DURHAM, N.H. – Chris Pelcher (Albany, N.Y.) scored 20 points and hauled down 15 rebounds for his third double-double of the season, but the University of New Hampshire men's basketball team suffered its first loss of the season Sunday, 71-63, against New Jersey Institute of Technology at Lundholm Gymnasium.
The Highlanders opened the game on a 5-0 run on a jumper by Terrance Smith and a three-point field goal by Damon Lynn. John Edwards (Charlotte, N.C) hit a jumper 2:27 into the game to get the Wildcats on the board. The Wildcats gained their first lead of the game 6:44 into the half when Jordon Bronner (Sleepy Hollow, N.Y.) hit a jumper from the top of the key.
The teams traded blows over the next nine minutes before NJIT's Jake Duncan hit a three-pointer form the corner that started an 18-4 run to end the half. In that opening half, Tim Coleman (5-for-7) and Terrence Smith (7-for-9) combined to shoot 12 of 16 from the field for 27 points.
NJIT continued its hot scoring in the second half, starting the frame on a 6-1 run to extend its lead to 54-33. UNH responded with a 15-2 run of its own over the next 5:48. Pelcher started the run with back-to-back layups in the paint. Patrick Konan (Gainsville, Fla.) buried a three-pointer before Bronner hit back-to-back layups and freshman Daniel Dion (Cedar Park, Texas) capped off the run with a two-point jumper from the right side.
The Highlanders fought back, going on another 8-1 run on two three-pointers and a layup to push the lead back to 17. The Wildcats' defense buckled down in the final five minutes of the game, holding the Highlanders scoreless over that span and allowing the offense to go on an 8-0 run to end the game, but NJIT wouldn't be denied, taking the game with a final score of 63-71.
Smith finished with 19 points and five rebounds to pace the Highlanders. Coleman added 15 points and four boards, while freshman Damon Lynn notched 13 points for NJIT.
Pelcher led three UNH players in double-figures with 20 points and 15 rebounds, earning his second America East Player of the Game honor of the season. Konan pitched in with 16 points and seven boards, while Bronner added 14 points, three assists, and two rebounds for the Wildcats.
NJIT shot 52.8% (28-53) from the floor for the game, including a 64.3% (9-14) clip from beyond the arc. UNH was held to 38.3% (23-60) shooting and 25.8% (8-31) from three-point range.
The Wildcats return to action Thursday, Nov. 21, at Marquette for an 8 p.m. game. UNH's next home game is Sunday, Nov. 24 (1 p.m.), against Bryant. For tickets, visit www.unhwildcats.com.