Men's Basketball: Wildcats outmanned in loss to Hartford

By Nick Stoico
On January 18, 2014

On Wednesday, the Wildcats earned their first win since Nov. 13, 2013 and did so with only seven players available. But head coach Bill Herrion's techniques did not work quite as well on Saturday when the Wildcats faced Hartford again with only seven players dressed.

Five players including Jacoby Armstrong, Frank Okeke, Jordan Bronner, Jaleen Smith, and Daniel Dion were each on the floor for more than thirty minutes in Saturday's 60-43 loss to Hartford.

Armstrong led the Wildcats with 13 points and seven rebounds, but also turned the ball over six times.

Herrion pointed out two distinct aspects of the loss: turnovers and defensive errors.

"We turned it over the first five minutes of the game; I think we had five unforced turnovers," Herrion said. "And we had numerous defensive mistakes by our young players."

Of the seven that dressed, four were freshman.

Bronner, the only senior in uniform on Saturday, was 2-9 from the field and 1-3 from three-point range. With the responsibility of leading this young group on the floor, Bronner felt he may have stretched himself too thin in his production.

"I find myself trying to do too much and I got to stop doing that," Bronner said, clearly disappointed in his own play.

With 9:21 remaining in regulation, Bronner hit a three-pointer to bring the Wildcats within five, but the margin was no slimmer for the rest of the game.

The poise and energy was there in the first half with the Wildcats trailing only by six at halftime. UNH was durable on defense, holding Hartford (8-11, 2-2 AE) to 26.9 percent shooting in the opening half, but the Wildcats were not getting it done on the other end of the court as they also shot just under 27 percent.

"You hold them to 27 percent shooting, but your down six points," Herrion said. "That's a problem."

In each half, UNH played well in one aspect of the game but poorly in the other. In the first half, New Hampshire was sound on defense but slow in offensive production. During the second half, their play was the opposite.

New Hampshire shot 2-13 from three-point range in the first half, but turned it around in the second shooting 4-9.

"We just need to stay focused throughout the game," Bronner said. "We only got two sophomores (active) and the rest are freshman."

"The freshman can't play like freshman," Bronner added.

New Hampshire's largest lead was by just three points two minutes into the first half.

Hartford turned its scoring back up in the second half, adding 35 points on 54 percent shooting from the field. The Wildcats also improved their scoring chances, but not enough to make up the difference.

The Wildcats are on the road Monday against Vermont in hopes of earning their second conference win. Tip-off is 7:00 p.m.

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