Women's Basketball Comes up Short in Final Minutes to BU, 66-62
BOSTON – Junior Denise Beliveau (Framingham, Mass.) earned her seventh double-double of the season, registering a game-high 24 points and 10 rebounds, but the University of New Hampshire women's basketball team fell to Boston University, 66-62, Saturday afternoon at Case Gymnasium.
The loss drops the Wildcats to 6-15 overall and 3-6 in America East play, while the Terriers improve to 12-9 overall and 9-0 in conference action.
Beliveau was tabbed the America East Player of the Game for New Hampshire earning her 11th double-double of her career in the contest. She scored 23 of her 24 points in the second half on 7-of-14 shooting from the floor, 4-of-6 shooting from three and 6-of-7 shooting from the line.
Chantell Alford earned player of the game honors for the Terriers, notching 16 points, four boards, four assists, three steals and three blocks. She finished 7-for-14 from the field and 2-for-5 from beyond the arc.
Jill McDonald (Middlebury, Vt.) also scored in double-digits for the 'Cats, posting 14 points, five rebounds and two blocks. She finished 6-for-8 from the floor and 2-for-3 from the charity stripe.
After being down by 13 points following a 17-9 Terrier run that lasted 6:24, the Wildcats made a push midway through the second stanza, piecing together a 19-3 run that put the visitors on top, 55-52, with 5:55 remaining.
Beliveau anchored the 'Cats with 15 points during the stretch, including a pair of free throws that ignited the run at 11:45. New Hampshire followed up scoring on seven consecutive possessions, as Beliveau drained a 3-pointer from the top of the key and McDonald sank a 10-foot jumper in the paint to get the 'Cats off and running.
UNH kept up the pace when Beliveau knocked down a runner in the paint and Cari Reed (Oswego, N.Y.) banked in a fastbreak layup on consecutive possessions to cut the score to 52-47 with 8:42 on the clock. Beliveau added a pair of free throws and a 3-pointer from the left wing on the next two trips up the floor, knotting the score at 52-52.
Beliveau provided the go-ahead basket for New Hampshire just over a minute later when Jilliane Friel (Durham, N.H.) found her wide open on the right wing for another trey, putting the Wildcats ahead, 55-52.
On the ensuing possession Jacquelin Kuczynski ended the scoring rut for BU draining a trifecta that evened the score at 55-55, setting off a 12-2 run that lasted just over three minutes, helping the Terriers take a 64-57 lead with 2:46 remaining.
However, the Wildcats weren't going down without a fight, as McDonald drained a jumper and Beliveau earned three points the old-fashioned-way, taking the ball hard to the rack on the right side and banking it off the window with contact on back-to-back possessions, cutting the deficit down to just two points with 1:23 to play.
Neither team found the bottom of the net for the next 1:03, until Kat Briggs secured the win with a pair of free throws with 10 seconds remaining.
New Hampshire held the early edge in the contest, posting a 12-6 run sparked by a Reed trifecta and capped off with a pair of Kate Early (Corning, N.Y.) layups on back-to-back possessions, giving the Wildcats a 14-10 advantage with 11:52 remaining in the first frame.
The two squads would trade baskets for the next 3:30 until the Terriers caught fire, scoring on three straight trips up the floor on their way to posting a 7-0 run. Briggs iced the scoring stretch with a 3-pointer that gave BU a 22-18 lead with 6:47 left in the stanza.
McDonald snapped the scoreless streak for UNH with a jumper at 6:25, as both teams exchanged buckets the rest of the way, but the Terriers still held a 32-27 edge at the intermission. Kelsey Hogan (Nashua, N.H.) set up Lauren Wells (West Chester, Pa.) with the final basket of the frame, darting a pass to her on the left block in midair for a layup off the window just before the halftime buzzer sounded.
The Wildcats return to action Thursday, Feb. 3 (7 p.m.) when they return home to take on the University at Albany at Lundholm Gymnasium.