Matagrano's career-high 15 points not enough in men's hoop's 68-62 loss to Albany

DURHAM, N.H.Chris Matagrano (Sayreville, N.J.) poured in a career-high 15 points to highlight three players in double digits, but the University of New Hampshire men's basketball team suffered a 68-62 loss to Albany in Wednesday night's America East contest at Lundholm Gymnasium.

With their seventh straight loss, the Wildcats dipped to 4-12 overall and 0-4 in America East. The Great Danes, who snapped a five-game losing streak at Lundholm Gym, upped their mark to 15-4, 4-1 in AE action.

Matagrano, who was named the America East Player of the Game for UNH, shot 6-of-9 from the floor to go along with four boards. Junior Patrick Konan (Gainesville, Fla.) finished with 13 points and eight rebounds. Senior Ferg Myrick (Philadelpha, Pa.) added 11 points and five rebounds, shooting 4-of-10 from the field.

Mike Black led all scorers with 22 points for the Great Danes, shooting 7-of-12 from the floor and 7-of-8 at the foul line. Sam Rowley record a double-double with 10 points and 10 rebounds.

New Hampshire shot 42.6 percent (23-54) from the field and 37.8 percent (9-24) from long range. Albany shot 43.1 percent (22-51) from the floor and outrebounded the Wildcats, 35-28. 

Despite an early 3-pointer from Chandler Rhoads (Berryville, VA), Albany was able to break out to a three-point lead punctuated by a retaliatory three-pointer from Black. The team went back and forth until Albany posted a five-point streak to bring the score to 11-7 at 13:26.

After a pair of post scores from Chris Pelcher (Albany, N.Y.) and Matagrano tied the score at 11, the Great Danes quickly pieced together a 10-point streak before another Wildcat basket by Konan broke up the run.

A basket and free throw from Jordon Bronner (Sleepy Hollow, N.Y.) trimmed the deficit to 24-16, but it would be the last UNH basket in the opening half. Albany put six more points on the board for a 14-point lead, 30-16, at halftime.

After the break, the Wildcats quickly dismantled the Great Dane lead with an 11-2 run, highlighted by two deep three-pointers from Myrick. The teams then traded triples after Jacob Iati matched Matagrano from deep. From there, Pelcher and Matagrano netted back-to-back baskets as Matagrano's dunk pulled the Wildcats within one, 35-34, with 14:31 left to play.

The Great Danes pushed their lead back to four with a three-point play from Black before Scott Morris (Wakersville, Md.) answered with a trey to cut the lead back to one, 38-37, but the Great Danes answered right back with an 11-2 run for the 49-39 advantage.
 
Facing a 12-point deficit, UNH made it interesting with a quick 6-0 burst to pull within 61-55 with 1:59 left to play, but the Wildcats could not get closer as the visitors held on for the win.
 
The Wildcats continue their three-game homestand on Saturday, Jan. 19 when they play host to Boston University at 4 p.m. at Lundholm Gymnasium. For tickets, visit www.unhwildcats.com or call (603) 862-4000, extension 5.
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