February 19, 2011

Men’s Basketball Comeback Falls Short at Marist 58-49

POUGHKEEPSIE, N.Y. Sophomore Chandler Rhoads (Berryville, Va.) and senior Tyrone Conley (Burlington, Vt.) combined for 31 points, but it was not enough as the University of New Hampshire men's basketball team dropped a 58-49 decision to Marist College in an ESPNU Sears BracketBusters matchup Saturday night at the McCann Center.

The Wildcats, who drop to 1-1 in BracketBusters contests, fall to 12-15 on the season, while the Red Foxes snap an 11-game losing skid to improve to 5-24.

Rhoads, the America East Player of the Game, scored 16 points on 6 of 13 shooting to go along with three assists and three rebounds in 35 minutes. Conley added 15 points on 6 of 17 shooting and tallied three assists, two rebounds and two steals in 39 minutes.

Dorvell Carter led Marist with 18 points, while Devin Price added 15 and five assists.

After the Wildcats jumped out to a 4-0 lead on baskets by Conley and Rhoads, Marist tied the game at six on a pair of 3-pointers by Carter and then proceeded to go on a 13-2 run that made it 19-8 midway through the opening half. A layup from freshman Jordon Bronner (Sleepy Hollow, N.Y.) stopped the bleeding, but the Red Foxes came back with six straight points to open the gap to 15 at 25-10 with 7:19 remaining.

A Carter layup gave Marist its largest lead of the half at 31-15 with 1:20 to play before a Rhoads free throw closed the scoring and sent the two teams into the locker room with the Red Foxes on top, 31-16.

Marist led 35-20 just 2:25 into the second half when the Wildcats went on a 7-0 run that featured a pair of Conley dunks – one off a steal at midcourt and the other coming via a Rhoads alley-oop. The Red Foxes answered back with a 10-2 run, however, that made it 45-29 midway through the half.

Conley answered with a trey that was part of a 4-0 spurt that cut it to 12, but Marist widened the gap to 16 at 54-38 with 3:18 remaining. A layup and 3-pointer from Rhoads sparked a 9-0 run that brought the Wildcats to within seven with 56 seconds on the clock, but Marist went 4-for-4 from the line on its next two possessions to seal it.

Senior Dane DiLiegro (Lexington, Mass.) posted nine points – all in the second half – eight boards, two blocks, an assist and a steal. Junior Brian Benson (Rochester, N.Y.) pulled down 10 rebounds and chipped in four points.

Marist outshot UNH, 40 percent (20-50) to 37 percent (20-54), including 46.7 percent (7-15) to 15 percent (3-20) from deep. The Red Foxes also held a 38-32 advantage on the glass. The Wildcats outscored Marist in the paint, 26-18, and turned the ball over just six times, while forcing eight turnovers.

Conley finished the night with 1,256 career points and moved past Matt Alosa (1,247) for eighth place on UNH's all-time scoring list. DiLiegro moved took over the second spot on UNH's all-time rebounding list with 834.

 The Wildcats return to action Tuesday, Feb. 22 at 7 p.m. when they play host to the University of Maine at Lundholm Gymnasium. The game will be aired live on Comcast SportsNet. For tickets, visit UNHWildcats.com or call (603) 862-4000, x 5.

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