ORONO, Maine - Junior Tyrone Conley (Burlington, Vt.) scored 13 points as the University of New Hampshire men's basketball team was defeated by the University of Maine, 56-42, on Monday evening at Alfond Arena.
The Wildcats fall to 6-10 on the season, including 1-4 in America East play, while the Black Bears improve to 11-6 overall and 3-1 in the conference.
Conley was 4-for-10 from the field, including 4-for-7 from behind the arc. Sophomore Russell Graham (Norristown, Pa.), UNH's America East Player of the Game, added six points, eight rebounds and seven assists, and did not turn the ball over a single time in 27 minutes.
Sean McNally, Maine's America East Player of the Game, led the Black Bears with 13 points, eight rebounds and four assists.
The Wildcats trailed 4-1 to start the contest when a pair of baskets by freshman Ferg Myrick (Philadelphia, Pa.), sandwhiched around a 3-pointer from Gerald McLemore, brought them to within 7-5 with 13:32 to play in the opening half. A 6-0 Maine run, however, opened the lead up to eight midway through the half before freshman Chandler Rhoads (Berryville, Va.) canned a 3 to stop the spurt at 18:48.
Terrance Mitchell answered with a 3 of his own and McNally drained a pair of free throws - he finished the night 9 of 10 at the stripe - to give Maine an 18-8 lead with 5:51 remaining. A jumper from Graham and a trey from junior James Valladares (Kaufman, Texas) quickly cut the Wildcat deficit back to five, but Maine returned the favor by scoring the final five points of the half and took a 23-13 lead into the break.
Conley opened the second stanza by draining a 3 before the teams traded baskets the next two times down the floor. Conley then knocked down another 3-pointer to pull UNH to within 27-23 at 16:05. Maine went up eight before a 9-1 Wildcat run - sparked by a layup from junior Dane DiLiegro (Lexington, Mass.) - sliced the Black Bears' lead to 33-32 with 10:29 left.
Maine scored four straight before Conley sank another 3 to cut it back to two. The Wildcats would never get closer, however, as the Black Bears scored seven straight to widen their advantage to 44-35 at 4:51. After a pair of Graham free throws, a three-point play from Mitchell made the lead an even 10 at 47-37. Conley hit his final 3 to cut it to seven, but Maine closed the game on a 9-2 run to seal the win.
Mitchell added 10 points and six boards for the Black Bears.
Maine outshot the Wildcats, 35.4 percent (17-48) to 27.8 percent (15-54), outscored them 24-6 in the paint and outrebounded them 45-35. Both teams turned the ball over 13 times.
The Wildcats return to action Thursday, Jan. 21 at 7 p.m. when they take on the University of Maryland, Baltimore County at RAC Arena.