ALBANY, N.Y. – Ferg Myrick (Philadelphia, Pa.) scored a game-high 15 points in his final collegiate game, but the seventh-seeded University of New Hampshire men's basketball team was defeated 61-42 by second-seeded Vermont in Saturday's America East quarterfinal matchup at the University at Albany's SEFCU Arena.
UNH finished the season at 9-20 overall, while Vermont rises to 20-10 and advances to play the winner of Hartford/UMBC in Sunday's semifinal matchup.
Myrick also added six rebounds, while junior Patrick Konan (Gainesville, Fla.) finished with 12 points and five rebounds.
Candon Russin and Sandro Carissimo led the Catamounts with 14 and 10 points, respectively.
New Hampshire shot 32.6 percent from the field, including 50 percent in the first half, while Vermont shot 42 percent from the floor. Vermont outrebounded the Wildcats by a margin of 38-25.
UNH jumped out to a quick 5-0 start on an opening 3-pointer from Myrick followed by a driving layup from Jordon Bronner (Sleepy Hollow, N.Y.), but Vermont responded with a pair of layups. New Hampshire then extended its lead with a pair of buckets in the paint, but the Catamounts scored five unanswered points to even the score at 9-9 at 12:35.
UNH broke the tie 1:30 later when Scott Morris (Walkersville, Md.) picked off a pass for the breakaway and finished it off with a dunk for the two-point lead. UNH maintained a two-point advantage after the teams swapped a pair of baskets before the Wildcats used a Bronner floater and a Chris Pelcher (Albany, N.Y.) free throw to move out in front, 18-14, with 5:31 left in the first half.
After Vermont evened the score on consecutive baskets from Russin, the Wildcats answered right back as Konan drilled back-to-back 3-pointers for the 24-18 lead, forcing a UVM timeout at the 1:55 mark.
Vermont trimmed the deficit to four on a pair of free throws, but Jeron Trotman (Huntsville, Ala,) swatted away Russin's attempted floater on the next possession, leading to a layup by Morris as the Wildcats held a 26-20 lead at intermission. Konan led all players with 10 points at the break, while Myrick had seven points and five boards.
Vermont kicked off the second half with a quick post basket, but Myrick answered with a trey and followed with a free throw on the next possession for the eight-point advantage. The Catamounts then went on a 9-1 run over the next 2:20 to even the score at 31-31 and force a UNH timeout. Carissimo hit a 3-pointer after the media timeout before Konan dropped a jumper in the paint to trim the deficit to one, 34-33, at 12:46.
UVM continued to find ways to score by rattling off 15 unanswered points over the next six minutes, until Pelcher converted a lay-in to break up the scoreless stretch. The Catamounts came back with five straight points before Logan Mortenson (South Jordan, Utah) knocked down a 3-pointer from the corner to trim the deficit to 16, but the Catamounts held a 7-4 edge over the final four minutes to seal the victory.
This marks the final contest in the UNH uniform for seniors Chris Matagrano (Sayreville, N.J.), Myrick, Chandler Rhoads (Berryville, Va.) and Trotman. Rhoads ends his UNH career ranked fourth all-time in games played (114), fifth in assists (307), sixth in minutes played (3,494) and 27th in points (1,015). Myrick ends his career tied for sixth all-time in blocks (51).