DURHAM, N.H. – The University of New Hampshire men's basketball team will play their second of two straight road games when it meets up with the 3-1 Harvard Crimson on Wednesday, Nov. 25 at 7 p.m. at Lavietes Pavillion.
The Wildcats and the Crimson enter the matchup having met 35 times in their history, with Harvard leading the all-time series 21-14. Harvard carries a four-game winning streak versus UNH into tonight’s game, having not lost to the Wildcats since a 67-60 overtime defeat at Lundholm on Dec. 1, 2004. The Crimson have won nine of the last 11 meetings overall and four of the past five tilts at Lavietes Pavillion, including two straight. In the most recent meeting, Harvard downed the Wildcats, 80-69, at Lundholm Gymnasium on Nov. 16, 2008.
Sophomore guard Tyrone Conley scored a season-high 21 points to lead UNH.
The loss evened the Wildcats’ record at 1-1 on the young season, while the Crimson won their season-opener to earn their fourth straight win in the all-time series between the two teams.
Conley, the America East Player of Game, netted his 21 points on 7 of 12 shooting, including four 3-pointers that helped keep the ‘Cats within striking distance. Conley, who also added two rebounds, two steals and an assist, tied his career high with the four treys, while his 21 points were one off a personal best.
After what was mostly a back-and-forth battle between both squads in the first half of the opening period, the Wildcats, who trailed 48-33 at the break, opened up the second half on a 7-0 run and outscored the Crimson, 17-11, in the first seven minutes of the stanza. That run would get the Wildcats to within seven points as a Conley jumper cut the score to 60-53 with 12:32 remaining.
Despite the run, that would be as close as the Wildcats could get to capturing the lead in the half as a pair of Drew Housman free throws sparked a 19-13 Harvard run to close out the game.
The Wildcats, who shot 40 percent (25-62) from the floor in the game, held the early edge in the contest as they opened up the game leading 7-4. However, that lead would not hold long as the Crimson would go on an 8-0 run, sparked by a Jeremy Lin jumper, to push the lead to 18-9 in favor of the Crimson with 13:13 left in the first half.
New Hampshire would climb back into the contest midway through the period as a Rony Tchatchoua layup cut the Harvard lead down to just four points. The Crimson would catch fire once again, however, as they would roll on with a 12-2 run capped off by a pair of Max Kenyi free throws in the closing minutes of the half.
Senior guard Tyrece Gibbs and sophomore guard Alvin Abreu added 12 and 10 points, respectively. For Gibbs, the 12 points mark his sixth straight game scoring in double figures, which matches a career high. Tchatchoua, a sophomore forward, also added nine points and six rebounds. Senior guard Eric Gilchrese tallied seven points, two rebounds and four assists, while sophomore center Dane DiLiegro pulled down eight rebounds despite battling flu-like symptoms.
The Crimson, who shot 61 percent (27-44) from the field, had three players in double-figures with Kenyi leading the way with 17 and Lin and Keith Wright also adding 15 points apiece.
UNH only turned the ball over 10 times, compared to Harvard’s 13, and were much improved at the line from its previous contest as they shot 60 percent (9-13) from the stripe.
LAST TIME OUT
Senior Colbey Santos scored 14 points, but the Wildcats fell to 25th-ranked Maryland in front of a sold-out crowd of 17,180 fans at the Comcast Center on Nov. 20.
The Wildcats evened their record at 1-1 on the young season, while the Atlantic Coast Conference-member Terrapins remained perfect at 3-0. The 27-point win marked the smallest margin of victory this season for the Terps.
Santos scored all 14 of his points in a 5:05 stretch during the second half on 5 of 10 shooting, including 4 of 9 from behind the arc, to go along with three assists and only one turnover.
After Maryland went up 9-0 to start the game, junior Alvin Abreu drained a 3-pointer at 15:42 and classmate Dane DiLiegro converted a three-point play at 13:49 to bring the Wildcats within 13-6.
The Terps scored six straight before Abreu nailed another 3 to make it 19-9 midway through the opening half. From there Maryland would craft a 13-3 run, sparked and capped by Eric Hayes 3-pointers, to make its lead an even 20 (32-12) with 6:15 to play in the first.
Four straight points from sophomore Brian Benson started a 10-4 run for the Wildcats, bringing them back to within 36-22 with just under two minutes to play before the break. The Terrapins netted the final four points of the frame, however, and took a 40-22 lead into the locker room.
After Maryland opened the second-half scoring to push its lead back to 20, junior Tyrone Conley sank a 3-pointer to make it 42-25 just 1:12 in. Five consecutive points from Landon Milbourne, however, started a 7-0 run for the Terps that pushed their lead to 24 at 16:45.
Senior Radar Onguetou sank one of his three treys before Conley followed with a steal and a layup to cut the UNH deficit to 19. After the two squads traded baskets, however, Maryland ripped off a 16-0 run, which culminated with a Sean Mosley layup at 10:45 to make it 67-32.
Santos responded in a big way, sinking four treys and hitting a layup as part of a 19-6 Wildcat run that sliced their deficit to 73-51. The tri-captain sparked the run with a 3-pointer at 10:12, then followed with another one at 9:05 and a layup at 6:50, before hitting a trifecta at 6:17 and again at 5:07 to cap the run.
Maryland responded with an 8-0 run of its own, using a James Padgett dunk as an exclamation point that capped the run and pushed the Terrapin lead to an even 30 with 1:52 to play. Freshman Chris Matagrano scored his only two points of the game on a turn-around jumper and sophomore Russell Graham capped the scoring on a layup with 18 seconds remaining as UNH scored four of the game’s final five points to bring the score to 82-55.
Onguetou was 3-for-4 from behind the arc as he finished with nine points and three rebounds. Abreu also finished with nine points and added three assists. Graham tallied five points, eight rebounds, three assists and turned the ball over just once. DiLiegro and Conley each recorded five points and four boards, while Benson posted four points, three boards and a block.
UNH shot 35 percent (18-51) from the floor, including 43 percent (12-28) in the second half, while Maryland hit at 57 percent (30-53) for the game and 64 percent (16-25) in the second stanza. The Terps held a 32-31 edge on the glass, forced 21 turnovers and handed out assists on 23 of their 30 baskets.
Milbourne led the Terps with 24 points, while Hayes added 15 and Mosley recorded 13 to go along with 10 assists. Preseason All-ACC First Team selection Greivis Vasquez tallied eight points, six rebounds and two assists.
PICKING IT BACK UP
Senior Colbey Santos has picked up where he left off last season in the America East semifinal against Binghamton when he netted a career-high 17 points on 4 of 5 shooting from behind the arc. In the season opener against Suffolk on Nov. 14, Santos scored 10 points, before netting 14 points at 25th-ranked Maryland on Nov. 20. The three-game double-digit scoring streak is the longest of Santos’ career and also matches the number of games Santos recorded 10 or more points in the previous 86 games of his career. The tri-captain currently leads the squad in scoring at 12.0 points per game, the first time during his collegiate career that he has led his team in that category.
In the Wildcats’ 82-55 loss at 25th-ranked Maryland on Nov. 20, sophomore point guard Russell Graham grabbed a game-high and career-best eight rebounds. Graham, who measures an even 6-feet tall, was the only player under 6-2 to play in the game.
After going 3-for-4 from behind the arc at 25th-ranked Maryland on Nov. 20, senior Radar Onguetou has now sank five of his six 3-point attempts (83 percent) to begin the year. Onguetou came into the season a career 20 percent (9-45) shooter from long range.
In the Wildcats’ 82-55 loss at 25th-ranked Maryland on Nov. 20, the 27-point deficit was the Terps’ smallest margin of victory of the season to that point.
TREY-MENDOUS STREAK FOR 'CATS
Heading into tonight’s contest UNH has recorded at least one 3-pointer in 525 consecutive games, a streak that spans 17 years. The last time the ‘Cats did not tally a trey was in a 59-47 loss to Dartmouth College on Jan. 8, 1991, when they were 0-for-3 from behind the arc. The NCAA record is currently 741 games by UNLV, a streak that started Nov. 26, 1986 and is still active.
RHOAD TO SUCCESS
Freshman Chandler Rhoads was named America East Rookie of the Week for the period ending Nov. 15 the conference announced Nov. 16.
Rhoads shined for the Wildcats in the first collegiate game of his career against Suffolk on Nov. 14 as he scored a game-high 14 points and added five assists, four steals and three rebounds in 23 minutes of action during UNH’s 91-45 win at Lundholm Gymnasium.
Rhoads became just the fifth Wildcat since the awards’ inception in 1983 to win it the first week of the season, joining Todd Black (Dec. 10, 1983), Joe Spitale (Dec. 5, 1988), Will Chavis (Nov. 22, 1998) and Chris Vetrano (Nov. 21, 2004). The point guard was also the first Wildcat to garner the honor since current junior Alvin Abreu on Feb. 25, 2008.
CRASHING THE GLASS
Against Suffolk on Nov. 14, junior Dane DiLiegro pulled down 15 rebounds, which is the second highest total of his career. DiLiegro leads the conference in rebounding (15.0 rpg), defensive rebounding (10.0 drpg) and is tied for the lead in offensive rebounding (5.0 orpg) with teammate Brian Benson.
Sophomores Brian Benson and Russell Graham both set career highs versus Suffolk on Nov. 14. Benson scored a career-high nine points, while Graham dished out a career-best six assists.
The Wildcats dished out an assist on 69 percent (22-32) of their baskets in their 91-45 win against Suffolk on Nov. 14. Last year the ‘Cats assisted on 50 percent (323-647) of their buckets.
Junior Alvin Abreu continued his pattern from last year of picking up his scoring in the second half. After going into the break with just two points against Suffolk on Nov. 14, Abreu came out and netted 10 in the second stanza to finish with 12. Abreu also added seven assists, five rebounds and three steals.
In their 91-45 win against Suffolk on Nov. 14, the Wildcats blocked six shots, including three by freshman big man Chris Matagrano.
Head coach Bill Herrion and his staff announced Nov. 11 that Scott Morris has signed a National Letter of Intent to join the Wildcats and attend school next fall.
“One of our needs with this year’s recruiting class was to get a 2-guard that can shoot the basketball,” Herrion said. “Losing Colbey Santos after this year and Alvin Abreu and Tyrone Conley being seniors next year, we have to make sure we have depth at the shooting guard spot. Scott is a tough, athletic kid, who can really shoot the ball from the 3. He is a total student-athlete and we are very happy to have him here at UNH.”
Morris, who is currently a senior at Walkersville High School, averaged 18.6 points, 6.3 rebounds. 6.6 assists and 2.0 steals per game last season as he led the Lions to the regional finals and an 18-7 record. Morris was named to the Frederick News Post All-County First Team, as well as the All-Gazette First Team, and was First Team All-Piedmont Division. As a sophomore, the 6-foot-2-inch, 190-pound guard averaged 13.2 points, 5.5 rebounds and 5.9 assists as an All-Piedmont Division first teamer. The three-year starter and two-time team MVP also performs well off the court as he is the owner of a 4.0 grade-point-average, which ranks No. 1 in his class of 328.
Juniors James Valladares, Alvin Abreu and Dane DiLiegro all spent part of their summers representing their respective countries while playing basketball internationally. Valladares suited up for the El Salvador National Team at the FIBA COCABA Games in Cancun, Mexico, where he averaged 17.4 points per game. Abreu practiced with the Dominican National Team in Santo Domingo, where he battled with the likes of Francisco Garcia of the Sacramento Kings, Charlie Villanueva of the Detroit Pistons and Edgar Sosa, a senior at Louisville. DiLiegro played for the United States at the 18th Maccabiah Games in Israel. DiLiegro averaged 8.8 points and 5.2 rebounds per game en route to helping the Americans capture the gold medal.
Head coach Bill Herrion was inducted into the New England Basketball Hall of Fame as a special honoree with the Clark University High School Basketball Tournament on Oct. 9. Along with the Clark Tournament itself and two major contributors to the success of the tournament, Herrion went in as one of just three players that will represent 70 years of basketball greatness at “The Clark.” Herrion’s best game came on Feb. 19, 1976 in a 96-79 win against Nashoba that lifted Oxford into the championship. Herrion knocked down 14 baskets and was 19 of 21 from the free throw line en route to scoring 47 points. The 19 free throws still stand as a single-game tournament record, while the 47 points are the third most in a single game and the 14 field goals are sixth most.
NEW KIDS ON THE BLOCK
The Wildcats welcome in three
newcomers this season. Chandler Rhoads (Berryville, Va.), a
6-foot-4, 190-pound point guard, attended Air Force Prep last
season and averaged 17 points, five rebounds, five assists and
three steals per game. Rhoads, who has great size, speed and
strength and will increase the Wildcats’ already solid depth
on the perimeter, graduated as the all-time leading scorer at
Clarke County High School with 1,638 points. Rhoads, who was named
Virginia State A Basketball Player of the Year after averaging 25.6
points, 6.0 rebounds and 6.0 assists per game during his senior
campaign, lead Clarke County to a pair of state championships
during his four years at the school. Rhoads was also a First Team
All-State member his junior and senior seasons, as well as being a
McDonald’s All-American nominee his final year at Clarke
Ferg Myrick (Philadelphia, Pa.), a 6-6, 180-pound wing, is a very good athlete who has size and is long. Myrick averaged 20 points, 12 rebounds and two blocks per game last season at Prep Charter High School. Myrick, a McDonald’s All-American nominee, led Prep Charter to a 21-7 record.
Chris Matagrano (Sayreville, N.J.) is a 6-9, 250-pound center, who plays hard and brings a great work ethic to the squad. Matagrano averaged 12 points and eight rebounds per game last season for Blair Academy, where he led the school to a 19-4 record, as well as the program’s first New Jersey Prep A state championship in school history. Matagrano, who has great size, physical presence and very good skill for a big man, graduated from Sayreville High School, where he led the program to the NJSIAA tournament in 2007-08 for the first time in five years after averaging 12 points and 12 boards per game en route to being voted the squad’s MVP.