Danielle Clark

DURHAM, N.H. - In the first round of the 2005 Wildcat Classic, the University of New Hampshire Wildcats withstood a hot-shooting game by Cornell University, coming back from a 19-point first half deficit to defeat the Big Red, 75-72, Saturday afternoon in women's basketball action at Lundholm Gym.

In Sunday's tournament championship, the Wildcats will face the Boston College Eagles, who went on a 23-0 first half run on their way to defeating the North Texas Mean Green, 62-46, in the second game of the first round.

Cornell (1-3) shot 58.1 percent from the field in the first half, hitting 7-of-13 shots from behind the three-point line to go up 38-19 with 4:15 remaining in the first half. UNH started chipping away at the lead, erasing six points from the deficit by halftime to go into the locker room down 44-31.

The two teams traded baskets for the first seven and a half minutes of the second half before the Wildcats went on a 17-5 run over the next five minutes to take their first lead of the game at 59-58 with 7:35 left.

Cornell went back up by four points with under five minutes left, then Ashley Cerniglia (Pittsford, N.Y.) hit a three-pointer, Lindsay Adams (Theresa, N.Y.) made two foul shots, and Danielle Clark (Corinna, Maine) hit a layup and a three-pointer in the next three minutes to take a 73-70 lead. The Big Red cut the deficit to one on a Jeomi Maduka layup, but Clark hit two free throws in the final 30 seconds to ice the game for the Wildcats.

Clark led the Wildcats with 22 points, nine rebounds, and three steals, 15 of those points coming in the second half. Ray Williams (Mississauga, Ontario) went 7-for-9 from the field and 6-for-8 from the free throw line to tie her career high with 20 points, plus she pulled down six rebounds and earned three steals.

Cerniglia hit four three-pointers on her way to 14 points in the game, while Whitney Edwards (Mount Vernon, N.Y.) fought through foul trouble to contribute seven assists, a blocked shot, and three steals. UNH committed only 13 turnovers while forcing Cornell into 26 turnovers.

Maduka was a force in the paint for the Big Red, scoring 13 points and pulling down a game-high 18 rebounds. She was one of four Cornell players to score in double figures, with Kayleen Fitzsimmons hitting five three-pointer to lead the team with 15 points. Lindsay Krasna scored 12 points, and Claire Perry added 11 points, six rebounds, three assists, and three steals.

New Hampshire (3-0) and Boston College (4-1) face off in the championship game of the Wildcats Classic Sunday, Nov. 27, 30 minutes after the conclusion of the consolation game between Cornell and North Texas (2-1), which begins at 1 p.m. at Lundholm Gym.

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