February 14, 2010

MEN'S BASKETBALL SET TO TAKE ON VERMONT ON FEB. 14

COMPLETE GAME NOTES

DURHAM, N.H. - The University of New Hampshire men's basketball team will try for its first regular-season sweep of the University of Vermont since the 1994-95 season when it takes on the Catamounts at Patrick Gymnasium on Sunday, Feb. 14 at 2 p.m. The game will be broadcast live on the Wildcat Sports Radio Network. Links to live audio and video, as well as live stats, will be available at www.UNHWildcats.com.

The Wildcats and Catamounts meet for the 129th time in their long and storied history, with Vermont leading the all-time series, 80-48. The Catamounts have won 14 of the last 17 matchups, including nine in a row against the Wildcats in the comfort of Patrick Gymnasium. All three of UNH’s wins in the last 17 contests have come at home, including the most recent meeting Jan. 27.    

Juniors Alvin Abreu and Tyrone Conley scored 21 points apiece and sophomore Russell Graham recorded a career-high 12 assists to propel the Wildcats to a 75-56 victory against Vermont at Lundholm Gymnasium in front of 2,355 fans.

UNH improved to 7-1 at home - matching its best home start since the 1994-95 season - as well as 8-10 overall and 3-4 in America East with its second consecutive win - its first back-to-back wins of the season. UVM suffered its third straight defeat and fell to 14-8, 5-3. Coming into the game, Vermont’s nine road victories were the most in the country, while its seven-game road-winning streak was also tops in the nation before dropping its last two
contests.

Conley, UNH’s America East Player of the Game, netted 21 points on 8 of 18 shooting from the floor, including 3 of 6 from 3-point range, and 2-for-2 from the foul line. He also contributed a team-high seven rebounds, four assists, three blocks and two steals. Abreu made all five of his 3-point attempts and was also 2-for-2 from the line en route to 21 points. He also pulled down five boards and added two assists. Graham, who committed just one turnover to 12 assists in a career-best 37 minutes, scored six points.

Marqus Blakely was named Vermont’s America East Player of the Game with 17 points, 11 rebounds, four blocks and three steals.

It was the largest crowd for a UNH men’s game at Lundholm Gym since Jan. 28, 2006, when 2,384 fans witnessed UVM defeat the Wildcats, 64-56.

UNH led 31-23 at the half and improved to 8-1 when ahead at the break this season. Maurice Joseph opened the second half with a 3-pointer and after Abreu answered with a trey of his own, Joseph came back with another 3 to slice the Wildcat lead to 34-29. After Abreu and Garvey Young traded baskets, Conley and Abreu knocked down consecutive
triples to push the lead to 42-31 with 14:10 remaining.

After a Blakely three-point play later cut the Catamount deficit to eight, Graham and Conley hooked up on an alley-oop that sent the crowd wild and sparked a 12-5 UNH run.Graham led a 2-on-1 break down the left side of the court and tossed the ball to the far side of the hoop when Conley elevated, reached back and caught the ball with one hand before throwing it down.

An Abreu layup widened the lead to 12 and after Blakely and senior Radar Onguetou traded buckets, Conley took another feed and finished off a one-handed slam to make it 54-40 with 6:09 to play. Vermont whittled the lead down to 11 before layups by junior Dane DiLiegro and Conley widened it to 15.

With 3:16 to go, another Conley 3 opened the lead up to 16 at 63-47 before Abreu added the exclamation point - a 3-pointer with 19 seconds left that gave the Wildcats their largest lead of the game and closed the scoring at 75-56.

UNH outscored Vermont, 44-33, in the second half and also outrebounded the Catamounts, 36-27, including, 28-12, in the second stanza.

Onguetou scored seven points on 3 of 4 shooting, added four rebounds and played great defense on Blakely as he helped force him into eight turnovers. DiLiegro, meanwhile, posted six points and seven boards.

The Wildcats trailed 8-2 to start the game before consecutive 3s by Abreu, and another trey from classmate James Valladares, fueled a 9-0 run that gave them an 11-8 lead with 13:09 to play in the opening half. Vermont scored six straight and lead by three before Graham was driven to the ground while he made a layup, and finished off the three-point play at the line to tie the game at 14 with 8:43 remaining.

The game was tied at 16 when an 11-1 run - highlighted by 3-pointers from Conley, Onguetou and freshman Ferg Myrick - busted the game open and gave UNH a 29-19 lead at 1:59 that they would hold for good. Back-to-back baskets from Joseph and Blakely cut the deficit to six, but Conley drained a jumper from 18 feet with five seconds left to send
his team into the locker room with a 31-23 lead.

Valladares tallied five points, four rebounds, an assist and a steal, while also doing a good job defensively on Blakely. Myrick gave the Wildcats another good lift off the bench with nine points, four boards and a steal in 16 minutes.

The Wildcats outshot Vermont, 44.8 percent (26-58) to 41.3 percent (19-46), from the floor, including 61.1 percent (11-18) to 27.3 percent (3-11) from behind the arc. UNH also held Vermont, who owns the second best offense in the league, to its second lowest point total of the season. Only Delaware held the Catamounts to fewer points this season when it scored a 56-50 decision at Vermont on Dec. 20.

Evan Fjeld and Joseph scored 13 and 10, respectively, for Vermont.

LAST TIME OUT

Junior Alvin Abreu led four Wildcats in double figures with 17 points to power UNH to a 67-60 win against Binghamton on Feb. 11 in front of 1,759 fans at Lundholm Gymnasium.

The Wildcats’ second consecutive win improved them to 10-13 on the season, including 5-7 in America East play. The ‘Cats are also 8-2 at home, which matches their best home start through 10 games since the 1994-95 season. UNH has now posted four double-digit win seasons in a five-year span for the first time since 1969-70 to 1973-74 and has put together a streak of seven straight nine-plus win seasons for the first time since 1918-1919 to 1926-27. The Wildcats also snapped a seven-game losing skid against Binghamton and beat the Bearcats at home for the first time in eight tries dating back to a Feb. 2, 2002 win at Lundholm. Binghamton fell to 11-15 overall and 6-5 in the conference.

Abreu, UNH’s America East Player of the Game, was 6-for-13 from the floor, made all four of his free throws, matched a career high with eight rebounds and handed out four assists. Freshman Ferg Myrick provided a huge spark off the bench with 14 points, two steals, a rebound, an assist and a block in 14 minutes. Junior Tyrone Conley tallied 13 points, five boards and equaled a career best with three blocks. Freshman Chandler Rhoads chipped in with 10 points, two assists, two steals and no turnovers in 22 minutes off the bench.

Greer Wright, Binghamton’s America East Player of the Game, and Moussa Camara led four Binghamton scorers in double digits with 13 points apiece.

Trailing 42-32 with 12:42 left in the game, the Wildcats ripped off a 13-2 run - with eight points from Myrick - to re-gain their first lead in 12:10. Myrick broke what had been a 14-4 Binghamton run with a free throw before his layup off a feed from Rhoads cut the deficit to seven. A Myrick steal then set up a layup by sophomore Russell Graham before Camara’s bucket pushed it back to seven. Myrick sliced it to four with a 3-pointer from the left wing and found Conley in the same spot just 1:23 later to pull his team within one. Myrick then capped the run and gave UNH the 45-44 lead with 9:08 to play on another bucket inside off a Rhoads pass.

Binghamton responded with a 5-0 run, but a 6-1 stretch - fueled by a jumper from Abreu and four free throws from Myrick - put the Wildcats back on top, 51-50 with 6:23 to go. Wright came back with a 3 that gave the Bearcats a two-point lead, but UNH stayed strong and used a 5-0 run to grab a three-point lead. A tough three-point play from Rhoads, followed by another Myrick layup, made it 56-53 with 5:14 remaining.

After Camara cut it to one on a pair of free throws, 1 of 2 at the line from Conley and a jumper from Abreu pushed the lead to four. Binghamton bounced back with a 3-pointer from Jimmy Gray and a basket from Mahamoud Jabbi to take a 60-59 lead with 3:27 on the clock.
Chandler Rhoad

UNH again responded, however, taking the lead for good on a pair of free throws from Abreu at 3:06. Abreu then found classmate Dane DiLiegro inside for a layup that opened the lead to 63-60 with two minutes remaining before Conley and Abreu each sank a pair at the line to close the scoring and the Wildcats’ 8-0 run.

The defense played a huge role in the run, forcing Binghamton to go 0-for-6 from the field with a turnover in the final 3:27. Conley had a monstrous block on Chretien Lukusa when he ricocheted his potential game-tying layup off the glass, which led to DiLiegro’s layup. Myrick also had a block on Dylan Talley, which sealed the win with the Wildcats up five.

Myrick was 4-for-6 from the field, including 1-for-2 from deep, and 5-for-6 at the line. Graham tallied six points, two assists, two steals and no turnovers in 19 minutes, while DiLiegro added three points and seven boards.

After Lukusa answered Abreu’s layup to give Binghamton the early 3-2 lead, the Wildcats went on a 12-0 run - capped by a 3-pointer from Abreu, who had seven of the points - to grab a 14-3 lead at 14:34. A Camara free throw stopped the run, but Graham’s jumper in the paint gave UNH its largest lead of the game at 16-4 with 13:11 remaining in the opening half.

Back-to-back baskets from Kyrie Sutton sliced Binghamton’s deficit to eight, but layups from Rhoads and senior Radar Onguetou pushed the lead back to 12 at 20-8 with 9:08 to play. From there, however, a 15-1 Binghamton run - with five points apiece from Wright and Talley - gave the Bearcats a 23-21 lead at 3:14. Binghamton still led by two, 28-26, when Graham’s layup with four seconds left tied the game and closed the first-half scoring. UNH improved to 10-2 when tied or leading at the half.

Wright kicked off the second-half scoring before Camara followed with a 3-pointer and a jumper to close a 7-0 run that put the Bearcats up 35-28 at 17:45. A trey from Rhoads and a free throw a minute later sliced the Bearcats’ lead to three, but another 7-0 run - with consecutive baskets from Talley and a 3-pointer from Gray - gave Binghamton its largest lead of the contest at 42-32 with 12:42 remaining, and set the stage for UNH’s comeback.

Abreu finished the night with 1,042 points and passed Paul Dufour (1,026), Derek Counts (1,026) and Eric Montanari (1,038) for 19th on UNH’s all-time scoring list.

Despite being outshot 41.5 percent (22-53) to 37.5 percent (21-56), including 40 percent (8-20) to 29.4 percent (5-17) from behind the arc, and being outrebounded, 40-33, the Wildcats only turned the ball over seven times while forcing 16 Binghamton turnovers and held a 32-22 advantage in the paint. UNH also made 20 of their 28 free throws (71.4 percent) while the Bearcats shot just 40 percent (8-20) from the stripe.

Talley added 12 points for Binghamton, while Sutton chipped in with 10.

HOME, SWEET HOME

The Wildcats have started out the season 8-2 at home for the first time since the 1994-95 campaign when they won 10 of their first 12 games in Durham. The ‘Cats have been victorious in 11 of their last 13 home contests dating back to last year.

DUSTING OFF THE RECORD BOOKS

After their 10th win of the year Feb. 11 versus Binghamton (67-60), the Wildcats have now posted four double-digit win seasons in a five-year span for the first time since 1969-70 to 1973-74. They have also put together a streak of seven straight nine-plus win seasons for the first time since 1918-1919 to 1926-27.

PASSING THE CENTURY MARK

With three more assists, sophomore point guard Russell Graham will be the first Wildcat to record 100 helpers in a season since Colin Donahue (135) during the 2000-01 season.

RANDOM "RECORD WHEN..." TIDBITS

The Wildcats are 7-4 when scoring first, 10-3 when scoring more than 60 points, 6-3 when shooting 40 percent or greater from the field and 4-1 when shooting over 40 percent from behind the arc. The ‘Cats also hold some impressive defensive records, going 10-2 when leading at the half, 10-6 when allowing 60 points or fewer, 7-3 when holding their opponent under 40 percent from the floor and 7-4 when holding their opponent under 30 percent from deep.

ABREU NOT LIGHTENING HIS LOAD

Junior Alvin Abreu has begun to carry more of the scoring load over the last 10 games, averaging 15.6 points per game. Take out his career-low one-point performance at Maine on Jan. 18 and the tri-captain is averaging 17.1 ppg during that span. Abreu has 10 double-digit scoring games during that stretch, which equals his career best he set from Dec. 3, 2007-Jan. 19, 2008. The tri-captain has a seven-game double-digit scoring streak going, also tying his career high, which he previously accomplished Dec. 30, 2007-Jan. 19, 2008.

CONLEY TY-RRIFIC OVER LAST 18 GAMES

Tyrone Conley has caught fire over the last 18 games. After averaging just 6.6 points per game on 26.1 percent (12-46) shooting from the field, 18.5 percent (5-27) shooting from deep and 40 percent (4-10) shooting at the line through his first five games, Conley has picked up his game as of late. The junior is pouring in 13.7 ppg on 38.7 percent (77-199) shooting from the floor, 37.9 percent (44-116) shooting from behind the arc and 70 percent (49-70) shooting at the stripe.

DEFENSIVE SPECIALISTS

The Wildcats have built on their solid defensive year a season ago and have held their opponents to 60 points or less in a game 16 out of 23 times. The ‘Cats, who held the Big East’s Pitt to 47 points Dec. 4, lead the league in scoring defense at 61.2 ppg. UNH also leads the conference in 3-point field goal percentage defense at 29.8 percent and is third in field goal percentage defense at 40.5 percent.

'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 (+2.7) and third in assists (4.2 apg), Dane DiLiegro is third in rebounding (8.4 rpg) and sixth in field goal percentage (.465), Tyrone Conley is seventh in 3-pointers made per game (2.1) and ninth in steals per game (1.1), Radar Onguetou is ninth in rebounding (6.1 rpg), and Alvin Abreu is eighth in scoring (14.3) and 3-pointers made per game (1.9), and ninth in free throw percentage (.753).

NATIONALLY RANKED (AS OF FEB. 11)

UNH is ranked within the top 100 teams in the country in a trio of categories. The Wildcats are 20th in 3-point field goal defense (.298), 33rd in scoring defense (61.2 ppg), and 58th in field goal percentage defense (.405). The Wildcats have also climbed to 104th in 3-pointers made per game (6.7). Individually, Russell Graham is 15th in assist-to-turnover ratio (2.69) and and Dane DiLiegro is 77th in rebounding (8.4 rpg).

LOVEABLE LUNDHOLM

Junior Alvin Abreu is averaging 17.0 points per game this season at Lundholm Gymnasium, while adding 11.5 ppg on the road. Abreu is also shooting 42.7 percent (56-131) at home, but hitting on just 31.9 percent (52-163) of his shots away from Lundholm. The same trend holds true for the whole squad, which averages 68.1 ppg on 41.3 percent shooting at home and just 55.5 ppg on 35.3 percent shooting on the road.

JUNIOR TRIO SOLID IN CRUNCH TIME

Juniors Alvin Abreu, Tyrone Conley and Dane DiLiegro have stepped up down the stretch in games this season for the Wildcats. In the final five minutes, the three are a combined 40-for-80 (.500) from the field and 59 of 79 (.747) at the line. Inside of one minute, the trio is also impressive, shooting 9 of 20 (.450) from the floor and 34 of 39 (.872) at the stripe.

TREY-MENDOUS STREAK FOR 'CATS

Heading into Sunday’s contest UNH has recorded at least one 3-pointer in 546 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 762 games by UNLV, a streak that started Nov. 26, 1986 and is still active.

TOP-NOTCH OPPONENTS

The combined record of the 11 teams UNH has lost to this season is 151-116 (.566). The Wildcats have suffered their defeats on the road at Maryland (16-6), Harvard (16-5), Pitt (19-6), Hofstra (13-13), Army (13-10), Santa Clara (10-17), Stony Brook (17-7),  Maine (16-9) and Binghamton (11-15), as well as Boston U. (13-12) and Hartford (7-17), who they also lost to at home.

FERG-OTTEN ONE NO MORE

Freshman Ferg Myrick has provided a lift off the bench for the Wildcats as of late. After playing in just 10 of UNH’s first 15 games and averaging 4.2 points per game, Myrick has received solid minutes in his team’s last seven contests and put up good numbers. The 6-foot-6-inch wing is averaging 9.7 ppg on 48.8 percent (21-43) shooting from the floor, 54.5 percent (6-11) shooting from behind the arc and 87 percent (20-23) shooting at the line.

CONFERENCE COACHING CONQUESTS

Head coach Bill Herrion is currently tops among active coaches and third overall in America East regular season conference victories. Herrion’s 136 conference wins are far and away better than the league’s other eight coaches, with Albany’s Will Brown the next closest with 64. Overall, Herrion sits behind only former Boston University head coach Dennis Wolff (152) and long-time Vermont head man Tom Brennan (147).

TWO GRAND CROWDS

With 2,355 fans packing Lundholm Gymnasium against Vermont on Jan. 27 and another 2,073 versus Hartford on Feb. 6, it marked the first time consecutive crowds of 2,000-plus filled Lundholm since Feb. 9-March 6, 1995 when the Wildcats saw six straight crowds of 2,000 or more enter the building.

02/09/95    Boston U.    2,457  (73-60 win)
02/16/95    Vermont    2,796  (95-84 win)
02/24/95    Drexel    3,250  (83-74 loss)
02/26/95    Delaware    3,094  (113-111 win, OT)
03/04/95    Delaware    3,060  (83-81 win – NAC quarterfinal)
03/06/95    Northeastern    3,250  (91-70 loss – NAC semifinal)

500-500 CLUB

Junior Dane DiLiegro became the 14th member of UNH’s 500 points-500 rebounds club on a layup with 19:15 to go in the game Feb. 9 at Albany. DiLiegro is the first to join the club, which features 11 1,000-point scorers, since Tyrece Gibbs (1,329 pts, 506 rebs) last year.

DOUBLE-DIGIT DILIEGRO

After posting 12 rebounds against Hartford on Feb. 6 and 10 boards at Albany on Feb. 9, junior Dane DiLiegro has recorded back-to-back 10-plus rebound games for the second time this season and fourth time in his career. DiLiegro has never put up double-digit rebound performances in three straight contests.

ABREU'S MILESTONE

Junior Alvin Abreu became the 27th Wildcat to reach the 1,000-point plateau on his basket with 1:28 remaining in the game against Hartford on Feb. 6. Abreu is the first to reach the milestone since Tyrece Gibbs (1,329) last season.

WILDCATS RECEIVE BRACKETBUSTERS OPPONENT

The Wildcats will play Loyola University (Md.) in the team’s first ever ESPN BracketBusters game, ESPN announced Feb. 1.

The game, which will be the first meeting between the ‘Cats and Greyhounds, is set for Saturday, Feb. 20 (1 p.m.) at Loyola’s 2,100-seat Reitz Arena. The teams will play a “return” game at Lundholm Gymnasium in either November or December of 2011.

The Greyhounds, who play in the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference, are currently 10-11 this season, including 3-8 in the MAAC. Loyola is 5-0 against common opponents, having beat Vermont (79-66) and Marist (68-61) at home, as well as UMBC (69-66), Dartmouth (58-41) and Marist (80-64) on the road. UNH is 4-0 against those same opponents with wins at UMBC (62-58) and at home against Marist (72-58), Dartmouth (69-59) and Vermont (75-56).

While UNH has never played in a BracketBusters game, Loyola is 2-2 in their four BracketBusters contests. The Greyhounds won at home against High Point (77-71) in 2006 and on the road at Tennessee State (62-60) in 2007, while dropping games to UC Davis (67-64) at home in 2008 and at Drexel (74-58) last season.

OVER 60

The Wildcat offense has been improving over the last couple of weeks, stringing together three games of 60-plus points with 62-, 75- and 73-point performances against UMBC, Vermont and Binghamton, respectively. In their two most recent games, however, the defense has allowed more than 60 points (Binghamton – 76, Boston U. – 69) in consecutive contests for just the second time this year, including the first in conference play.

DYNAMIC DUO

Juniors Tyrone Conley and Alvin Abreu each scored 21 points in the Wildcats’ 75-56 win versus Vermont on Jan. 27. It was the second time this season, as well as in their careers that the two have scored 20 or more in the same game. The duo also accomplished the feat in a 69-59 win against Dartmouth on Dec. 20.

FREE HANDOUTS

In the Wildcats’ 75-56 victory against Vermont on Jan. 27, sophomore point guard Russell Graham handed out a career-high 12 assists, while only turning the ball over once in a career-best 37 minutes. As a team, the ‘Cats recorded 19 assists – the most assists they have had against a Division I team this season – on 26 field goals.

OTHER SEASON BESTS VS. VERMONT

In the 75-56 win versus Vermont on Jan. 27, the Wildcats reached a season high against Division I opponents in points (75), as well as season bests in blocks (7) and attendance (2,355). The attendance was the highest at Lundholm Gymnasium since 2,384 fans watched Vermont beat UNH, 64-56, Jan. 28, 2006.

PHILLY'S FINEST

Freshman Ferg Myrick helped lead the Wildcats to their first road victory of the season, 62-58, at UMBC on Jan. 21 with a career-best 15 points on 6 of 9 shooting, including 2 of 3 from behind the arc. Myrick crafted a 12-0 run that pushed his team’s lead from 43-40 with 10:22 to play, to 52-43 with 7:08 remaining, and also fueled an 8-2 run earlier in the game that turned a two-point deficit into a two-point lead with a pair of 3-pointers.

GRAHAM-TASTIC!

Point guard Russell Graham really picked up his play over three games from Jan. 13-Jan. 18, averaging 5.7 points, 6.7 rebounds, 5.7 assists and just 1.0 turnover per game during that span, which included lines of six points, eight rebounds and seven assists Jan. 18 at Maine and a career-high 11 points, five boards and six helpers Jan. 13 versus Albany. The sophomore also started contributing more offensively over five games from Jan. 7-Jan. 18, averaging 6.6 points per contest, with nine- and seven-point outings Jan. 7 against Boston U. and Jan. 10 at Stony Brook, respectively.

LATE TO THE PARTY

After not even attempting a 3-pointer in the first 46 games of his career, junior James Valladares has hit a trey in four consecutive contests from Jan. 10-Jan.18.

PARTY OF FIVE

In their 67-59 win against Albany on Jan. 13, the Wildcats had five scorers in double digits. It marked the first time they had five scorers with 10 or more points in a game since Jan. 4, 2004 when Craig Walls (14), Marcus Bullock (12), Blagoj Janev (11), Griffin Walker (11) and Roland Williams (10) all scored in double digits at home against Northeastern.

GREAT DANE

Junior Dane DiLiegro recorded a double-double of 13 points and 13 rebounds in the Wildcats’ 67-59 win against the Albany Great Danes on Jan. 13. DiLiegro, who also posted a double-double of 20 points and 16 boards against Boston U. on Jan. 7, submitted two double-doubles in a three-game span for the first time in his career.

GOLDEN GRAHAM

Sophomore Russell Graham put together a solid night in the Wildcats’ 67-59 win against Albany on Jan. 13. The point guard scored a career-high 11 points on 3 of 6 shooting from the field, including 1 of 2 from behind the arc and added five rebounds, six assists and just two turnovers.

GLASS MILESTONE

Junior Dane DiLiegro recorded his 500th career rebound with his third board of the game against Stony Brook on Jan. 10 to become the 90th player in America East history to reach the mark. DiLiegro is the second active leading rebounder in the conference behind Vermont’s Marqus Blakely.

FIRST TRIP DOWNTOWN

Against Stony Brook on Jan. 10, junior James Valladares broke out for a career-high 11 points on 4 of 6 shooting, including 3 of 4 from 3-point land. Valladares, who played a season-high 23 minutes, had never even attempted a 3-pointer in his career coming into the game.

DOUBLE-DOUBLE FOR DOUBLE D

Dane DiLiegro was a monster inside for the Wildcats in their game against Boston U. on Jan. 7. DiLiegro netted 20 points and was one rebound shy of his career best, pulling down a season-high 16 boards as he recorded his second double-double of the season and seventh of his career. It was the highest point and rebound totals DiLiegro has reached in a single game during his career.

SECOND CHANCES

Ferg Myrick made the most of his 15 minutes against Boston U. on Jan. 7. The freshman chipped in with four points and added a block, but it was on the glass where he made his biggest impact. Myrick pulled down eight boards, including five on the offensive end.

GRAHAM ON POINT

Sophomore point guard Russell Graham continued his solid play for the Wildcats against Boston U. on Jan. 7 as he matched his career high with nine points and added five assists, four rebounds and steal, while only turning the ball over twice in a career-best 33 minutes.

CLOUD NINE

In their Jan. 2 game at Santa Clara, juniors Tyrone Conley and Dane DiLiegro each recorded nine field goals, shooting 9-for-16 and 9-for-12 from the floor, respectively. The last time two Wildcats have posted nine or more baskets in the same game was Feb. 24, 1995 against Drexel and current head coach Bill Herrion. Scott Drapeau and Matt Alosa each tallied nine buckets for the ‘Cats at Lundholm Gymnasium as they were 9 of 23 and 9 of 24 on the night, respectively.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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