– Junior guards Tyrece Gibbs (Brockton, Mass.) and Eric Gilchrese (Springfield, Ill.) scored 20 and 16 points, respectively, but the University of New Hampshire men’s basketball team dropped a 75-72 overtime thriller to the University of Maine on Saturday afternoon at Lundholm Gymnasium.
Eric Gilchrese

The Wildcats fall to 7-16, including 4-7 in America East, while the Black Bears improve to 7-16 overall and 3-7 in the conference.
After trailing by as many as 19, the Wildcats found themselves down 52-50 with 7:01 remaining in the game when Gilchrese drilled a 3-pointer that gave UNH just its second lead of the day. After a Brian Andre layup gave Maine a 54-53 advantage, a powerful Dane DiLiegro (Lexington, Mass.) dunk recaptured the lead for the ‘Cats at 5:35.
The two teams traded free throws – and then layups – to tie the game at 59 with 3:03 remaining. Gibbs made one-of-two from the line to give UNH a 60-59 lead with 2:51 left, before Mark Socoby also made one-of-two from the stripe to tie the game with 26 seconds left. The Wildcats called timeout with 12 ticks left to draw up its final play, which seemed to work when Gibbs drove and kicked the ball underneath to a wide open DiLiegro. The 6-8 freshman went up to dunk the ball two seconds left, but Maine’s Phil Bofia blocked the ball off a Wildcat and out of bounds with two-tenths of a second on the clock. Socoby’s try from 80 feet at the buzzer fell short.
Gibbs opened up the overtime session with a trey that put UNH up 63-60. With the Wildcats on top, 64-62, Maine ran off six points in a row to take a 68-64 lead with 2:31 left. Another Gibbs 3 cut the Maine lead to one. With just under a minute to go, Socoby converted a three-point play that put the Black Bears up four. UNH made it 71-69 on two Alvin Abreu (Lynn, Mass.) free throws, before a Sacoby jumper gave Maine its four-point lead back. A pair of free throws gave Maine a 75-69 lead with eight seconds to go before Gibbs hit a 3 as time expired.
Senior forward Mike Christensen (Reston, Va.) scored 11 points, giving him 999 for his career. One more point will make Christensen the 25th Wildcat to reach the 1,000-point plateau. Christensen also added three rebounds and four assists. Abreu chipped in with 10 points and four rebounds. DiLiegro recorded six points, nine rebounds, two steals and a block. Gibbs tallied five rebounds and two assists, while Gilchrese, UNH’s America East Player of the Game, added four rebounds and five assists.
Maine built a 45-28 halftime lead thanks in part to Socoby’s 21 first-half points. Socoby, Maine’s America East Player of the Game, finished with 29 points and 10 rebounds. Kaimondre Owes added 20 points, four rebounds and four assists for the Black Bears. UNH outscored Maine 32-15 in the second half to erase the 17-point deficit.
UNH had half as many turnovers (10) as Maine (20), but shot just 32 percent (22-68) compared to the Black Bears’ 44 percent (23-52).
The Wildcats return to action Thursday, Feb. 14 at 7 p.m., when they travel to Binghamton to take on the Bearcats. The next home game for the ‘Cats is Wednesday, Feb. 20 at 7 p.m., when they play host to Stony Brook at Lundholm.
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