UNH men’s basketball played host to the Stony Brook Seawolves on Saturday, Feb. 8. The Wildcats featured four players reaching double digits including senior forward Chris Lester who led all scorers with 22 en route to his team’s 81-64 win.
The game got off to a slow start, as it wasn’t until sophomore guard Marque Maultsby converted on a jump shot over four minutes into the game to get ahead 2-0. UNH got ahead by as much as nine points until the Seawolves broke the seal.
Five first-half three-pointers helped UNH gain a 22-point edge with just under four minutes to play in the half. The team went into the locker room ahead by 21. The Wildcats closed out the half with buckets by junior guard Josh Hopkins, sophomore forward Nick Guadarrama and Maultsby.
The home team wouldn’t give up much ground coming out for the second half. Lester began to cool off, but his teammates picked up from where he left off. Stony Brook didn’t bring the deficit to within 15 points until there was 7:31 to play.
Late in the second half, the Seawolves pulled out a full-court press to combat the Wildcat offense. This adjustment led to a handful of UNH turnovers, helping Stony Brook cut into the deficit. The closest the visitors could get the score was just nine points, however. Senior guard Mark Carbone and the offense began to figure out the Seawolf defense and quickly brought the lead back to double digits.
Head coach Bill Herrion expected the opposition to throw something new at them in the second half, explaining this to his team in the locker room at halftime.
“We said at halftime that they’re not going to go away. Obviously, they didn’t, and we struggled against the press a little and we turned it over a little bit, but our guys made plays, and I’m really proud of the effort.”
Maultsby put an exclamation point on this game with a fastbreak dunk to put his team up 17; this lead would hold for the final 1:26. This dunk capped off an eight-point, seven-rebound game for the guard.
Herrion gave his players a message before the game on their mindset heading into the final stages of their schedule.
“It’s not like we have to win this game, you should want to win this game. You should always want to win the next game no matter what situation you’re in.”
Guadarrama, Hopkins, and junior guard Sean Sutherlin were the next three leading scorers after Lester. The trio scored 14, 13 and 12 points respectively. Guadarrama added eight boards while Sutherlin contributed nine rebounds with four steals.
Following his performance against Stony Brook, Lester was named the America East player of the week.
First-year guard Tyler Stephenson-Moore paced the scoring for the Seawolves, adding 19 points and nine rebounds. Redshirt junior forward Andrew Garcia wasn’t far behind with 17 and seven.
Coming off the win, UNH headed west to UVM. UNH’s luck wouldn’t get any better after losing a hard-fought matchup last time around. The Wildcats fell by a final of 74-50 to the Catamounts.
A pair of three-pointers from sophomore Jayden Martinez and senior Mark Carbone helped their team jump out to a 17-9 lead early in the first half.
Carbone only tallied six points on the night, adding just one more three-pointer for the remainder of the evening.
Martinez was one of only two players to break into double figures with 10 points, shooting two-for-three from behind the arc.
A 10-2 run from UVM, however, put the home team ahead for the first time of the night.
The Catamounts held the lead for the final 10 minutes of the first half and extended the difference to as much as eight points.
34-28 would be the difference by the end of the first 20 minutes. A layup from Guadarrama in the final seconds brought the Wildcats a little bit closer.
UVM came out of the locker room hot, outscoring UNH 24-10 in the first 10 minutes of play in the second half.
The ‘Cats wouldn’t be able to lower the deficit below 20 points for the remainder of the game as the Catamounts dominated the second half, outscoring UNH 40-22 in the final 20 minutes.
Sophomore forward Ryan Davis led the way for the Catamounts. Davis added 16 points shooting seven-for-nine from the field. Senior Anthony Lamb and junior Ben Shungu weren’t far behind with 12 points.
Sean Sutherlin was the only player to exceed double digits in rebounds. The junior finished with a double-double scoring 10 points and grabbing 10 rebounds.
The Wildcats will be visiting UMBC on Saturday in hopes to get their record back to .500. That game will tip-off at 1 p.m.