UNH's Historic Season Ends in WNIT 1st Round
DURHAM, N.H. – Junior guard Brittni Lai (Irvington, N.Y.) scored 17 points to lead the University of New Hampshire women's basketball team Friday night, but the Wildcats fell to Harvard University, 69-56, in a Women's National Invitational Tournament game in Lundholm Gymnasium.
The Wildcats close out the best season in program history with a 26-6 record.
UNH was playing in the WNIT team for only the second time. The Wildcats last played in the event in 1999.
UNH concluded its season.
Harvard improved to 21-8 and advances to the second round of the WNIT. The Crimson will play at St. John's University in the second round on Sunday. St. John's beat Sacred Heart, 72-43, on Friday night.
The Wildcats won their first outright America East regular season championship, crushed the previous school record of 23 wins and put together a record 13-game winning streak that stretched from mid-December through early February.
Lai scored 17 points in a row to lead the Wildcats in scoring for the second straight game. She also had 17 in UNH's 61-52 loss to Maine in an America East semifinal game on March 5. The Maine game was the first time Lai had led the team in scoring since Jan. 11.
Lai made six of her 12 field goal attempts and all five of her foul shots.
One of two UNH transfers from Marist University – junior forward Kat Fogarty (Westminster, Mass.) is the other – Lai was named to the America East All Conference third team. Fogarty was a second-team pick.
Junior center Carlie Pogue (Cincinnati, Ohio) had seven points and led the Wildcats with nine rebounds. Sophomore forward Ashley Storey (Cumberland, Maine) also had seven points.
Fogarty and junior guard Aliza Simpson (Londonderry, N.H.) each had six points.
HOW IT HAPPENED
The Wildcats used a 10-0 run starting midway through the first period to grab a 16-11 lead and they were up 18-17 when the quarter ended.
Harvard took the lead with its own 6-0 run and was up 27-23 with 4:35 left in the second period. The Crimson never trailed again and were up 33-29 at the half.
Lai had nine of her points in the first half.
Fogarty had a layup off a pass from Pogue and Lai had a steal and a layup to pull UNH to within 41-40 with 4:07 left in the third period.
Harvard opened the lead to 50-44 after three periods and pulled away in the fourth.
STARTERS (SEASON/CAREER STARTS)
Jr. C Carlie Pogue (32/69)
Jr. F Kat Fogarty (32/32)
Sr. G Kristen Anderson (17/50)
Jr. G Olivia Healy (15/15)
Jr. G Brittni Lai (30/30)
GROUP'S RECORD: 6-2
New Hampshire leads 17-11
- The Wildcats won 20 of their last 23 games, but lost their last two.
- Simpson and Kristen Anderson (Greene, Maine) led UNH with three assists each.
- Junior guard Olivia Healy (Reading, Mass.) scored five points and had five rebounds and two steals.
- Lai also had two steals.
- UNH, the best free throw shooting team in the league, made 10 of its 14 foul shots.
- UNH was outrebounded 38-32.
- The Wildcats missed their first 10 three-point shots of the game and were 2-for-12 total.
- Each team took 58 shots from the floor.
- Harvard made 30 of its shots (51.7 percent).
- UNH made 22 of its shots (37.9 percent).
- Destiny Nunley made 9 of her 10 field goals and had 19 points for the Crimson.
- UNH had 13 points off turnovers to Harvard's 8.
- Harvard had 40 points in the paint and UNH had 28.
- Harvard had 18 bench points and UNH had 16.
- The Wildcats had 10 turnovers.
- Harvard had 12 turnovers.
- The Wildcats were No. 19 in this week's www.collegeinsider Mid-Major Top 25 poll.
Carlie Pogue: 7 points / 9 rebounds
Ashley Storey: 7 points / 3-for-3 field goals
Brittni Lai: 17 points
Aliza Simpson: 6 points / 3 assists