DURHAM, N.H.- Senior forward Danielle Clark (Corinna, Maine) and Ashley Cerniglia (Pittsford, N.Y.) posted 13 points apiece for the University of New Hampshire women’s basketball team, but the University of Vermont rallied from a 17-point deficit to beat the Wildcats, 59-56, on Wednesday evening at Lundholm Gymnasium. With the loss the Wildcats drop to 9-18, 4-11 in the America East, while the Catamounts improve to 17-11, 7-8 in the league.
The Wildcats shot 50 percent (12-of-24) from the field during the first half of action. Clark recorded 11 of her 13 points during that time, including three 3-pointers in the first five minutes of play.
With 9:21 remaining in the opening frame, senior Ray Williams (Mississauga, Ontario) hit a jumper to give the Wildcats a 17-point lead (29-12). Williams finished the game with 10 points and six rebounds. Senior Whitney Edwards (Mt. Vernon, N.Y.) had five assists in the first half en route to a career-high nine helpers for the Wildcats. Edwards also had seven points in the game for New Hampshire.
At 9:08 the Catamounts started a 14-4 run to come pull within seven points (33-26) at the half. May Kotsopoulos was named America East Player of the Game for Vermont and scored 11 of the Catamounts’ 26 points in the first half.
In the second half, Vermont slowly chipped away at the Wildcat lead, eventually evening the score, 56-56, on a jumper by Courtnay Pilypaitis with 1:04 left to play. Pilypatis finished the game with 12 points for the Catamounts. Brittney Cross, who went scoreless in the first half, hit two free-throws to put Vermont ahead 58-56 with 23 seconds remaining. She then hit another with four seconds left to play and Edwards game-tying half court shot was off the mark at the buzzer to end the game. Cerniglia, who was named the America East Player of the Game, led the charge for the Wildcats in the second half with ten points.
Cerniglia along with Chrissy Hall (Northbridge, Mass.) led the Wildcats with eight rebounds apiece. Vermont’s Andrea Cihal pulled down 17 boards to give the Catamounts the 41-36 advantage in rebounds.
New Hampshire concludes the regular season with a trip to Binghamton on Sat., March 3. The Wildcats and the Bearcats will tipoff at 1 p.m.