DURHAM, N.H. - Despite junior Maren Matthias' (Guilford, Conn.) 24 points and sophomore Geneva Livingston's (Red Bank, N.J.) career-high 21 points, the University of New Hampshire women's basketball team fell to Fairfield University, 74-69, at the Wildcat Christmas Classic at The Pavilion on the University of Villanova campus on Sunday.
UNH, which falls to 4-4 on the season, will play Brown University (2-6) in the consolation game on Monday at 5 p.m. The Brown Bears lost the second game of the day to host Villanova (8-1), 70-50. The Stags (2-6) take on Villanova in the championship at 7 p.m.
Fairfield led after the first half, 38-32. The Stags increased that lead to 11 (51-40) with 13:29 to go in the second. But the Wildcats were able to chip away at the lead with some clutch shooting late in the second half. Senior Aubrey Danen (Oconomowoc, Wisc.) made a pair of free throws and added a lay-up to cut the Stags lead to 56-54 with 6:09 to play.
UNH would eventually take a brief 57-56 lead with a lay-up made by Matthias as the 5:04 mark. The Wildcat lead was short lived, however, as Janelle McManus made a pair of free throws to take the lead back for good.
McManus, a Boston College transfer playing in just her second game for Stags since becoming eligible, scored 26 points, including 17 in the second half.
UNH made things interesting down the stretch when sophomore Lindsay Adams (Theresa, N.Y.) hit a pair of free throws with 35 second left to make it 70-63. Adams then stole the ball on the ensuing in-bounds play and passed to Livingston who made the lay-up and was fouled. Livingston finished the three-point play pull the 'Cats to within three, 70-67.
But McManus hit all four of her free throw attempts in the last 21 seconds to seal the win.
For Matthias it was the second straight game in which she scored 20 or more points and notched a double-double, picking up 11 rebounds to go along with her team-high 24 points. Senior Colleen Mullen (Chelmsford, Mass.) had nine points and a career-high nine assists.