UNH holds on in tight game against rival Maine
Published: Friday, February 1, 2013
Updated: Wednesday, February 13, 2013 16:02
The UNH women’s basketball team won a tight, contested game against Maine Tuesday evening at Lundholm Gymnasium.
“It wasn’t the prettiest win, but we’re on a two-game winning streak, so you can’t complain,” senior guard Cari Reed said. “We have a lot to improve on, but a win’s a win.”
The Wildcats got off to a fast start, scoring five points in the first minute and eight seconds. The Black Bears were suffocated by UNH’s ferocious defense early in the game.
“We played hard, it’s not always pretty,” interim head coach Mike Roux, who has taken over the program while head coach Maureen Magarity is out on maternity leave, said. “I’m proud of what the kids did, and tonight we came out with a win.”
Leading 18-6 with 10:56 left to play in the first half, it appeared that the Wildcats would run away with the game. However, Maine, despite their 1-6 record in conference play, refused to go away and kept chipping at the lead.
The Black Bears effort showed as UNH’s lead shrunk to seven by the half, 31-24. What was even more alarming was that 20 of the 24 Maine points had come in the paint.
“We kind of got stuck behind in their post play, which did us in a little bit,” Roux said. “They did kill us in the paint, but our post players stepped up in a different way.”
The Wildcats still had no answer for the Black Bears’ dominant post game as 10 of Maine’s first 15 points in the second half were scored in the paint. With 13 minutes left to play in the game, the Black Bears tied up the game with a chance to take the lead on a free throw.
After Maine missed the attempt, the Wildcats were able to put together an 11-3 run to put the score at 50-42. While Maine played hard until the end of the game, UNH held on to win 61-54.
“We had some mental lapses, some ups and downs, but we held on at the end,” Reed said. “Maine isn’t a bad team, but we expected to go out there and do more.”
Sophomore forward Kaylee Kilpatrick continues to shine as she gets more and more opportunities with the ball. With senior forward Morgan Frame having a quiet offensive night, Kilpatrick registered 16 points, three assists, four blocks, two steals, and four rebounds over 32 minutes of play.
“After the game I think about what I did right and what I did wrong and carry that on to the next game,” Kilpatrick said. “Hopefully that makes me a better player so I can help the team.
Frame, despite only registering five points on 2-10 shooting, recorded 12 rebounds and four assists over 33 minutes of play. Reed added 16 points, including six from the charity stripe and six from beyond the three-point line.
The victory puts the Wildcats at 3-5 in conference play this season. With Tuesday’s matchup with Maine in the books, UNH has now played all America East foes once. The Wildcats will flip the conference schedule, starting with a trip to Stony Brook on Feb. 2.
“The first cycle wasn’t ideally what we wanted, but we finished strong,” coach Roux said. “We need to continue making shots and shore up our defense and I think that will take us to places that we want to go.”
The two teams last met at the field house on Jan. 5. The Seawolves were able to beat the Wildcats, 48-44, in a matchup that went down to the wire. Stony Brook currently stands at 3-4 in conference play. Tip-off is at 2 p.m.