BOSTON – Freshman Scott Morris (Walkersville, Md.) scored a career-high 14 points, matching senior Tyrone Conley (Burlington, Vt.) for team-high honors, but the University of New Hampshire men's basketball team dropped a 61-54 decision at Boston University on Tuesday night in America East conference action at Case Gymnasium.
The Wildcats drop to 6-8 on the season and 0-2 in America East play, while the Terriers improve to 6-10, 1-1 in league play.
Morris went 5 of 13 from the field, including 4 of 11 from 3-point land, while Conley buried six of his 12 field goal attempts, draining two 3s in five tries. UNH's America East Player of the Game, Conley tallied six rebounds, four assists, two blocks and two steals in 37 minutes of action.
Holland led the Terriers with 20 points on 7 of 20 shooting to go along with five rebounds. Patrick Hazel earned America East Player of the Game honors for BU with eight points, 10 boards, six blocks and two assists.
After falling behind 8-0 out of the gate, UNH went on an early 13-2 run to take a 13-10 lead with 12:54 remaining in the first half. Conley sparked the stretch by connecting on a pair of 3-point field goals, while Morris capped the string with a steal and breakaway layup.
The opening half featured two ties and the teams exchanged the lead seven times. The Wildcats led by as many as four, 26-22, courtesy of a steal and transition layup from sophomore Ferg Myrick (Philadelphia, Pa.) with a shade over three minutes to go before settling on a 26-23 lead at the intermission. Conley went into the locker room with 10 points on 4 of 6 shooting, including a perfect 2 of 2 from beyond the arc. Morris chipped in with five points and junior Brian Benson (Rochester, N.Y.) put up four points and four rebounds in the stanza. The Wildcats fell to 5-2 when leading at halftime.
Benson finished the night with four points and a team-leading eight rebounds, while Myrick recorded eight points and five boards.
New Hampshire extended its lead to eight points early in the second half, 31-23, when Myrick knocked down a 3 and senior Dane DiLiegro (Lexington, Mass.) scored from the inside. DiLiegro was 4-for-5 for nine points and also hauled in seven rebounds.
BU, which went nearly 11 minutes without a field goal, awakened when Holland hit back-to-back 3-pointers, trimming UNH's lead to 31-29 with 16:29 remaining. The lead disappeared shortly thereafter when the Terriers continued to piece together a 19-4 run and eventually opened up a 42-35 lead with 10:36 remaining. Boston U. went ahead for good on a Darryl Partin layup that made it 36-35 with 12:38 to play.
Myrick stopped the bleeding with a three-point play that cut the deficit to four at 10:16, but consecutive baskets from Mike Terry Jr. and Travis Robinson pushed the lead to eight, 46-38, with 9:02 left. The Wildcats climbed within five at 48-43 on a 3-pointer from sophomore Chandler Rhoads (Berryville, Va.) at the 6:10 mark, but a bucket from Holland and a Matt Griffin trey gave the Terriers their largest lead of the game at 53-43 with 5:07 remaining.
Morris cut it to seven on a 3-pointer with 4:33 left, but the Terriers pushed it back to 10 on a pair of Holland free throws at 1:58. A Conley tip-in and a Morris 3 sandwiched a Griffin free throw to make it 57-51 with just under a minute left. After D.J. Irving sunk a pair at the line, Morris knocked down his final trifecta with 33 seconds left to bring his team within 59-54. Partin closed the scoring with a pair of free throws.
BU outshot UNH, 43 percent (22-51) to 33 percent (21-63), including 35 percent (6-17) to 28 percent (8-29) from behind the arc. The Wildcats knocked down four of their five free throws, while the Terriers were 11 of 18 at the stripe. UNH won the battle on the glass, 39-36, while each team committed 13 turnovers.
UNH returns to action for its America East home opener Saturday, Jan. 8, against the Binghamton University. Opening tipoff is slated for 1 p.m. at Lundholm Gymnasium. For tickets, visit www.UNHWildcats.com or call (603) 862-4000 x5.