In last night’s action: Another second-half comeback at the Hawks’ expense.
New Hampshire 57, Hartford 54
In a must-win game, Tyrone Conley and Dane DiLiegro stepped up when UNH (7-9, 1-3 AE) needed them the most, propelling the Wildcats to a come-from-behind victory. Conley scored a career high 33 points on 10-of-16 shooting (6-of-10 from behind the arc) and DiLiegro ripped down a game high 11 rebounds – 10 defensive – as New Hampshire stormed back after trailing by as many as 16 points. Morgan Sabia paced Hartford (5-11, 2-1 AE) with 20 points on 8-of-13 shooting, but was the only Hawk in double figures.
The game was a battle of two teams that appeared headed in opposite directions. UNH entered the game having lost seven of eight and three straight to open up America East play. Hartford had won three straight and sat atop the America East standings. After being predicted to compete for a conference championship, New Hampshire was in full tailspin after leading scorer Ferg Myrick was lost for the season with a ruptured patella tendon. Hartford came to Durham with a full head of steam, and the looks of the surprise of the conference.
The Hawks came out firing. When the dust had settled New Hampshire had turned the ball over 15 times and the Hawks had a resounding 30-14 lead with just over two minutes to play in the first half. But New Hampshire wouldn’t go away, scoring the final four points of the first period.
The Wildcats stormed out of the locker room after halftime, opening the second frame on a 20-2 run and grabbing a 38-32 lead with under 15 minutes to play. UNH would hang on for its first win of the conference season.
There are two games scheduled for tonight. The Bearcats, in sole possession of first place, look to become the only AE team with three conference wins when they take on 1-14 UMBC. And two potential contenders help to define the AE pecking order when Maine visits Albany.