BALTIMORE – UMBC had four shots in the final 38 seconds to take a late lead, but could not convert and visiting New Hampshire edged the Retrievers, 51-46, at the UMBC Event Center.
The Wildcats improved to 16-10 and 7-6 in America East Conference play, while the Retrievers fell to 3-22, 2-10.
UMBC enjoyed a massive edge on the glass, outrebounding UNH, 48-31, and winning the stat battles in the paint (26-14) and on second-chance points (10-3). But the Wildcats converted 13-of-16 free throw attempts, while the Retrievers sunk just 4-of-10.
Three players scored eight points apiece for the hosts. Senior guards Brittani Burgess (White Plains, Md./St. Mary's Ryken) and Laura Castado (West Nyack, N.Y.) also added seven caroms each, while sophomore forward Lucrezia Costa (Rome, Italy) contributed six.
UNH senior center Carlie Pogue led all scorers with 16 points in 27 minutes in a reserve role.
The Wildcats used a pair of 6-0 runs to take a 40-33 lead after 30 minutes and scored the first field goal just 19 seconds into the fourth to take a game-high nine-point lead. But UMBC rattled off six straight points, highlighted by a Castaldo trey to cut the deficit to 42-39 with 7:14 remaining. The Retrievers got two more defensive stops, but could not convert.
Pogue completed and and-one to restore the lead to six at the 3:52 mark, but a jumper by Costa and a traditional three-point play by Burgess sliced the UNH led to 47-46 with 1:05 remaining.
UMBC forced a missed shot on the other end, Castaldo secured the rebound and UMBC called time-out with 48 seconds left. The Retrievers had two cracks, but missed a trey and a jumper after an offensive rebound. UMBC had to foul three time to put UNH at the line, where Pogue knocked down two free throws with 14.3 seconds left.
Again, the Retrievers had two shots from long range in an attempt to knot the score, but they were well off the mark and UNH secured the second rebound and hit two free throws with five seconds left to seal the win.
Both teams struggled from the floor in the first quarter, combining to convert only 4-of-27 field goal attempts. Freshman Janee'a Summers (Bound Brook, N.J.) hit a left-wing jumper in the final minute to give the Retrievers a 7-6 advantage after 10 minutes.
The efficiency increased in the second quarter as both squads hit over 40 percent from the field. UNH led most of the way, but a late 7-0 run by UMBC gave the hosts a 23-22 advantage at the break.
UMBC hits the road for a pair of games next week, beginning with a Wednesday evening affair at Stony Brook.