DURHAM, N.H. – Junior forward Kaylee Kilpatrick (Saint John, New Brunswick) notched a game-high 14 points and eight rebounds to power the University of New Hampshire women's basketball team to a 46-35 win over the University of Maryland, Baltimore County Retrievers at Lundholm Gymnasium Thursday evening.
New Hampshire extends its winning streak to four games and improves to 14-8 overall and 8-1 in America East. UMBC falls to 2-20, 1-9. The Wildcats complete the season sweep of the Retrievers for the first time since the 2004-05 season. Furthermore, the 8-1 mark in America East play marks the best nine-game conference stretch in program history.
The Retrievers were led by freshman forward Sara Tarbert with 12 points and five boards. Guards Taylor McCarley and Emily Russo tallied scoring efforts of nine and eight points respectively.
UNH shot 15 of 44 from the floor to compile a .341 field goal percentage. UMBC was limited to just 11 of 44 from the field for a .250 clip. The 'Cats outrebounded the Retrievers by a plus-four margin of 36-32.
Despite being held to a season-low at halftime trailing 18-13, New Hampshire surged back to outscore UMBC, 33-17, in the second frame.
The first half was a defensive battle as each side stifled the opposing shooters. UMBC was held to 5 of 23 (.217 field goal percentage) shooting while UNH registered just four field goals on 21 attempts (.190 field goal percentage).
New Hampshire opened the scoring on a pair of free throws by Elizabeth Belanger (Acton, Mass). Coia tacked on another free throw to lead 3-0 with 17:57 to go in the first half. Bridget O'Donnell recorded the first field goal of the match for the Retrievers at 15:17. McCarley followed up with a free throw to even the score at three.
Kilpatrick logged the first basket from the field for UNH at 14:22 to regain the lead for the Wildcats. However, the Retrievers strung together seven consecutive points, leading 12-5 with 9:25 left in the first half.
The 'Cats narrowed the deficit to three, registering a jumper by Sarah-Marie Frankenberger (Gross Gerau, Germany) followed by a layup from Kilpatrick. UMBC pulled away on a 6-0 run to lead, 18-9, late in the opening stanza. Contributions from Gaston and Coia cut the Retrievers' lead down to five at 18-13 to enter the midway point of the game.
Both offenses came alive to start the second half, upping the score to 25-21. New Hampshire leveled the score at 25 on a mid-range jumper by Kilpatrick. UNH would take its first lead since the 12:39 mark in the first half on a Frankenberger basket. The Retrievers came back on the ensuing possession as Tarbert tallied a layup. However, a 9-0 run coupled with a stingy defensive effort elapsing over 5:18, gave the Wildcats a 36-27 advantage with 5:16 remaining in the second stanza.
New Hampshire stretched its lead to 13 at the three-minute mark, capped off by a 3-pointer from Kelsey Hogan (Nashua, N.H.), holding a 41-28 edge. Tarbert responded with a trey of her own to slice the lead down to 10. In spite of that, the Wildcats preserved its double-digit cushion for the remainder of regulation for the 46-35 win.
The Wildcats start a two-game road swing at Stony Brook University on Sunday, Feb. 9 (2 p.m.). UNH returns to Lundholm Gymnasium on Sunday, Feb. 16 (2 p.m.) to host the University of Hartford for its National Girls and Women in Sports game streamed live on ESPN3. For tickets, visit www.unhwildcats.com or call (603) 862-4000.