November 10, 2011

Men's Hoop Looks to Win its Fifth Straight Home Opener Against Suffolk (Nov. 11)

GAME NOTES (PDF)

DURHAM, N.H. - The University of New Hampshire men's basketball team will open the 2011-12 season when it plays host to Suffolk University at Lundholm Gymnasium on Friday, Nov. 11 at 7 p.m. Links to live video, as well as live stats, will be available at www.UNHWildcats.com.

LAST TIME OUT

Senior Tyrone Conley (Burlington, Vt.) rebounded from a scoreless first half to collect a team-leading 16 points, but the UNH men's basketball team dropped a 69-60 decision to Boston University on Saturday night in the quarterfinal round of the America East Championship presented by Newman's Own at the Chase Family Arena.

The seventh-seeded Wildcats close out the 2010-11 campaign with a record of 12-18, while the second-seeded Terriers improve to 19-13. BU will advance to face the winner of the No. 3 seed University of Maine versus No. 6 seed University of Hartford quarterfinal game on Sunday night at 7:30 p.m.

The Wildcats trailed 33-30 at the half without the benefit of a point from Conley, who missed all five of his first-half field goal attempts. The All-Conference Second Team guard bounced back after the intermission by hitting 5 of 6 shots, including a perfect 4-for-4 from beyond the arc and 2 of 3 from the free throw line. In his collegiate finale, Conley added four rebounds, three assists a steal and a blocked shot.

Freshman point guard Jordon Bronner (Sleepy Hollow, N.Y.) matched a career high with 13 points, including seven of UNH's first 12 points, as the Wildcats raced out to a 12-3 lead. The America East All-Rookie Team selection finished the night 5 of 12 from the field, draining a pair of 3-pointers, dishing out two assists and committing no turnovers in 38 minutes.

Sophomore Chandler Rhoads (Berryville, Pa.) powered his way to 15 points, adding a team-high four assists, and junior Brian Benson (Rochester, N.Y.) pulled down a game-high 11 boards to accompany his seven points on 2 of 5 shooting.

The Terriers also put three scorers in double digits, led by America East Player of the Year John Holland's 17 points. Darryl Partin and D.J. Irving chipped in with 11 points apiece, and Patrick Hazel pumped in nine points and grabbed 10 boards in BU's ninth consecutive victory.

BU led 37-32 just two minutes into the second half when consecutive 3s by Conley, sandwiched around a Dom Morris layup, sliced the UNH deficit to just one at 39-38 with 15 minutes remaining. That was as close as the Wildcats would get, however, as five straight Terrier points opened their lead to six.

UNH fell behind by seven when consecutive treys by Conley – with a Partin layup mixed in – sliced the deficit to 52-50 with 9:28 to play. The Terriers would push their lead back to seven (61-54) with 5:27 left before a Holland dunk with a minute to go widened it to eight at 66-58.

Senior Dane DiLiegro (Lexington, Mass.) posted six points and eight assists.

A baseline jumper from Rhoads opened the scoring, and after Holland made 1 of 2 at the line, a Benson 3-pointer gave the Wildcats a 5-1 lead to open the game. After an Irving layup, a 3-pointer and a pair of layups from Bronner opened the UNH lead to 12-3 with 14:47 on the clock.

BU quickly struck back, however, using a 9-0 run to knot the game at 12 with 12:18 remaining. After a Rhoads trey on the following possession, the Terriers ripped off a 9-2 run to grab a 21-17 advantage with 8:40 to play. A Rhoads jumper sliced it to two, but an 8-2 run expanded BU's lead to 29-21 with 2:18 left. The Wildcats would whittle the deficit down, however, before senior James Valladares (Kaufman, Texas) knocked down a 3-ball from the corner as time expired to send his team into the locker room, trailing just 33-30.

The Terriers outshot UNH, 46 percent (23-50) to 39.3 percent (22-56), while the Wildcats held a 37.5 percent (9-24) to 20 percent (3-15) advantage from deep. BU outrebounded the 'Cats, 38-32, and held a 38-18 advantage in the paint. Both teams combined for just 11 turnovers.

Conley finished with 1,304 career points to pass Scott Drapeau (1,290) and wind up sixth on UNH's all-time scoring list, just 25 points behind former teammate Tyrece Gibbs. Conley also finished first in 3-point field goals attempted (680), tied for second in games played (116), third in 3-point field goals made (222), fifth in both field goals attempted (1,216) and minutes played (3,520), eighth in blocked shots (48), and 10th in both field goals made (442) and steals (115). This season he also finished first in 3-point field goals attempted (237) and fourth in 3-point field goals made (78) on UNH's single-season lists. DiLiegro finished second all-time in rebounding (854) and tied for second in games played (116).

THE MATCHUP
The Wildcats and Rams meet for just the fifth time in their short rivalry, with UNH leading the all-time series, 4-0. All four matchups have come at Lundholm Gymnasium, with the Wildcats claiming victories in each contest. The 'Cats took down the Rams in convincing fashion in the last meeting, earning a 91-45 victory in UNH's home opener at Lundholm Gymnasium on Nov. 14, 2009. Dane DiLiegro and Chandler Rhoads led five scorers in double digits with 14 points apiece, propelling the Wildcats to what was their third straight home-opening victory. DiLiegro, the America East Player of the Game, recorded the sixth double-double of his career as he pulled down 15 rebounds in 22 minutes. The center was 4-for-7 from the floor and a career-best 6-of-8 from the line. Rhoads, meanwhile, played very well in his first collegiate game, tallying three rebounds, five assists and four steals in 23 minutes. New Hampshire has outscored Suffolk by a margin of 45 points per game in the all-time series, with it's largest margin of victory coming in a 101-50 victory at Lundholm Gymnasium on Nov. 16, 2008. Guards Eric Gilchrese and Tyrece Gibbs scored 21 and 18 points, respectively, leading UNH to the victory. It was during that contest that the Wildcats scored 100 points for the first time since earning a 106-103 win at Maine in four overtimes on Jan. 19, 1996. Prior to the win over Suffolk, the last time UNH compiled at least 100 points in regulation was Nov. 27, 1994 in a 104-97 win at Hofstra. The most recent time a Lundholm crowd witnessed a 100-point game from the Wildcats was in a 113-111 overtime win against Delaware on Feb. 26, 1995. The last time the Wildcats scored 100 points in regulation at Lundholm came on Dec. 29, 1983 in a 102-82 win over Fairfield. The 51-point margin of victory is also the largest for the 'Cats since the 1941-42 season – and possibly ever. Records prior to that season are incomplete. Gilchrese, the America East Player of the Game, netted his points on 7-of-10 shooting, including a career-high six 3-pointers. The point guard also added four rebounds, five assists and two steals. Gibbs was 7-of-11 from the field and tallied three rebounds and two assists.

O CAPTAIN MY CAPTAIN
Alvin Abreu (Lynn, Mass.), Brian Benson (Rochester, N.Y.), Ryan Herrion (Dover, N.H.) and junior Chandler Rhoads (Berryville, Va.) have been named captains for the upcoming 2011-12 season.

Abreu was a co-captain for the Wildcats last year, but missed the majority of the season due to injury. The year prior, he stepped up his offensive game bumping his average up to 14.4 points per game en route to becoming the 27th Wildcat in program history to reach the 1,000-point plateau. The 2008 All-Rookie Team member was selected to the America East All-Conference Second Team and also took home Player of the Game honors for earning the most America East Player of the Game awards during the 2009-10 campaign. 

Benson is coming off a breakout junior campaign, leading the Wildcats on the glass with 8.3 boards per game, ranking second among league leaders. Additionally, he posted 5.6 points per game and ranked fifth in the conference in blocks with 32. He finished the year garnering America East All-Academic Team honors for the second straight season.

Herrion appeared in 17 games off the bench for the 'Cats in 2010-11, averaging 3.6 minutes per contest. He had his best outing of the season against Central Connecticut State (Dec. 22) when he notched career highs in minutes played (22), assists (3) and rebounds (3).

Rhoads, a 2010-11 America East All-Defensive Team honoree, took a huge step forward offensively last season, registering 9.1 points and 2.8 assists per game. He finished the year strong, scoring in double-digits in nine of the final 10 games of the season. He was also one of just two Wildcats to start in all 30 games, finishing the season ranking first on the team and eighth in the conference in assists (85).

THE POLL IS IN
New Hampshire (39 points) was picked fifth in the America East Preseason Coaches' Poll. The Wildcats were tabbed to finish behind Boston U. (62), Stony Brook (56), Vermont (51) and Albany (42). The Terriers, who have topped the poll each of the last five years, garnered six first-place votes, while Stony Brook claimed the remaining three votes. Maine (32) was tabbed sixth, while Hartford (18), UMBC (18) and Binghamton (11) round out the rest of the poll.

TREY-MENDOUS STREAK FOR 'CATS
Heading into Friday's contest UNH has recorded at least one 3-pointer in 583 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 802 games by UNLV, a streak that started Nov. 26, 1986 and is still active.

NEW KIDS ON THE BLOCK
The Wildcats welcome in three newcomers this season. Garrett Jones (Chicago, Ill.) joins the Wildcats after averaging 14 points and five assists per game this year. As a senior, Jones led Evanston Township to an 18-11 record on its way to winning the CSL-South Conference Championship. Additionally, the McDonald's All-American nominee picked up All-Conference honors during his junior and senior years.

Tommy McDonnell (Durham, N.H.) comes to UNH after averaging seven points, four rebounds and two steals per game this year at Bridgton Academy. In the three years prior, McDonnell was a standout at Oyster River High School, posting 18 points and five boards per contest during his senior year. He also collected team MVP and Foster's Daily Democrat All-Dream Team honors, while playing in the New Hampshire versus Vermont all-star game during his senior campaign.

Jeron Trotman (Huntsville, Ala.) comes to UNH after spending the last two years with Centenary College. He finished his sophomore season leading the Gentlemen in blocks with 31, while also ranking second on the squad in points per game (9.0) and rebounds per game (6.2). Additionally, he also led the way in field goal percentage with a .460 shooting clip (86-187) from the floor. In the previous season he saw action in 24 contests, leading the team in field goal percentage once again with a 71 percent (37-52) mark. He also ranked second on the team with 18 swats, while averaging 3.6 points and 2.3 rebounds per game.

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. Herrion has compiled 70 wins in stint as bench boss for the Wildcats.

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 athletics for the upcoming 2011-12 season with UNHwildcats.Tv. Wildcat fans are encouraged to buy the "Wildcat All-Access Pass" which is an annual subscription for $99.95 that provides all the live coverage of UNH home athletic events. Fans can also purchase home events on a per game basis of $9.95.

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. These three aforementioned stations – along with WUVR-AM 1490 (Lebanon), WNTK-FM 99.7 (New London) and WCNL-AM 1010 (Newport) – will carry all UNH football and men's hockey broadcasts, a select number of men's and 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 31st year broadcasting UNH men's basketball. Jeannotte will be joined by color analyst Mike Murphy, who enters his 12th season calling Wildcat men's hoop.

WILDCAT BASKETBALL STREAMING LIVE
UNHWildcats.com, via Stretch Internet Broadcast, will carry 14 UNH men's basketball home games, as well as one road contest 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.

 

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