STONY BROOK, N.Y. – Senior Jill McDonald (Middlebury, Vt.) scored a game-high 20 points and junior Denise Beliveau (Framingham, Mass.) recorded her ninth double-double of the season with 11 points and 12 rebounds as the University of New Hampshire women's basketball team earned a 72-58 victory against Stony Brook University Wednesday evening at Pritchard Gymnasium.
Beliveau was named the America East Player of the Game for UNH, registering her 12th career double-double in the win. She rounded out the contest with a season-high four steals and two assists.
Junior Lauren Wells (West Chester, Pa.) added 17 points, three assists and two steals. She finished the night 6-for-10 from the floor and 4-for-5 from beyond the arc. Her four 3-point field goals tie a career high.
Kirsten Jeter was selected as the player of the game for Stony Brook, finishing with a team-high 19 points, six boards and four steals.
New Hampshire shot a season-best 57.1 percent (24-42) from the floor and 57.1 percent (8-14) from deep, holding SBU to 36.7 percent (22-60) shooting. The Wildcats were most impressive in the second frame, shooting 60 percent (12-20) from the field, while limiting the Seawolves to 35.3 percent (12-34) shooting.
The Seawolves jumped out to an early 10-2 lead, as a Jeter layup iced the run, giving the home team its largest lead of the contest at 16:29 in the first frame.
After scoring just two points in the first four minutes of the action, New Hampshire caught fire when Beliveau and Wells dropped in treys on back-to-back possessions to cut the deficit down to just two points, setting off a 13-3 run that lasted over five minutes.
Beliveau would score on a third straight possession with three points the old-fashioned-way, sinking a jump stop layup and converting the free throw that followed to give UNH an 11-10 lead. Beliveau and McDonald capped off the run with a pair of layups, putting the Wildcats on top, 15-13, with 11:49 remaining in the first stanza.
The Seawolves responded with a brief 6-2 scoring spurt, but the Wildcats closed out the first half with a 20-7 scoring stretch that spanned 8:06, giving the visitors a 37-26 edge at the intermission.
The 'Cats kicked off the stretch with back-to-back treys from Beliveau and Wells, as New Hampshire jumped ahead 23-21 at 7:30. The Wildcats finished off the last five minutes of the frame outscoring the Seawolves 10-3, as Wells capped off the stretch with a trifecta from the top of the key with the shot clock nearly expiring and 15 seconds on the game clock, extending the UNH lead to 11.
The two squads would exchange baskets for the first seven minutes of the second frame, until Stony Brook started to pull away with a 9-2 run that lasted over four minutes, trimming the New Hampshire lead down to six, 53-47, with 7:56 remaining.
Wells helped get the Wildcats back on track when she earned three points the old-fashioned-way, sinking a layup on an inbound pass from Kelsey Hogan (Nashua, N.H.), sparking a 13-7 scoring run by the 'Cats. The run pushed UNH's lead to double-digits once again, as the Wildcats jumped ahead, 66-54, with just over two minutes on the clock.
Frankenberger provided the offensive spark for the 'Cats at the tail end of the stretch as well, banking in a layup from the left block and then setting up McDonald with a free throw line jumper at 2:08 to extend UNH's lead to 11 once again.
The Wildcats outscored the Seawolves 6-4 the rest of the way, as the home team registered just one field goal in the final two minutes of the contest. New Hampshire secured the victory on 6-of-10 shooting from the free throw line, as McDonald provided four of UNH's six points during the stretch.
The Wildcats are back in action Sunday, Feb. 13 (1 p.m.) when they return home to take on the University of Maryland Baltimore County at Lundholm Gymnasium.