MEN'S BASKETBALL GAME NOTES VS. DARTMOUTH
COMPLETE NOTES | LIVE STATS | LIVE AUDIO | LIVE VIDEO

DURHAM, N.H.
-- The University of New Hampshire men's basketball team will renew its intrastate rivalry with Dartmouth College when the two square off at Lundholm Gymnasium on Jan. 15 at 7 p.m. This will mark the 56th meeting between the two teams, with Dartmouth leading the all-time series, 30-25. The Wildcats, however, have won two straight over the Big Green, including last year’s 65-61 victory when senior co-captain Jermaine Anderson notched a game-high 21 points and six assists at Leede Arena on Jan. 16, 2007
   
UNH improved to 6-12 and wrapped up its non-conference schedule with a 4-9 record. The Dartmouth College Big Green fell to 6-9 on the season.
           
Anderson posted a clutch performance down the stretch for the visiting Wildcats as the senior guard notched seven straight foul shots with just 36 seconds to play to hold off a second-half charge from the Big Green. He was awarded America East Player of the Game for his efforts.
           
UNH led by as much as 21 points (49-28) with 17:18 remaining in the second half before the Big Green slowly cut the deficit to nine points as the Big Green’s top scorer Leon Pattman launched a 3-pointer with 4:32 left to play. The Big Green, who shot 46.7 percent for the second half, including an impressive 6-of-9 from three-point land, cut the score to as close as two points (63-61) as Pattman nailed his fourth 3-pointer. The Wildcats, who outscored their opponent by a margin of 41-28 heading into half time, held off the charge as time became an issue. Anderson scored 14 of his 21 points in the second half as the game was ultimately won on the foul line.
   
UNH started its first-half run when junior forward Brandon Odom drilled a 3-pointer from the corner to start a 12-2 run. Freshman forward Radar Onguetou just missed his first career double-double as the freshman forward recorded nine points and a season-high 11 rebounds. Senior Blagoj Janev tallied 15 points, six rebounds and four assists and sophomore guard Tyrece Gibbs added eight points and five boards to contribute to the victory.
    
Dartmouth’s leading scorer Pattman was charged with two quick fouls and was forced to sit out most of the first half .Big Green sophomore Alex Barnett added 16 points and 12 rebounds to record the double-double effort. UNH shot a season-high 66.7 percent in the first half, shooting 16-of-24 along with a 6-of-9 effort from beyond the arc. For the fourth time this season the Wildcats held the advantage on the glass, 30-28.

LAST TIME OUT

Freshman guard Alvin Abreu scored 18 points and senior forward Mike Christensen added 17 points and a career-high 14 rebounds, but the University of New Hampshire men’s basketball team’s comeback fell just short as the University of Vermont grabbed a 64-61 win Jan. 12 at Patrick Gymnasium.
   
The Wildcats’ third consecutive loss dropped them to 4-11, including 1-3 in America East, while the Catamounts went to 7-9 overall and 2-2 in the conference.
   
After being down by as many as 21 points earlier in the game, the Wildcats found themselves down 48-44 with just over seven minutes remaining in the contest. The Catamounts pushed their lead back to eight with 6:30 left, but tough baskets underneath by freshman Dane DiLiegro  and Christensen made the deficit four again with 5:38 to go. A Mike Trimboli 3-pointer and Marqus Blakely layup put Vermont on top 57-48 with 4:28 remaining, and looked to turn the lights out on UNH.
   
The Wildcats clawed back again, however, when a basket and a 3 by Abreu, UNH’s America East Player of the Game, brought the ‘Cats back to within four with just under three minutes to play. Blakely increased Vermont’s lead to six, but a Christensen trey with 1:23 left made the score 59-56. A pair of free throws from junior guard Tyrece Gibbs brought UNH within one with 47 seconds left.
   
After a Trimboli jumper with 19 seconds left put the Catamount lead at three, Gibbs was again fouled going to the hoop, but made just one of two from the line. UNH quickly fouled and Trimboli hit both from the line to put Vermont up 63-59 with just 12 ticks left. Christensen made a quick layup with six seconds left and the Wildcats again sent Trimboli to the line where he would only make one of two. With five seconds remaining, UNH inbounded the ball to Abreu, who drove the ball up the court and had a decent look at a 3 as his momentum carried him to the left. The ball clanked off the rim as time expired, ending one of the most exciting games of the season.
   
All 18 of Abreu’s points came in the second half.
   
Vermont started the game on a 13-1 run and was up 21-7 when UNH recorded its first field goal – a Christensen layup – with 4:40 left in the first half. The Wildcats went into the locker room trailing 34-15, but stormed back in the second half, using a pair of 12-2 runs to outscore Vermont, 46-30.
   
DiLiegro chipped in with six points and nine rebounds, while Gibbs tallied six points, six boards and two assists. Freshman guard Tyrone Conley added eight points, two rebounds and three assists in his first game back in his hometown.
   
Trimboli scored 19 points, while Vermont’s America East Player of the Game, Evan Fjeld, netted 14.
   
After shooting just 10 percent (2-25) from the field in the first half, UNH rebounded to shoot 33 percent (18-55) for the game. The Catamounts shot 41 percent (25-61) from the floor.


DOUBLE-DOUBLE FOR CAPTAIN CHRISTENSEN

Senior forward Mike Christensen posted the Wildcats’ second double-double of the season Jan. 12 against Vermont when he poured in 17 points and ripped down a career-high 14 rebounds.   
   
Freshman center Dane DiLiegro recorded the first double-double this season when he posted career-highs in points and rebounds, with 12 apiece, Dec. 3 versus Northeastern.

GOING STREAKING


Freshman guard Alvin Abreu currently owns a five-game double-digit scoring streak, his second streak of that length this season. Abreu, who leads all America East Rookies in scoring, has scored in double digits in eight of his last nine games, and 13 of 15 overall.

ABREU GARNERS SECOND WEEKLY CONFERENCE HONOR

The America East conference announced Jan. 7 that freshman guard Alvin Abreu was named America East Men’s Basketball Rookie of the Week for the week ending Jan. 6. This is the second time Abreu has garnered the honor this season.
       
Abreu averaged 17.0 points, 7.0 rebounds and 2.5 assists over the course of two games during the week. Abreu helped the ‘Cats win their first conference opener since beating Vermont, 75-68, on Dec. 3, 1997, by scoring 14 points and pulling down six rebounds in 40 minutes of a 75-66 win over Albany on Jan. 3. Abreu then submitted his second 20-point performance of the season, and tallied eight rebounds and four assists in his second consecutive 40-minute effort, as UNH fell to UMBC – the top team in the conference – 86-73 Jan. 6.
      
Abreu also won the award Dec. 10, when he averaged 12.0 points and 4.0 rebounds in games against Northeastern University and Brown University.
      
Abreu, who leads all America East rookies in scoring at 12.7 points per game, has scored in double digits in 11 of 13 games this season, including the last three in a row. He is second on the team in both field goals (55) and 3-pointers made (28).

THERE'S A FIRST TIME FOR EVERYTHING

When the Wildcats defeated two-time defending America East champion Albany, 75-66, on Jan. 3, they not only won their conference opener for the first time since Dec. 3, 1997 when they defeated Vermont, 75-68, but they grabbed their first win of the year when trailing at halftime, and when being outscored in the paint. Coming into the game, the ‘Cats were 0-6 in both categories.

'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 of the program and with seven newcomers added to the program, this could be his most difficult challenge to date.  UNH compiled a 10-20 record last season, which translated into a seventh-place finish in the America East Conference. The Wildcats fell for a second straight season to the eventual America East champions - the 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. Senior Mike Christensen (Reston, Va.), along with junior Tyrece Gibbs (Brockton, Mass.) and sophomore Radar Onguetou (Yaounde, Cameroon) look to lead a very young group of ‘Cats to the promise land as the captains for the 2007-08 season. Christensen returns from a season-ending foot injury, which he suffered Jan. 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 his foot injury. Gibbs scored in double-digits in 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 (Eliot, Maine). 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 (Dover, N.H.) 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 seven newcomers to the program. Junior college-transfer Eric Gilchrese (Springfield, Ill.) comes to New Hampshire after two years at Lewis & Clark Community College. The Trailblazers finished fourth in the 2007 NJCAA Men’s Division II National Tournament and had Gilchrese named to the All-Tournament Team. Gilchrese averaged 14.0 points, 4.0 rrebounds and 5.0 assists per game during the 2006-07 season. Tyrone Conley (Burlington, Vt.) and Alvin Abreu (Lynn, Mass.) add depth at the guard position. Conley is a 6-foot-2-inch wing player from Burlington High School. Conley is BHS’ all-time leading scorer with 1,566 points an was named to the All-State Team during his sophomore, junior and senior seasons. Conley averaged 18 points and 11 rebounds per game during his high school career. Abreu joins the Wildcats out of Boys to Men in Chicago. Abreu averaged 20 points and eight rebounds per game while at Lynn Classical High School, and was a North Eastern Conference All-Star. He averaged 14.0 points per game in 2006-07 at Boys to Men, which was ranked one of the top five schools in the nation that season.
   
In addition to the three guards, UNH adds forwards Rony Tchatchoua  (Douala, Cameroon), Dane DiLiegro (Lexington, Mass.) and James Valladares (Kaufman, Texas). Tchatchoua is a 6-6 power forward from Findlay Prep in Las Vegas, who was league MVP when his high school, Little Rock Christian Academy, captured the state championship in 2005. He was named to the All-State Team, as well as being selected a McDonald’s All-American in 2006. DiLiegro, a 6-8 power forward/center from Worcester Academy, was three-time Middlesex League Champion while at Lexington High School. DiLiegro was a Middlesex League All-Star his senior year after he averaged 11.0 points, 10.0 rebounds and 4.0 blocks per game. Valladares is a 6-8 forward out of Kaufman High School, where he averaged 19.0 points, 12.0 rebounds and 5.0 blocks per game last season. Valladares was District MVP his senior year, District Defensive Player of the Year his junior year and District Newcomer of the Year his sophomore year when he was also named First Team All-Region.        The Wildcats also welcome junior transfer Colbey Santos (East Wareham, Mass.) from James Madison University. Santos will sit out the 2007-08 season due to NCAA transfer regulations.
   
The Wildcats also made a coaching staff change as they welcomed newly appointed associate head coach Ken Dempsey to the program. Dempsey spent the last six seasons as the men’s basketball Associate 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, having 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.
   
Dempsey is a proven, self-directed and high-profile coaching/recruiting professional with over 24 years of full-time leadership experience at the previous listed Division I institutions. Dempsey has a reputation as one of the top recruiters in the country by numerous national recruiting and coaching publications and boasts a 100-percent graduation rate among student-athletes recruited. Each of Dempsey’s past four recruiting classes at UMKC were ranked as one of the nation’s top 100 by Hoop Scoop Online.
   
As recruiting coordinator for head coach Wayne Szoke at Monmouth for eight seasons, Dempsey’s recruiting efforts produced the school’s all-time Division I scoring co-leaders, seven of the school’s top-10 Division I scoring leaders and a GTE Academic all-American. Dempsey also serves actively on the National Association of Basketball Coaches (NABC) Board of Directors.
       
Dempsey earned a bachelor’s degree in journalism in 1983 from Moravian College in Bethlehem, Pa., where he was a four-year letter-winner in basketball and baseball. He also completed a master’s degree in education from Monmouth in 1991.
View: Mobile | Desktop