STONY BROOK, N.Y. – Juniors Candace Williams (Norfolk, Mass.) and Amy Simpson (Waterford, Conn.) scored 26 and 21 points, respectively, to lead the University of New Hampshire women’s basketball team to a 75-65 win at Stony Brook University on Wednesday evening at Pritchard Gymnasium.
With the win, the Wildcats improve to 4-14 and even out at 2-2 in the America East, while the Seawolves fall to 3-14 and remain winless in conference play, 0-4. Williams, who shot 9 of 18 from the floor, was selected as the America East Player of the game for the Wildcats. The forward, who has earned back-to-back games with 25 or more points, has posted in double figures during all 18 games for the Wildcats this season.
The Wildcats led by 11 points (49-38) with 14:07 remaining in the game, but the Seawolves chipped away at the lead and evened the score, 51-51, with nine minutes to play. The teams exchanged baskets and the home team eventually took its first lead of the second half, 56-55, on a 3-pointer by Kairsten Nunn with 6:40 remaining.
New Hampshire halted the home teams’ charge and went on a 14-3 run to take a 10-point lead, 69-59 with 1:45 remaining. The run included eight straight points for the Wildcats as they kept the Seawolves scoreless for over two and a half minuets of action.
New Hampshire’s solid free throw shooting (8 of 10) during the final two minutes kept the Seawolves out of reach and gave the Wildcats their largest lead of the game, 12 points, as Simpson hit one from the charity stripe with 28 ticks left on the clock. Simpson, who earned her fifth straight game in double figures, finished the game with five assists and three rebounds. Abigail LaRosa (Hampton, N.H.), who had five assists in the game, went 4-for-4 from the free throw line during the final frame.
In the first half, the Wildcats led by five points, 11-6, with just under 17 minutes to play, but Nunn converted on an old fashion three point play to spark a 7-2 Seawolves run which evened the score, 13-13, with 13:35 left in the opening frame. The Wildcats went on a 13-7 run to gain a six point lead, 26-20, with 8:15 remaining in the half. The run included nine points by Simpson, who tallied 11 in the opening stanza.
The Seawolves made it a one-possession game, 26-23, with just under seven minutes to play, but once again New Hampshire pulled ahead to make it 30-23 with just over four minutes to play. The teams exchanged shots for the rest of the half and with 1:10 remaining Joia Daniels hit a jumper to get within two points, 34-32, of the Wildcats.
The Wildcats, who shot 50 percent (12-24) in the opening stanza, were able to keep the Seawolves at bay and took a four-point lead, 38-34, into the locker room at the half. Williams, who tallied 10 points within the first seven minutes of action, finished the half with 14 points for the Wildcats.
It was a solid team effort as every player on the Wildcat team scored and pulled down at least one rebound. Sophomore center Jill McDonald (Middlebury, Vt.) matched her career high in blocks with four and pulled down five rebounds to go along with her four points in the game. Chrissy Hall (Northbridge, Mass.), who went 4-for-4 from the charity stripe, totaled seven points for the Wildcats. Kate Early (Corning, N.Y.), who pulled down seven rebounds, and Racheal Fowler (Glassboro, N.J.) chipped in with six points apiece for the Wildcats.
Nunn led the Seawolves in scoring with 19 points and nine rebounds, while Kirsten Jeter earned a double-double with 12 points and 10 rebounds. Rounding out the double figure scoring for the home team was Jodie Plikus, who had 11 points.
The Wildcats will return home to host Albany on Saturday, Jan. 34. Tip off at Lundholm Gymnasium is scheduled for 1 p.m.