DURHAM, N.H.-- Freshman point guard Chris Vetrano (Andover, Mass.) scored a career-high 19 points and had four assists to lead the University of New Hampshire men's basketball team to a 71-57 America East victory on Thursday evening in Lundholm Gymnasium.
The Wildcats (8-16 overall, 4-11 America East) led the entire game and jumped out to a 10-0 advantage in the first 15:21 of the contest. UNH then led by as many as 15 points (32-17) with 4:59 remaining before the half and the Wildcats were up 36-22 at the intermission. Vetrano was a key to the lead, as he was 5-7 from the floor and he connected on 4-6 three pointers to give him 16 first-half points.
The Hawks (7-17 overall, 3-12 America East) dug in defensively in the second stanza after trailing by as many as 22 points (56-34) and managed to cut the UNH lead to just eight points (60-52) with 4:43 to play. The comeback featured an 18-4 run of their own that included three huge three-pointers, two by Brian Glowiak.
However UNH responded with an 8-0 run capped with a key three-point play by senior center Ben Sturgill (Hamilton, Ohio) to make the score 68-52 in favor of the home team with 2:05 left on the clock.
In addition to the 19 points by Vetrano, Sturgill finished the contest with 15 points, while freshman forward Mike Christensen (Reston, Va.) poured in 13. Senior forward Craig Walls (Minneapolis, Minn.) had a big night on the boards tying his career-high of 14 rebounds.
Hartford was led in scoring by Aaron Cook with 17 points. He was the only Hawk to score in double figures.
UNH shot well from the floor in the contest, connecting on 23-51 shots for a percentage of .451, while Hartford shot .357 (20-56). The battle of the rebounds was tied at 38 apiece.
The Wildcat men's basketball team will return to action on Mon., Feb. 21, at league-leading Vermont. Game time is 7 p.m.