ORONO, MAINE – Amy Simpson (Waterford, Conn.) posted 17 points and six rebounds to led the University of New Hampshire women’s basketball team, but it was not enough as the Wildcats fell to the University of Maine, 57-49, on Thursday evening at Alfond Arena.

With the loss the Wildcats dip to 6-18, 4-6 in the America East. The Black Bears, with their first conference win of the season, improve to 3-20, including 1-9 in America East action.

With the score 9-6 just under five minutes into action, Simpson hit a trifecta to even the score, 9-9. The home team, however then went on a 7-0 run to pull ahead 16-9 with 12:49 remaining in the half. The Black Bears, led by Samatha Wheeler with nine first-half points, took a eight point lead into the locker room at the half, 28-20.

To open up the second half, he Wildcats went on a 5-0 run, including a 3-pointer by Simpson to cut the deficit to just three points, 28-25, with 18:39 remaining. The Black Bears then went on an 8-2 run to gain a nine point lead, 36-27, with 14:33 to play. The run included two 3-pointers by Tanna Ross, who finished the game with eight points. Maine led by as many as 15 points, 45-30, with 8:22 to play, but the Wildcats went on an 11-2 run to get within six points, 47-41, with 2:37 left to play. Solid free throw shooting down the stretch by the Black Bears kept the Wildcats at bay.

Brittany Boser paced the Black Bear’s offense with 13 points on 4 of 6 shooting from the floor and 5 of 6 free throw shooting.

Kate Early (Corning, N.Y.) had six points for the Wildcats, all of which came in the opening frame. The forward also had three steals in the game. Candace Williams (Norfolk, Mass.), Chrissy Hall (Northbridge, Mass.) and Abigail LaRosa (Hampton, N.H.) each tallied five points in the game for the Wildcats. Williams pulled down six rebounds in the game, while LaRosa dished out eight assists to go along with two steals. Jill McDonald (Middlebury, Vt.) thwarted away three balls in the game to lead the Wildcats in blocks.

 The Wildcats will return home to host Boston University on Sunday, Feb. 15. Tip off at Lundholm Gymnasium is scheduled for 1 p.m. Sunday’s contest will mark the Wildcats’ “Think Pink” Breast Cancer Awareness Day.

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