Women's Hoop Falls in See-Saw Battle to Vermont, 58-47

BURLINGTON, Vt. – Junior forward Denise Beliveau (Framingham, Mass.) registered eight points and seven rebounds, but the University of New Hampshire women's basketball team fell to the University of Vermont, 58-47, Thursday evening at Patrick Gymnasium.

The loss drops the Wildcats to 8-18 overall and 5-9 in America East play, while the Catamounts improve to 5-22 and 5-9 in conference action.

Beliveau was named the America East Player of the Game for UNH, rounding out the contest with two steals and a block. She has earned player of the game honors in four straight games, including five of the last six contests.

Lauren Buschmann took home player of the game honors for UVM, tallying a game-high 23 points and 11 rebounds. She finished the contest 7-for-15 from the floor and 9-for-12 from the charity stripe.

Cari Reed (Oswego, N.Y.) added a team-best nine points and two blocks. Kelley Flynn (Hopkinton, N.H.) chipped in with eight points, while Jill McDonald (Middlebury, Vt.) compiled six points and six boards in the loss.

The Catamounts opened up the contest with a 9-5 advantage, as a Buschmann jumper in the paint gave the home team the four-point edge at 14:50. UVM polished off the stretch with seven unanswered points, holding UNH scoreless for nearly four minutes.

Reed snapped the scoreless streak for the 'Cats, sinking a trey that sparked an 8-5 run, cutting the score to 14-13 with 12:35 remaining in the first stanza. McDonald finished off the run with three points the old-fashioned-way, sinking a tough layup and knocking down the free throw that followed to trim the deficit down to one.

Sam Simononis helped get the Catamounts back on track, sinking one of two free throws and knocking down a trifecta, extending  UVM's advantage to its largest margin to that point, jumping ahead 18-13 with just over 10 minutes left in the frame.

After surrendering four straight points and being held scoreless for nearly three minutes, the Wildcats stormed back with seven unanswered on their way to an 11-2 run that reclaimed the lead, 24-20, with 3:42 remaining in the first half. The two squads would trade buckets the rest of the way, but New Hampshire was able to hold onto the lead heading into the half with a 28-27 advantage.

Vermont responded by coming out of the locker room with an 8-4 run, as the home team reclaimed the lead, pushing ahead 37-32 at 14:58. Despite the scoring spurt, a pair of layups on back-to-back possessions by Flynn and Beliveau put the 'Cats right back in the mix, cutting the deficit back down to one about a minute later.

UVM came back with a 9-2 scoring stretch, holding New Hampshire scoreless for about six minutes, as the Catamounts claimed their largest lead to that point. Tonya Young iced the run, sinking a layup to give Vermont a 44-36 edge at 7:57. Kelsey Hogan (Nashua, N.H.) provided UNH's lone basket during the stretch on a layup in the eighth minute of the action.

Both teams exchanged baskets for the three minutes that followed, until the Catamounts pulled away with a 7-1 run to close out the contest and secure the victory.

The Wildcats return to action for their final home contest of the season against the University of Maine Wednesday, Feb. 23 (7 p.m.) at Lundholm Gymnasium.
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