ORONO, MAINE– Four players posted in double-figures to lead the University of New Hampshire women’s basketball past the University of Maine, 66-58, on Wednesday evening. With the win, which marks the first Wildcat victory at Alfond Arena in ten years, New Hampshire improves to 7-20, 4-11 in the America East. The Black Bears conclude their season at 7-22, 4-12 in conference action. New Hampshire can finish the season no lower than seventh-place in the America East conference.
Freshman guard Jacinda Williams (Poughkeepsie, N.Y.) was selected America East Player of the Game for the Wildcats and led all scorers with a career high in both points (14) and assists (six). Sophomore forward Candace Williams (Norfolk, Mass.) delivered 13 points and six rebounds, while sophomore guard Amy Simpson (Waterford, Conn.) contributed with 12 points to go along with four assists. Sophomore forward Racheal Fowler (Galssboro, N.J.) also provided an offensive spark as she matched her career high with four steals and posted 10 points and six boards for the Wildcats.
The Wildcats held the Black Bears for over three minutes to start the game and took a 10-3 lead with just over 16 minutes to go in the first half. Maine’s Amanda Tewksbury hit a 3-pointer at 14:22 to cut the lead to one point (12-11), but an 8-2 run put the Wildcats on top by seven once again (20-13) on a 3-pointer by Jacinda with 10:23. Tewksbury finished the game with 11 points and 10 rebounds. The home team went on to hold New Hampshire scoreless for over ten minutes of action and led by as many as 11 points (31-20) with 1:20 remaining. Sandra Vaitkute scored seven points during Maine’s 18-0 run. Vaikute finished the game with a team-high 17 points for the Black Bears. Chrissy Hall (Northbridge, Mass.) drained her first 3-pointer of the season to end the Wildcats scoring drought with 21 seconds remaining to make it 31-23 at the half.
In the second half, the Wildcats scored eight points in less than a minute to even the score 31-31 on a trifecta by Denise Beliveau (Framingham, Mass.) at 17:43. The Wildcats and Black Bears exchange baskets, but Candace hit a layup to give New Hampshire its first lead of the half, 35-34, with 14:36. The teams battled for the lead and the Black Bears pulled ahead, 46-42, on back-to-back 3-pointers by Kristin Baker and Kris Younan at 9:34. Baker finished the game with 12 points and 10 rebounds, while Younan added eight points for the Black Bears. Folwer evened the score (54-54) on a layup with 3:48 remaining. Jacinda hit five free-throws and Beliveau nailed four to give the Wildcats a seven-point lead with 2:14 left to play. Jacinda’s solid free-throw shooting down the stretch secured the win for New Hampshire.
The Wildcats conclude the regular-season at Stony Brook on Sat., Mar. 8. New Hampshire will begin tournament play on Friday, Mar. 14, its opponent will be determined after the conclusion of America East action this Saturday.