In an overtime battle against Northeastern University, UNH grinded out a late-game thriller as they went on to knock off the Huskies and improve their winning streak to four games. Brittni Lai hit a buzzer-beater to tie the game and force overtime that led to the win.
The Huskies started the game with an 18-12 advantage after the first quarter. After building on that lead, UNH cut the deficit to five heading into the fourth quarter and ended up matching the score at 56 after regulation.
“I think the team is really gaining confidence coming out of this week winning two tough road games, both coming back from deficits and finding ways to win,” head coach Maureen Magarity said.
The play of juniors Carlie Pogue and Lai has guided UNH in its current winning streak. Pogue scored a career-high of 26 points, and added 13 rebounds. Lai dropped 19 points and four assists.
“A lot of people impressed me in the win, [including Lai] hitting the buzzer beater to put us in [overtime],” Magarity said. “[Pogue] was a scoring machine late in the second half and [overtime] and [Fogarty] hit some big shots for us. It was a great team effort.”
Pogue notched her second double-double this season and her career high of 26 points beat her previous best of 24 points against Daniel Webster College her freshman year.
Junior Aliza Simpson tallied five assists, four points and four rebounds. Sophomore Ashley Storey notched four points and six rebounds coming off the bench.
UNH now improves to 5-2 on the season and has been undefeated against teams from New England, a record that stands at 4-0. With a record as such, morale is high as the team moves forward.
“Everyone is really upbeat in practice and staying focused, I’m very pleased with the overall team morale,” Magarity said.
The Wildcats have been tested on the road early this season. Their first game at Cornell was a close battle that ended in a loss, then travelled to Kentucky to play the No. 15 seed in the country.
“I think we understand coming out of this four-game winning streak that the rest of our non-conference schedule is only going to get tougher and we need to stay hungry,” Magarity said.
After losing its first two road games, UNH has evened its road record to 2-2 after its most recent wins at Boston University and Northeastern.
Slow starts have become an issue for the Wildcats which has forced them to battle back in games.
“We were down by double digits early in the past two games. We can’t rely on big [second] halves, need to start games sharper and focus on taking leads at the start,” Magarity said.
Up next for the Wildcats is a match against Siena College in yet another road test.
“Heading into the Siena game, we need to continue to take care of the ball and execute our offensive sets with a purpose, Magarity said. “Siena is very athletic, will pressure us defensively, so keeping our turnovers down is a huge game key.”
The game is Tuesday, Dec. 6 at 7 p.m. The ‘Cats return to Lundholm Sunday, Dec. 11, and will face Ivy League member Yale University at 1 p.m.