DURHAM, N.H. – John Edwards (Charlotte, N.C.) scored 11 of his career-high 13 points in the second half, but the University of New Hampshire men's basketball team sustained a 66-53 loss to Sacred Heart University on Saturday afternoon at Lundholm Gymnasium.
The opening half featured two ties and five lead changes, with neither team leading by more than five points. The Wildcats jumped out to a quick lead with a 7-2 run. Jordon Bronner (Sleepy Hollow, N.Y.) got it started for UNH with a jumper at the top of the key. A layup by Patrick Konan (Gainesville, Fla.) and a three-pointer from Frank Okeke (DeSoto, Texas) capped the run for UNH.
After the Pioneers got a three-ball from Steve Glowiak to put them up 8-7, UNH launched a 5-0 run to regain the lead 12-8. Konan split two defenders and hit a layup and Williams Gabriel (Lagos, Nigeria) notched a layup and a free-throw during the span for the Wildcats.
The Pioneers responded with a 7-0 run that put them up 15-12 with 7:39 remaining in the half. A jump shot from Tevin Falzon opened the run for Sacred Heart. Glowiak added a layup, Eyimofe Edukugho then hit one free-throw before Chris Evans scored a layup.
The next seven minutes went back and forth, with the Pioneers closing the half with a 26-24 lead, which included a 10-0 advantage in points off turnovers. Evans went 3-for-6 from the floor, including a 3-pointer, to tally seven points by halftime. Glowiak chipped in with five points and Louis Montes notched four in the first period.
Bronner led the Wildcats with five points, two rebounds, and one assist at the break. Scott Morris (Walkersville, Md.) and Okeke also had five points in the first half for UNH.
The Pioneers opened the second half with four straight points to extend its lead to 30-24, but UNH responded with a 12-2 run, capped by a Gabriel putback, to put the Wildcats ahead 36-32. Gabriel had four points, one rebound, and a block during the span, while Bronner added five points and two assists for UNH.
Following Gabriel's putback, Sacred Heart exploded for a 20-1 run to open a 52-37 lead with 8:16 remaining. The Wildcats would cut the lead to ten points with 5:48 remiaing, but Sacred Heart closed out the game and claimed a 66-53 victory.
Glowiak led the way for Sacred Heart with 17 points and four rebounds. De'von Barnett (15 points) and Montes (12 point) also scored in double digits for the Pioneers who move to 3-12 with the win.
Edwards paced the Wildcat offense with 13 points, including 11 in the second half. Bronner added 11 points and Morris finished with eight points on 2-of-5 shooting from the field for the Wildcats who fall to 2-11 with the loss.
UNH plays its final non-conference game of the season at Brown University on Tuesday, Jan. 7 (7 p.m.). The Wildcats return to Lundholm Gym for an America East battle against UMBC on Wednesday, Jan. 15, at 7 p.m. For tickets, visit www.unhwildcats.com or call (603) 862-4000, extension 5.