ALBANY, N.Y. – University of New Hampshire women’s basketball (4-11, 4-8 America East) fell in back-to-back games against the Albany Great Danes (4-6, 3-3 AE) over the weekend. The consecutive defeats were the Wildcats’ first back-to-back losses since they faced Hartford a month ago when Kelsey Hogan’s team dropped their first three games.
The first game of the series was one of UNH’s weaker efforts of the season, losing by a final of 59-47. Coach Hogan has repeatedly praised the fight in her young squad, but the ‘Cats were outfought on almost every part of the stat sheet.
UNH was outscored in every quarter and never seemed to get in a rhythm. Rebounding was the fatal flaw as the Great Danes pulled down 33 boards compared to the Wildcats 19. Albany capitalized on their rebounding edge with a 17-8 advantage in second-chance points. Behind the arc, UNH shot a less than impressive 1-of-9 and failed to keep pace with Albany’s 7-of-20 three-point shooting.
It wasn’t all bad for the ‘Cats, however, Ivy Gogolin came to play with a team-high 16 points and six rebounds. The junior forward was perfect from the line on four attempts. The top free-throw shooting team in the conference had their second perfect performance from the stripe on the season; UNH was 8-for-8 on the afternoon.
The guard duo of senior Amanda Torres and sophomore Héléna Delaruelle was strong once again. Torres finishes with 10 points and three assists, while Delaruelle had six points and five assists.
Coach Hogan gave an honest assessment of her team’s struggles.
“Albany came out strong. They were hungrier and ready to play,” explained Hogan.
On the team’s rebounding struggles, Hogan said the team would need to study film and learn as much as they can. Hogan reiterated how young her team is and that it’s a learning experience for improving the team’s weaknesses.
Sunday’s rematch was a much closer affair for the Wildcats. After not leading since a 2-0 advantage in the first, UNH stormed back from a 15-point deficit to take the lead in the fourth quarter. The fight in Hogan’s young team was on full display. The youthful squad was determined to claw their way to a win. Unfortunately, the furious comeback ran out of fuel in the late stages of the fourth quarter and the Wildcats fell 63-50.
Coach Hogan was proud of the team’s effort in the comeback but noted that the team lost steam in the fourth.
“We had some mental lapses down the stretch in crucial situations,” said Hogan. “But proud of the effort from my young team.”
The team is young, but it was once again the few veterans on the squad that shined brightest for UNH. Torres had one of her best performances of the season with 19 points, four steals, four assists and three rebounds. Torres was on the floor for 39 minutes and showed no sign of fatigue.
Backing up their senior captain was Gogolin and sophomore Brooke Kane. Gogolin finished with 13 points and four rebounds, while Kaine added nine points and five boards.
UNH will have the next weekend off before traveling to UMBC for a two-game series on Feb. 6 and 7.
Photo Courtesy of UAlbany Athletics: Senior Amanda Torres