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Men's Basketball: Late rally not enough against Holy Cross

Staff Writer

Published: Monday, December 2, 2013

Updated: Monday, December 2, 2013 22:12

The University of New Hampshire men’s basketball team staged a late rally, but ultimately fell to Holy Cross 63-52 on Saturday night. The Crusaders’ Anthony Thompson and Dave Dudzinski led all scorers with 17 points apiece, and Dudzinksi grabbed eight boards. UNH was led by Jacoby Armstrong, who had 12 points and seven rebounds, with Patrick Konan adding 13 points and six boards. 

With 5:20 left in the game, the Wildcats found themselves trailing by 12. Following a media timeout, Jordan Bronner hit four consecutive free throws to trim the lead to eight. On the ensuing possession, Bronner made a steal and pushed up court for a fast break, but Holy Cross’s Malachi Alexander was in position to make a block. 

After a Holy Cross timeout, UNH made a good defensive stand but fouled Malcolm Miller before the shot clock expired. Miller went to the line, but missed both shots. After another Holy Cross possession, which saw them make just one free throw, UNH’s Armstrong hit a three-pointer in the corner to bring the score to 57-51. 

UNH called a timeout following the three and made a defensive stop. With the ‘Cats in possession, Bronner drove to the net and drew another foul. Bronner missed the first shot but made the second to bring Holy Cross’ lead to five. 

Thompson took over for the Crusaders, however, and made six consecutive free throws to bring the game to its final score of 63-52. 

Holy Cross got off to a quick start, grabbing a five-point lead at the first media timeout. Dudzinski made his impact early, scoring two difficult buckets amidst an aggressive Wildcat defense. 

The Wildcats managed to trim the Crusaders’ lead to two points, with an eight-point run with 7:38 to play in the first half. The scoring run was highlighted by a Pelcher dunk along the baseline, which got the crowd and bench off their feet. 

The Crusaders answered, however, hitting back-to-back three-pointers from Dudzinski and Robert Champion. After a UNH turnover, Thompson scored in transition to bring the Holy Cross lead back to 10 and forcing UNH head coach Bill Herrion to burn a timeout. 

“In the first half, we got outplayed and outcompeted,” Herrion said. “That was really the difference in the game; guys not ready to play hard and Holy Cross just wanted it more than we did.” 

Both teams traded buckets at the end of the first half, and Holy Cross scored a lay-up at the buzzer to bring the lead to 11. 

UNH’s shooting struggled in the second half, shooting at a 29.4% clip from the floor and finished just five for 18 from three-point range. Despite their struggles from the field, the Wildcats managed to make 15 of their 19 free throws.

“You have to drive the ball and try to [draw a] foul,” Herrion said. “You just cannot keep taking finesse three-point shot[s] … we got to get to the line more, our starting [lineup] didn’t shoot a free throw [in the first half].”

 

With the loss, UNH slips to a 2-4 record and look ahead to back-to-back away games, taking on Central Connecticut State on Dec. 4 and Yale on Dec. 7. 

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