(Chestnut Hill, MA) — On a cold winter’s eve on the first of December in 1986, beneath dirty-yellow light which drifted down over creaking wooden-bleachers in a mostly empty Lundholm Gymnasium, the University of New Hampshire Wildcats stepped onto the deadwood floorboards over their home court and knocked off the Boston College Eagles.
It has been 26 years since that frigid night in Durham. 11 times since then, the Wildcats and Eagles have taken the hardwood opposite each other. And 11 times the Wildcats have gone home empty-handed. Many times during that stretch New Hampshire was within one Austin Ganly tomahawk-slam, one Tyrece Gibbs step-back three, one Dane DiLiegro floor-burn dive, and one Alvin Abreu heart-and-hustle play, of an upset win.
Late Sunday afternoon, New Hampshire stood 58 seconds away from finally ripping victory away from Boston College. Three times, the Wildcats were within one play of knocking off the Eagles on their home floor at Conte Forum.
“I’ve been doing this a long time and I’m long past moral victories,” said New Hampshire head coach Bill Herrion, standing outside the team bus following the Wildcats 61-59 overtime loss – a soft rain turning to snow beneath a rapidly-darkening grey sky; the darkened hulk of Alumni Stadium serving as a back drop for the impromptu interview.
“I thought we had a very good chance of winning if we played our game and executed,” said Herrion, “We had chances; we just didn’t get it done.” (more…)