January 2, 2010

MEN'S HOOP RINGS IN NEW YEAR WITH TRIP TO SANTA CLARA ON JAN. 2

COMPLETE GAME NOTES

DURHAM, N.H. - The University of New Hampshire men's basketball team will ring in 2010 as it flies west to battle Santa Clara University at the Leavey Center on Jan. 2 at 4 p.m. Eastern Standard Time. Links to live audio and video, as well as live stats, will be available at www.UNHWildcats.com.

The Wildcats and Broncos meet for just the second time in the history of the two programs and the first at the Leavey Center. UNH won the lone meeting, 58-54, last season at Lundholm Gymnasium on Jan. 4, 2009.

Sophomore guard Alvin Abreu posted a career-high 28 points to propel the Wildcats.

After the first-ever meeting between the two squads, the Wildcats improved to 4-7 on the season, while the Broncos fell to 7-9. The win was the Wildcats’ first ever against a WCC team in three tries, previously falling to St. Mary’s (Dec. 22, 1988) and Gonzaga (Dec. 27, 1993).

Abreu, the America East Player of the Game, knocked down a career-high seven 3-pointers and was perfect from behind the arc, setting a school record for most treys in a game without a miss.

Leading 51-43 with 4:11 to play, the Wildcats saw their largest lead of the game begin to dwindle after an 8-1 Santa Clara run – capped by a Marc Trasolini layup – cut the UNH lead to one with 1:54 left. Senior guard Tyrece Gibbs stepped up, however, sinking a jumper in the paint to stop the bleeding and put UNH on top, 54-51, with 1:06 remaining. Gibbs, who passed Blagoj Janev for third place on UNH’s all-time 3-point field goals list (173) with his lone trey of the game, finished with 12 points, six rebounds and three assists.

After an SCU free throw made it a two-point game, UNH received a huge bucket from sophomore center Dane DiLiegro to make it 56-52 with 16 seconds left. After Abreu missed a jumper, DiLiegro raced to the bucket and finished with a beautiful put-back that kept the Wildcats in the driver’s seat. The Broncos added a layup with eight-tenths of a second on the clock and fouled Abreu, sending him to the line with two-tenths of a second left. Abreu would hit both free throws to seal the victory.

After trailing 23-22 at the half, the Wildcats came out of the locker room with a vengeance. A 13-4 run, which included a trio of 3-pointers from Abreu, pushed UNH’s lead to 35-27 at 16:29. Following Abreu’s triple that capped the run, the Wildcats and Broncos engaged in a seesaw battle that ended with Abreu’s final trey from the top of the key that made it 45-37 with 8:14 remaining. Five straight SCU points cut its deficit to three just under a minute later, until UNH used a 5-1 stretch to bump its lead back up to eight, 51-43, with just over four minutes left.

The Wildcats jumped out to a quick start in the first half of play, as well. A pair of 3-pointers from Gibbs and Abreu led to an 8-3 run in the first five minutes of play to give the ‘Cats the early lead. The Broncos would respond with a run of their own as they would hold the Wildcats at bay with an 8-2 run to put the score at 11-10 in favor of the visitors at 10:25.

Following the run, a pair of fast-break baskets by sophomore guard Tyrone Conley and junior forward Radar Onguetou would awaken the Wildcats, as they would go on a 12-4 run, capped off by a pair of Gibbs free throws at 2:38, to push the lead to 22-15 in favor of New Hampshire. However, the Broncos would respond by closing out the half on an 8-0 run to take the 23-22 lead into the break.

The Wildcats’ post defense, led by DiLiegro, shut down Santa Clara’s John Bryant, who came into the game averaging 18.7 points and 12.6 rebounds per game. Bryant, who has recorded 10 double-doubles this season, including a pair of 20-20 games, posted his lowest point total of the year, finishing with just seven points and eight rebounds. Trasolini led the Broncos with 24 points and 10 boards.

DiLiegro chipped in with five points and seven rebounds.

LAST TIME OUT

Junior Alvin Abreu scored 24 points as the Wildcats held on to defeat Colgate University, 63-55, Dec. 30 at Lundholm Gymnasium.

The Wildcats, who improved to 5-0 at Lundholm to match their best home start since the 1968-69 season and also extended their home winning streak to eight games, evened their record at 5-5. This marked the first time the ‘Cats have reached New Year’s Day at .500 or better since they started the 1997-98 season at 5-5. UNH dropped the Raiders to 1-10 on the season by beating them for the third time in four contests and the first time at home since Jan. 5, 2002.

With the win, head coach Bill Herrion earned his 50th career victory at UNH and became just the second coach in program history to record 50 wins in less than five full seasons. Gerry Friel, UNH’s all-time winningest coach, won 61 games in his first five years in Durham.

Abreu was named the America East Player of the Game on his birthday after he was 7-for-13 from the field and made a career-best 10 of his 12 free throws to go along with a career-high tying eight rebounds and a pair of assists. Classmate Tyrone Conley added 13 points and four rebounds as both he and Abreu extended their double-digit scoring streaks to five games apiece.

Ben Johnson and Kyle Roemer led Colgate with 14 and 13 points, respectively.

UNH opened the game on a 6-0 streak that was capped by a Conley 3-pointer at 15:49. The Raiders were held without a field goal until 14:06 when a Nick Pascale layup sparked a 9-0 run that gave Colgate a three-point lead at 11:42. Abreu completed a three-point play 1:15 later to cap a 5-0 Wildcat run that put them back on top, 11-9.

Roemer answered back with a 3 at 9:54, but that was the last lead Colgate would have as an alley-oop dunk from sophomore Russell Graham to Conley at 7:07 gave UNH a 14-12 lead that it would hold for the remainder of the game. The play was part of an 8-0 run, capped by a Graham jumper at 4:42, which put the Wildcats up 19-12. The Raiders scored the next six to slice their deficit to one, but a trey from senior Colbey Santos jump-started another 8-0 run that would close the first-half scoring and give UNH a 27-18 lead heading into the break. UNH improved to a perfect 5-0 when leading at the half.

After Colgate started the second half with a pair of free throws, respective layups by junior Dane DiLiegro and sophomore Brian Benson bookended a 12-2 UNH run that opened up a 39-22 Wildcat lead at 16:47. The Raiders cut it to 41-27 before a Santos three-point play and DiLiegro layup gave UNH its largest lead of the night at 46-27 with 12:23 remaining.

From there, however, a Roemer jumper ignited an 11-0 run that spanned 6:51 and cut Colgate’s deficit to eight with 6:47 on the clock. Abreu scored UNH’s next six points as the Wildcats went up 52-41 with 3:26 left. After Roemer drilled a deep 3 with 1:10 on the clock to cut it to eight, Colgate began fouling and received 3-pointers from Johnson and Mitch Rolls to climb within 59-55 with 32 seconds remaining. The Wildcats made four of their final six free throws and forced the Raiders to miss all four of their shots the rest of the way to seal the 63-55 win.

DiLiegro recorded eight points and 10 boards, Santos chipped in with seven points and Graham posted five points and six rebounds. Senior Radar Onguetou pulled in eight boards and was the third Wildcat with at least eight rebounds as the ‘Cats held a 46-31 advantage on the glass to improve to 5-1 when outrebounding their opponent.

HOME, SWEET HOME

Dating back to the end of last season, the Wildcats have won eight straight games at home, which is the second longest streak since the 1960-61 season. The only time the ‘Cats won more consecutive games at home in the last 49 years is when they were victorious in 12 straight games at Lundholm Gymnasium from Nov. 30, 1982-Jan. 2, 1984. The current streak began Feb. 18, 2009 in a 63-54 win versus Maine.

MORE HOME COOKIN'

The Wildcats have started out the season 5-0 at home for the first time since the 1968-69 campaign when the ‘Cats won their first five games in Durham.

FAST 50

With his 63-55 win against Colgate on Dec. 30, head coach Bill Herrion earned his 50th career victory at UNH and became just the second coach in program history to record 50 wins in less than five full seasons. Gerry Friel, UNH’s all-time winningest coach, won 61 games in his first five years in Durham.

.500 CLUB

With their 63-55 win versus Colgate on Dec. 30, the Wildcats improved to 5-5 on the season, marking the first time the ‘Cats have reached New Year’s Day at .500 or better since they started the 1997-98 season at 5-5 through the first two months of the year.

DOUBLE-DIGIT DANDIES

Juniors Alvin Abreu and Tyrone Conley each extended their double-digit scoring streak to five games Dec. 30 versus Colgate. Abreu poured in 24 points on 7 of 13 shooting, while Conley added 13 in just 19 minutes due to foul trouble.

CLAMPING DOWN

The Wildcat defense once again played a strong role in the team’s 63-55 win against Colgate on Dec. 30. The ‘Cats held the Raiders withouth a field goal for the first 5:54 of the game and then sealed the win by forcing Colgate to miss all four of their shots over the final 32 seconds.

REELING IN THE REBOUNDS

In their 63-55 win against Colgate on Dec. 30, the Wildcats had three players record at least eight rebounds en route to holding a 46-31 advantage on the glass. Dane DiLiegro pulled in 10 boards, and Alvin Abreu and Radar Onguetou reeled in eight apiece as the ‘Cats posted their highest total versus a Division I opponent this season. UNH is now second in the league in rebounding margin (+2.2).

TOP-NOTCH OPPONENTS

The combined record of the five teams UNH has lost to this season is 45-17 (.726). The Wildcats have suffered all of their defeats on the road at Maryland (8-4), Harvard (9-3), Pitt (11-2), Hofstra (8-5) and Army (9-3).

'CATS AMONG LEAGUE LEADERS

A number of Wildcats find themselves in the top 10 on a handful of conference lists. Point guard Russell Graham ranks first in the league in assist-to-turnover ratio (+1.8) and fifth in assists (3.6 apg), Dane DiLiegro is third in rebounding (8.6 rpg) and fourth in field goal percentage (.494), Alvin Abreu is seventh in scoring (14.6 ppg) and 10th in free throw percentage (.774), Radar Onguetou (.357) and Colbey Santos (.345) are ninth and 10th, respectively, in 3-point field goal percentage, and Tyrone Conley is 10th in 3-pointers made (17).

DEFENSIVE SPECIALISTS

The Wildcats have built on their solid defensive year a season ago and have only allowed 60 or more points in a game three times – to then 25th-ranked Maryland, to 8-3 Harvard and 8-5 Hostra. The ‘Cats, who held the Big East’s Pitt to 47 points Dec. 4, lead the league in scoring defense at 60.8 ppg. UNH is also second in the conference in field goal percentage defense at 40.7 percent and third in 3-point field goal percentage defense at 33.1 percent.

TREY-MENDOUS STREAK FOR 'CATS

Heading into tonight's contest UNH has recorded at least one 3-pointer in 533 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 752 games by UNLV, a streak that started Nov. 26, 1986 and is still active.

BOOT CAMP BOARDING

Juniors Dane DiLiegro matched his season high by pulling down 15 rebounds at Army on Dec. 22. DiLiegro also recorded 15 boards in the season opener versus Suffolk on Nov. 14.

NATIONALLY RANKED (AS OF DEC. 20)

UNH is ranked within the top 100 teams in scoring defense (62.4 ppg) at 71st. Individually, Russell Graham is 53rd in assist-to-turnover ratio (2.38).

DYNAMIC DUO

Juniors Tyrone Conley and Alvin Abreu each scored 21 points in the Wildcats' 69-59 win against Dartmouth on Dec. 20. The performances marked the first time the duo each scored 20 points or more in the same game. Conley netted 16 in the first half, while Abreu poured in 17 in the second stanza.

CENTER OF ATTENTION

With starting center Dane DiLiegro in foul trouble for much of the Wildcats' 69-59 win against Dartmouth on Dec. 20, freshman center Chris Matagrano gave the ‘Cats a nice lift off the bench. Matagrano reached career highs in points (5) and rebounds (4) in 10 minutes.

WELL, THAT DIDN'T LAST VERY LONG

After setting season highs in field goal percentage and 3-point field goal percentage in their previous home game against Central Connecticut State, the Wildcats heated up again to erase those marks in a 69-59 win versus Dartmouth on Dec. 20. The ‘Cats shot 53.3 percent (24-45) from the field and 44.4 percent (4-9) from behind the arc against the Big Green.

SOMETHING GOOD ABREU-IN'

Junior Alvin Abreu erupted for a season-high 25 points in the Wildcats' 67-55 win against Central Connecticut State on Dec. 9. The total was Abreu's second highest of his career and most since he dropped 28 on Santa Clara at Lundholm Gymnasium on Jan. 4, 2009.

TICKLING THE TWINE

After a defensive struggle in their previous game at Pitt in which the Wildcats scored 32 points, they came in on fire versus Central Connecticut State and stayed hot throughout the game. The ‘Cats set season highs in shooting percentage from the field (.500), behind the arc (.429) and at the line (.750).

HERRION VS. WILDCATS' 2009-10 OPPONENTS

Coming into the season, Bill Herrion owned a 115-67 (.632) record against the Wildcats' 2009-10 opponents.

CAGING THE PANTHERS

In their 47-32 loss Dec. 4, the Wildcats held Pitt to its lowest scoring output since March 10, 2007 when Georgetown only allowed 42 points in a 65-42 win against the Panthers in the Big East title game at Madison Square Garden. Against UNH, Pitt was held scoreless for the first 5:15 of the game, did not convert its first field goal until 6:37 in, and went 15:30 before grabbing its first lead.

PHILLY'S FINEST

Freshman Myrick scored a career-high 11 points on 5 of 8 shooting, including 1 of 1 from behind the arc, in a career-high 18 minutes against the Big East's Pitt on Dec. 4.

DILIEGRO NETS TOP WEEKLY HONOR

Junior Dane DiLiegro was named America East Player of the Week for the period ending Nov. 29, the conference announced Nov. 30.

DiLiegro earned the first weekly conference honor of his career after averaging 18.5 points and 8.0 rebounds per game in a 78-60 loss at Harvard on Nov. 25, as well as a 72-58 victory at home versus Marist on Nov. 28. DiLiegro also shot 50 percent (15-30) from the field and 78 percent (7-9) at the line in the two games.

At Harvard, DiLiegro posted a solid performance of 10 points and eight rebounds before exploding against Marist. DiLiegro scored a career-high 27 points on 11 of 19 shooting from the floor and 5 of 5 shooting at the line, while pulling down eight boards. DiLiegro had matched his career best after just 14 first-half minutes, and was single-handedly outscoring Marist at the break, 21-20.

POURING BUCKETS

Junior Dane DiLiegro scored a career-high 27 points as he was 11-for-19 from the floor and made all five of his free throws in a season-high 34 minutes against Marist on Nov. 28, making him the first Wildcat to record that many baskets in a game since Blagoj Janev was a perfect 11-for-11 from the field en route to 31 points against Vermont on Jan. 9, 2007. The 11 field goals marked the second time in his career that DiLiegro converted 10 or more field goals, as he knocked down 10 shots when he set his previous career best of 21 points Feb. 19 of last season versus Maine. The 27 points is also the most for a Wildcat since classmate Alvin Abreu netted 28 against Santa Clara on Jan. 4 of last season.

HERRION CLIMBING WINS LIST

By defeating Marist, 72-58, Nov. 28, head coach Bill Herrion recorded his 47th victory at UNH and moved into fifth on the school's all-time wins list, passing Gib Chapman, who won 46 games in four seasons from 1992-96. Herrion moved past Phil Rowe, who won 45 games in six seasons from 1999-05, with his 91-45 win against Suffolk on Nov. 14, and now trails only Gerry Friel (188), William Cowell (119), Henry Swasey (108) and Bill Olsen (60) in the record books.

DOUBLE-DOUBLE ON THE RADAR

Senior Radar Onguetou scored 11 points and tied his career high with 12 rebounds against Marist on Nov. 28 to record his second career double-double. Onguetou's first double-double came at UMBC on Jan. 25, 2007 when he recorded the same 11 points and 12 rebounds.

AMERICA EAST SEASONS BESTS

Against Marist on Nov. 28, a trio of Wildcats submitted three of the best performances in America East this season. Junior Dane DiLiegro poured in a career-high 27 points, the most in the conference at the time. Senior Radar Onguetou matched his career best by grabbing 12 rebounds, which tied for the third best mark in the league. Sophomore Russell Graham surpassed his previous career high by handing out seven assists, the fourth best America East mark on the year at the time.

PICKING IT BACK UP

Senior Colbey Santos 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.

MARGINALLY BETTER

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.

STANDING TALL

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.

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.

SECOND-HALF STUD

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.

SOPHOMORE JINX?

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 then career-best six assists.

DROPPING DIMES

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.

BLOCK PARTY

In their 91-45 win against Suffolk on Nov. 14, the Wildcats blocked six shots, including three by freshman big man Chris Matagrano.

GREAT SCOTT!

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.

DEMPSEY ON COLLEGE CHALKTALK

Associate Head Coach Ken Dempsey will be blogging at various points of the season on College Chalktalk. To follow along with Dempsey's entries, click here.

WILDCAT BASKETBALL ON THE AIR

In the summer of 1999, the University of New Hampshire Athletic Department formed the "UNH Sports Network" - the largest network ever to broadcast UNH sporting events. Wildcats Sports Properties has added WGIN-AM 930 (Rochester) and WQSO-FM 96.7 (Portsmouth) as flagship stations on the Wildcat Sports Network, joining WGIR-AM 610 (Manchester), which was added in 2008. All three stations are part of the Clear Channel family and this change will go into effect at the beginning of the 2009-10 season. These three aforementioned stations - along with WUVR-AM 1490 (Lebanon), WNTK-FM 99.7 (New London) and WCNL-AM 1010 (Newport) - will carry the following: all UNH football & men's hockey broadcasts and weekly coaches' shows, a select number of men's basketball, women's basketball, and women's hockey broadcasts, as well as "Wildcat Sports Today", a three-minute daily update concerning UNH athletics. The games can also be heard on the internet at www.UNHWildcats.com, through a service from Stretch Internet. Stretch has also partnered with UNH to develop a podcast page for UNH fans to listen to archived broadcasts.  Veteran play-by-play man Jim Jeannotte will return for his 29th year broadcasting UNH men's basketball. Jeannotte will be joined by color analyst Mike Murphy, who enters his 10th season calling Wildcat men's hoop.

WILDCAT BASKETBALL STREAMING LIVE

UNHWildcats.com, via Stretch Internet Broadcast, will carry 11 UNH men's basketball games, as well as a pair of road contests this season. If you cannot attend Wildcat basketball, you can still tune into the game from anywhere you can gain access to the internet. Fans can get to the UNH men's basketball broadcast site by going to the men's basketball schedule page at www.UNHWildcats.com.

UNH HOOPS ON WILDCATS.TV

UNH and Pack Network have once again partnered to provide online video streaming of UNH's seven ticketed sports for the upcoming 2009-10 season with UNHwildcats.Tv. Wildcat fans are encouraged to buy the "Wildcat All-Access Pass" which is an annual subscription for $79.95 that provides all the live coverage of UNH home athletic events. Fans can also purchase home events on a per game basis of $6.95.

INTERNATIONAL INCIDENT

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.

HALL CALL

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 County.

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.

DURHAM, N.H. - The University of New Hampshire men's basketball team will meet Army at Christl Arena on Dec. 22 at 2 p.m. before it breaks for the Christmas holiday. Links to live audio and video, as well as live stats, will be available at www.UNHWildcats.com.

The Wildcats and Black Knights meet for the eighth time, with Army leading the all-time series, 4-3. UNH has won three in a row, however, after losing the first four. The ‘Cats have won the past two meetings in Durham and are 1-2 in their last three at West Point. In the most recent meeting, the Wildcats pulled out a 77-71 win at home Nov. 28, 2004.

Jermaine Anderson scored a career-high 30 points and made a crucial steal late in the game to help the Wildcats hold off the Black Knights.

Anderson made his first two shots in the opening minute of the game to set the tone. Anderson shot 13-for-19 from the field and contributed four rebounds and three assists in 31 minutes of action.

With the Black Knights threatening to take the lead in the final minute, Anderson stole the ball from Lance Dietz and took the ball the length of the court for an eventual three-point play. He hit the 30-point mark with another driving layup as time expired.

Army's loss overshadowed a 34-point effort from sophomore Matt Bell, who shot 9-for-17 from the field, including 4 of 9 from 3-point land, and 12 of 13 from the free throw line. Bell also led the Black Knights with five assists and contributed five rebounds.

Anderson was one of four Wildcats to hit double figures in scoring. Chris Vetrano scored 15 points, while fellow freshman Mike Christensen contributed 11 points and six steals and Ben Sturgill scored 10 points and made three steals.

Both teams shot 50 percent from the field, but UNH was able to get off 10 more field goal attempts by forcing Army (0-4) into 24 turnovers, while committing only 14 of its own. Army outrebounded UNH, however, 32-24.

LAST TIME OUT

Juniors Tyrone Conley and Alvin Abreu scored 21 points apiece to lead the Wildcats to a 69-59 victory against intrastate rival Dartmouth College on Dec. 20 at Lundholm Gymnasium.

UNH improved to 4-0 at home and 4-4 overall while DC fell to 2-8. It is the first time the Wildcats have won the first four home games of a season since the 1968-69 campaign. Dating back to last year, the ‘Cats have won seven consecutive home games to mark the second longest streak in the last 49 years (12 games; 1982-84).

Conley made 8 of 13 field goal attempts, including 3 of 5 from 3-point range, and also recorded a game-high eight rebounds. Abreu was 7-for-12 from the floor and 7 of 9 from the foul line.

Dartmouth was led by David Rufful, who shot 8-for-20 for 18 points.

New Hampshire built a 12-4 lead in the opening six minutes of the game behind nine points from Conley. After Rufful's three-point play trimmed the deficit to five points, UNH extended the lead to double digits, 17-7, on a Conley 3-pointer and Dane DiLiegro (nine points; four rebounds) layup.

The Big Green pulled within five points at 25-20, but senior Colbey Santos drilled a 3-pointer to give the Wildcats an eight-point advantage with six minutes remaining in the half. The teams then traded scores to push the game to 30-22 before UNH matched its largest lead of the half - 10 points - with four minutes remaining when Conley backed his defender in the left post and scored over a double team.

Following a basket by Kirk Crecco with 2:30 remaining, Mbiyimoh Ghogomu followed his own miss at 2:00 to pull the Big Green within 32-26 and then consecutive Ronnie Dixon layups reduced the margin to two points with 45 seconds to go in the first half.

Trailing 32-30 at halftime, Dartmouth took its first lead of the game on a three-point play by Matt LaBove (nine points, six rebounds) on the opening possession of the second half. Abreu responded with a 3-point play for the Wildcats to put the home team back in front, 35-33.

Dartmouth regained the lead, 42-41, on a layup and led by three points when DiLiegro's layup made it a one-point margin at 12:39. A Griffin jumper reestablished a three-point advantage, but then DiLiegro made another basket in the paint and completed the three-point play to level the score, 46-46. Freshman Chandler Rhoads stole the ensuing inbounds pass and Conley's 3-pointer put UNH back in front, 49-46, with 11:20 remaining.

The ‘Cats led by one point, 49-48, midway through the second half when they went on a 7-0 run. Onguetou sparked the spurt when he pulled down an offensive rebound and drove the right baseline for a layup. On the next possession, Abreu cut through the lane for a layup and completed the three-point play to give UNH a 54-48 advantage at 9:32. Freshman Chris Matagrano then made a pair of free throws to push the margin to eight points.

Crecco halted the run at 6:42 when his pair of foul shots lifted the Big Green within 56-50. Abreu ended a stretch of five missed consecutive UNH foul shots and then he hit a jumper in the lane to extend the lead to 59-50 with 5:03 remaining.

With UNH leading 59-52, Conley hit a jumper from the right elbow to push the advantage to nine points with 2:39 to play, but DC's Rufful responded with a basket 15 seconds later to make the score 61-54.

Abreu was fouled on an acrobatic layup at 2:03 and his subsequent free throw gave New Hampshire a double-digit lead of 64-54. Another Rufful basket in the paint pulled the Big Green within 64-56, but Rhoads made a jumper with 82 seconds to go to once again create a 10-point margin.

Rufful's 3-pointer lifted the visitors within 66-59 at 1:08. Rhoads made 1 of 2 free throws, then Abreu stole the ball and went the length of the court for a layup that gave the Wildcats a 69-59 lead with 52 seconds on the clock to secure the victory.

The Wildcats outshout Dartmouth, 53.3 percent (24-45) to 38.1 percent (24-63), including 44.4 percent (4-9) to 25 percent (2-8) from behind the arc, and also edged the Big Green, 36-30, on the glass.

HOME, SWEET HOME

Dating back to the end of last season, the Wildcats have won seven straight games at home, which is the second longest streak since the 1960-61 season. The only time the ‘Cats won more consecutive games at home in the last 49 years is when they were victorious in 12 straight games at Lundholm Gymnasium from Nov. 30, 1982-Jan. 2, 1984. The current streak began Feb. 18, 2009 in a 63-54 win versus Maine.

MORE HOME COOKIN'

The Wildcats have started out the season 4-0 at home for the first time since the 1968-69 campaign when the ‘Cats won their first five games in Durham.

DYNAMIC DUO

Juniors Tyrone Conley and Alvin Abreu each scored 21 points in the Wildcats' 69-59 win against Dartmouth on Dec. 20. The performances marked the first time the duo each scored 20 points or more in the same game. Conley netted 16 in the first half, while Abreu poured in 17 in the second stanza.

CENTER OF ATTENTION

With starting center Dane DiLiegro in foul trouble for much of the Wildcats' 69-59 win against Dartmouth on Dec. 20, freshman center Chris Matagrano gave the ‘Cats a nice lift off the bench. Matagrano reached career highs in points (5) and rebounds (4) in 10 minutes.

WELL, THAT DIDN'T LAST VERY LONG

After setting season highs in field goal percentage and 3-point field goal percentage in their previous home game against Central Connecticut State, the Wildcats heated up again to erase those marks in a 69-59 win versus Dartmouth on Dec. 20. The ‘Cats shot 53.3 percent (24-45) from the field and 44.4 percent (4-9) from behind the arc against the Big Green.

TOP-NOTCH OPPONENTS

The combined record of the four teams UNH has lost to this season is 29-11 (.725). The Wildcats have suffered all of their defeats on the road at Maryland (6-3), Harvard (7-2), Pitt (9-2) and Hofstra (7-4).

DEFENSIVE SPECIALISTS

The Wildcats have built on their solid defensive year a season ago and have only allowed 60 or more points in a game three times - to then 25th-ranked Maryland, to 7-2 Harvard and 7-4 Hostra. The ‘Cats, who held the Big East's Pitt to 47 points Dec. 4, are second in the league in scoring defense at 62.4 ppg. UNH is also second in the conference in 3-point field goal percentage defense at 32.5 percent and third in field goal percentage defense at 42.2 percent.

GRAHAM TAKING CARE OF THE ROCK

Sophomore Russell Graham ranks first in the league in assist-to-turnover ratio at +2.4.

3-POINT THREAT

Senior Radar Onguetou is leading the Wildcats in 3-point shooting after sinking 42.9 percent (9-21) of his attempts. Onguetou, who also leads the conference in that category, came into the season a career 20 percent (9-45) shooter from long range.

TREY-MENDOUS STREAK FOR 'CATS

Heading into tonight's contest UNH has recorded at least one 3-pointer in 531 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 749 games by UNLV, a streak that started Nov. 26, 1986 and is still active.

NATIONALLY RANKED (AS OF DEC. 19)

UNH is ranked within the top 100 teams in scoring defense (62.9 ppg) at 75th. Individually, Russell Graham is 51st in assist-to-turnover ratio (2.55).

SOMETHING GOOD ABREU-IN'

Junior Alvin Abreu erupted for a season-high 25 points in the Wildcats' 67-55 win against Central Connecticut State on Dec. 9. The total was Abreu's second highest of his career and most since he dropped 28 on Santa Clara at Lundholm Gymnasium on Jan. 4, 2009.

TICKLING THE TWINE

After a defensive struggle in their previous game at Pitt in which the Wildcats scored 32 points, they came in on fire versus Central Connecticut State and stayed hot throughout the game. The ‘Cats set season highs in shooting percentage from the field (.500), behind the arc (.429) and at the line (.750).

HERRION VS. WILDCATS' 2009-10 OPPONENTS

Coming into the season, Bill Herrion owned a 115-67 (.632) record against the Wildcats' 2009-10 opponents.

CAGING THE PANTHERS

In their 47-32 loss Dec. 4, the Wildcats held Pitt to its lowest scoring output since March 10, 2007 when Georgetown only allowed 42 points in a 65-42 win against the Panthers in the Big East title game at Madison Square Garden. Against UNH, Pitt was held scoreless for the first 5:15 of the game, did not convert its first field goal until 6:37 in, and went 15:30 before grabbing its first lead.

PHILLY'S FINEST

Freshman Myrick scored a career-high 11 points on 5 of 8 shooting, including 1 of 1 from behind the arc, in a career-high 18 minutes against the Big East's Pitt on Dec. 4.

DILIEGRO NETS TOP WEEKLY HONOR

Junior Dane DiLiegro was named America East Player of the Week for the period ending Nov. 29, the conference announced Nov. 30.

DiLiegro earned the first weekly conference honor of his career after averaging 18.5 points and 8.0 rebounds per game in a 78-60 loss at Harvard on Nov. 25, as well as a 72-58 victory at home versus Marist on Nov. 28. DiLiegro also shot 50 percent (15-30) from the field and 78 percent (7-9) at the line in the two games.

At Harvard, DiLiegro posted a solid performance of 10 points and eight rebounds before exploding against Marist. DiLiegro scored a career-high 27 points on 11 of 19 shooting from the floor and 5 of 5 shooting at the line, while pulling down eight boards. DiLiegro had matched his career best after just 14 first-half minutes, and was single-handedly outscoring Marist at the break, 21-20.

POURING BUCKETS

Junior Dane DiLiegro scored a career-high 27 points as he was 11-for-19 from the floor and made all five of his free throws in a season-high 34 minutes against Marist on Nov. 28, making him the first Wildcat to record that many baskets in a game since Blagoj Janev was a perfect 11-for-11 from the field en route to 31 points against Vermont on Jan. 9, 2007. The 11 field goals marked the second time in his career that DiLiegro converted 10 or more field goals, as he knocked down 10 shots when he set his previous career best of 21 points Feb. 19 of last season versus Maine. The 27 points is also the most for a Wildcat since classmate Alvin Abreu netted 28 against Santa Clara on Jan. 4 of last season.

HERRION CLIMBING WINS LIST

By defeating Marist, 72-58, Nov. 28, head coach Bill Herrion recorded his 47th victory at UNH and moved into fifth on the school's all-time wins list, passing Gib Chapman, who won 46 games in four seasons from 1992-96. Herrion moved past Phil Rowe, who won 45 games in six seasons from 1999-05, with his 91-45 win against Suffolk on Nov. 14, and now trails only Gerry Friel (188), William Cowell (119), Henry Swasey (108) and Bill Olsen (60) in the record books.

DOUBLE-DOUBLE ON THE RADAR

Senior Radar Onguetou scored 11 points and tied his career high with 12 rebounds against Marist on Nov. 28 to record his second career double-double. Onguetou's first double-double came at UMBC on Jan. 25, 2007 when he recorded the same 11 points and 12 rebounds.

AMERICA EAST SEASONS BESTS

Against Marist on Nov. 28, a trio of Wildcats submitted three of the best performances in America East this season. Junior Dane DiLiegro poured in a career-high 27 points, the most in the conference at the time. Senior Radar Onguetou matched his career best by grabbing 12 rebounds, which tied for the third best mark in the league. Sophomore Russell Graham surpassed his previous career high by handing out seven assists, the fourth best America East mark on the year at the time.

PICKING IT BACK UP

Senior Colbey Santos 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.

MARGINALLY BETTER

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.

STANDING TALL

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.

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.

SECOND-HALF STUD

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.

SOPHOMORE JINX?

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 then career-best six assists.

DROPPING DIMES

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.

BLOCK PARTY

In their 91-45 win against Suffolk on Nov. 14, the Wildcats blocked six shots, including three by freshman big man Chris Matagrano.

GREAT SCOTT!

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.

DEMPSEY ON COLLEGE CHALKTALK

Associate Head Coach Ken Dempsey will be blogging at various points of the season on College Chalktalk. To follow along with Dempsey's entries, click here.

WILDCAT BASKETBALL ON THE AIR

In the summer of 1999, the University of New Hampshire Athletic Department formed the "UNH Sports Network" - the largest network ever to broadcast UNH sporting events. Wildcats Sports Properties has added WGIN-AM 930 (Rochester) and WQSO-FM 96.7 (Portsmouth) as flagship stations on the Wildcat Sports Network, joining WGIR-AM 610 (Manchester), which was added in 2008. All three stations are part of the Clear Channel family and this change will go into effect at the beginning of the 2009-10 season. These three aforementioned stations - along with WUVR-AM 1490 (Lebanon), WNTK-FM 99.7 (New London) and WCNL-AM 1010 (Newport) - will carry the following: all UNH football & men's hockey broadcasts and weekly coaches' shows, a select number of men's basketball, women's basketball, and women's hockey broadcasts, as well as "Wildcat Sports Today", a three-minute daily update concerning UNH athletics. The games can also be heard on the internet at www.UNHWildcats.com, through a service from Stretch Internet. Stretch has also partnered with UNH to develop a podcast page for UNH fans to listen to archived broadcasts.  Veteran play-by-play man Jim Jeannotte will return for his 29th year broadcasting UNH men's basketball. Jeannotte will be joined by color analyst Mike Murphy, who enters his 10th season calling Wildcat men's hoop.

WILDCAT BASKETBALL STREAMING LIVE

UNHWildcats.com, via Stretch Internet Broadcast, will carry 11 UNH men's basketball games, as well as a pair of road contests this season. If you cannot attend Wildcat basketball, you can still tune into the game from anywhere you can gain access to the internet. Fans can get to the UNH men's basketball broadcast site by going to the men's basketball schedule page at www.UNHWildcats.com.

UNH HOOPS ON WILDCATS.TV

UNH and Pack Network have once again partnered to provide online video streaming of UNH's seven ticketed sports for the upcoming 2009-10 season with UNHwildcats.Tv. Wildcat fans are encouraged to buy the "Wildcat All-Access Pass" which is an annual subscription for $79.95 that provides all the live coverage of UNH home athletic events. Fans can also purchase home events on a per game basis of $6.95.

INTERNATIONAL INCIDENT

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.

HALL CALL

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 County.

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.

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