DURHAM, NH – Sophomore forward Nick Guadarrama (Newington, Conn.) scored a career-high 28 points and led all scorers as New Hampshire defeated Holy Cross, 87-83 at Lunholm Gymnasium on Saturday afternoon. The Wildcats saw five score in double figures and never trailed despite several runs from the Crusaders.
Guadarrama, who also led the team with 13 rebounds, added three steals, three assists and one block and proved to be the difference maker against an undersized Holy Cross team. For the Crusaders, freshman Ryan Wade (Ann Arbor, Mich.) came off the bench and scored a team-high 24 points, shooting 4-of-7 from three-point range.
Holy Cross cut an early 10-point deficit to one point with a basket from sophomore Blake Verbeek (Grand Rapids, Mich) with just under six minutes remaining in the game. The Crusaders forced 16 UNH turnovers which led to 10 fast-break points and received another solid game from freshman Drew Lowder (Jackson, Mich.), who scored 14 points in the loss.
New Hampshire countered with 14 second chance points on 11 offensive rebounds to hold on the lead despite being outshot from the field by the Crusaders. The Wildcats shot 39% from three-point range and only 64% from the free-throw line, but made timely defensive stops and free throws when they were most needed.
UNH junior Sean Sutherlin (New Brighton, Minn.) posted a double-double in the victory, scoring 11 points and pulling down 11 rebounds and senior Mark Carbone (Wethersfield, Conn.), who finished with 13 points, sealed the victory going 4-for-4 from the free throw line over the last 15 seconds of the game.
New Hampshire, now 2-0 on the season, plays their next four games on the road beginning next Tuesday at St. John’s. Holy Cross, meanwhile, is now 0-2 after losses to No. 7 Maryland and UNH. The Crusaders host Fairfield in their home opener on Tuesday night.
HMG Guest Writer: Pete Wehry