DURHAM, N.H. – Sophomore guard Tyrone Conley (Burlington, Vt.) scored a season-high 21 points, however, it was not enough as the University of New Hampshire men’s basketball team fell to Harvard University, 80-69, Wednesday evening at Lundholm Gymnasium.
The loss evens the Wildcats' record at 1-1 on the young season, while the Crimson win their season-opener to earn their fourth straight win in the all-time series between the two teams.
Conley, the America East Player of Game, netted his 21 points on 7 of 12 shooting, including four 3-pointers that helped keep the ‘Cats within striking distance. Conley, who also added two rebounds, two steals and an assist, tied his career high with the four treys, while his 21 points were one off a personal best.
After what was mostly a back-and-forth battle between both squads in the first half of the opening period, the Wildcats, who trailed 48-33 at the break, opened up the second half on a 7-0 run and outscored the Crimson, 17-11, in the first seven minutes of the stanza. That run would get the Wildcats to within seven points as a Conley jumper cut the score to 60-53 with 12:32 remaining.
Despite the run, that would be as close as the Wildcats could get to capturing the lead in the half as a pair of Drew Housman free throws sparked a 19-13 Harvard run to close out the game.
The Wildcats, who shot 40 percent (25-62) from the floor in the game, held the early edge in the contest as they opened up the game leading 7-4. However, that lead would not hold long as the Crimson would go on an 8-0 run, sparked by a Jeremy Lin jumper, to push the lead to 18-9 in favor of the Crimson with 13:13 left in the first half.
New Hampshire would climb back into the contest midway through the period as a Rony Tchatchoua (Douala, Cameroon) layup cut the Harvard lead down to just four points. The Crimson would catch fire once again, however, as they would roll on with a 12-2 run capped off by a pair of Max Kenyi free throws in the closing minutes of the half.
Senior guard Tyrece Gibbs (Brockton, Mass.) and sophomore guard Alvin Abreu (Lynn, Mass.) added 12 and 10 points, respectively. For Gibbs, the 12 points mark his sixth straight game scoring in double figures, which matches a career high. Tchatchoua, a sophomore forward, also added nine points and six rebounds. Senior guard Eric Gilchrese (Springfield, Ill.) tallied seven points, two rebounds and four assists, while sophomore center Dane DiLiegro (Lexington, Mass.) pulled down eight rebounds despite battling flu-like symptoms.
The Crimson, who shot 61 percent (27-44) from the field, had three players in double-figures with Kenyi leading the way with 17 and Lin and Keith Wright also adding 15 points apiece.
UNH only turned the ball over 10 times, compared to Harvard’s 13, and were much improved at the line from its previous contest as they shot 60 percent (9-13) from the stripe.
The Wildcats return to action Sunday, Nov. 23 at 2 p.m. when they hit the road to take on Big Ten foe Penn State at the Bryce Jordan Center.