DURHAM, N.H. – Kelsey Hogan (Nashua, N.H.) and Elizabeth Belanger (Acton, Mass.) led the University of New Hampshire women's basketball team with 12 and 11 points, respectively, but the Wildcats were defeated 48-44 by Stony Brook University in Saturday afternoon's America East conference action at Lundholm Gym.
UNH is now 5-9 overall and 0-2 in America East. Stony Brook, which had lost five straight in the series vs. the Wildcats, improved to 9-6, 1-1.
Cari Reed (Oswego, N.Y.) finished with eight points and a game-high 11 rebounds, as well as two blocks, as UNH's America East Player of the Game. Chikilra Goodman (18 points, seven rebounds, four assists, three steals) received that distinction for Stony Brook.
SBU won despite shooting 32% (9 of 29) from the foul line and not making a 3-pointer (0-for-4). The Seawolves shot 45.5% (20-44) from the floor while holding the Wildcats to 26.8% (15-56), including 14.3% (4-28) in the second half.
Trailing 28-24 at halftime, SBU opened the second half on a 7-0 run to take a 31-28 lead when Jessica Previlon (12 points) converted Goodman's pass into a layup at 17:48.
Neither team scored again until Reed made a pair of free throws at 13:17 to lift the 'Cats within 31-30. Goodman scored on a short jumper in the paint, then stole the ball and scored on a layup to quickly give Stony Brook at 35-30 advantage at 12:31.
The teams exchanged baskets on the next two possessions before New Hampshire went on a 7-0 run. Reed's layup at 10:23 lifted UNH within 37-34 at 10:23. A layup by Morgan Frame (Waterville, Maine; five points, nine rebounds) trimmed the deficit to one point, 37-36, with 9:12 on the clock and then she leveled the score by making the first of two foul shots at 8:39.
The Wildcats regained the lead, 39-37, at 7:38 on Reed's layup, but Previlon immediately responded with a layup at the other end of the court to tie the score at 39. Both Previlon and Goodman went 1-for-2 from the foul line to put the Seawolves back in front, 41-39, at 4:41.
Lauren Wells (West Chester, Pa.) drilled two free throws to forge the sixth tie of the game, 41-41, with 4:34 remaining. Goodman's layup made it 43-41 and Brittany Snow hit a jumper from the right wing on SBU's next possession to give the visitors a four-point lead at 2:13.
Hogan was fouled at 1:59 and made both foul shots to trim the deficit to 45-43. Following a defensive stop by the Wildcats, Belanger made of one two free throws to lift the 'Cats within one point at 1:14. Reed snared the offensive rebound off Belanger's missed free throw, but Ariel Gaston (Toledo, Ohio) missed a 3-pointer, Goodman pulled down the rebound and went coast-to-coast to give the Seawolves a 47-44 lead with 40 seconds to play.
UNH called a 30-second timeout and Frame missed from close range. Goodman once again grabbed the board and was fouled by Hogan, which sent her to the bench with five fouls and 16 seconds remaining. Goodman hit the first free throw and the then the ball went out of bounds off SBU. The Seawolves' defensive effort kept the 'Cats at bay until Reed's layup with four seconds on the clock rolled off the rim. Goodman was once again in position for the rebound to secure the victory.
In the first half, Gaston's short jumper in the paint quickly gave New Hampshire a 2-0 lead, but Snow's jumper and consecutive Previlon field goals gave SBU a 6-2 lead at 16:58.
Belanger hit a pair of 3-pointers, both of which lifted UNH within one point (6-5 and 9-8). Kaylee Kilpatrick (Saint John, New Brunswick) finished Belanger's feed with a layup to even the score, 12-12, at 10:40.
Sabre Proctor's jump shot put the Seawolves back in front, but the 'Cats responded with a 12-4 spurt the next 4 minutes, 30 seconds to build its largest lead of the game – eight points – of 24-16 at 5:44. Hogan scored eight points during that stretch on a 3-pointer from the top of the key, pull-up foul line jumper and three-point play on a jump shot from the left elbow.
Stony Brook closed within four points, 24-20, on layups by Previlon and Snow. The teams exchanged baskets to advance the score to 28-22, then Proctor hit an off-balance short jumper to beat the buzzer and cut the margin to four points.
Saturday marked the 1,000th game in UNH program history. The Wildcats' all-time record is 506-494.
New Hampshire returns to action Jan. 9 at home against UMBC. Game time at Lundholm Gym is 7 p.m.