DURHAM, N.H. – Four players scored in double figures for the University of New Hampshire Wildcats en route to a 73-65 victory over the University of Baltimore County Retrievers, Sunday afternoon at Lundholm Gymnasium.
Candace Williams (Norfolk, Mass.) earned America East Player of the Game honors as she led the Wildcats with 19 points, 11 rebounds and a career-high four assists, registering her eighth double-double of the season and her second against the Retrievers this year. She also tallied one block and one steal, while going 8-for-12 from the charity stripe.
Abigail LaRosa (Hampton, N.H.) notched the first career double-double of her young career as she scored 17 points, pulled in 10 rebounds and tallied three assists. Amy Simpson (Waterford, Conn.) scored 11 points in the contest, all of which came in the second half. She also collected four rebounds, three assists and one steal. Lauren Wells (West Chester, Pa.) came up one point shy of her career high as she registered 12 points on 5-of-8 shooting, including 2-of-3 from beyond the arc. She also tallied two assists and two steals.
After trading baskets with UMBC for much of the first half the Wildcats put together an impressive 15-0 run to close out the opening stanza with the score 32-17. Williams sparked the run for the ‘Cats as she broke a 17-17 tie with a 3-pointer from the left wing at 4:35.
On the ensuing possession LaRosa drilled a jumper to push the Wildcat lead to five with the score 22-17, just moments after ripping down the defensive rebound on the other end.
Moments later Williams pulled in an offensive rebound off a Chrissy Hall (Northbridge, Mass.) miss and put the ball in to give New Hampshire the 24-17 advantage at 2:28. From there the Wildcats were off and running as they would score eight points in the final two minutes of play to give UNH the 15 point lead heading into the second half. Jill McDonald (Middlebury, Vt.) and Wells provided the offensive spark during stretch as they each scored four points apiece.
New Hampshire picked up right where they left off in the first half during the final frame as went on an 11-7 run to start the stanza. Capped off with a LaRosa layup at 16:36, the Wildcats were able to assemble their largest lead of the afternoon as they held the 43-24 advantage.
The Wildcats would hold the comfortable advantage for the much of the half, until the Retrievers threatened the game with just under a minute to go as Carlee Cassidy drilled a 3-pointer from the right wing to cut the UMBC deficit down to four points with the score 68-64.
New Hampshire answered the call as LaRosa pulled in a rebound off a missed free-throw by Cassidy to passed the ball up court to an open and undefended Wells who layed the ball in with just 21 ticks left on the clock to make it 71-65, securing the win for the Wildcats.
Rachel Fowler (Glassboro, N.J) had a productive night for the Wildcats as she ripped down 11 rebounds and scored five points. Hall provided some spark off the bench as she scored five points and pulled in five rebounds, while also registering a career-high four steals.
Carlee Cassidy led the Retrievers with a game-high 24 points, scoring 21 of them in the second half of play on her way to being named America East Player of Game. She also registered four assists and three steals.
Katie Brooks and Michelle Kurowski also registered in double figures for UMBC as they tallied 12 and 11 points, respectively. Kurowski also pulled in four boards and tallied three steals for the visitors. Erin Brown also chipped in, coming up just short of a double-double as she scored nine points and tallied seven rebounds.
The Wildcats return to action Thursday, Feb. 12 when they travel to Maine to take on the rival Black Bears at 7 p.m. at the Alfond Arena.