WEST HARTFORD, CONN.-- The University of New Hampshire women's basketball team made a strong comeback bid in the closing minutes of the contest, but the effort fell short as The University of Hartford posted a 71-65 victory over the Wildcats on Wednesday evening at Chase Family Arena.
UNH (9-15 overall, 5-10 America East) received solid efforts from three players who finished in double-digit scoring. Senior center Maren Matthias (Guilford, Conn.) and freshman forward Ray Williams (Misissauga, Ontario) each scored 14 points in the loss while freshman forward Danielle Clark (Corinna, Maine) added 10 points to the effort.
The Hawks were up by as many as 13 points (56-43) with 10:23 to go in the contest and led by eight to 10 points for most of the second half. However, UNH put together a furious 12-5 run from the 4:06 mark until there was 19 seconds remaining on the clock, eventually trimming the Hartford lead to just four points when freshman guard Whitney Edwards (MountVernon, N.Y.) was fouled taking a three-pointer and hit all of her free throws to make it 69-65. UNH intentionally fouled to try to close the gap further, but Bridgette Murray sank two free throws with 13 seconds remaining in the game to ice the win. UNH was not able to get another shot off in the waning seconds, as Murray stole the ball as time ran out on the Wildcats.
UNH started sluggish and trailed by five (9-4), but a 5-0 mini run tied the game. Matthias took control in the early minutes, scoring seven of the Wildcats' first 11 points and led UNH to a 14-11 advantage following a three-pointer by Edwards. However, Hartford (18-8 overall, 9-6 America East) came storming back utilizing a 17-7 run to make it 28-21, and it was a lead the home team would never relinquish. The Hawks led at the half by a 34-30 margin as UNH ended the opening stanza with two free throws and a layup.
Both teams shot well from the floor, especially the Wildcats, who connected on 24-43 shots for a shooting percentage of 55.8 percent. Hartford hit 26-53 shots for a mark of .491 percent from the floor. One of the keys to the game was rebounding, as UNH was outrebounded by the home team (32-23).
UNH will be looking to end a seven-game losing streak on Saturday, Feb. 28, when the squad entertains Stony Brook. Game time is 1 p.m. in Lundholm Gym.