DURHAM, N.H. – Sophomore Ferg Myrick (Philadelphia, Pa.) recorded 13 points and seven rebounds, and senior Dane DiLiegro (Lexington, Mass.) recorded his third double-double of the season with 10 points and 10 rebounds, but the University of New Hampshire men's basketball team dropped a 71-63 decision to Army on Thursday evening at Lundholm Gymnasium.
The Wildcats fall to 5-3 on the season, including 3-1 at home after losing for just the fifth time in the last 20 games at Lundholm. The Black Knights improve to 5-4 overall, including 3-1 on the road.
DiLiegro, the America East Player of the Game, was 3-for-4 from the field and 4-for-6 at the line, in addition to matching his career high with three assists in just 23 minutes due to foul trouble.
Ella Ellis led Army with 21 points and 10 boards.
Leading 12-10 just over six minutes into the game, the Wildcats scored five straight, with a 3 from Myrick and a tip-in by freshman DeAndray Buckley (Romulus, Mich.) pushing the lead to seven with 10:39 to play. Army followed with a 9-0 run over the next 1:28, however, to take a 19-17 lead.
UNH followed with a 5-0 run, capped by a Myrick basket, that put the home team on top 22-19 with 6:18 to play in the opening half. Jeremy Hence and freshman Scott Morris (Walkersville, Md.) traded 3-pointers before four straight points from Chris Welker put Army up, 26-25, with just under four minutes left. Morris answered with another 3 to put the Wildcats back up by two, but Army went on a 7-2 to close the half and take a 33-30 lead into the locker room.
Julian Simmons opened the second-half scoring with a 3 that stretched the lead to six just 29 seconds in. Army still led by six, 51-45, when a 3-pointer by Ellis and a layup by Simmons opened it up to an 11-point game at 56-45 with 10:14 on the clock.
The Black Knights had nudged the lead to 12 at 62-50 with 5:35 to play when a three-point play by senior Tyrone Conley (Burlington, Vt.) ignited a 7-0 run that closed the gap to five with 3:25 remaining. DiLiegro closed the run with an offensive rebound putback and a pair of free throws.
Hence answered with a basket inside, but a three-point play from senior James Valladares (Kaufman, Texas) sliced the UNH deficit to 64-60 at 2:23. Simmons and sophomore Chandler Rhoads (Berryville, Va.) traded buckets on the following possession to keep it a four-point game with just under two minutes to go. With 56 seconds on the clock, Rhoads sunk 1 of 2 at the line to make it 66-63. From there, however, the Black Knights would hit 5 of 6 from the line to seal the win.
Conley finished with 12 points in 27 minutes, while Rhoads tallied 10 points and a career-high six assists in a career-best 32 minutes.
UNH won the battle on the glass, 36-34, and forced 18 turnovers while turning it over 14 times themselves, but were outshot 53 percent (24-45) to 37 percent (22-59) from the floor, including 47 percent (7-15) to 30 percent (7-23) from behind the arc.
The Wildcats return to action Saturday, Dec. 18 at 2 p.m. when they take on the University of Rhode Island at Ryan Center.