HANOVER, N.H. - Roland Williams (Eglin AFB, Fla.) had 14 second half points en route to a career-high 20 point performance to lead the University of New Hampshire men's basketball team to a 62-57 victory over intrastate rival Dartmouth College at Leede Arena Wednesday evening. The Wildcats improved to 3-12 overall, while Dartmouth dropped to 4-9.
"Williams played extremely well," said UNH head coach Phil Rowe. "He's been working on his game off the court a lot and he got rewarded for it tonight. He had good confidence and he felt it."
Williams, a sophomore, was 7-10 from the field and 3-4 from three-point range for the contest. Marcus Bullock (Cherry Hill, N.J.) was 5-of-8 from three-point land for New Hampshire and totaled 15 points, 12 of those coming in the first half. Ronnie Dennis (Abbeville, Ala.) also had nine points for the'Cats, seven of those coming in the opening 20 minutes. Dartmouth was paced offensively by Charles Harris' 14 points.
The Wildcats took their first lead of the contest, 31-29, with 18:29 to play, on a steal and layup by Dennis. The two teams proceeded to trade baskets over the next several minutes before back-to-back baskets by Shawn Collette (Westminster, Mass.) kicked off a 10-3 run that gave UNH a 48-42 lead with 9:45 to play.
A three-pointer by Williams at the 3:50 mark gave UNH its biggest lead, 56-49. A pair of Charles Harris free throws with 2:10 left made it 58-55, and after an empty Wildcat trip, a three-point attempt by the Big Green to tie the contest was off-target.
Williams would be fouled driving on the next UNH possession, but missed both attempts from the stripe with 1:06 left. Another Dartmouth attempt to tie the game fell short and Williams would hit two free throws with 35.8 seconds left to give the 'Cats a 60-55 lead. A steal and dunk by Griffin Walker (Coffeyville, Kansas) with under 10 seconds left provided an emphatic end to the victory.
"The second half we got good possessions and we were able to play a good inside-outside game," said Rowe.
UNH trailed by as many as seven in the first half, as the Big Green took a 22-15 lead with 5:50 to play. The Wildcats would score 12 of the final 19 points of the first half, including the last four, to trail by just two, 29-27, at the break.
The Wildcats outrebounded the Big Green 29-23 on the evening. New Hampshire returns to America East play Saturday (Jan. 18) when it travels to Boston for a 1:00 p.m. contest at Northeastern. The next Wildcat home game is Wednesday, January 22, when UNH hosts Boston University in a 7:00 p.m. tilt at Lundholm Gymnasium.