Men's Basketball Goes for Sweep of Regular-Season Series at UMBC (Feb. 12)
DURHAM, N.H. - The University of New Hampshire men's basketball team will head south to take on the University of Maryland, Baltimore County on Saturday, Feb. 12 (7 p.m.) at RAC Arena. The game will be broadcast live on Fox Sports Radio 1370 AM. Links to live audio and live video, as well as live stats, will be available at www.UNHWildcats.com.
The Wildcats and Retrievers meet for the 17th time in their short conference rivarly, with UNH leading the all-time series, 9-7. The 'Cats have won five of the last seven meetings at Lundholm Gymnasium. After UNH began the series with three straight wins at RAC Arena, the Retrievers came back with a three-game streak of their own in the building until UNH was victorious there last season. In the most recent meeting Jan. 23, Brian Benson notched his first career double-double, scoring a career-high 15 points and collecting 16 rebounds, as the Wildcats recorded an 80-60 victory over UMBC at Lundholm Gymnasium.
UNH improved its record to 8-11 overall, 2-5 in America East conference play, while UMBC fell to 3-17, 2-5 in America East.
In addition to his double-double, Benson, who was 4-for-7 from the floor and 1 of 2 from deep, swatted five shots to match his career high, sank a career-best six free throws on eight attempts and had one assist with zero turnovers in 34 minutes.
Senior Tyrone Conley, UNH's America East Player of the Game, led the Wildcats' best offensive outpouring of the season with 22 points on 8-for-15 shooting from the field, including 6 of 11 from three-point land, to extend his career-best double-digit scoring streak to 13 games. Conley, who is averaging 22.0 ppg over his last four and 15.8 ppg during his streak, dished out a career-high seven assists (zero turnovers), nabbed six rebounds, blocked three shots and recorded two steals in 37 minutes.
Sophomore point guard Chandler Rhoads also continued his stellar play with 15 points on 4 of 6 shooting, including a perfect 4 of 4 from behind the arc. Rhoads was 3-for-4 at the stripe and added four rebounds and two assists in just 21 minutes due to foul trouble. Rhoads extended his career-best double-digit scoring streak to five games (14.2 ppg) and is now averaging 11.0 ppg over his last nine.
Chris De La Rosa, UMBC's America East Player of the Game, led the Retrievers with a game-high 23 points, seven assists, five rebounds and three steals in the losing cause.
UNH set a season high for points and 3-pointers, burying 14 of 27 attempts (51.9 percent) from beyond the arc. The Wildcats shot 51 percent overall on 26-of-51 shooting.
Benson scored seven of UNH's first 15 points, allowing the Wildcats to take a 15-6 lead with 15:05 left in the opening half. After UMBC responded with a 10-4 run, trimming New Hampshire's lead to three, Conley ended the run by driving from the right wing and throwing down a dunk for a 21-16 advantage with 8:13 remaining in the half.
After the Retrievers, who never led in the game, managed to forge a 26-26 tie on a pair of free throws from Laurence Jolicoeur, Conley would also serve as the catalyst for UNH's biggest spurt of the half, hitting a 3-pointer that jumpstarted a 12-0 run. Freshman Scott Morris swished a trey from the top of the key and another from the right wing during that stretch, giving UNH its largest lead of the half, 38-26.
UMBC would score the final basket of the half on a half-court 3-point field goal from De La Rosa, closing UNH's halftime lead to 38-29.
The Retrievers still trailed by nine (48-39) just 5:18 into the second half when an 11-3 spurt by the Wildcats over the next 5:12 opened up a 59-42 lead. Baskets by Benson and senior James Valladares kicked off the run, followed by a Brian Neller 3-pointer. Sophomore Chris Matagrano kept the stretch alive with a pair of 18-foot jumpers before Conley finished it off with one of his six 3-pointers, which matched a career high.
After De La Rosa stopped the bleeding with a jumper, a 3-pointer from Rhoads and a pair of free throws for freshman Jordon Bronner pushed the lead to 64-44 with 8:27 remaining. Later, a 3 from Jamar Wertz made it a 17-point game, but a 10-3 UNH run – bookended by a pair of Conley 3-pointers – made it 76-52 with just over four minutes to go. Midway through the run, Conley reeled in a long rebound, ran past everyone on the court and threw down an uncontested one-handed slam.
The Wildcats grabbed their largest lead of the game at 80-54 with 2:40 remaining before UMBC scored the final six points of the game.
Morris scored nine points on 3 of 7 shooting from long distance, while Valladares and Matagrano chipped in with four and six points, respectively. Bronner dropped in a career-high eight to go along with a career-best five assists (one turnover) and three rebounds.
The Retrievers shot 36.7 percent (22-60) from the field and 33.3 percent (6-18) from deep. Both teams grabbed 33 rebounds and turned the ball over just eight times. UNH finished with a season-high 17 assists on 26 baskets.
Conley finished with 1,124 career points and moved past Erie Feragne (1,105) and Peter Laskaris (1,115) for 17th place on UNH's all-time scoring list.
LAST TIME OUT
Senior Tyrone Conley led all scorers with 17 points, but the Wildcats had their two-game winning streak snapped by virtue of a 63-56 loss to Stony Brook on Feb. 9 at Lundholm Gymnasium.
UNH saw its record dip to 11-14 overall, 5-8 in America East conference play, while Stony Brook improved to 10-15, 5-7 in the league, after sweeping the season series from the Wildcats. The Seawolves had dropped 10 of the last 13 to UNH, including seven straight at Lundholm, where they had not won since Feb. 2, 2003. The 'Cats also lost for just the eighth time in the last 27 games at home (.704).
Conley shot 7 of 17 from the field, including 3 of 9 from beyond the arc, and handed out three assists. Sophomore Chandler Rhoads tallied 14 points, four rebounds and one assist, while freshman Jordon Bronner, UNH's America East Player of the Game, netted a career-high 13 points on 5 of 9 shooting to go along with a pair of assists.
Bryan Dougher earned America East Player of the Game honors for Stony Brook with 16 points, five rebounds and two assists. Leonard Hayes chipped in with 11 points and five boards.
The Seawolves, who shot 51.9 percent (14-27) in the first half, including 50 percent (6-12) from 3-point land, jumped out to a 10-5 lead before layups by Rhoads and Conley sliced it to one. A Hayes 3-pointer and a basket by Al Rapier quickly pushed the lead back to six at 15-9 with 12:57 remaining.
Stony Brook still led by six, 29-23, with two minutes to play in the opening half when 3-pointers by Anthony Jackson and Danny Carter opened the gap to 35-23 at the break.
A Conley basket, followed by a 3-pointer from senior Dane DiLiegro – the first of his career – sliced the deficit to seven for the Wildcats to open the second half. The deficit remained seven at 42-35 midway through the period when 3s from Dougher, Jackson and Dave Coley gave Stony Brook its largest lead of the night at 51-35 with 8:37 to play.
A 10-0 UNH run, with five points from Bronner, sliced the deficit to six at 51-45 with just over six minutes remaining. The Wildcats clawed to within five, 61-56, on a Conley layup with 31 ticks on the clock, but that was as close as they would come.
DiLiegro and junior Brian Benson each posted five points and seven boards.
Stony Brook outshot UNH, 41.5 percent (22-53) to 39.6 percent (21-53), including 45.8 percent (11-24) to 28 percent (7-25) from behind the arc. The Seawolves also held a 37-31 advantage on the glass and turned the ball over just six times, while forcing eight UNH turnovers.
Conley finished the night with 1,216 career points and moved past Keith Dickson (1,202) for 10th place on UNH's all-time scoring list.
BRAINS AND BRONN(ER)
Freshman point guard Jordon Bronner netted a career-high 13 points on 5 of 9 shooting to go along with two assists in 34 minutes against Stony Brook on Feb. 9.
With a pair of blocks in their 65-59 victory at Binghamton on Feb. 5, the 2010-11 Wildcats jumped onto the program's top-five single-season blocks list. They currently sit in fifth place all-time, two blocks from fourth, three from third, 18 from second and just 21 blocks away from tying the record.
1. 1999-00 101
2. 1998-99 98
3. 2008-09 84
4. 1997-98 83
5. 2010-11 81
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 twice in their last nine contests (+1.9).
NOT TURNING OVER
Over the last seven games, freshman point guard Jordon Bronner has collected 26 assists and turned the ball over just six times.
ON A TEAR
Senior Tyrone Conley has been red-hot over his last 19 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 15.7 ppg.
Sophomore Chandler Rhoads has turned his offensive game up a notch over the last 15 games. During that stretch, which includes a career-high 20 points against Vermont on Jan. 20, Rhoads is averaging 11.3 ppg. Rhoads, who recorded four games of 10-plus points during his rookie campaign, already has 14 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 19 contests, which includes a career-best 22-rebound performance at Stony Brook on Jan. 15, Benson is averaging 8.9 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, 6-2 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.
NATIONALLY-RANKED (AS OF FEB. 10)
The Wildcats are 22nd in the nation in scoring defense (60.8 ppg), 50th in field goal percentage defense (.404) and 91st in turnovers per game (12.7), while individually, Tyrone Conley is 69th in 3-point field goals made per game (2.5) and 71st in 3-point field goal percentage (.325), and Dane DiLiegro (8.2) and Brian Benson (8.1) are 74th and 83rd, respectively, in rebounding.
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.
TREY-MENDOUS STREAK FOR 'CATS
Heading into Saturday's contest UNH has recorded at least one 3-pointer in 578 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 797 games by UNLV, a streak that started Nov. 26, 1986 and is still active.
The Wildcats are 19-8 (.704) in their last 27 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 (14.9) and steals per game (1.3) and sixth in minutes per game (34.4). Dane DiLiegro is second in rebounding (8.3), third in field goal percentage (.511) and eighth in free throw percentage (.745). 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 (2.5).
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.
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.
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, $1,470 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.