BROOKLYN, NY - The University of New Hampshire Wildcats improved to 3-4 after a 63-47 victory over St. Francis College Terriers in Division I non-conference women's basketball Sunday. Senior Maren Matthias led all scorers with 20 points and 9 rebounds.
The Terriers jumped out to a 2-0 lead on a jump shot by Justine Paxhia, but then it was all Wildcats for the rest of the half. With 9:12 to go, New Hampshire had a six point edge, their largest of the half, on a lay-up by Ebony Woods. St. Francis fought back and closed the gap to two, 19-17, at the 4:27 mark after two Wildcat turnovers that Brittiny Porter and Paxhia converted into points. On the next possession, New Hampshire's Emily Hardy nailed a three-pointer from the top of the key to extend the lead to five, 22-17. Kim Bennett and Paxhia converted the first shot of a one-and-one, to close the lead to 23-19 at the half.
The Wildcats, behind a strong second half effort from senior center Maren Matthias and sophomore guard Ebony Woods, took control of the game midway through the second half, as they led UNH on a 12-3 run. Starting at the 7:31 mark Matthias scored four of her 14 second half points and Woods added five of her 12 second half points as the Wildcats opened up their biggest lead of the game, 56-38. Down 18, the Terriers fought back, closing the lead to 11 points, 56-45, with 1:38 to go in the game on a three-point field goal by freshman Sarah Bratton.
For St. Francis (1-8, 0-1 NEC), sophomore guard Justine Paxhia had nine points, eight rebounds and three assists and Sarah Bratton scored a career high seven points and added four steals. Kim Weir pulled down a game high 10 rebounds.
The Wildcats are next in action Tuesday, December 30 at 7 p.m. as the ‘Cats host Southern Methodist University at Lundholm Gymnasium.