BALTIMORE, Md. – Senior center Brian Benson (Rochester, N.Y.) and sophomore forward Patrick Konan (Gainesville, Fla.) both registered double-doubles to lead the University of New Hampshire men's basketball team past the University of Maryland Baltimore County, 66-60, on Sunday afternoon at the RAC Arena.
The win is the second in a row for New Hampshire, which improves to 10-14 overall and 5-8 in America East play. UMBC dips to 3-22 and 2-11 in league action, dropping its seventh straight decision.
Benson was tabbed the America East Player of the Game for UNH, posting a team-high 16 points to go along with 10 rebounds and two blocks. He shot 6-for-12 from the floor and 4-for-4 from the free throw line. It is his second straight game with a double-double. He has registered five double-doubles and 13 double-digit rebounding performances in his career.
Ryan Cook was named the player of the game for the Retrievers, finishing with 19 points and three rebounds in 26 minutes of action. He shot 6 of 12 from the field, 2 of 3 from beyond the arc and 5 of 6 from the charity stripe.
Konan earns his second double-double of his career, notching 15 points and 11 boards in 38 minutes. It is the third time in his career he has corralled 10-plus rebounds in a game.
Alvin Abreu (Lynn, Mass.) was the only other Wildcat to score in double-digits, posting 15 points while also notching four rebounds, two steals, one assist and one block. He has scored in double-figures in four straight games.
New Hampshire registered the first points of the contest when Ferg Myrick (Philadelphia. Pa.) drained a 3-pointer from the right wing, but UMBC held the Wildcats at bay for the next 3:02 while posting 11 unanswered points to jump out to an 11-3 advantage at 13:30.
The Wildcats would chip into the lead midway through the frame when Chandler Rhoads (Berryville, Va.) dropped in a layup and Jordon Bronner (Sleepy Hollow, N.Y.) sank a trifecta from the top of the key, setting the score at 18-15 with 8:45 remaining in the stanza.
Despite the offensive spurt, UMBC quickly picked up the pieces and posted an 8-0 run sparked by a Joey Getz 3-pointer. The Retrievers made a living at the free throw line during the stretch, as Chase Plummer (4-4) and Cook (1-2) combined to go 5 of 6 from the stripe in the 3:12 scoring run to give the home team its largest lead of the contest, 26-15, at 5:59.
Konan would help answer the call when he knocked down a 3-pointer, helping the Wildcats get back on track with nine unanswered points on a run that featured scoring from four different players to cut the score to 26-24 with 2:47 on the clock. Jake Wasco would score the final basket of the half, sending UMBC into the locker room with a 28-24 edge at the break.
The first 10:09 of the second half featured nine lead changes and two ties, until UNH caught fire with an 11-2 run that lasted 4:10 to give the visitors their first lead of the contest, 54-46, at 6:19. Benson and Abreu fueled the run, scoring six and five points, respectively, during the stretch.
Cook would help stop the bleeding with a 3-pointer that ignited a string of seven unanswered points, cutting the deficit to one, 54-53, with 4:32 remaining in regulation.
Benson would help preserve the lead for the Wildcats, dropping in layups on back-to-back possessions to push the lead to five. Cook struck back with another trey to slice the lead to two, but Rhoads sank a layup on the other end, pushing it back up to four.
After a change of possession, Plummer buried a pair of free throws, but that would be the last time UMBC would score for more than two minutes. UNH would take advantage of the situation, scoring six unanswered points to push its lead to eight, 66-58, with 11 seconds remaining. Konan (4-4) and Benson (2-2) combined to shoot a perfect 6-for-6 from the free throw line during the stretch, preserving the victory.
The Wildcats return to action when they take on Boston University on Wednesday, Feb. 15 (7 p.m.) at Case Gymnasium.