POUGHKEEPSIE, N.Y. – Sophomore guard Alvin Abreu (Lynn, Mass.) scored a season-high 22 points, but the University of New Hampshire men’s basketball team had its come-back attempt come up short against Marist College, falling 63-61 Saturday night at the McCann Center.
The Wildcats drop to 1-3 on the season, while the Red Foxes improve to 2-3.
Trailing 60-56 with 40 seconds remaining in the game, UNH cut its deficit in half with a pair of Abreu free throws. The Wildcats fouled with 12 seconds left, sending Ryan Schneider to the line where he would hit both to put Marist back up by four, 62-58. Abreu then drilled a 3-pointer with four seconds on the clock to pull UNH within one. The Wildcats again sent Schneider to the line where he hit one of two to put Marist on top 63-61 with three ticks left on the clock. The ‘Cats had one final shot, but a last-second, half-court heave by freshman guard Russell Graham (Norristown, Pa.) hit the backboard and ricocheted off the rim as time expired.
Abreu’s 22 points, which came off 7 of 14 shooting, were one shy of his career high. Abreu, the America East Player of the Game, netted 17 in the second half alone and was 6-for-7 at the line down the stretch.
A David Devezin layup with 12:21 to go in the second half gave Marist its largest lead of the game at 54-35. UNH would chip away, however, going on a 17-2 run to pull within 56-52 with 4:24 to play. The Wildcats used eight points from Abreu and six from sophomore center Dane DiLiegro (Lexington, Mass.) during that span, but it was the Wildcat defense that helped power the run as it held Marist without a field goal for 8:51. DiLiegro finished with eight points and a season-high nine rebounds.
An Eric Gilchrese (Springfield, Ill.) trey at 18:06 in the first half put UNH on the board first for the fourth time in as many games. An 11-2 Marist run, however, put the Red Foxes in front for good at 11-5 with 13:39 to go in the first. The rest of the frame was back and forth, with UNH pulling to within 12-10 midway through the half before Marist went on top 21-13 with 6:14 to play. MC led, 33-22, with 53 seconds left, but a pair of free throws by junior forward Radar Onguetou (Yaounde, Cameroon) and a buzzer-beating 3-pointer by junior guard Colbey Santos (Onset, Mass.) cut the Marist lead to 33-27 at the break. Sophomore guard Tyrone Conley (Burlington, Vt.) scored seven of his nine points in the first half for UNH, while Lawrence Williams led Marist with 11 in the opening stanza.
A Conley layup 1:04 into the second half cut UNH’s deficit to just four. Marist, however, used a 12-2 run to take a 45-31 advantage with 15:39 to play and later scored six straight points to go up 19 with 12:21 left before withstanding the Wildcat surge to nail down the win.
Devezin led Marist with 19 points, while Williams tallied 15 points and eight rebounds and Schneider recorded eight points and 12 boards.
UNH won the turnover battle, forcing 21 Marist turnovers while only giving the ball away 10 times. The Wildcats were outshot, however, 52 percent (22-42) to 34 percent (21-61).
The Wildcats return to action Tuesday, Dec.3 when they wrap up their three-game road trip with a 7 p.m. tilt at Colgate.