HANOVER, N.H. – Sophomore guard Tyrone Conley (Burlington, Vt.) and senior guard Tyrece Gibbs (Brockton, Mass.) scored 17 and 15 points, respectively, to lead the University of New Hampshire men’s basketball team to a 68-59 road win against intrastate rival Dartmouth College on Saturday night at Leede Arena in the team’s non-conference finale. The win is the 275th career victory for head coach Bill Herrion.
The Wildcats, who have won four of their past five games, improve to 7-8 on the season as they beat Dartmouth for the seventh time in the past 10 meetings. UNH moves to 6-1 when holding its opponents to 60 or less and has not allowed more than 59 in any of its past four wins. The Big Green fall to 2-13.
Conley, who was 6 of 10 from the floor, knocked down a career-high five 3-pointers and added three rebounds. Gibbs was also 6 of 10 from the field to go along with two rebounds and a block.
Tied at four to start the game, the Wildcats went on a 10-4 run – sparked and capped by Conley treys – to take a 14-8 lead midway through the opening half. Dartmouth came back with an 8-3 run to cut its deficit to one, but UNH struck back and scored seven straight points to open up a 24-16 lead with 3:26 to play before the half.
Dartmouth sliced the Wildcat lead to three with five consecutive points from Alex Barnett, but another Conley trifecta as time expired gave the ‘Cats a 29-23 lead as the teams headed into the break. UNH is now a perfect 5-0 when leading at the half. Gibbs netted 11 points in the half, while Conley added nine.
A jumper by Conley, the America East Player of the Game, to start the second half sparked an 8-0 run that put the Wildcats ahead 37-23 with 17:32 remaining. Five straight Dartmouth points cut its deficit to nine, but a 3-pointer by sophomore guard Alvin Abreu (Lynn, Mass.) ended the run and bumped the Wildcat lead back to 40-28 with 16:16 left. Abreu was the third ‘Cat in double digits with 13 points, four rebounds, two assists, two blocks and two steals.
The two teams went back and forth until consecutive buckets by Gibbs gave UNH its largest lead of the game at 54-39 with 8:32 to go. Dartmouth would not go away, however, crafting an 8-2 run to get back within nine with 4:16 left. A jumper by junior forward Radar Onguetou (Yaounde, Cameroon) put UNH back up 11 and the Wildcats went 10-for-12 from the line in the final 2:18 – including 5 of 6 from freshman guard Russell Graham (Norristown, Pa.), who tallied seven points, three rebounds, two assists and a steal in the contest – to close out the win. Onguetou posted eight points and five boards.
Sophomore center Dane DiLiegro (Lexington, Mass.) recorded seven points and 13 rebounds – the second highest total of his career – and filled the rest of the stat line with an assist, a block and a steal.
The Wildcats were outshot 39 percent (19-49) to 36 percent (21-59) from the field, but were 44 percent (8-18) from beyond the arc as compared to 33 percent (3-9) by Dartmouth.
Gibbs finished the game with 1,092 points and moved past Mike Christensen (1,087) for 17th place on UNH’s all-time scoring list.
Dartmouth was led by Barnett with 16 points and Marlon Sanders with 14.
The Wildcats return to action Monday, Jan. 19 at 7 p.m. when they head further north to continue conference play and take on the University of Maine.