A little snow in New England wasn't going to stop this game from happening.
Hartford and New Hampshire were ready to battle it out, snow or not. It may not look like a worth while game on paper, with New Hampshire coming in at seventh in the standings while Hartford has managed to climb the ranks back to third.
But New Hampshire's recent win over Stony Brook has brought a lot of questions. "What happened?", "How did they get so good?" and most important, "Do they have what it takes to win?"
What made this game special wasn't just the test of New Hampshire's new found confidence; this was Hartford's alumni game, the unveiling of the banner for their bid in the Collegeinsider.com Tournament last season, and also the only thing standing in the way of Head Coach John Gallager's 50th win. If that's not a lot of pressure, I don't know what is.
Hartford started out hot with Mark Nwakamma's layup and jumper to go with a three pointer from Yolonzo Moore II. But they wouldn't have a 17 point cushion like they had in their last meeting. New Hampshire fired back, keeping up with the Hawks until 3:21 left in the first half when they took the lead with a trey of their own. Hartford tried to fight back, but their final two points of the half would come from free throws by Moore.
The Hawks seemed to be having an off night, but Gallagher isn't too upset over it. "It's really good to see it now instead of being surprised in two, three weeks at the tournament."
New Hampshire held Hartford to only five treys throughout the game, something unheard of from the America East's three point team. What saved Hartford was Nwakamma. In only his third game back after recovering from his knee injury, he put up 25 points, a game high. No one else came close to his numbers.
With 8 ties and 12 lead changes throughout the game, it looks like New Hampshire found Hartford's weak spot. But that's a good thing. "They played us differently than anyone's played us in a while" said Gallagher
Both teams have four days to gear up for their next game. Hartford has two road games starting with UMass-Lowell while New Hampshire gets to test their true potential against current America East leaders, Vermont.