UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. – Senior guards Tyrece Gibbs (Brockton, Mass.) and Eric Gilchrese (Springfield, Ill.) scored 14 and 13 points, respectively, but the University of New Hampshire men’s basketball team dropped Sunday afternoon’s 70-50 decision to Big Ten foe Penn State University at the Jordan Bryce Center.
The Wildcats fall to 1-2 on the season, while the Nittany Lions remain perfect at 4-0.
Gibbs, the America East Player of the Game, tallied four rebounds, four assists, a block and a steal, while Gilchrese added three rebounds, an assist and a steal.
UNH started out soundly, using a pair of Dane DiLiegro (Lexington, Mass.) layups and solid defense to take a 4-0 lead until Penn State’s first bucket 2:45 into the game. The Wildcats followed with an 11-1 run, highlighted by 3-pointers from Gilchrese and Gibbs, to take a 15-7 lead with 12:41 remaining in the first half.
An 8-2 Penn State run, with seven of those points coming from Jamelle Cornley, cut UNH’s lead to just two, but a Gibbs trey – one of his four on the day – gave the Wildcats some breathing room at 20-15 with 8:33 to go in the opening frame. The Nittany Lions came back with an 11-4 run, sparked by a jumper from Talor Battle, who had seven points during the run, to grab a 26-24 lead with just under five minutes left.
It was another Gibbs 3, however, that put the Wildcats back in front with 4:45 to play in the half. That was the final lead for UNH, however, as a 10-2 Penn State run, with five more points from Battle, gave the Nittany Lions a 36-29 lead at the break.
Penn State opened the second half with a three-point play from Stanley Pringle and a jumper by David Jackson to go on top 41-29 just 55 seconds in. A pair of Gilchrese 3s cut UNH’s deficit to 42-35 3:20 into the second half, but that was as close as the Wildcats would get the rest of the way. An 11-0 run, featuring six Battle points, gave the Nittany Lions a 53-35 advantage with 12:41 to go in the game before Gibbs stopped the bleeding with his final trifecta. A 14-6 run gave PSU its largest lead of the game at 70-46 with 1:59 left before UNH netted the final four points of the contest to close the scoring.
Sophomore guard Tyrone Conley (Burlington, Vt.) chipped in with seven points, three rebounds and an assist, while junior forward Abby Kabba (Oklahoma City, Okla.) pulled down seven boards in a season-high 26 minutes for the Wildcats.
Battle led the way for Penn State, netting 24 points to go along with eight rebounds, three assists and a pair of steals. Cornley added 17 points, eight boards and three assists, while Pringle chipped in with 10 points, four rebounds, two assists and two steals.
The Wildcats took care of the ball in the second half, turning it over just twice after PSU forced 10 turnovers in the first half. UNH shot 33 percent (18-55) from the field in the game, while the Nittany Lions were 49 percent from the floor (25-51).
The ‘Cats return to action Saturday, Nov. 29 when they play the middle game of their three-game road trip, taking on Marist College at 7:30 p.m.