DURHAM, N.H. - Led by 21 points from junior Heidi Plencner (Hampton, N.H.), the University of New Hampshire women's basketball team posted a 79-72 win over Maine here at the Whittemore Center this afternoon. New Hampshire won its second-straight and improves to 5-10 and 3-3 in America East, while Maine, losers of five straight, falls to 4-11 and 1-5 in the league.
Plencner netted 13 of her 21 points in the first half. She also moved into third place on the all-time three-pointers made list at UNH by hitting three treys, passing Marcie Lane. Plencner has hit 96 threes during her career. Freshman Maren Matthias (Guilford, Conn.) had 15 points and a career-high 11 rebounds. Kelly Donohue (Rochester, N.H.) had 11 points and seven assists, while junior Anna Matthias (Guilford, Conn.) chipped in with 10 points and eight boards. Freshman Heather Ernest had 21 points and a career-high 21 rebounds for Maine.
The win was the first for New Hampshire over Maine at home since the 1992-93 season.
After being tied at eight early, New Hampshire would go on a 10-1 run capped by a Donohue layup to take a 19-9 lead 9:05 into the contest. Maine would go on its own 6-0 run to cut the lead to four with 7:10 left in the first half. The Wildcats responded with a 12-4 run capped by a pair of Plencner free throws with 1:57 remaining in the half to take a 31-19 lead. UNH would own a 32-24 advantage at the break.
After trading baskets early in the second half, UNH would go on a 15-0 run to take a 53-32 lead with 12:33 to go in the game. The run was highlighted by nine-straight points by Maren Matthias in a span of 1:53 which pushed the UNH advantage from six to 15. The Black Bears countered with a 15-4 run capped by a pair of Kizzy Lopez free throws to cut the lead to 10 (57-47) with 9:20 left in the game.
UNH would keep the lead around 10 for most of the rest of the half and the 'Cats were up 12 with 3:27 to go. Maine would then reel off six unanswered points to cut the lead to six (67-61) with 2:24 remaining. New Hampshire would then hit six-straight free throws to put the lead back at 12 with 1:16 remaining. The Black Bears would get no closer than seven points the rest of the way.
New Hampshire returns to action on Thursday (1/18) when it faces the Pride of Hofstra University. Game time at Lundholm Gymnasium is 7 p.m.