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Women's Basketball: Front court stuffed in loss

Staff Writer

Published: Thursday, December 19, 2013

Updated: Thursday, December 19, 2013 00:12

The UNH women’s basketball team lost 65-50 at home Wednesday afternoon to Cleveland State University, bringing their record to 4-6 overall. It was their second loss in a row, their last win being on Dec. 7 at Dartmouth.

Senior guard and captain Kelsey Hogan scored her 300th career assist in addition to her 16 points and seven rebounds Wednesday, while junior forward Kaylee Kilpatrick posted eight points and 10 rebounds. Sophomore forward Corinne Coia had eight points, while junior guard Ariel Gaston scored nine.

Guard Kiersten Green, guard Cori Coleman and forward Imani Gordon scored 13, 18 and 12 points for CSU, respectively.

With eight minutes remaining in the game, UNH trailed by just seven points. However, they failed to find a rhythm on offense in the following minutes. Big players like six-foot-four Kilpatrick and Coia failed to get open and score in the paint, forcing the Wildcats to take three point shots, something that Hogan said the team has been struggling with. This season, they are tied with University of Maryland Baltimore County for the sixth highest three point field goal percentage with 25.2%. After the 7:40 mark in the second half, they were two for eight from beyond the arch.

“They really knew how to guard our posts,” Hogan said. “We are really trying to force it inside a lot, and we struggled with that. We’ve been struggling with our outside shots. We have to get better at that, too.”

“Our guards have to be able to make those shots when they collapse on Corinne [Coia] and Kaylee [Kilpatrick],” UNH head coach Maureen Magarity said.

“I think, us, as guards, we put a lot of pressure on ourselves to shoot the ball well when the posts aren’t necessarily scoring,” Gaston said. “But I think it has to come from both of us. It has to come from the posts inside and it has to come from the guards outside. That’s the only way we’ll win.”

Struggling in the paint and from long range, the Wildcats fell behind to a fifteen point deficit, the score being 59-44.

Kilpatrick, who has averaged ten points and seven and a half rebounds per game this season, had an especially tough second half. She only scored two of her eight points then, and struggled to beat opponents significantly shorter than her. CSU’s Haley Schmitt, who is three inches shorter than Kilpatrick at six-foot-one, scored easily on Kilpatrick to make the score 49-40 with 7:23 remaining in the game. With three minutes remaining, Kilpatrick was open underneath the hoop but failed to even raise her hands when a pass from Gaston came to her. In one instance at the 8:45 mark, Kilpatrick missed a pass to an open teammate at half court, sending the ball out of bounds.

“[Kilpatrick] struggled a little bit in the second half just getting touches, really,” Magarity said. “They did a good job collapsing on her, and she wasn’t able to get a lot of good touches, which is tough because she’s usually our go-to player in the paint, and we just couldn’t find a way to get to her the ball.”

Hogan saved face for the Wildcats in the second half with eight points, including a three pointer with 1:03 remaining in the game.

Hogan sensed a lack of energy around the seven minute mark. With a media timeout at that moment, she tried to rally her team.

“With seven or six minutes left, the energy was going down. It was really quiet in the gym and on the bench,” Hogan said. “I felt like, as a team, we didn’t think that we could come back and really win. … I tried bringing them together and said, ‘We’ve got to try to pick this up, we have got believe that we can win, and there’s so much time left, we just have to get one stop at a time and take every possession as it comes to us, and really just believe that we can, and we can get this done.’”

With her 300 career assists, Hogan ranks 11th in UNH women’s basketball history.

The Wildcats host Boston University this Sunday. Tipoff is at 2 p.m.

 

Max Sullivan can be reached on Twitter @MaxSullivanLive

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