ORONO, Maine – Kelsey Hogan (Nashua, N.H.) recorded her first career double-double with 15 points and career-high 11 rebounds to lead the University of New Hampshire women's basketball team to Saturday afternoon's 86-63 America East victory against University of Maine in the regular-season finale at Memorial Gym.
UNH, which recorded season highs in points (86), field goals (35), 3-point field goals (nine) and rebounds (55), won its seventh consecutive game in the series vs. Maine to improve to 11-17 overall and 6-10 in America East. Maine, returning to action for the first time since Tuesday's bus accident, ends the regular season at 4-24, 3-12.
New Hampshire, which finished in a four-way tie for fourth place, will be the No. 5 seed at the 2013 America East Women's Basketball Championship and tips off March 8 against fourth-seeded Stony Brook University in an 8 p.m. quarterfinal at the University at Albany's SEFCU Arena.
Hogan shot 6-for-11 from the floor, including 3 of 5 3-pointers, and also finished with five assists and two steals to garner UNH's America East Player of the Game. Cari Reed (Oswego, N.Y.) netted a team-high 18 points on the strength of four 3-pointers to climb to No. 17 on the program's all-time points list (932); she also tallied six rebounds.
Ariel Gaston (Toledo, Ohio) established a personal best in points for the second consecutive game with 10. Morgan Frame (Waterville, Maine) finished with 10 points and six rebounds while Kaylee Kilpatrick (Saint John, New Brunswick) contributed eight points and six rebounds and Elizabeth Belanger (Acton, Mass.) had nine points, four rebounds and four assists.
Stephanie Spoto (Pittsford, N.Y.) tallied seven points and six rebounds while Kendall Martenet (Waukesha, Wis.) added four points and a career-high six rebounds. Victoria Duffey (Commerce Township, Mich.) scored her first collegiate points when she drilled a 3-pointer from the right corner in the closing minutes; she also hit two free throws for a total of five points.
Four of the six Black Bears scored in double digits. Lauren Bodine hit four 3-pointers as part of her team-high 18 points. Ashleigh Roberts (14 points, seven rebounds), Liz Wood (13 points) and Courtney Anderson (10) also scored in double figures while Chantel Charles recorded a team-best eight rebounds.
Maine held early leads of 2-0, 4-2 and 6-4, but then UNH scored 13 consecutive points to build a 17-6 lead at 13:05. Hogan ignited the spurt with a short jumper on the left side to tie the score, 6-6, at 16:44. Thirty seconds later, Gaston drilled a 3-pointer from the top-left wing to give the Wildcats their first lead of the game, 9-6. Frame then hit Gaston cutting on the left baseline for a layup at 15:42 and Belanger extended the advantage to 13-6 with a putback on the right blocks. Reed hit back-to-back jumpers to give the 'Cats an 11-point lead.
The Black Bears clawed within 17-10 on field goals by Charles and Roberts, but the Wildcats responded with a 6-0 run to build its largest lead of the first half, 13 points, at 23-10. Spoto drilled a jumper from the right elbow, then Kilpatrick made two shots from the left blocks.
Trailing 30-18 at 6:32, Maine went on an 11-5 run the next four minutes to trim the deficit to 35-29. UNH responded with a layup by Martenet and Reed 3-pointer to reestablish a double-digit lead of 40-29 with 1:25 remaining in the first half. The Black Bears closed the half on a 5-2 spurt to pull within 42-34.
Roberts opened the second-half scoring with a layup to lift the home team within 42-36, but the Wildcats answered with a 9-0 run in two minutes to extend the advantage to 51-36 at 17:20. Hogan's 3-pointer from the right wing sparked the run, which also included two Frame putbacks sandwiched around Belanger's pull-up jumper.
Maine battled back one more time. The Black Bears scored 10 of the next 12 points to reduce UNH's lead to 53-46 at 13:27. New Hampshire responded with an 11-1 spurt the next four minutes to establish a 17-point lead of 64-47.
Roberts made a layup and 3-pointer to trim the margin to 12 points with 8:32 remaining, but Gaston's three point play on UNH's next possession quelled the comeback as the 'Cats slowly pulled away to their largest lead of 24 points, 79-55, on Hogan's third 3-pointer of the game at 3:40.
UNH, which did not attempt a first-half free throw, made 7 of 9 foul shots. Maine went 13-for-21 from the line. The teams combined to attempts 47 3-pointers with UNH shooting 9-for-22 (40.9%) and UM hitting 6 of 25 (24.0%).