CAMBRIDGE, MASS. – Juniors Amy Simpson (Waterford, Conn.) and Candace Williams (Norfolk, Mass.) tallied 16 points apiece for the University of New Hampshire women’s basketball team, but it was not enough as the Wildcats fell to Harvard University, 81-58, Wednesday evening at Lavietes Pavilion.
Harvard (4-2) got ahead early on as Niki Finelli hit a 3-pointer at 17:45 to give the Crimson a seven-point lead, 9-2. New Hampshire (0-5) slashed the deficit to just two points, 11-9, with 15:47 remaining in the first half, as Simpson recorded seven points in the Wildcats’ run. Finelli, who finished the game with 15 points for the Crimson, hit her second trifecta of the game to spark a Harvard run, giving the home team an 11-point lead, 24-13, halfway through the opening stanza.
The Crimson, whom shot 56.7 percent (17-30) in the first half, lead by as many as 20 points during the opening frame, 39-19, with 2:29 left, however five straight points for the Wildcats cut the deficit to 15 at the half, 39-24. Simpson, the America East Player of the Game for the Wildcats, tallied 11 points during the opening frame. Harvard’s Berry Brogan also hit double-figures in the first half, tallying 12 of her 14 points during the opening stanza.
In the second half, the Crimson’s hot shooting continued, as they went 16-for-28 (57.1 percent) from the floor. Harvard pulled ahead by 17 points, 50-33, with 16:41 to play, but Chrissy Hall (Northbridge, Mass.) drained back-to-back 3-pointers to get the Wildcats within 10 points, 52-42, with 13:39 remaining. Harvard pulled ahead by 16 points, 60-44, once again with just under 10 minutes left. New Hampshire went on a 7-0 run to make it 60-51 with 6:39 remaining in the game. The run included four points by Williams and three by Kate Early (Corning, N.Y.), who went 2-for-2 from the floor for five points in the game.
With 5:43 left to play, Racheal Fowler (Glassboro, N.J.), who scored all of her nine points during the final frame, hit a jumper to keep with Wildcats within nine points, 62-53, but Emma Markley sparked a 28-3 run to give the Crimson their largest lead of the game, 81-56, with under a minute to play. Markley, who led the Harvard squad in scoring with 20 points, tallied 14 points in the final 20 minutes on 5 of 6 shooting during the second half.
Williams, who shot 7 of 14 from the floor, notched 11 of her 16 points during the final frame. Abigail LaRosa (Hampton, N.H.) tallied six points and dished out a career-high six assists for the Wildcats.
The Wildcats continue on the road at Colgate on Friday, Dec. 5. Gametime in Hamilton, N.Y. is scheduled for 6 p.m.