DURHAM, N.H. - The University of New Hampshire men's basketball team will go for its third straight win when it plays host to Stony Brook University on Wednesday, Feb. 9 (7 p.m.) at Lundholm Gymnasium. The game will be broadcast live on the Wildcat Sports Radio Network. Links to live audio and live video, as well as live stats, will be available at www.UNHWildcats.com.
The Wildcats and Seawolves meet for the 22nd time in their relatively young conference rivalry, with UNH leading the all-time series, 14-7. The Wildcats have won 10 of the last 13 meetings, including six of the last eight against the Seawolves. UNH has swept the season series three times in five seasons. The Wildcats have been victorious in three of the last six games on the road against the Seawolves, and have been even more dominant at home against SBU, winning eight of their last nine, including seven straight. In the most recent meeting Jan. 15, senior Tyrone Conley and freshman DeAndray Buckley scored 14 and 13 points, respectively, but the Wildcats dropped a 64-60 decision to Stony Brook in double overtime at Pritchard Gymnasium.
The Wildcats fell to 7-10 on the season and 1-4 in America East play, while the Seawolves improved to 7-9 overall and 2-2 in the conference. It was the first double overtime game for UNH since a 78-75 loss at Maine on Jan. 19, 2009.
Conley, who extended his double-digit scoring streak to 11 games, added three rebounds, two steals and a block in a career-high 48 minutes, while Buckley was 4-for-9 from the floor and tallied eight boards, three assists and a steal in a career-best 35 minutes, en route to earning America East Player of the Game honors for UNH.
Sophomores Chandler Rhoads and Chris Matagrano each chipped in with 11 points. Rhoads added four rebounds and three assists in a career-high 45 minutes, while Matagrano reached his career high in points on 5 of 10 shooting, including a perfect 1 of 1 from behind the arc. He also recorded seven rebounds, two steals and an assist in a career-high 41 minutes.
Junior Brian Benson added six points and tore down a career-high 22 rebounds in a career-most 42 minutes. The 22 boards are an America East season high, as well as the fifth most rebounds ever in an America East conference game. They are also five shy of UNH's single-game record and the second most rebounds ever for a Wildcat, matching Dave Pemberton, who also reeled in 22 against Boston University on Jan. 3, 1972. It is the first 20-rebound game for a 'Cat since Chris Brown recorded 20 boards at Boston University on Feb. 10, 2002.
Marcus Rouse and Anthony Jackson led Stony Brook with 13 and 12 points, respectively, while Bryan Dougher and Dave Coley each added 11.
Leading 19-14 at the break, the Wildcats went on an 11-0 run after Dougher opened the half with a jumper at 19:34. After a Rhoads free throw, Matagrano knocked down a jumper before a pair of Conley baskets pushed the lead to 10. A Benson tip-in off a missed 3 and a Buckley basket in the paint closed the stretch with UNH on top 30-16 and holding its largest lead of the game with 11:18 to play.
Jackson stopped the run with a 3, before Matagrano came back with one of his own – the first of his career – from the top of the key. A layup from Anthony Mayo, followed by Dougher's only trey of the game, sliced the Stony Brook deficit to nine at 33-24 with 7:40 to go. After a pair of Buckley free throws, Rouse drilled a 3-pointer to cut it to eight. The gap was still eight at 41-33 with 2:31 remaining when a Jackson jumper brought the Seawolves to within six.
Dougher knocked down a pair at the line 22 seconds later, and then with 1:21 to go, Coley canned a 3 that made it 42-40. Two Rhoads free throws pushed the UNH lead back to four with 45 seconds left, but Dallis Joyner sank both of his chances at the line with 33 seconds to play and cut it back to two. Dougher knocked down two more at the line to knot the game at 44 with 14 seconds left and Buckley's 3-pointer from the left wing was no good as time expired and forced UNH's first overtime game of the season.
A pair of Coley free throws 1:05 into the extra session gave Stony Brook its first lead since the 12:46 mark of the opening half, but Buckley tied the game at 46 with a basket inside with 2:15 to go. After Conley made 1 of 2 at the line, a Joyner bucket put SBU up 48-47 with 1:32 left.
Conley answered with a huge 3 from the left wing to put UNH back on top 50-48 with 1:09 remaining. Rhoads made 1 of 2 at the line with 40 seconds to go to push the lead to three, but Rouse was then fouled while shooting a 3-pointer and converted all three shots at the stripe to tie the game at 51 with 28 seconds on the clock. Conley missed a shot with defenders draped all over him with time running down, and then missed a 3 as time expired after Dougher traveled with 1.6 seconds left.
A pair of Mayo baskets and a Rouse jumper gave Stony Brook a 57-51 lead with 3:49 left in the second overtime. After a Benson free throw, Coley sank a jumper to push it to seven, but Benson then followed with a three-point play to make it 59-55 with just under three minutes to go. SBU pushed it back to seven after making 3 of 4 at the line, but a Rhoads jumper sliced it to five, 62-57, with 29 seconds remaining. After Stony Brook made 1 of 2 at the stripe, Buckley knocked down a 3 from the left elbow to cut it to 63-60 with seven seconds remaining, but Coley made 1 of 2 at the line to seal it.
The first minutes of the opening half went back and forth before Stony Brook grabbed a 9-5 lead at the 14:22 mark. An 8-0 run, with a James Valladares tip-in and a Rhoads layup sandwiching a pair of Matagrano jumpers, put the Wildcats up 13-9 with 6:14 to play. A Jackson 3-pointer cut it to one, but a Valladares 3 from the left wing made it 16-12 with 3:54 to go. Jackson followed with a basket in the paint, but Conley answered with one of his three treys to send the Wildcats into the locker room with a five-point lead. After starting the season 5-1 when leading at the half, the 'Cats have dropped three straight when ahead going into the locker room.
Valladares finished with five points on 2 of 2 shooting to go along with three boards and a block in 17 minutes.
Stony Brook outshot UNH, 32 percent (20-62) to 30 percent (21-70), including 42 percent (14-33) to 31 percent (13-42) after halftime. The Seawolves shot 68 percent (19-28) from the line, including 71 percent (10-14) in the two overtime periods, while the Wildcats were 50 percent (12-24) from the stripe, including 4 of 8 in the overtime sessions. UNH won the battle on the glass, 54-50, and turned it over just 13 times, while forcing 15 Stony Brook turnovers.
LAST TIME OUT
Senior Tyrone Conley scored a game-high 22 points and classmate Dane DiLiegro recorded his fifth double-double of the season with 14 points and 10 rebounds as the Wildcats earned a 65-59 victory against Binghamton on Feb. 5 at the Events Center.
The Wildcats won for the third time in four games, including their second straight and first America East road contest of the season, to improve to 11-13, including 5-7 in the conference. They also beat Binghamton for the second time in their last three meetings, but the first time in the last four contests at the Events Center. Binghamton dropped their eighth straight to fall to 6-18 overall and 3-8 in the conference.
Conley, UNH's America East Player of the Game, was 8-for-11 from the floor, 4 of 5 from behind the arc and 2-for-2 at the line. The co-captain also tallied five rebounds, a block and a steal in 35 minutes. DiLiegro was 6-for-7 from the field and 2 of 3 at the stripe. Sophomore Chandler Rhoads also netted 14 points on 4 of 10 shooting to go along with three rebounds, two assists and a steal in 39 minutes.
Moussa Camara, Mahamoud Jabbi and Greer Wright led the Bearcats with 13, 12 and 10 points, respectively. Camara added four boards to earn America East Player of the Game honors for Binghamton.
UNH shot a season-high 52.3 percent (23-44) from the field, including 41.2 percent (7-17) from long distance.
Tied at five early on, the Wildcats went on an 11-1 run – sparked by a 3-pointer from junior Brian Benson and capped with a ferocious two-handed Benson dunk off a nice feed from DiLiegro – to take a 16-6 lead with 13:33 remaining in the opening half. A pair of Conley 3-pointers on the next two UNH possessions pushed the lead to 22-10 – the largest of the game.
The Wildcats still led by 12, 27-15, at the third media timeout with 7:59 remaining in the half, and were 11-for-14 (78.6%) from the floor and 5 of 6 (83.3%) from 3 at that point.
Binghamton stormed back, however, ripping off a 14-3 run – with seven points from Chretien Lukusa – to slice the halftime deficit to one at 30-29. UNH, which improved to 9-4 when leading at the break, shot 54.5 percent (12-22) from the floor, including 45.5 percent (5-11) from deep.
A baseline slam by DiLiegro and a layup by Rhoads pushed the UNH lead to five to kick off the second half, but six straight points from Camara gave Binghamton its only lead of the game at 35-34 with just under 13 minutes to play.
The Wildcats led 39-38 when a jump hook in the lane from DiLiegro and a 3-pointer, followed by a jumper, from Conley pushed the advantage to eight at 46-38 with 8:29 left. Five straight points from Binghamton cut its deficit to three, but a pair of baskets from DiLiegro and a tip-in and a straightaway 3 from senior James Valladares gave UNH a commanding 55-45 lead with 1:43 remaining.
A 9-2 run over the next minute brought the Bearcats to within three at 57-54. The margin was still three at 59-56 with 32 seconds remaining, but the Wildcats knocked down 6 of 8 at the line down the stretch to seal the win.
Valladares chipped in with eight points on 3 of 4 shooting, including 2 of 3 from deep, while Benson posted five points and seven boards.
Binghamton shot 40 percent (18-45) from the field and 38.5 percent (5-13) from behind the arc. Rebounding was even at 30 apiece, while UNH turned the ball over 10 times and forced 11 Bearcat turnovers.
Conley finished the night with 1,199 career points and moved past Jim Rich (1,180) and Greg Steele (1,187) for 11th place on UNH's all-time scoring list.
UNH improved to 8-4 when scoring first, 6-1 when outscoring its opponent in the paint and 9-2 when holding its opponent to 60 points or less.
POURING IT ON
The Wildcats used their best shooting performance of the year to sink Binghamton, 65-59, Feb. 5. They shot a season-high 52.3 percent (23-44) from the field, including 41.2 percent (7-17) from long distance. At the third media timeout of the opening half with 7:59 remaining, the 'Cats were 11-for-14 (78.6%) from the floor and 5 of 6 (83.3%) from behind the arc. They eventually finished the half at 54.5 percent (12-22) overall and 45.5 percent (5-11) from 3.
MORE DOUBLE-DOUBLES FOR DOUBLE D
With 14 points and 10 rebounds against Binghamton on Feb. 5, senior Dane DiLiegro recorded his fifth double-double of the season and the 13th of his career. DiLiegro had never had more than four double-doubles in a season before his performance against the Bearcats. Joined by his 12-point, 11-rebound performance against Albany on Feb. 2, it is the first time in his career DiLiegro has produced double-doubles in consecutive games.
TAKING CARE OF THE ROCK
After turning the ball over more than their opponent in eight consecutive games from Dec. 18-Jan. 11 (-6.3 TO margin), the Wildcats have done so just once in their last eight contests (+2.4).
NOT TURNING OVER
Over the last six games, freshman point guard Jordon Bronner has collected 24 assists and turned the ball over just five times.
ON A TEAR
Senior Tyrone Conley has been red-hot over his last 18 games. During that stretch, which includes a career-best 13-game double-digit scoring streak, as well as a career-high 33-point performance against Hartford on Jan. 11, Conley is averaging 15.6 ppg.
Sophomore Chandler Rhoads has turned his offensive game up a notch over the last 14 games. During that stretch, which includes a career-high 20 points against Vermont on Jan. 20, Rhoads is averaging 11.1 ppg. Rhoads, who recorded four games of 10-plus points during his rookie campaign, already has 13 such games this season.
BENSON IS BOARDING...AND MORE
Junior Brian Benson is having the best season of his career on the glass. Benson is second on the team and third in the conference at 8.1 rebounds per game. Over the last 18 contests, which includes a career-best 22-rebound performance at Stony Brook on Jan. 15, Benson is averaging 9.1 boards per game. Over 11 games from Nov. 30-Jan. 11, Benson shot 25-for-53 (.472) from the field and 8-for-21 (.381) from behind the arc to raise his percentages to .391 and .320, respectively, after starting 2-for-16 (.125) from the floor and 0-for-4 from 3.
HOLDING 'EM UNDER 80
The Wildcats have yet to allow 80 or more points in a single game this season, the deepest any UNH team has made it into the schedule without allowing an opponent to reach the 80-point mark. No UNH team has gone an entire season without allowing 80 or more points in a game since the 1949-50 campaign.
RANDOM "RECORD WHEN..." TIDBITS
The Wildcats are 8-4 when scoring first, 9-4 when leading at halftime, 6-1 when outscoring their opponent in the paint and 6-2 when shooting 40 percent or better from the floor, including 4-0 when shooting over 50 percent. Defensively, the 'Cats are 9-2 when holding their opponent to 60 points or less.
CLOSE AND LATE
After going 15-32 from 2005-06 through last season, the Wildcats are 7-2 this year in games decided by five points or less.
NATIONALLY-RANKED (AS OF FEB. 6)
The Wildcats are 21st in the nation in scoring defense (60.8 ppg) and 50th in field goal percentage defense (.404), while individually, Tyrone Conley is 71st in 3-point field goals made per game (2.5) and 76th in 3-point field goal percentage (.324), and Dane DiLiegro (8.3) and Brian Benson (8.1) are 72nd and 81st, respectively, in rebounding.
TREY-MENDOUS STREAK FOR 'CATS
Heading into Wednesday's contest UNH has recorded at least one 3-pointer in 577 consecutive games, a streak that spans 20 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 796 games by UNLV, a streak that started Nov. 26, 1986 and is still active.
The Wildcats are 19-7 (.731) in their last 26 home contests dating back to 2008-09. The 'Cats finished last season 9-4 at home, their best mark since the 1994-95 campaign when they were 8-2 in Durham.
'CATS AMONG LEAGUE LEADERS
The Wildcats are currently leading the America East conference in points allowed per game (60.8). Individually, a handful of 'Cats are among the top 10 in a number of categories. Tyrone Conley is fourth in 3-point field goals made per game (2.5), fifth in both scoring (14.8) and steals per game (1.3) and sixth in minutes per game (34.3). Dane DiLiegro is second in rebounding (8.3), third in field goal percentage (.511) and seventh in free throw percentage (.736). Brian Benson is third in rebounding (8.1) and fourth in blocked shots per game (1.2). Chandler Rhoads is eighth in assists per game (2.6).
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 143 conference wins are far and away better than the league's other eight coaches and trail only former Boston University head coach Dennis Wolff (152) and long-time Vermont head man Tom Brennan (147) all-time.
UPDATING THE RECORD BOOK
With their 10th win of the season Feb. 2 against Albany, the Wildcats have put together three straight double-digit win seasons for the first time since 1971-72 to 1973-74. They have also now crafted a streak of eight straight nine-plus win seasons for the first time since a nine-season run from 1918-19 to 1926-27.
PLENTY OF REBOUNDS TO GO AROUND
In their 62-59 overtime win against Albany on Feb. 2, junior Brian Benson recorded 14 rebounds, while senior Dane DiLiegro pulled in 11 boards. It marked the first time a pair of Wildcats have recorded 10-plus rebounds in the same game since DiLiegro and Mike Christensen pulled down 12 and 11, respectively, March 8, 2008 in an America East quarterfinal tilt against Hartford.
Junior Brian Benson swatted six shots in the Wildcats' 62-59 overtime victory against Albany on Feb. 2. Benson, who was not on either of UNH's top-10 blocks lists coming into the contest, is now sixth on both the program's all-time and single-season blocks lists.
ESPNU BRACKETBUSTER OPPONENT REVEALED
The Wildcats learned Jan. 31 that they will be facing Marist in a non-televised ESPNU BracketBusters matchup Feb. 19 (7:30 p.m.) at the McCann Center. It will be the third straight year the teams have played each other, with the 'Cats winning on their home court last season, and Marist squeaking out a victory at McCann the year before. The Wildcats won their first ever BracketBusters game last season, 61-60, at Loyola (Md.) on a Tyrone Conley runner in the lane with 0.7 seconds left. Marist is 2-3 all-time in the BracketBusters event, which is in its eighth season.
Coming into their Jan. 31 meeting with the Wildcats, Vermont had outrebounded its opponent in 16 of 21 games, including eight of nine in conference play. UNH ended up winning the battle on the glass, 35-31.
STOPPING THE SKID
With their 60-48 win against Boston U. on Jan. 25, the Wildcats snapped their seven-game losing streak against the Terriers. UNH's previous win against its Boston rival came in a 60-55 victory Feb. 11, 2007 at Lundholm. The 12-point margin of victory was the Wildcats' largest against the Terriers since their 73-60 win at home Feb. 9, 1995, while BU's season-low 48 points were the fewest it had scored against the 'Cats since a 48-38 win during the 1941-42 season.
LEASHING THE TERRIERS
In their 60-48 win against Boston U. on Jan. 25, the Wildcats held the Terriers to just 26.9 percent (14-52) shooting from the floor, matching their lowest opponent field goal percentage since Jan. 2, 2005 when the 'Cats held UMBC to the same 14 of 52 performance in a 60-41 road win. The 14 field goals BU made also match a season low for a Wildcat opponent this season (Sacred Heart).
UNDERCLASSMEN LEAD THE WAY
In their 64-50 loss at Maine on Jan. 25, the Wildcats were led in scoring by sophomore Chris Matagrano (8) and freshman Jordon Bronner (7). It marked just the second time all season that a senior was not one of the two leading scorers, and was the first time no Wildcats reached double figures since Jan. 11, 2009 when Tyrone Conley and Alvin Abreu netted nine and eight points, respectively, in a 68-37 loss at Boston U.
With just five points against Maine on Jan. 25 after playing in foul trouble for nearly the the entire game, senior Tyrone Conley saw his career-best 13-game double-digit scoring streak come to an end. Conley averaged 15.8 ppg during the streak, which began with 11 points at Colgate on Dec. 4. Sophomore Chandler Rhoads also saw his career-best five-game double-digit scoring streak (14.2 ppg) halted at Maine.
Senior Tyrone Conley and sophomore point guard Chandler Rhoads have been carrying the Wildcats after they were hit hard by injuries this season. Over five games from Jan.8-23, Conley averaged 20.8 ppg, while Rhoads added 14.2 ppg. It marked the first time this season that any two Wildcats have averaged better than 14.0 ppg in any five-game stretch.
LEADING AT THE HALF
With their 80-60 victory against UMBC on Jan. 23, the Wildcats snapped a three-game losing skid when leading at the break and are now 6-4 this season when ahead at the half.
In their 80-60 win against UMBC on Jan. 23, the Wildcat offense errupted for season highs in points (80), 3-pointers made (14) and 3-point field goal percentage (51.9%). They also dished out a season-high 17 assists on 26 baskets and turned the ball over a season-low eight times. The 'Cats, of course, jumped into the action on the defensive end, as well, blocking a season-best nine shots.
DOUBLE-DOUBLE FOR DOUBLE B
Junior Brian Benson recorded the first double-double of his career against UMBC on Jan. 23 when he scored a career-high 15 points and reeled in 16 rebounds. Benson also matched a career best with five blocks and handed out an assist while not turning the ball over in 34 minutes.
ALL IN A DAY'S WORK...
Senior Tyrone Conley continues to produce eye-popping stat lines for the 'Cats. In their 80-60 win against UMBC on Jan. 23, Conley poured in 22 points on 8 of 15 shooting, including 6 of 11 from behind the arc. The co-captain also matched a season high with six boards, set a career-high with seven assists, matched a career best with three blocks and recorded two steals in 37 minutes.
Freshman Jordon Bronner had his best game in a Wildcat uniform against UMBC on Jan. 23. In 23 minutes, Bronner netted a career-high eight points, handed out a career-best five assists (one turnover) and pulled in three rebounds.
TAKING ADVANTAGE OF CHARITY
In their 61-53 loss against Vermont on Jan. 20, the Wildcats shot 93.8 percent (15-16) from the line, their best mark with more than five attempts since Feb. 23, 2006 when they were also 15 of 16 at home against Albany.
CONLEY EARNS FIRST WEEKLY AWARD
Senior Tyrone Conley earned his first career America East Player of the Week award on Jan. 17. Conley shared the award with Boston University's John Holland after averaging 23.5 points, 4.0 rebounds, 2.0 steals and 1.0 block per game during the previous week.
Junior Brian Benson tore down a career-high 22 rebounds in a career-most 42 minutes at Stony Brook on Jan. 15. The 22 boards are five shy of UNH's single-game record and the second most rebounds ever for a Wildcat, matching Dave Pemberton, who also reeled in 22 against Boston University on Jan. 3, 1972. It is also the first 20-rebound game for a 'Cat since Chris Brown recorded 20 boards at Boston University on Feb. 10, 2002. The 22 rebounds are an America East season high, as well as the fifth most rebounds ever in an America East conference game.
In the Wildcats' 64-60 double-overtime loss at Stony Brook on Jan. 15, Tyrone Conley (48), Chandler Rhoads (45), Brian Benson (42) and Chris Matagrano (41) all played over 40 minutes. It was the first time four Wildcats played over 40 minutes in a single contest since Matt Acres (58), Doug Wilson (50), Brad Cirino (48), Matt Alosa (45) and Ken Rassi (42) all went over 40 minutes in a 106-103 quadruple-overtime win against Maine on Jan. 19, 1996 at Alfond Arena.
CAREER HIGHS FOR CHRIS
In just his second career start at Stony Brook on Jan. 15, sophomore Chris Matagrano re-wrote nearly his entire career high section, reaching career bests in points (11), field goals made (5), 3-point field goals made (1), rebounds (7), steals (2) and minutes (41). He also matched his career high of one assist.
Senior Tyrone Conley erupted for a career-high 33 points, including 25 in the second half, in the Wildcats' 57-54 win against Hartford on Jan. 11. The 33 points were the eighth most ever for a Wildcat and the most since Nov. 25, 2000 when Austin Ganly poured in 34 in a 96-89 victory at Dartmouth College. The 33 is also the most for an America East player this season, surpassing the 32 points Boston University's Darryl Partin racked up against Cornell on Nov. 27. Conley knocked down a personal-best 10 field goals on 16 attemps and matched his career high with six 3-pointers on 10 tries. The senior co-captain was also 7-for-8 at the line, while tallying five rebounds, two steals and a block in 40 minutes of action.
SHOOTING THE LIGHTS OUT
The Wildcats shot 66.7 percent (12-18) from the floor in the second half of their 57-54 win against Hartford on Jan. 11. It was their best field goal percentage in any half since Jan. 28, 2009 when they also hit at a 66.7 percent (14-21) clip in the second stanza to erase a nine-point deficit and earn a 71-60 victory at Stony Brook.
The Wildcats used a 24-2 run that spanned 7:36 to erase a 16-point deficit and beat Hartford, 57-54, Jan. 11. It was the second biggest margin the 'Cats have overcome to record a win this season as they came back from 17 points down in an eventual 55-53 victory at Dartmouth on Nov. 16.
ANOTHER TOUGH BREAK
For the second time this season, the Wildcats lost a leading scorer for the remainder of the year when sophomore Ferg Myrick went down with 4:02 remaining in the contest at Boston U. on Jan. 4 with a ruptured patellar tendon in his right knee. The 'Cats also lost senior Alvin Abreu to a torn ACL in his right knee during the second game of the season at Dartmouth on Nov. 16.
CAREER NIGHT FOR MORRIS
Freshman Scott Morris put together a career night at Boston U. on Jan. 4. Playing his first real extended minutes of the season, Morris reached career bests in points (14), field goals made (5), 3-point field goals made (4) and minutes (24).
1,000 POINT CLUB
Senior Tyrone Conley became the 28th member of UNH's 1,000 point club 5:41 into the second half at Albany on Jan. 2 when he stole the ball near midcourt and went in for an uncontested one-handed slam.
With their 59-44 loss to Albany on Jan. 2, the Wildcats dropped below .500 for the first time all season. That marks the longest the 'Cats have stayed at or above .500 to open a season since the 1994-95 campaign when they were never fewer than one game above .500.
RINGING IN THE NEW YEAR
The Wildcats went 5-5 before New Year's Day last season, their best record since 1994-95 when they were 6-2 before Jan. 1. The 'Cats have matched that at 6-6 this season and their 68-66 win against Cornell on Dec. 29, gave the program six wins before New Year's Day for the first time since '94-'95.
Virginia native Chandler Rhoads had quite the homecoming at the Richmond Marriott Holidays on the Hardwood Classic at VCU's Verizon Wireless Arena at the Stuart C. Siegel Center. Rhoads netted 10 points on 4 of 5 shooting, including 2 of 2 from behind the arc, matched his career high with eight rebounds and handed out five assists in the first game against Cornell on Dec. 29. Then against VCU in the championship game the next night, Rhoads poured in a season-best 15 points to go along with five rebounds and a pair of assists.
OFFENSE + DEFENSE = WINS
It has been no secret that the Wildcats have hung their hat on defense this season, leading the conference in scoring defense and ranking second in both field goal percentage defense and 3-point field goal percentage defense. The 'Cats mixed in some efficient offense to record a 68-66 win against Cornell on Dec. 29, shooting a season-high 51 percent (24-47) from the field.
HE DID WHAT?!
Sophomore Ferg Myrick, who has scored in double figures in 10 of 11 games this year and 13 of 15 dating back to last season, scored a team-high 14 points against Cornell on Dec. 29 and also dished out a career-high five assists. Myrick's previous best was one assist, which he reached seven times.
In addition to matching his career high with nine rebounds at Central Connecticut State on Dec. 22, junior Brian Benson recorded a career-best five blocked shots, which are the most for a Wildcat since Rob Marquardt swatted five attempts Jan. 10, 2001 in an 87-69 victory against Vermont at Lundholm Gymnasium.
Just after playing his best game of the season with a career-best 11 points on 4 of 6 shooting from the field and a perfect 3 of 3 shooting at the line at Rhode Island on Dec. 18, freshman DeAndray Buckley surpassed that performance with 12 points, five rebounds, two assists and two steals in a career-best 28 minutes at Central Connecticut State on Dec. 22.
SATURDAY DAY FEVER
Prior to their 64-52 loss at Rhode Island on Dec. 18, the Wildcats were 4-0 on Saturdays and 3-0 in day games.
DOESN'T ADD UP
Despite holding Rhode Island to the second lowest field goal percentage they have allowed all season at 35.6 percent (21-59), the Wildcats turned the ball over a season-high 17 times, while forcing their fewest turnovers of the season (7).
DOUBLE THE FUN
Senior Dane DiLiegro recorded his third double-double of the season when he posted 10 points and 10 rebounds against Army on Dec. 9. DiLiegro, who also matched his career best with three assists in just 23 minutes due to foul trouble, is inching closer to averaging a double-double for the season with 10.9 points and 8.9 rebounds per game.
Sophomore point guard Chandler Rhoads had one of his better games of the season against Army on Dec. 9. Rhoads, who attended Air Force Prep, netted 10 points and dished out a career-best six assists in a career-high 32 minutes.
With the Wildcats' 65-60 win at Colgate on Dec. 4, head coach Bill Herrion recorded his 300th career win. The 20-year bench boss became the 284th college basketball head coach, including the 72nd active head coach, to reach the 300-win plateau. Herrion also reached another milestone earlier in his career against Colgate, winning his 50th career game at UNH in a 63-55 win at Lundholm Gymnasium on Dec. 30, 2009.
In the Wildcats' 65-60 win at Colgate on Dec. 4, senior Dane DiLiegro matched Matt Alosa, Chris Brown and Jermaine Anderson when he tied the school record for most free throws made in a game without a miss after he was a perfect 12-for-12 at the line. A career 54 percent (109-202) free throw shooter entering the season, DiLiegro is hitting at a 86 percent (30-35) clip this year and ranks second in the conference in the category.
NOVEMBER TO REMEMBER
The Wildcats closed out the month of November with a 4-2 record, their first ever four-win November and just their ninth winning November in the last 39 years.
NEARLY SOMETHING SPECIAL
The Wildcats came very close to knocking off the No. 7-ranked team in the country when they took UConn to the wire before falling 62-55 at Gampel Pavilion on Nov. 30. The Wildcats, who never trailed in the first half, led at the 14:08 mark in the second half and trailed by just one with 8:24 to play in the contest. The 62-point output was the smallest for the Huskies to that point in the season.
How epic would the win against UConn have been for the Wildcats? It would have been the program's first win ever against a ranked opponent, but what's more is that entering the contest, UConn was 112-4 against non-conference New England opponents during the Jim Calhoun era, in addition to owning a 134-18 record, including 65-4 against non-conference foes, all-time at Gampel Pavilion.
WALKING THE LINE
Against UConn on Nov. 30, Kemba Walker — the nation's leading scorer coming into the game (30.0 ppg) — netted 30 points, but picked up 14 of them at the charity stripe. While Walker was 7 of 16 from the floor, the rest of his team combined for 32 points on 12 of 34 shooting.
Despite converting three more field goals, including five more 3-pointers, holding a 39-38 edge in the rebounding department, including 18-12 on the offensive glass, and turning the ball over just 13 times, while forcing 12 turnovers, the Wildcats suffered a 62-55 loss at No. 7 UConn on Nov. 30. How? UConn sank 18 more free throws after being sent to the line 20 more times than UNH.
Prior to tipping off with UConn on Nov. 30, the Wildcats were shooting 24.8 percent (26-105) from behind then arc. The 'Cats then proceeded to shoot 50 percent (8-16) from deep against the Huskies.
Sophomore Ferg Myrick looked like he belonged, especially in the second half, when the Wildcats battled seventh-ranked UConn on Nov. 30. Myrick poured in a season-high 19 points, including 16 in the second half on 6 of 9 shooting, against the Big East power. Myrick also set career highs in 3-pointers made (3) and steals (4), while matching his career best with eight rebounds.
WHEN THE LIGHTS GO ON
Senior James Valladares scored a career-high 12 points — all in the first half — in the Wildcats' 62-55 loss at No. 7 UConn on Nov. 30. Valladares made five of his first six shots and netted UNH's final 10 points of the half.
MOVIN' ON UP
Senior Dane DiLiegro grabbed 10 boards at UConn on Nov. 30 to move past Matt Acres, who recorded 680 rebounds from 1994-98, and into sixth place on UNH's all-time list.
ANOTHER DOUBLE-DOUBLE FOR DOUBLE D
In the Wildcats' 70-66 win against Brown on Nov. 27, senior Dane DiLiegro posted his second double-double of the season (10th of his career), as well as his second game-winning basket of 2010-11. DiLiegro reached game and season highs in both points and rebounds with 23 points and 12 boards. DiLiegro, who gave UNH a 55-53 victory at Dartmouth on Nov. 16 with a layup with 1.5 seconds remaining, made the go-ahead bucket with 2.8 seconds on the clock.
STEALING THE SHOW
In the 70-66 win against Brown on Nov. 27, senior Tyrone Conley, who poured in a season-high 19 points, tallied a career-high five steals, including one off a Brown inbounds pass at midcourt with one second remaining that sealed the victory.
HOLDIN' IT DOWN
The Wildcats held their first four opponents of the season under 55 points for the first time since the 1947-48 season when they held their first six opponents under 55.
For the second time on the road this year, the Wildcats attempted to erase a 17-point deficit and used a big run to get back into the game at Sacred Heart on Nov. 23. Trailing 36-19 at the half, the 'Cats stormed out of the locker room on a 15-2 run that spanned the first 8:52 of the half. During that stretch, UNH forced 10 turnovers and caused Sacred Heart to shoot 1-for-5 (.200) from the floor. Overall, the Wildcats allowed just two second-half field goals as the Pioneers shot 2-for-14 (.143) and went 12:24 between those two makes.
The Wildcats won their first three games of the season for the first time since the 1971-72 campaign. The 'Cats also held all three oponents under 55 points, the first time they started 3-0 and allowed fewer than 55 points in each game since the 1931-32 season.
HERRION CLIMBING WINS LIST
By defeating Holy Cross, 55-52, Nov. 20, head coach Bill Herrion recorded his 61st victory at UNH and moved into fourth on the school's all-time wins list, passing Bill Olsen, who won 60 games in six seasons from 1960-66. Herrion now trails only Gerry Friel (188), William Cowell (119), and Henry Swasey (108) in the record books.
The Wildcats held their opponents to 62.4 ppg last year, the lowest since the 1950-51 season when they limited foes to 60.3 ppg. Records prior to 1960-61 were incomplete at the end of last season.
HERRION VS. WILDCATS' 2010-11 OPPONENTS
Coming into the season, Bill Herrion owns a 112-78 (.589) record against the Wildcats' possible 2010-11 opponents.
HOOPS FOR HOPE
The University of New Hampshire's Wildcat Sports Properties and Holy Rosary Credit Union (HRCU) have teamed up to create a community-inspired basketball promotion to benefit the St. Charles Children's Home with a donation of $1 for every point scored by the UNH men's basketball team throughout the season.
"We're proud to partner with UNH's Wildcat Sports to provide support for St. Charles Children's Home in Rochester. Hoops for Hope is our way of showing our commitment to sports, education and the children of the communities we serve," said Brian Hughes, President and CEO of HRCU.
After each game, the points scored will be tallied and recorded on a "Hoops for Hope" banner housed in Lundholm Gymnasium. So far this season, $1,414 has been donated.
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, visit www.CollegeChalkTalk.com/coachesDiary/new_hampshire.
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 $89.95 that provides all the live coverage of UNH home athletic events. Fans can also purchase home events on a per game basis of $7.95.
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 30th year broadcasting UNH men's basketball. Jeannotte will be joined by color analyst Mike Murphy, who enters his 11th season calling Wildcat men's hoop.
WILDCAT BASKETBALL STREAMING LIVE
UNHWildcats.com, via Stretch Internet Broadcast, will carry 10 UNH men's basketball home 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.