Men's Basketball: 'Cats topple Bears

Bret Belden

STAFF Reports

BANGOR, MAINE —‚Freshman forward Tanner Leissner came up with his second double-double of the season to lead the University of New Hampshire to its fourth straight win, a 63-58 decision over Maine on Wednesday night at the Cross Insurance Center. 

Leissner scored all 11 of his points in the second half and added a career-high 12 rebounds. 

The Wildcats have won six of their last seven games and are 12-9 overall and 5-3 in America East. They have won three straight conference road games. 

Sophomore guard Jaleen Smith led UNH with 14 points and senior guard Matt Miller had 10 points and seven rebounds. 

Maine freshman guard Kevin Little led all scorers with 22 points. 

The Black Bears battled back from a couple of large deficits in the game, but the Wildcats held them off each time. 

Maine took its only lead of the game at 34-33 with 12:25 left in the game. UNH responded with an 11-0 run — Leissner had seven points and Smith four — to take charge again. 

The Wildcats pushed the lead to 51-39 with just under four minutes to play before Maine rallied again. 

Maine got the rebound off his second miss and went the other way for a shot. Miller collected a huge rebound at the other end and was fouled. He made his two foul shots and the lead was up to 61-56 and safe with 5.2 seconds to go. 

The Wildcats pulled in front early and led big midway through the first half. Sophomore guard Daniel Dion and sophomore guard Joe Bramanti nailed treys within 45 seconds of each other and UNH was up 19-3 with 8:15 left in the play. The Wildcats scored only one field goal from there to the halftime break. 

The Wildcats had 30 points in the paint to 24 for Maine. They also had 14 bench points, eight by Dion, to eight for the Black Bears.

New Hampshire returns home to play Stony Brook on Saturday at noon, televised nationally on WBIN Classics / FOX College Sports. The Wildcats lost at Stony Brook, 71-61, on Jan. 3 in their conference opener.