DURHAM, N.H. – Senior Dane DiLiegro (Lexington, Mass.) recorded his 10th career double-double with 23 points and 12 rebounds, and netted the go-ahead basket with 2.8 seconds on the clock as the University of New Hampshire men's basketball team pulled out a 70-66 victory against Brown University on Saturday afternoon at Lundholm Gymnasium.
The Wildcats improve to 3-0 at home and are now 4-1 overall for the first time since 2004-05. The 'Cats have won four straight at Lundholm and are 15-4 (.789) in their last 19 games there dating back to 2007-08. The Bears fall to 3-2 on the season.
DiLiegro, the America East Player of the Game, was very efficient en route to game highs in both points and rebounds, as he was 8-for-10 from the field and 7 of 8 at the foul line in 34 minutes. Classmate Tyrone Conley (Burlington, Vt.) poured in 19 points on 5 of 8 shooting from the floor and 8 of 9 at the stripe. The co-captain also tallied three assists, two blocks and a career-high five steals in 39 minutes. Sophomore Ferg Myrick (Philadelphia, Pa.) extended his double-digit scoring streak to six games with 12 points in a career-high 36 minutes.
Peter Sullivan led Brown with 20 points, eight boards, two assists and four steals.
With his team trailing 62-61 with 1:17 to play, DiLiegro backed his defender down, spun baseline and put up a shot from under the backboard that hit high off the glass and bounced in to give the Wildcats a one-point lead.
UNH led 66-64 with 8.1 seconds to play when a pair of Tucker Halpern free throws knotted the game. Sophomore Chandler Rhoads (Berryville, Va.) received the inbounds pass and immediately pushed the ball up the left side of the floor, going coast-to-coast before dropping a pass to DiLiegro, who was all alone on the right block. DiLiegro easily layed the ball in off the glass to give his team a 68-66 lead with 2.9 ticks on the clock.
The ensuing inbounds pass was intercepted at half court by Conley, who was fouled and sunk both free throws with one second remaining to seal the win.
Rhoads added six points and four rebounds, while handing out five assists to go along with zero turnovers.
After a pair of Halpern free throws opened the scoring 16 seconds into the contest, a 9-0 run gave the Wildcats a seven-point lead just three minutes in. A Halpern 3-pointer cut it to four before two DiLiegro buckets sandwiched a Conley trey to make it 16-5 with 14:14 to play.
The lead was 25-13 after a DeAndray Buckley (Romulus, Mich.) tip-in with 6:52 to go, but a 7-2 Brown run sliced the advantage to seven 2:26 later. After a Myrick layup, Sean McGonagill knocked down a 3-pointer to pull the Bears within 29-23, but consecutive hoops from freshman Jordon Bronner (Sleepy Hollow, N.Y.) and Myrick opened the lead back up to 10 with 2:07 remaining. Bronner then answered Sullivan's 3-pointer with a trey of his own as time expired and UNH went into the locker room leading 36-26. Bronner finished with a season-best six points and two assists.
The Wildcat lead edged to 40-29 just 2:05 into the second half, but seven straight points from the Bears cut their deficit to four at 15:47. Just 30 seconds later, the 'Cats stopped the bleeding when Rhoads collected a long rebound, pushed the ball up the left side of the floor and found a streaking Conley for an alley-oop dunk that re-charged the Lundholm crowd.
The margin was at five (53-48) with 7:01 left when Halpern's three-point play brought Brown to within a pair. A Rhoads jumper pushed the lead back to four a minute later, but a Halpern 3 sliced the Bears' deficit to 55-54 with 5:34 remaining. Conley answered with his own three-point play, but two pairs of free throws tied the game at 58-all with 3:03 on the clock.
The two teams traded buckets and after Myrick hit 1 of 2 at the line, McGonagill sunk both of his freebies to put Brown in front, 62-61, with 1:39 to play and set up the dramatic finish.
Both teams shot well, with UNH shooting 42.6 percent (23-54), while Brown hit on 42.2 percent (19-45). The Bears shot a blistering 42.1 percent (8-19) from downtown against a Wildcat defense that led the conference in 3-point field goal defense (.171) coming into the game. Brown was 20 of 22 (.909) at the line, while the 'Cats were a season-best 77.8 percent (21-27) from the stripe. The Wildcats held a 33-29 edge on the boards, including 13-7 at the offensive end. They also forced 17 turnovers, while turning it over 12 times themselves.
The Wildcats return to action Tuesday, Nov. 30 (7:30 p.m.) when they take on the University of Connecticut (5-0) at Gampel Pavilion.