A historic night for junior forward Carlie Pogue headlined the Wildcats’ 76-69 victory over visiting Binghamton. In a game with five lead changes and five ties, the ‘Cats were able to hold on for the victory.
Pogue scored 32 points for UNH, which is a career-high for the forward. Pogue was 11-19 from the field, 9-12 from the free throw line and added 17 rebounds, all in 37 minutes of playing time.
“Early on, all our guards were passing the ball so I just felt like I should finish the ball and everything rolls from there,” Pogue said.
“She was unstoppable, no one could stop her,” senior guard Kristen Anderson said on Pogue’s performance. “We know she’s capable of that everyday, in practice she shows that, it was exciting to see it out there.”
UNH shot an impressive 52 percent from the field and 57 percent from the three-point arc. After a below average first half from the free throw line, the ‘Cats hit 15-19 second half free throws to secure the win in the final minutes.
“Overall obviously I’m pleased in how we finished, how we finished with free throws and found a way to beat a really good team,” head coach Maureen Magarity said.
All four other Wildcat starters contributed to the win in the teams second to last home game. Forward Kat Fogarty added nine points with five rebounds. Guards Brittni Lai and Anderson added 12 and 13 points respectively.
Junior Olivia Healy added nine points and the three starting guards combined for seven rebounds and ten assists.
Binghamton pressured UNH all game as the ‘Cats tried to bring the ball up the court, the pressure seemed to work as UNH gave up 19 turnovers, compared to Binghamton’s 11.
UNH’s turnover problem seems to be the only thing they need to fix as their dominant forward presence, and multi-threat guard play has been confusing opponents all year long.
“My other teammates stepped up,” Anderson said on her turnover issues, “they did their jobs. That’s the way we’ve played all season.”
Turnovers are one problem Magarity’s team has to work on, another thing is bench performance. The Wildcats bench players only combined for one point in the contest, and haven’t been an asset for the team all season.
With the home stretch of regular season games, and playoffs approaching the Wildcats will have to turn to bench players Ashley Storey, Aliza Simpson and Peyton Booth to step up if their starters struggle or have foul trouble.
“I give our bench a lot of confidence,” Magarity said. “I know [Storey, Simpson and Booth] can come in, we have a really deep bench, they came in and gave us good numbers it just didn’t show up on paper.”
Up next for the ‘Cats is a two game road trip against rival Maine, and America East opponent Hartford. Although UNH was victorious in their first meetings with these teams, they can’t relax now.
“We know we have a tough road ahead of us,” Magarity said. “We know we can beat these teams, and we have that confidence going into this stretch.”
UNH takes on Maine Wednesday, February 15 at 7 p.m. at the Cross Insurance Arena in Portland, Maine.