Men's basketball pulls out 53-50 triumph over Dartmouth

DURHAM, N.H. – Senior guard Alvin Abreu (Lynn, Mass.) scored a season-high 21 points to lead the University of New Hampshire men's basketball team to a 53-50 win over intrastate rival Dartmouth in non-conference action at Lundholm Gymnasium on Wednesday night.

The victory improves the Wildcats' record to 2-2 on the season, while the Big Green fall to 2-5. UNH has now won four straight, six of the last seven and 10 of the last 13 meetings in the annual rivalry matchup of the Granite State's two Division I basketball programs.

Abreu was tabbed the America East Player of the Game, finishing the contest 7-for-13 from the floor and 2-for-3 from beyond the arc. He also pulled in three boards, dished out two assists and collected a steal. Brian Benson (Rochester, N.Y.) chipped in with nine points and nine rebounds.

Gabas Maldunas led the Big Green with 13 points, four boards, one assist and one block.

UNH shot 52 percent (13-for-25) in the opening half to seize a 35-26 advantage. There were six lead changes in the first five minutes of the game, but the Wildcats took command courtesy of a 14-4 run midway through the half that opened up a 29-19 lead with six minutes remaining. Patrick Konan (Gainesville, Fla.) drained a three, drove the lane for layup and buried a free throw during the stretch, while Abreu hit a pair of buckets during the run. Abreu scored 10 first-half points on 4-of-8 shooting.

Dartmouth came out of the intermission by scoring the first seven points, narrowing the gap to 35-33. New Hampshire retaliated with an 8-0 run, buoyed by six Abreu points, to open up a 45-35 lead with 14:18 left.

The Big Green stormed back to grab its first lead of the half, 50-49, with 3:30 to go on a layup from Maldunas, who was on the receiving end of a pick-and-roll feed from Jvonte Brooks underneath the basket.

However, the Wildcats kept the Big Green at bay the rest of the way, posting four unanswered points to reclaim the lead and the secure the victory. UNH's lone field goal during the stretch came when Chandler Rhoads (Berryville, Va.) poked the ball loose and sent it up the floor to Jordon Bronner (Sleepy Hollow, N.Y.) who finished off the play with a layup to put the Wildcats up 52-50 with 1:18 remaining in regulation.

New Hampshire was able to shut down Dartmouth on the ensuing two possessions, forcing turnovers on both occasions. With a chance to put the game away for good, Abreu was fouled and sent to the line with four seconds remaining, knocking down the second of two attempts from the stripe to push the lead to three.

After a change of possession Dartmouth nearly sent the game into overtime, darting the ball up the floor, but Mack McKearney's 3-pointer from the left wing rimmed out and the buzzer sounded.

The Wildcats begin a three-game road trip with a non-conference matchup at Holy Cross on Saturday, Dec. 3 at 7 p.m. UNH will next play a home game Saturday, Dec. 17 at 1 p.m. against Marist. For tickets, CLICK HERE or call (603) 862-4000, extension 5.

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