Durham's Friel Scores Career-High 11 Points In First Career Start
BALTIMORE-- The University of New Hampshire men's basketball team, led by three players who scored in double figures, earned its first America East conference victory of 2004-05 at UMBC on Sunday afternoon, 60-41. The Wildcats (5-6 overall, 1-1 AE) also put an end to a five-game losing streak and a very tough four-game losing streak on the road, which included losses at West Virginia and Ohio State and a frustrating two-point loss at Dartmouth.
The key run of the contest came just prior to the half as UNH outscored the home team 12-2 in the final 5:40 before the intermission to give the Wildcats a commanding 28-15 advantage in the contest. A pair of three-pointers by senior guard Jeremy Friel (Durham, N.H.) and two straight big baskets by sophomore forward Blagoj Janev (Sydney, Australia) were key to putting the game away early. The UNH defense not only held UMBC, a team that had won three straight and was coming off one of its biggest wins ever at Delaware, to just 15 points, but also forced the home team to make seven turnovers in the opening stanza.
UNH kept the pressure on in the second half as the squad led by as many as 20 points (44-24) with 10:02 to play following a pair of free throws by freshman point guard Chris Vetrano (Andover, Mass.). UMBC could get no closer than 15 points (56-41) with 59 seconds to play.
Leading the way in scoring for UNH was sophomore guard Jermaine Anderson (Andover, Mass.) with a game-high 14 points, while he was also a key to shutting down the Retriever offense with three steals on the night. Janev finished the evening with 13 points and tied the game-high for rebounds along with senior center Ben Sturgill (Hamilton, Ohio) with eight boards. The individual story of the contest was the play of Friel, who scored a career-high 11 points in his first career start as a Wildcat. Friel went 3-7 from behind the three-point arc and also buried a pair of free throws in 19 minutes of action.
UNH held the home team to just 14 field goals in the contest and scored 20 of its 60 points from the free throw line. UMBC outrebounded UNH by one (41-40) and had no players score in double digits. The team's leading scorer was Andrew Feeley with nine points.
Wildcat fans will have an opportunity to see UNH at home for the first time since Dec. 4 when the team entertains America East rival Albany on Jan. 6. Game time is 7 p.m. in Lundholm Gymnasium. The 'Cats will be playing four of their next six games in Durham.