UNH fell back to .500 in the second game of their four-game road trip. The Wildcats went to BU and fell 70-84 to the Terriers; the team was hindered by poor shooting performances by some of their more elite scorers and couldn’t make up enough ground to threaten the outcome of the game.
The teams began by trading baskets for the first several minutes, but three straight layups for the Terriers gave their side an eight-point lead with 8:43 to go in the half.
First year guard Blondaeu Tchoukuiengo and sophomore Jayden Martinez gave UNH life late in the first half, however, as they sank a pair of three-pointers to tie the game at 20.
UNH kept BU from pulling away the rest of the half, and even took a two-point lead with just under two minutes remaining before halftime. A three from sophomore guard Marque Maltsby propelled his team ahead by two. The lead would evaporate fast, as the home team regained a four-point lead come halftime.
BU left any chance of a UNH comeback in the first half, as the team came out of halftime on an 8-1 run, extending their lead to 11 points. Things wouldn’t get much better for the Wildcats after the run; the Terriers kept piling it on, leading by as much as 18 within the first seven minutes of the half. The ‘Cats were bullied inside by the bigger BU team, who capitalized on injuries to UNH.
Martinez and junior Sean Sutherlin helped bring UNH within eight points three separate times late in the game, but that’s as close as they would get as Boston pulled ahead to secure the 14-point win.
Sutherlin shot 7-for-12 and six-for-eight at the charity stripe to earn 20 points, leading the team. The junior also added seven rebounds and six assists.
Martinez found the bottom of the basket in different ways, shooting five-for-six from downtown for 19 points, while adding six rebounds as well.
UNH suffered from many of their high-volume players being unable to score consistently. Sophomore Nick Guadarrama along with senior Mark Carbone only scored three points apiece, and junior Josh Hopkins didn’t score on Saturday.
Head Coach Bill Herrion talked about how defenses are starting to get more film, and figure out his guys’ games, so it’s their responsibility to figure out how to remain effective.
“The key as we move further into the season is that the guys have to start making adjustments in their own game and find different ways to score.”
He also mentioned how his players seem to be running out of gas at the end of some of these losses.
“One issue that’s got me a little bit concerned early in the year is our lack of depth. I think we’re playing guys too many minutes.”
In the third game of the road trip, UNH went into Central Connecticut State and took down the Blue Devils by a final of 77-63.
Each side looked sloppy from the jump; no team would reach double digits until about nine minutes into the contest when CCSU took a 12-6 lead over UNH.
UNH trailed by as much as eight in the first half but a surge from the trio of sophomores, Martinez, Guadarrama and Maltsby brought the team back and took the lead with six minutes remaining in the half. The Wildcats wouldn’t surrender the lead the rest of the way.
UNH got hot from behind the three-point line at the end of the half and extended the lead to as much as seven points and carried a 35-30 score into the locker room.
The Blue Devils kept the score respectable for the first few minutes out of halftime, but it wouldn’t be long before Sutherlin and Martinez took over the game as the duo scored 24 of the teams 42 second half points.
Martinez recorded a double-double with 22 points and 15 boards, while Sutherlin netted 15 points with seven rebounds and five assists.
Guadarrama also took home his third double-double of the short season with 13 points and 10 rebounds.
Coach was happy with the output of scoring from his team and enjoys the versatility he has with his roster.
“We can score a lot of different ways with this team; we have a lot of different players.”
The Wildcats led by as much as 19 points a handful of times in the second half of this game and didn’t let the home team get with 12 points in the final 10 minutes of play.
The development of the sophomores has been huge for the team’s success to this point, Herrion points out how the down season last year game his young guys a lot of crucial experience.
“We played them a lot of minutes last season, so they got a lot of experience, so although we didn’t win a lot of games last year those guys are benefitting from the experience they got as young players last year.”
UNH now sits at 3-2 before heading on the road once again to James Madison University on Saturday, Nov. 23 at 2 p.m.