BALTIMORE, Md. – Three players posted in double-figures and Amy Simpson (Waterford, Conn.) dished out a career-high 11 assists to lead the University of New Hampshire women’s basketball team to a 77-67 win at UMBC on Saturday evening.
Sophomore forward Candace Williams (Norfolk, Mass.) lead all scorers with 19 points and was selected as the America East Player of the Game for the Wildcats. Forwards Denise Beliveau (Framingham, Mass.) and Danielle Flowers (Chalfont, Pa.) delivered 14 points apiece for the Wildcats.
The back-to-back conference win improves the Wildcats to 5-14 on the season, 2-5 in America East, while the Retrievers drop to 6-14, 2-5 in the conference.
New Hampshire held the lead for the majority of the first half thanks to an 11-point effort by Candace Williams. The Retrievers held the Wildcats scoreless for over four minutes going on a 9-0 run, gaining their first lead of the game, 22-21, with 6:48 remaining on a jumper by Carlee Cassidy. The Wildcats evened the score, 30-30, on a 3-pointer by Cerniglia with 1:05 remaining. With 10 points in the first half, Cassidy led the charge for the Retrievers, who took a two-point lead, 32-30, into the locker room at the break. Cassidy finished the game with a team-high 20 points for the Retrievers. Flowers went 4-for-5 in the first half en route to a 7-for-10 game. Simpson and Beliveau led the Wildcats with four boards apiece in the first as the rebounds were deadlocked, 14-14.
Beliveau drained her third shot from beyond the arc to put New Hampshire on top, 35-34, early on in the second half. The Wildcats then went on a 10-3 run to take a six-point lead, 45-39, at 15:13. Freshman guard Jacinda Williams (Poughkeepsie, N.Y.) drained a 3-pointer at 8:31 to give New Hampshire its largest lead of the game, 14 points (62-48). The Retrievers cut the lead to seven with 1:40, 60-67, but solid free-throw shouting down the stretch sealed the game for the Wildcats. The rebounds remained even in the second half, 30-30.
Simpson’s 11 assists were just two shy of the school record and was the first 10-plus assist game for a Wildcat in exactly five years as Colleen Mullen dished out 10 at Stony Brook on Feb. 2, 2003. Beliveau and Candace Williams each pulled down eight boards in the games for the Wildcats. Beliveau added four assists and a team-high four steals in the game.
The Wildcats return home to host Stony Brook on Wednesday, Feb. 6. Tickets are still available for the 7 p.m. tip-off.