MEN'S HOOPS KNOCKS OFF TWO-TIME DEFENDING AMERICA EAST CHAMPS
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DURHAM, N.H.
– Junior guard Tyrece Gibbs (Brockton, Mass.) led four scorers in double digits as the University of New Hampshire men’s basketball team stunned two-time defending America East champion University at Albany, 75-66, Thursday night at Lundholm Gymnasium in its conference opener.
Eric Gilchrese

   
The win, which snaps the Wildcats’ seven-game losing skid and improves their record to 4-8, including 1-0 in the conference, is the ‘Cats first in a conference opener since they downed Vermont, 75-68, on Dec. 3, 1997. The Great Danes fall to 5-8 overall and 0-1 in America East.
   
Gibbs, the America East Player of the Game for UNH, poured in a game-high 19 points, while junior guard Eric Gilchrese (Springfield, Ill.) netted 18, senior forward Mike Christensen (Reston, Va.) had 16 and freshman guard Alvin Abreu (Lynn, Mass.) added 14.

With the Wildcats trailing 54-53 with 5:41 remaining in the contest, Abreu knocked down a 3-pointer that sparked a 17-5 run and put the ‘Cats up for good.

Gilchrese sealed the game when he missed the first of a 1-and-1, but raced in to swipe his own rebound, put the ball in off the glass and get fouled in the process to put UNH up 65-58 with 58 seconds left. Gilchrese converted the three-point play when he made good on the first of six free throws he would hit in the final 58 seconds en route to a career-high 13 free throws on the night.

The game was tight until a 10-4 Albany run put the Great Danes on top, 32-22, with 6:15 left in the first half. UNH came right back with a 12-2 run of its own to tie the game at 34 with just under three minutes left in the half. Albany led 38-37 at the break.

Christensen played with a new intensity in the first half, keeping UNH in the game with 15 points on 6-of-9 shooting.

Albany led 53-47 with seven minutes left and looked to be pulling away when Abreu and Gibbs drilled back-to-back treys to tie the game with 5:55 left.

Gibbs led the comeback, scoring 14 second-half points on 5-of-9 shooting, while adding a pair of rebounds, assists and blocks.

Brian Lillis, Albany's America East Player of the Game Brian Connelly and Josh Martin scored 14, 12 and 10 points, respectively, for the Great Danes in the loss.

Freshman center Dane DiLiegro (Lexington, Mass.) pulled down a game-high nine rebounds.

The Wildcats, who shot 43 percent (23-54) from the field, including 47 percent (9-19) from behind the arc, shot 87 percent (20-23) from the charity stripe. UNH outshot Albany in all three categories, and had two fewer turnovers (11) than the Great Danes.

The Wildcats return to action Sunday, Jan. 6 for the last of their five straight home games when they play host to America East foe University of Maryland-Baltimore County at noon at Lundholm.

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