WEST HARTFORD, CONN. – Sophomore guard Amy Simpson (Waterford, Conn.) tallied a game-high 21 points, but it was not enough as the seventh-seeded University of New Hampshire women’s basketball team fell to No.2-seeded University of Vermont, 70-45, in the quarterfinal round of the America East tournament.
The Wildcats close out their season with a record of 7-22, 4-15 in America East, while the Catamounts, who will play the winner of the UMBC/Boston University match up, improve to 23-7, including 13-3 in conference action.
Vermont jumped out to a 9-0 lead with 15:30 remaining before sophomore Candace Williams (Norfolk, Mass.) sunk six straight points for the Wildcats, who went without a field goal for the first seven minutes and 20 seconds, to make it 12-6 with 12:40 remaining. Williams finished the game with 14 points and a team-high seven rebounds. The Catamounts went on a 14-4 run to take a 20-point lead (39-19) into the locker room at the half. America East Defensive Player of the Year, May Kotsopolous recorded 13 points in the first half, while Kelli Poles added 12 for the Catamounts.
The Catamounts went on an 11-2 run to make it 64-29 with 8:12 remaining in the game. Simpson, who struggled offensively in the first half, found her groove in the second half, as she went 9-for-11 from the field to grab 14 second-half points. The guard led a late-game charge, scoring 12 of the Wildcats final 16 points, but a 35-point deficit was too much to overcome.
Though senior guard Ashley Cerniglia (Pittsford, N.Y.) went scoreless in her final collegiate game, she swiped away a game-high three steals. The Wildcats held the America East Player of the Year, Courtnay Pilypaitis, to just four points in the game. Ali Fenton pulled down a career-high 15 boards to go along with a season-high eight points for the Catamounts.