DURHAM, N.H. – Patrick Konan (Gainesville, Fla.) scored 16 points and connected on four of the University of New Hampshire's season-high 12 three-point field goals, but the Wildcats fell to the University of Maine, 80-69, in America East men's basketball action at Lundholm Gymnasium on Wednesday night.
Maine snapped a five-game skid to improve to 9-10, 3-5 in America East, while UNH dropped to 7-12, 2-6 AE with the loss.
Konan rounded out his night with six boards, three steals, one assist and one block. Brian Benson (Rochester, N.Y.) chipped in with 15 points, seven rebounds, two blocks and one steal.
Gerald McLemore was named player of the game for Maine, finishing with a game-high 25 points while adding four boards, one assist and one steal to his line. Alasdair Fraser registered 22 points, 10 rebounds, two assists and two blocks. Justin Edwards added 14 points, 10 rebounds and three helpers.
The tightly-contested first half featured six ties and 10 lead changes before Maine's Raheem Singleton hit back-to-back field goals, one with less than a second remaining on the shot clock and the other with a second remaining on the game clock to lift the Black Bears to a 37-34 halftime advantage.
Maine kept the 'Cats at bay at the start of the second frame, dropping in a trio of layups, with Edwards notching a basket sandwiched between a pair of Fraser field goals. The six unanswered points gave the Black Bears their largest lead to that point, 43-34, with 17:47 remaining in regulation.
The Wildcats struck back rattling off seven unanswered points on their way to posting a 9-2 run that cut the deficit to just two points, scoring three of their four field goals inside the paint on the run. Four different 'Cats chipped in with points during the stretch, as Chris Matagrano (Sayreville, N.J.) capped it off with a midrange jumper to set the score at 45-43 with 15:32 on the clock.
Edwards knocked down a trey on the ensuing possession, but Ferg Myrick (Philadelphia, Pa.) banged in a three of his own on the next trip up the floor to keep the deficit at two. However, Edwards pushed the lead back to five after earning three points the old-fashioned-way, putting Maine ahead 51-46 at 14:30.
New Hampshire battled back by outscoring Maine 10-6 over the course of the next 2:09, as Konan cut the deficit to one on a 3-pointer, 57-56, with 12:21 remaining in regulation. The Black Bears quickly responded, as Xavier Pollard and McLemore dropped in layups to push the lead back to five.
Jordon Bronner (Sleepy Hollow, N.Y.) stopped the bleeding sinking a trey from the top of the key and Rhoads canned a jumper moments later, knotting the score at 61-61 with 9:13 remaining.
That would be as close as UNH would come to taking back the lead the rest of the way, as the Black Bears strung together an 8-3 run on their way to outscoring the Wildcats 17-10 the rest of the way to hold onto the victory.
UNH hits the road to challenge Vermont at Patrick Gymnasium on Sunday at 12 p.m. before returning to Lundholm Gymnasium to tangle with Hartford on Wednesday, Feb. 1, at 7 p.m. For tickets, visit www.unhwildcats.com or call (603) 862-4000, extension 5.