MEN'S HOOP EDGED IN FINAL MINUTES BY BOSTON U., 60-56
DURHAM, N.H. - Junior Dane DiLiegro (Lexington, Mass.) recorded 20 points and 16 rebounds, but the University of New Hampshire men's basketball team suffered a 60-56 defeat against Boston University in the team's America East opener Thursday night at Lundholm Gymnasium.
The Wildcats' first home loss of the season drops them to 5-7 (0-1 AE) on the year and snaps their eight-game home winning streak, which was the second longest in program history since the 1960-61 season. The Terriers improve to 6-8 overall and even their record in the conference at 1-1.
DiLiegro, who was one rebound shy of matching his career high, posted his second double-double of the season and seventh of his career. UNH's America East Player of the Game, DiLiegro was 7-for-15 from the field and sank all six of his free throws.
Corey Lowe, the Terriers' America East Player of the Game, poured in a game-high 28 points on 12 of 23 shooting.
After erasing a 10-point deficit, the Wildcats held a 48-47 lead with 5:33 to play in the game when Lowe drilled one of his three treys to help Boston U. reclaim the advantage. DiLiegro knocked down a pair of free throws to tie the game before Jake O'Brien and freshman Ferg Myrick (Philadelphia, Pa.) traded baskets to keep the game knotted at 52 with 4:38 remaining.
After a silent 1:30 stretch, the Terriers received a pair of free throws from Carlos Strong before a Lowe layup at 1:51 put BU on top 56-52. DiLiegro answered with a basket inside only 13 seconds later and after the Wildcats got the ball back with 38 seconds on the clock, they had a chance to tie the game or take the lead. As sophomore Russell Graham (Norristown, Pa.) pushed the ball up the court, however, he appeared to be bumped and lost the ball while no foul was called. John Holland picked up the loose ball and drove to the hoop, was fouled and sent to the stripe where he made 1 of 2 to make it 57-54 with 28 seconds left.
Lowe hit a layup with 13 seconds to go as Boston U. opened up a five-point lead before Graham drove the lane, drew the foul and made both at the line to cut UNH's deficit to three at 59-56. Graham then came up with a steal with nine seconds remaining and looked to the wing where he hit junior Alvin Abreu (Lynn, Mass.), whose 3-pointer did not fall. The Wildcats fouled O'Brien, who made 1 of 2 at the line with one second on the clock to seal the game.
Graham chipped in with nine points, five assists and four rebounds, while Abreu also added nine points to go along with a pair of assists. Myrick played one of his best games of the season with four points, eight rebounds - five on the offensive end - and a block in 15 minutes.
The Terriers opened the game on a 14-5 run and took a 21-11 lead 11:00 minutes in on a jumper by Lowe. Back-to-back baskets by DiLiegro and a free throw from junior Tyrone Conley (Burlington, Vt.) cut it to five before a 3 from Lowe and a jumper by Strong pushed BU's lead right back to 10 at 4:05. An 8-1 UNH run - with 3s from Conley and Abreu - however, sliced it to 27-24 with 1:54 to play. Lowe responded with a layup before senior Radar Onguetou (Yaounde, Cameroon) made 1 of 2 from the stripe to close the scoring with 31 seconds left and send his team into the break trailing 29-25.
Lowe had 15 points at the half.
After DiLiegro opened the second half with a layup, Holland scored four straight points to make it 33-27 at 17:01. The Wildcats crafted an 8-0 run with buckets from Abreu, DiLiegro and a pair from Onguetou to grab their first lead of the night at 35-33 with 14:45 remaining. The two teams went back and forth with Lowe hitting a jumper at 11:15 to give BU a 38-37 lead. Consecutive 3-pointers from Graham and Abreu, however, gave UNH its largest lead of the night at 43-38.
Holland and Lowe sank jumpers as part of a 5-1 run that sliced the Terriers' deficit to 44-43 at 8:13. DiLiegro and Lowe then traded baskets before a pair of DiLiegro free throws and a Strong jumper made the score 48-47 in favor of the home team, and set up Lowe's 3 that would make that UNH's final lead of the night.
Conley chipped in with eight points and two steals, while Onguetou tallied six points, eight boards, an assist and a block.
Holland recorded 13 points and nine rebounds for the Terriers and Strong added 11 points and five boards.
UNH outrebounded the Terriers, 43-39, and forced 15 turnovers while giving it away 13 times. BU outshot the Wildcats, however, 40.7 percent (22-54) to 29.2 percent (19-65).
The Wildcats return to action Sunday, Jan. 10 at 2 p.m. when they travel to take on Stony Brook University in a rematch of last season's America East quarterfinal matchup.