DURHAM, N.H. -- Sophomore forward Corinne Coia (North Smithfield, R.I.) scored a career-high 24 points and pulled down 10 rebounds to lead the University of New Hampshire women's basketball team to Saturday afternoon's 78-71 America East conference victory against UMass Lowell at Lundholm Gymnasium.
UNH extended its win streak to four games - and has won 14 of the last 16 - to improve to 18-9 overall and 12-2 in America East. UML is now 5-21, 4-11.
Coia scored 21 points in the second half on 9 of 10 shooting from the floor and 3 of 4 from the foul line to help the Wildcats erase a 38-31 halftime deficit. The 'Cats trailed 48-44 with 13 minutes remaining when she singlehandedly outscored the River Hawks 15-8 to lift UNH to a 59-56 lead at 7:39. UML never tied the score the rest of the way.
Kelsey Hogan (Nashua, N.H.) scored 22 points on the strength of three 3-pointers and 7 of 8 shooting from the foul line. Ariel Gaston (Toledo, Ohio) finished with seven points and nine rebounds while Kaylee Kilpatrick (Saint John, New Brunswick) contributed eight points, six rebounds and three blocks. Kristen Anderson (Greene, Maine) added a game-high seven assists.
Mass Lowell was led by Jasmine Roy (24 points), Shannon Samuels (14) and Lindsey Doucette, who recorded a double-double with 11 points and 10 rebounds.
Sarah-Marie Frankenberger (Gross Gerau, Germany) opened the scoring of the match with a 3-pointer. UMass Lowell countered with a pair of field goals to take a 4-3 advantage with 16:38 to go in the first half.
The River Hawks poured in a trio of 3-balls from McRoy, Brittany Lomanno and Asia Mitchell, extend their lead to 10 at 22-12 with 11:05 left in the opening frame.
New Hampshire slashed UML's lead down to five on contributions from Hogan, Anderson and Gaston. However, the River Hawks reconstructed their double-digit lead of 10 and leading 31-21 at 4:24. Samuels capped of a 5-2 run for UMass Lowell to give the River Hawks their largest lead of the night at 37-23 with 3:39 left in the first half.
The Wildcats came right back with six consecutive points from Kilpatrick, Gaston and Frankenberger to trail, 37-29. UMass Lowell entered halftime with a 38-31 advantage.
UNH and UML opened the second frame exchanging layups. The Wildcats pulled within a point, sparked by back-to-back 3-pointers from Hogan at 42-41 with 15:55 to go in regulation. The River Hawks maintained their slim lead, upping the score to 50-46 at 11:55.
Coia opened her second half scoring with a pair of free throws as part of a 21-point performance in the second stanza. The 6-foot-4 forward ignited a 15-8 run, scoring all 15 points to give the Wildcats a 59-56 lead with 8:11 left in the second half, their first lead since the 16:20 in the first frame.
UMass Lowell sliced UNH's lead down to one with a trey from Nicole Hayner. The Wildcats and River Hawks remained within a basket as the score increased to 65-63 with 5:19 on the clock.
The Wildcats carved out a seven-point advantage on a 7-3 run to hold a 73-66 advantage with 2:11 to go in regulation. The River Hawks could not get a defensive stop as each side continued to trade points. UNH capped off the scoring with a pair of free throws from Hogan to post a season-high in scoring for the Wildcats (78). The baskets from the charity stripe ensured the 78-71 victory for New Hampshire.
The Wildcats remain in Durham as UNH hosts America East unbeaten University at Albany (24-3, 14-0 AE) on Wednesday, Feb. 26 (7 p.m.). New Hampshire concludes its regular season at home against the University of Maine for Senior Day on Sunday, March 1 (1 p.m.), aired on Fox College Sports Atlantic. For tickets, visit UNHWildcats.com or call (603) 862-4000.