DURHAM, N.H. - The University of New Hampshire lost their home opener to Long Island University, 59-56. The loss snapped a streak in which the Wildcats had won their two previous home openers at Lundholm Gymnasium.
Long Island opened the game on a 9-0 run on three made shots from behind the 3-point arc. Mike Christensen (Reston, Va.) scored New Hampshire's first basket on a lay up at 16:20. James Williams poured in two unanswered 3-pointers that put the Black Birds up by 13 with at 15:31. The Wildcats closed in on the lead with 4:35 remaining in the half when Blagoj Janev (Sydney, Australia) posted a lay up. That was as close as they'd get as Long Island built their lead up to as much as 14 points with 1:23 remaining. Brandon Odom (Dorchester, Mass.) was the leading scorer for New Hampshire with nine points. Long Island shot 75 percent at the 3-point arc.
New Hampshire showed improvement in the second half, shooting 11-for-29 from the field and 5-for-12 from behind the arc. The Wildcats started their comeback on a 10-2 run when Janev banked two unanswered 3-pointers at 11:11 and 10:09 to cut the lead to 49-43 in favor of Long Island. Chris Vetrano (Andover, Mass.) hit a 3-pointer at 8:16 to pull New Hampshire within seven. Janev sank two free throws at 3:41, making it a 2-point game.
With less than ten seconds in the game, the two teams made a game of it. Paska Morkeliunas sank two free throws, putting the Black Birds up by eight at the eight-second mark. Odom converted a 3-pointer with three seconds left to make it a one-point game. But a foul was called on Vetrano, and James Williams converted both free throws to close the game.
Janev was the high-scorer as he shot 6-for-11 from the field for 16 points and grabbed six boards for New Hampshire. Odom was second in scoring with 12 points.
Morkeliunas was the game-high scorer for Long Island (1-3) as they pulled off their first win of the season.
New Hampshire (1-5) will stay at home and face Robert Morris University on Tuesday December 6 at 7 p.m.