DURHAM, N.H. - Juniors Dane DiLiegro (Lexington, Mass.) and Alvin Abreu (Lynn, Mass.) each scored 13 points to lead five Wildcats in double figures as the University of New Hampshire men's basketball team defeated the University at Albany, 67-59, Wednesday night at Lundholm Gymnasium.
The Wildcats snap a three-game skid
to improve to 6-8 on the season, including 1-2 in America East
play. The ‘Cats also better their home record to 6-1 to match
their best start through seven games in Durham since the 1997-98
season. They are 9-1 in their last 10 at Lundholm. The Great Danes,
who lose to UNH for the fourth time in five meetings, including
three straight, fall to 5-13 overall and 0-3 in the conference.
UNH had five scorers with 10 or
more points in a game for the first time since Jan. 4, 2004 when
Craig Walls (14), Marcus Bullock (12), Blagoj Janev (11), Griffin
Walker (11) and Roland Williams (10) all scored in double digits at
home against Northeastern.
DiLiegro, UNH's America East Player
of the Game, pulled down a game-high 13 rebounds to record his
second double-double in the last three games, while Abreu added
three assists, two rebounds and two steals. Sophomore
Russell Graham (Norristown, Pa.) netted a
career-high 11 points to go along with six assists and five
rebounds. Senior Radar Onguetou (Yaounde,
Cameroon) posted 10 points and six boards and classmate
Colbey Santos (Onset, Mass.) also chipped in with
Will Harris, Albany's America East
Player of the Game, led the Great Danes with 20 points and 11
After a 15-0 Albany run that cut
UNH's lead to 50-48 with 4:23 remaining in the game, the Wildcats
stayed tough and widened their lead. DiLiegro stopped the bleeding
when he slipped free inside, took a feed from Abreu and hammered
the ball down with two hands to score the Wildcats' first points in
a span of 8:16. Santos then followed with a huge 3-pointer that
made it 55-48 with just under three minutes to go.
A pair of free throws cut it to
five before junior Tyrone Conley (Burlington, Vt.)
knocked down a 3 to make it 58-50 at 2:08. After Tim Ambrose made a
layup that cut UNH's lead to 59-54 with 1:06 left, Graham made a
pair at the line, but Logan Aronhalt drilled a 3-pointer to slice
it to four with 50 seconds on the clock. Graham then missed both at
the stripe, but Conley came up with a giant steal for his team.
Looking like a free safety, Conley went up and snatched Ambrose's
long pass with one hand before he quickly got it to Graham, who
this time sank both at the stripe to give the Wildcats a 63-57 lead
with 41 seconds to play.
The Wildcats came up with another
steal, this time from Santos, who drew the foul and made both free
throws to push the lead to eight. Albany hit 1 of 2 at the line
when DiLiegro sank both to make it 67-58 with 17 seconds left.
Harris closed the scoring with a free throw at the seven-second
mark. UNH went 8-for-10 at the line in the final 1:03 of the
Conley finished with seven
UNH nearly led wire-to-wire, but
ended up leading for the final 35:44 of the contest. After starting
out in a 3-0 hole, Albany received back-to-back baskets from Harris
and Brent Gifford to take a one-point lead at 16:54. Abreu buried a
3-pointer to put UNH up two, but Mike Johnson came back with a
layup that tied it at six with 16:09 to play in the opening half.
Graham sparked an 8-0 run with a 3-pointer, however, giving the
Wildcats the lead for good. Junior James
Valladares (Kaufman, Texas) followed with another 3 before
Santos capped the run with a layup - taking a feed from freshman
Chandler Rhoads (Berryville, Va.), who finished
with three assists - to make it 14-6 at 12:24.
Albany responded with a 10-3 run -
the three UNH points coming on a beautiful three-point play from
Abreu - to slice the Wildcat lead to 17-16 at 8:28. Onguetou halted
the run with a 3-pointer to push the lead to four, before a driving
layup by Conley later made it 24-18 with 5:11 to play. After a
Harris 3-pointer cut it to two, however, Onguetou came back with
another 3, followed by an Abreu layup that opened the lead to 30-23
An Aronhalt layup got Albany to
within five as time was winding down, but Graham found an open
Abreu, who buried a 3-pointer with 13 seconds on the clock to close
the scoring and send his team into the locker room with a 34-26
lead. The Wildcats improved to 6-0 when leading at the half.
The Wildcats wasted no time
expanding their lead in the second half, ripping off an 8-0 run -
with six points from DiLiegro - to seize a 42-26 lead with 16:35
remaining. After another Harris trey cut it to 11, baskets by
Onguetou, Graham and Santos gave UNH its largest lead of the night
at 50-33 with 12:01 to play. From there, however, Albany would go
on their 15-0 run - with six points from Aronhalt and four from
Ambrose - to get right back in the game. The Wildcat defense held
strong, however, forcing the Great Danes to shoot 2-for-7 in the
final 4:23 after the big run.
Aronhalt and Ambrose each chipped
in with 12 and 10, respectively, for the Great Danes.
The Wildcats outshot Albany, 38.5
percent (20-52) to 36.4 percent (20-55). Albany held advantages on
the glass (37-36), in the paint (28-16) and in bench scoring
(29-13), while both teams turned the ball over just nine times. The
‘Cats, who own the league's top defense, improved to 6-2 when
holding their opponent under 60 points, and 5-1 when forcing their
opponent to shoot under 40 percent from the floor.
The Wildcats return to action Saturday, Jan. 16 at 4 p.m. when they travel to take on the University of Hartford at Chase Arena.