LOUISVILLE, KY – Racheal Fowler (Glassboro, N.J.) delivered a career-high 21 points and Candace Williams (Norfolk, Mass.) earned her third consecutive double-double with 14 points and 13 rebounds, but it was not enough as the University of New Hampshire fell to Central Michigan, 72-62, on Sunday afternoon at Louis
New Hampshire (2-8) pulled ahead by five points, 7-2, with just over 17 minutes to play in the first half on a 3-pointer by Abigail LaRosa (Hampton, N.H.). Central Michigan (7-4) evened the score, 9-9, on a trifecta by Latisha Luckett at 14:43. The trey sparked an 11-0 Chippewas run, which gave them a 20-9 lead halfway through the opening frame.
The Wildcats chipped away at the deficit and made it a three-point game with 4:37 left in the first half. With the score 29-22 and 3:24 left in the half, the Wildcats went on a 8-2 run, which included six straight points to make it a one-point game, 31-30, at the half. New Hampshire, led by Fowler who hit five of eight shots, outshot its opponent 40 percent (12-30) to 27 percent (11-40) in the opening frame.
With just under 16 minutes to play in the second half, Britini Houghton hit a fast break layup to give the Chippewas a five-point lead, 37-32. On the next play, LaRosa converted on the hoop and the harm to decrease the deficit to just two points, 37-35, with 15:48 remaining in the game. With the score 48-40 and 12:37 to play, Fowler and Williams each tallied two points for the Wildcats to cut the deficit in half, 48-44, with 10:54 remaining.
The Chippewas then pulled ahead by 12 points on a 12-4 run, which made it 60-48 with 7:32 left in action. Central Michigan led by as many as 15 points, 65-50, with just over six minutes left in the game. The Chippewas were led by Kaihla Szunko with 15 points and 14 rebounds. Latisha Luckett also earned a double-double with 12 points and 13 boards, while Houghton chipped in with 12 points.
Every play on the New Hampshire team tallied a least two points and pulled down at least one rebound in what was a total team effort. LaRosa went 3-for-4 from the floor for nine points and had a team-high three steals. The Wildcats, led by Jill McDonald (Middlebury, Vt.) with three, tied their season high in blocks with seven in the game.
The Wildcats return to action tomorrow, Dec. 29, when they face Morehead State University in the second day of the Downtown Marriott Cardinal Classic. On Tuesday, Dec. 30, the Wildcats will battle host-school Louisville.