MEN'S BASKETBALL GAME NOTES VS. CENTRAL CONNECTICUT STATE
DURHAM, N.H. -- The University of New Hampshire men's basketball team will head south to take on the Central Connecticut State University Blue Devils on Saturday, Nov. 17 at 7 p.m. The Wildcats have just one victory in six games versus the Blue Devils all-time, and have lost five in a row since that victory. The most recent defeat was last season’s 73-66 loss on Nov. 18.
   
Central Connecticut guards Javier Mojica and Tristan Blackwood combined for 55 points to lead the Blue Devils past the Wildcats at Lundholm Gymnasium.
   
In a game that featured six lead changes and four ties, both teams shot the ball well on the offensive end as the Blue Devils shot 23-of-50 (46%), while the Wildcats shot 25-of-51 (49%) in the contest.
   
Mojica led CCSU’s scoring charge throughout the game, including 15 first half points to lead his team to a 37-34 advantage at the half. Wildcat senior co-captain Blagoj Janev notched eight first-half points en route to compiling 13 points and six rebounds.
   
CCSU began the second half with plenty of momentum as the Blue Devils used a 22-5 run and led by as much as 17 with 12:48 remaining. UNH cut the deficit to four points with 1:48 remaining as senior co-captain Jermaine Anderson posted 14 second-half points, shooting 5-of-9 in the second stanza for a team-high 18 points. Anderson was awarded America East “Player of the Game” for his efforts.
   
Mojica all but ended any hopes of a comeback for the Wildcats as he put the Blue Devils up by a margin of 69-64 after converting a foul shot. Mojica missed his second attempt, but raced to the middle of the paint and grabbed the offensive rebound and forced UNH to foul. CCSU sophomore forward Chris Winters sank two free throws from the charity stripe with 11 seconds remaining to cap the Blue Devils’ first win of the season.
   
Freshman forward Radar Onguetou delivered a career-high 11 points and four rebounds, while sophomore guard Tyrece Gibbs notched nine points and three assists in the loss.
   
The UNH defense created 15 Blue Devil turnovers, but CCSU out-rebounded the Wildcats by a margin of 36-20, which included 15 offensive boards.

LAST TIME OUT

Junior guard Eric Gilchrese and freshman guard Tyrone Conley combined for 42 points Nov. 14, to lead the Wildcats to a 95-46 victory over Suffolk University at Lundholm Gymnasium in their home opener.  
       
The win, the Wildcats’ first of the season, evened their record at 1-1. The 95 points were the most the ‘Cats had scored in a game since Dec. 6. 2001, when they defeated New England College, 96-51, at Lundholm. The 49-point margin of victory was also the largest for UNH, dating back to the 1941-42 season – and possibly ever. Records prior to that season are incomplete.

      
Gilchrese scored 25 points in 27 minutes on 7-of-11 shooting and also added seven steals and five assists, while Conley added 17 points, nine rebounds and six assists and was also 7-for-11 from the field.

        
After Suffolk, who turned the ball over 27 times in the game, scored first to go on top 2-0, the Wildcats scored 14 unanswered points as part of an 18-2 run. The ‘Cats put together a 12-4 run immediately after, and led 30-8 with 10:56 to play.

      
A 12-0 run gave UNH a 49-15 lead with just under five minutes remaining in the first half. The ‘Cats took a 58-23 lead into the locker room at halftime. The 35-point lead was their largest of the game at the time.

       
Gilchrese, the America East Player of the Game, scored 21 of his points in the first half, while Conley tallied 12 in the first frame.

       
Led by the 11 points and five rebounds of Rony Tchatchoua the Wildcats continued to pull away in the second half. An 18-4 run to start the half put the ‘Cats up 76-27 with 12:22 remaining.

       
Alan Jaziri, whose 14 points was the only double-digit figure in the Suffolk points column, knocked down a couple of shots to cut UNH’s lead to 44.

       
The ‘Cats, who shot 53 percent from the floor, came right back with a 13-4 run that gave them a 51-point lead – their largest of the game – with 1:58 remaining in the contest. A Joesph Ransom layup with 25 seconds left on the clock closed the scoring.

       
Freshman guard Alvin Abreu added 12 points for the Wildcats, while freshman forward James Valladares ripped down nine rebounds.

   
Senior forward Mike Christensen contributed eight points and seven rebounds in 16 minutes, and junior guard Tyrece Gibbs tallied seven assists to go along with his seven points.

'CATS INK PLAYER DURING EARLY SIGNING PERIOD


The Wildcats announced Wednesday, Nov. 14  that Brian Benson has signed a National Letter of Intent during the early signing period, and will attend UNH and play for the program beginning in the 2008-09 academic year.
   
Benson, a 6-foot-8-inch forward from Greece-Athena High School in Rochester, N.Y., was a 2007 All-Greater Rochester all-star selection after averaging 15 points and 10 rebounds for the Section V Class AA champions.
   
Benson should help the ‘Cats in the frontcourt, with senior forward Mike Christensen graduating in the spring.
    
“We are happy with Brian’s decision to join our basketball program,” UNH men’s basketball Head Coach Bill Herrion said. “He comes from a very successful high school program and has been very well-coached. Brian really fits one of our recruiting needs. He is athletic, can run the floor and is a good rebounder. He also gives us depth with our frontcourt.”

2007-08 OUTLOOK

University of New Hampshire men’s basketball head coach Bill Herrion enters his third season as the leader off the program and with six newcomers added to the program this could be his most difficult challenge to date.  UNH compiled a 10-20 record and a seventh place finish in the America East Conference before falling for a second straight season to eventual America East champions University at Albany.
   
Despite losing two talented America East All-Conference performers in Blagoj Janev and Jermaine Anderson, the Wildcats bring back three starters from the 2006-07 campaign. Leading the way for UNH is a trio of captains. Senior Mike Christensen along with junior Tyrece Gibbs and sophomore Radar Onguetou look to lead a very young group of ‘Cats to the promise land. Christensen returns from a season-ending foot injury in which he suffered on January 9 during a pivotal conference match up with Vermont. The senior forward posted 13.1 points and 5.0 rebounds per game in 15 appearances, including a 28-point performance the game before he endured the injury. Gibbs, who started 28 of 29 games last season, averaged 9.5 points and 5.1 rebounds per game. He stepped his game up in a major way offensively when Christensen went down with the foot injury. He scored in double-digits eight of the last 13 games. Onguetou showed the greatest improvement over the course of the season. He made 18 starts in 30 appearances and became the team’s leading offensive rebounder. Onguetou posted a double-double against Dartmouth College and scored a career-high 15 points against Hartford.
   
The Wildcats also bring back senior Shawn Tobey. Tobey’s work ethic landed him in coach Herrion’s starting lineup towards the end of the season, including a start in the America East Quarterfinal round. Sophomore Joe Cheslock also returns to the program, and will vie for playing time at the shooting guard and small forward positions.
   
In addition to the returning veterans, Herrion introduces six newcomers to the program. Tyrone Conley is a 6’2” wing player from Burlington, Vt. Conley scored over 1,000 points and was named to the All-State Team during his sophomore, junior and season seasons. He averaged 18 points and 11 rebounds per game. Salah Abdo is also a 6’2” guard with experience playing the point position. The Southborough, Mass. native averaged 13 points seven assists and five rebounds per game during his senior year at St. Mark’s School. As a three-year starter, Abdo has helped guide St. Mark’s to an impressive 76-7 record. Alvin Abreu adds depth at the guard position out of Boys to Men in Chicago.
   
In addition to the two guards, UNH adds forwards Rony Tchatchoua and Dane Diliegro. Tchatchoua is a 6’6” power forward from Findlay Prep in Las Vegas, while Diliegro is a 6-8-power forward/center from Worcester Academy. The Wildcats also welcome junior transfer Colbey Santos from James Madison University. He is ineligible until the 2008-09 season.
   
The Wildcats also made a coaching staff change as they welcome newly appointed assistant coach Ken Dempsey to the program. Dempsey spent the last five seasons as the Associate Men’s Basketball Head Coach at the University of Missouri-Kansas City. Dempsey also served as the University of North Carolina-Greensboro assistant coach from 1999-2001. Dempsey is familiar with the Northeast region when he served as the assistant coach at Northeastern University from 1994-1999. Prior to joining the staff at Northeastern, Dempsey was an assistant coach at Monmouth (N.J.) University from 1984-94. The players he recruited earned 21 all-conference selections and helped the team to three conference championship game appearances
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