Men's Basketball Falls to Holy Cross in 62-57 Thriller

WORCESTER, Mass. – Sophomore forward Patrick Konan (Gainesville, Fla.) posted a season-high 13 points and a career-best 11 rebounds, earning his first career double-double, but the University of New Hampshire men's basketball team fell to the College of the Holy Cross, 62-57, on Saturday evening at Hart Recreation Center.

The loss drops UNH to 2-3 on the young season while Holy Cross snaps a two-game skid, improving to 3-5.

Konan, who was tabbed the America East Player of the Game for New Hampshire, finished the contest 4-for-10 from the field, including 2-for-5 from deep and 3-for-3 from the charity stripe in the contest.

Chris Matagrano (Sayreville, N.J.) and Chandler Rhoads (Berryville, Va.) also scored in double-digits for the 'Cats, registering 11 and 10 points, respectively. Matagrano tied career highs in both points and rebounds (7) while also adding a block and a steal. Rhoads chipped in with four boards and three helpers.

Devin Brown led three Crusaders that scored in double-figures, notching 15 points and three rebounds. R.J. Evans and Justin Burrell rounded out the double-digit scorers for the home team with 14 and 13 points, respectively.

The first 9:35 of the action featured four ties and seven lead changes until the Crusaders took control inside the five-minute mark with a 7-2 run to close out the half with a 27-23 advantage. Brown fueled the offensive spark for the home team, scoring five of his eight first half points on the run, netting a layup that set off the stretch while also registering a trifecta.

Holy Cross picked up right where it left off at the start of the second frame, putting together an 8-4 run to kick off the action. Evans iced the run, netting layups on back-to-back possessions, helping the Crusaders build their lead to its highest margin to that point with a 35-27 edge at 17:01.

New Hampshire battled back with a 12-3 scoring stretch, as Matagrano put the Wildcats on his back with eight points on the run to take back the lead, 39-38, with 11:41 remaining in regulation. Brian Benson (Rochester, N.Y.) and Rhoads opened the stretch with a layup and a pair of free throws, respectively. However, it was Matagrano that stole the show, scoring on four-straight possessions, capping off his offensive showcase with a 15-foot jumper from the right wing that reclaimed the lead for UNH.

Evans took back the lead for the Crusaders on a layup about minute later and the Crusaders were off and running from that point, piecing together a 10-2 scoring run. Brown capped off the offensive outbreak, sinking a 3-pointer at 5:42 to push the home team ahead, 47-42.

UNH halted a string of four unanswered points by the Crusaders on the ensuing possession when Rhoads dished a pass to Konan under the basket for a layup that set off an 8-4 scoring stretch for the Wildcats.

Despite the brief offensive outburst, the 'Cats were unable to take back the lead the rest of the way and the Crusaders notched nine unanswered points en route to posting their highest lead of the contest, 60-50, with 38 seconds remaining.

The Wildcats are back in action as they continue their road stretch with a matchup against Brown University on Wednesday, Dec. 7 (7:30 p.m.) at Pizzitola Sports Center.

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