The men’s basketball team made a statement Thursday evening when they traveled to the University of New Hampshire and came away with a 65-57 win.
The Wildcats (2-0) were able to jump out to a 15-5 lead after the first nine minutes of the game and extended the score to 34-17 at the half.
After halftime, the men were able to push their advantage to 26 points at 53-27, before New Hampshire ripped off a 22-3 run to cut the lead to seven with just two minutes left at 56-49.
However, the Wildcats were able to hold New Hampshire off by scoring 9 points, fueled by 6-of-8 shooting from the free throw line down the stretch.
“It felt great getting a road win in New Hampshire,” said sophomore forward Jaren Lewis. “Winning road games was a struggle of ours last season and it was great to start this one winning against a good team on the road.”
Senior guard Jovan Crnic led the team in scoring with 19 points, while Lewis also put up 11. Crnic now leads the team in points per game with 16 while Lewis averages 12.5.
Junior guard Drake Green dished out the most assists with three while sophomore center Jalone Friday hauled in a team-high seven rebounds.
“Winning in general is a superior feeling that everybody on our team is hungry for,” Crnic said. “I feel like we definitely showed that in the game vs New Hampshire and it’s something we should keep doing no matter who the opponent is. That win was also the revenge we were waiting for for a long time, since New Hampshire beat us on our home court last year.”
For New Hampshire (2-1), senior guard Jaleen Smith put up an impressive 27 points pushing his team leading average to 18 points a game.
Junior guard Jordan Reed and freshman guard Kijana Love led the team with two assists each while junior forward Tanner Leissner grabbed 10 rebounds.
“We completely shut them down in the first half,” Crnic said. “We look forward to the rest of the season and are even more motivated after this win because we are aware of the things we are capable of when we play together.”
The Wildcats are next scheduled to play Charleston Southern University in Moody Coliseum on Tuesday.