The top-seeded University of New Hampshire Wildcats did what they’ve done all year in beating Stony Brook 58-49 in an America East quarterfinal game Saturday afternoon.

UNH, despite its 26-4 record, rarely dominates an opponent. But, like they did Saturday, the Wildcats always pull away in the end.

No. 8 Stony Brook stayed close to the Wildcats, led early in the second half, and was within four points late in the game.

“During the season we’ve had so many of these game, we weren’t really worried about it,” UNH junior guard Brittni Lai said.

UNH led 46-42 when Wildcats senior guard Kristen Anderson of Greene hit a 3-pointer with 2:35 left. UNH pulled away.

“It was nerve wracking, but we kept our composure,” said Carlie Pogue, UNH’s 6-foot-2 forward.

Pogue, the America East Player of the Year, led all scorers with 23 points. Lai scored 15 and forward Kat Fogarty added 13. Anderson had five points, six rebounds, two assists and two steals.

Now the Wildcats expect another close game against Maine.

“This league has the most parity I’ve seen in my seven years,” said UNH Coach Maureen Magarity.

n Imani Tate scored 16 points and grabbed five rebounds to help Albany beat Vermont 65-45 and advance to the semifinals, where the Great Danes will play Hartford.

Former Lake Region star Tiana-Jo Carter had five points and eight rebounds for Albany.

n Deanna Mayza scored 21 points and grabbed seven rebounds, while Darby Lee had 16 points and 11 rebounds in Hartford’s 74-40 win over Maryland-Baltimore County.

MAINE AND UNH MET twice during the year. The Wildcats were the only team to sweep the Black Bears, winning 50-44 in Durham, and 65-57 three weeks ago in Bangor.

“Pogue is the key,” said Maine associate head coach Amy Vachon.

“That being said, they’re a great team. Brittni Lai, their point guard, has hurt us. (Olivia) Healy, their three guard, has hurt us.

“They have other kids who can step up.”

ATTENDANCE FOR THE first two quarterfinal games was 1,896, which was the best opening-round attendance in the tournament since 2012, when the event was held in Hartford.

This is the first time the tournament has been held in Maine since 1998, when it was played at the Alfond Arena in Orono. This is also the first time the event has been held on a neutral court, although the fans were decisively rooting for Maine.

Kevin Thomas can be reached at 791-6411 or:

[email protected]

Twitter: @KevinThomasPPH

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