DURHAM, N.H. – Guards Tyrece Gibbs (Brockton, Mass.), Tyrone Conley (Burlington, Vt.) and Alvin Abreu (Lynn, Mass.) all scored in double digits as the University of New Hampshire pulled out a huge 64-61 win versus Brown University on Saturday afternoon at Lundholm Gymnasium.
The Wildcats’ second straight win evens their record at 3-3, while the Bears drop their second in a row and fall to 3-5. The win snaps Brown’s four-game winning steak versus the ‘Cats and is UNH’s first win against the Bears since a 77-71 triumph Nov. 14, 1998 at Lundholm.
Gibbs, the America East Player of the game, paced UNH with 19 points, two rebounds, five assists, two blocks and a steal. Conley, who matched his career high with four 3-pointers, poured in 16 to go along with five rebounds and two assists, while Abreu tallied 16 points, four rebounds, two assists and two steals.
With the score tied at 54 with just under five minutes to play, Gibbs drilled the last of his five 3-pointers on the day to give the Wildcats their first lead since their 3-2 edge just 23 seconds into the game. A pair of Brown free throws cut the UNH lead to one before Gibbs’ no-look pass found a wide open Radar Onguetou (Yaounde, Cameroon), whose layup put the Wildcats up 59-56 with 4:07 to play.
Another pair of Brown free throws cut its deficit to one, but it was Onguetou again, this time drilling his second 3 of the game to give UNH a 62-58 lead with 1:36 on the clock. The Wildcats then traded a Brown jumper for a pair of Abreu free throws to make it 64-60 before the Bears hit another one from the line to make it a one-possession game with 36 ticks left. Peter Sullivan’s 3-point try with four seconds left missed its mark and was pulled down by Abreu to wrap up the win for the ‘Cats.
Onguetou played his best game of the season, scoring nine points, pulling down eight rebounds and handing out three assists. The junior forward was 3 of 4 from the floor, including a pair of treys, which matched a career high he set one game earlier at Colgate on Dec. 3.
Leading 33-27 coming out of the locker room, Brown scored the first five points of the second half to push their lead to 11. The Bears were up 42-32 with 15:32 to go when they scored four straight to push their lead to 14. UNH answered with an 11-0 run that featured three Conley trifectas to cut Brown’s lead to 46-43 with 10:43 remaining.
Brown scored three straight before both teams traded buckets to make 51-45 with 8:16 left. Back-to-back treys by Gibbs and Onguetou knotted the score at 51 just 1:02 later. A Matt Mullery 3-pointer put Brown up 54-51 with 6:22 to go before the Wildcats ripped off an 11-4 run that led them to victory. The ‘Cats held Brown without a field goal for 5:10 during that span and then again for the final 1:12 of the game.
Brown opened the game on an 8-3 run before a pair of Abreu treys brought UNH to within 10-9. With 14:51 left in the first half, Gibbs knocked down a 3 to tie the game at 12, but a 14-4 run by the Bears gave them a 26-16 lead with 7:49 to play before the half. Back-to-back 3s by Gibbs and Abreu cut the UNH deficit to four 1:14 later, but Brown scored five straight to increase its lead back to nine with 3:32 left. Both teams traded buckets before Gibbs closed the first-half scoring with a 3-pointer that cut Brown’s lead to 33-27.
Freshman forward Brian Benson (Rochester, N.Y.) played a career-high 23 minutes, recording two points and an assist, but playing great defensively with four rebounds, two blocks and two steals. Freshman guard Russell Graham (Norristown, Pa.) started his second straight game at the point guard spot and gave UNH some good minutes, tallying two points, two rebounds, three assists and a steal.
The Wildcats, who outrebounded a big, physical Brown team, 36-24, shot 40 percent (23-57) from the floor, including 41 percent (14-34) from behind the arc. Brown shot 49 percent (21-43) from the field and 39 percent (5-13) from long range.
Mullery led the Bears with 15 points, while Scott Friske and Sullivan recorded 14 and 12 points, respectively.
The Wildcats return to action Tuesday, Dec. 9 at 7 p.m. when they take on the University of Rhode Island in their first of three straight on the road.