DURHAM, N.H. – Freshman Lauren Wells (West Chester, Pa.) hit a jumper with just 2.4 seconds remaining to lift the University of New Hampshire to a 50-49 come-from-behind victory over Stony Brook University on Wednesday night at Lundholm Gymnasium.
With the win, the Wildcats improve to 7-20, 5-8 in the America East, while the Seawolves fall to 6-19, including 4-9 during conference play.
Candace Williams (Norfolk, Mass.) led the charge for the Wildcats as she notched her tenth double-double of the season, netting a game-high 17 points and pulling in 14 rebounds. The forward, who was selected as the America East Player of the Game, also tallied a career-high three blocks.
After being down by as many as 15 points in second half, the Wildcats closed out the game with an 11-2 run, which included a crucial rebound by Williams off a SBU missed free throw with 10 ticks left on the clock. Williams fed the ball to Wells, who went coast-to-coast and pulled up with a 14-foot jumper to give the Wildcats their first lead of the game, 50-49, with just over two seconds remaining.
Wells had gone coast-to-coast eight seconds prior as she cut the deficit to one, 49-48, with just over ten seconds to play. With 22 seconds remaining, the Wildcats fouled Misha Horsey, who missed the front end of a one-and-one. Kirsten Jeter, however, retrieved the miss for the offensive rebound and passed threw it out to Kairsten Nunn. The Wildcats quickly fouled Nunn who connected on two free throws to make it 49-46 in favor of the Seawolves with 18 seconds remaining.
Before Nunn’s free throws, the Wildcats had cut the deficit to one point, 46-47, after Kate Early (Corning, N.Y.) pulled down an offensive rebound and dished the ball inside to Racheal Fowler (Glassboro, N.J.), who connected with 43 seconds remaining.
The Wildcats held the Seawolves without a field goal during the final five minutes of action as Williams posted five straight points to make it a one-possession game (47-44) with 1:38 remaining to spark the Wildcat comeback.
The Seawolves opened up the second half on a 5-2 run, as Jeter hit a 3-pointer to make it 33-20 with 17:34 to play. The teams exchanged baskets for over ten minutes of action, but with 7:49 to play, Williams hit a jumper to spark a 9-2 Wildcat run. Williams, who tallied 13 points during the final frame, capped the Wildcat surge as she converted on the hoop and the harm to cut the deficit to six points (45-39) with 5:16 remaining in the game.
The Wildcats, down by as many as 17 points, 26-9, with just under four minutes to go in the first half, closed out the opening frame on a 9-0 run to make it 26-18 at halftime. Fowler had all of her four first-half points during the Wildcat charge.
Amy Simpson (Waterford, Conn.) registered 10 points, pulled in six boards, while notching four assists and a block. Fowler came up just short of a double-double as she finished with nine points and eight rebounds. Wells scored 11 points in the contest.
Jeter led the way for the Seawolves as she scored a team-high 16 points, five rebounds and five assists. Nunn scored nine points, while also totaling two assists, two rebounds and three steals.
New Hampshire returns to action Saturday, Feb. 28 as the Wildcats travel to face Albany. The Wildcats final home game of the season will be against Binghamton on Wednesday, Mar. 4. Gametime at Lundholm Gymnasium is scheduled for 7 p.m. The Wildcats will honor senior manager Brendan Dimon at the game.