ALBANY, N.Y. - Senior Patrick Konan (Gainesville, Fla.) scored a postseason-high 19 points but the eighth-seeded University of New Hampshire men's basketball team fell to the first-seeded University of Vermont 77-60 in the Quarterfinal round of the America East Tournament on Saturday, March 8 at SEFCU Arena.
Senior Brian Voelkel earned the first triple-double of his career, scoring 10 points, grabbing 14 rebounds, and dishing out 10 assists to lead the Catamounts. Seniors Candon Rusin and Clancy Rugg added 15 points apiece for Vermont, which had five players in double-figures. Vermont (22-9, 15-1 AE) advances to Sunday's America East Semifinal round with the victory.
Konan scored 14 of his team-leading 19 points in the second half to pace the Wildcats. Senior Jordon Bronner (Sleepy Hollow, N.Y.) chipped in with 14 points and freshman Daniel Dion (Cedar Park, Texas) notched 10 points for UNH, which ends the season with a 6-24 overall record.
Both teams started off the game hot, going back and forth over the first 10 minutes of the half. Freshman Jacoby Armstrong (Sachse, Texas) opened the scoring, hitting a jumper from the left side to put UNH up 2-0. After a Vermont jumper tied the score at 2-2, Chris Pelcher (Albany, N.Y.) regained the lead for the Wildcats when he notched a jumper from the right elbow.
Vermont answered with a 7-2 run to take its first lead of the contest, 9-6. The Wildcats kept fighting, using a 5-0 run of its own to regain an 11-9 advantage. Two free throws from Pelcher got UNH within one point before Konan hit his first 3-pointer of the game to put UNH up by two with 13:30 left in the first half.
The game stayed close over the next three minutes. Trailing 15-14 with 10:34 left in the half, the Wildcats launched an 11-2 run to take a 25-17 lead. Dion scored the first five points of the run for UNH, hitting a layup in traffic before draining a 3-ball from the right wing. Jaleen Smith (Freeport, Texas) and Bronner followed with back-to-back 3-pointers for the Wildcats to put UNH up 25-17 with 7:59 left in the first.
From there, Vermont closed out the half on an 18-2 run to take a 35-27 advantage into the break.
Rusin led Vermont with 12 points in the first half. Voelkel added six points, eight rebounds, and two assists for the Catamounts, who shot 42.9% (12 of 28) in the opening frame.
Senior Scott Morris (Walkersville, Md.) paced the Wildcats in the first, netting six points on 2-for-4 from 3-point range. Dion and Konan chipped in with five points apiece for UNH, which shot 37.5% (9-for-24) from the field in the half.
Vermont kept control for the first four minutes of the second half, using a 5-2 run to extend its lead to 42-30 with 16:13 left in the game.
Trailing 49-36 with 14:22, the Wildcats used a 5-1 run to cut the lead to nine points. Konan started it up for UNH with a pair of free throws and Bronner scored the next three for UNH on a free throw and a layup to bring UNH within nine points with 13:06 to go in the game.
Vermont pushed the lead right back to double-digits on four straight free throws, two from Voelkel and two from Rugg to give the Catamounts a 54-41 advantage.
UNH kept fighting, but was unable to string together any runs. Whenever the Wildcats would hit a 3-pointer or get to the free-throw line, the Catamounts responded right back with a basket of their own. The Catamounts eventually closed out the victory, taking the game 77-60.
The Wildcats shot the ball fairly well, hitting on 42.6% (20 of 47) of their shots from the floor and 45.5% (10 of 22) from beyond the arc. UNH was overmatched on the glass though, as Vermont corralled 40 rebounds to UNH's 19.
Vermont finished the game with a 49.0% (25-for-51) shooting percentage, including a 56.5% (13-for-23) clip in the second half.
In the final game of Bronner's UNH career, the Wildcats' captain dished out three assists, moving him to ninth all-time in UNH history. Bronner also moves into a tie for first all-time with 117 total games played.
Pelcher, who finished the game with one block, moves his season total to 41 blocks, which is good for second all-time. The senior center also ends his UNH career with 75 blocks as a member of the Wildcats, which is good for third all time.
For the latest news and information on the UNH men's basketball team, tune into www.unhwildcats.com.