Hartford zooms past struggling Wildcats
UNH drops ninth consecutive game
Published: Friday, January 25, 2013
Updated: Wednesday, February 13, 2013 15:02
The UNH men’s basketball team lost its ninth straight game Thursday night against Hartford, 50-41 at Lundholm Gymnasium.
The Wildcats are still winless in conference play (4-14, 0-6), while Hartford snapped a four game losing streak to extended its record to 11-9, and are 4-3 in conference play.
The Hawks were led by sophomore Mark Nwakamma, who had 23 points and eight rebounds on the night including 16 points in the second half. Chandler Rhoads was the leading scorer for New Hampshire with 13 points and while also adding six rebounds.
The first half was a defensive struggle, with Hartford leading just 7-6 halfway through the first frame. The teams combined for 12 turnovers in the first half, and shot just 32 percent from the field.
UNH capitalized on their free throws, however, hitting seven of eight while Hartford could only muster going one for three from the charity stripe.
Chris Matagrano contributed 8 points in the first half, including two late free throws to bring the Wildcats even with Hartford. The teams entered their locker rooms with the score tied 19-19.
“I was really pleased with our defensive effort in the first half” UNH head coach Bill Herrion said after the game. “The one thing we’ve been struggling with in conference play is our intensity and toughness on defense. The problem we had tonight was taking defensive stops and turning it into offense…We haven’t been able to string together consecutive stops this season and when we did tonight we failed to capitalize on the offensive end.”
UNH came out to a quick start, when Matagrano hit two more free throws and Rhoads adding a layup to take a four point lead.
Nwakamma then turned it on, scoring 14 of his 16 points in the second half during a 21-6 run for the Hawks over the next ten minutes. The Hawks led by as much as 11 and never looked back.
The Wildcats were able to trim the lead to seven, but a few costly turnovers put the game on ice, as Hartford built their lead back up and finished with an eleven point margin of victory.
“We’re at rock bottom,” Herrion said, “Our team is in need of a shake-up. Now whether that means a change in line-up, I’m not sure. I haven’t done a good job of trusting out younger players, and that’s on me. I just haven’t had an opportunity to see how good they can play.”
The Wildcats will travel to Binghamton on Sunday to face the Bearcats at the Binghamton University Events Center at 2 p.m.