum going their way, the Wildcats met to go over their goals before conference play started.
"We made our list of goals and we said we were okay with splitting with Albany and Stony Brook [in conference]," senior captain Kelsey Hogan said. "The rest we felt like we could win, as a team."
On Jan. 11, UNH hosted Stony Brook for their first conference action of the season. Knowing what their goals were, the Wildcats won a thrilling game in overtime, 71-68, with Hogan scoring a career-high 35 points.
With three straight wins, the team powered through UMBC, Hartford, and Vermont for a six-game winning streak. During the Wildcats' impressive run, Hogan recorded her 1000th point and played in her 100th game.
"It was huge to record the [1000th] point at home, in front of my friends and family," Hogan said. "UNH has been so great to me and I love it here."
Last Thursday, however, the Wildcats hit a bump in the road when they travelled to Albany. The game didn't go the way they wanted it to as they got blown-out, 88-47.
"We didn't come to play," Hogan said. "We know we're a lot better than that and it's frustrating because [Albany is] a very beatable team. Hopefully we learn from it and it helps us push forward."
"Albany was disappointing," Magarity added. "The energy, everything we had been building upon before in that six-game winning streak kind of disappeared. We didn't play our game, do what we had been doing. I don't want to say it was a wake-up call or deflated the tires by any means, but I think it shows that you have to play your best."
The Wildcats did bounce back with a 75-68 win over UMass-Lowell on Sunday to bring their conference record to 5-1, and 11-8 overall.
UNH hasn't had to lean on one player during its recent stretch, either. While Coia has averaged 12.2 points a game, and Hogan has been her usual reliable self, they haven't been the Wildcats' only stars.
Starting point guard Ariel Gaston has been playing high minutes and while her scoring numbers aren't high, she's contributing with rebounds and assists. Sophomore Elizabeth Belanger has also been making some noise, scoring 18 on Sunday. She's also averaging 7.1 rebounds per game.
Co-captain Kaylee Kilpatrick, meanwhile, has seen her number decline recently, garnering one start since Jan. 15. According to Magarity, Kilpatrick and others have been dealing with the flu recently.
Even so, Kilpatrick has had a down year compared to her breakout sophomore campaign last year, only reaching double-digits in scoring once since Dec. 18.
The Wildcats travel to Maine to take on the Black Bears Wednesday. Tip-off is at 7 p.m.
Arjuna Ramgopal can be reached on Twitter @ArjunaRamgopal
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