GAME NOTES (PDF)
DURHAM, N.H. - The University of New Hampshire men's basketball team sets off a three-game road stretch, taking on the College of the Holy Cross on Saturday, Dec. 3 (7 p.m.) at the Hart Center. Links to live stats, as well as audio, will be available at www.UNHWildcats.com.
Senior guard Alvin Abreu (Lynn, Mass.) scored a season-high 21 points to lead the University of New Hampshire men's basketball team to a 53-50 win over intrastate rival Dartmouth in non-conference action at Lundholm Gymnasium on Wednesday night.
The victory improves the Wildcats' record to 2-2 on the season, while the Big Green fall to 2-5. UNH has now won four straight, six of the last seven and 10 of the last 13 meetings in the annual rivalry matchup of the Granite State's two Division I basketball programs.
Abreu was tabbed the America East Player of the Game, finishing the contest 7-for-13 from the floor and 2-for-3 from beyond the arc. He also pulled in three boards, dished out two assists and collected a steal. Brian Benson (Rochester, N.Y.) chipped in with nine points and nine rebounds.
Gabas Maldunas led the Big Green with 13 points, four boards, one assist and one block.
UNH shot 52 percent (13-for-25) in the opening half to seize a 35-26 advantage. There were six lead changes in the first five minutes of the game, but the Wildcats took command courtesy of a 14-4 run midway through the half that opened up a 29-19 lead with six minutes remaining. Patrick Konan (Gainesville, Fla.) drained a three, drove the lane for layup and buried a free throw during the stretch, while Abreu hit a pair of buckets during the run. Abreu scored 10 first-half points on 4-of-8 shooting.
Dartmouth came out of the intermission by scoring the first seven points, narrowing the gap to 35-33. New Hampshire retaliated with an 8-0 run, buoyed by six Abreu points, to open up a 45-35 lead with 14:18 left.
The Big Green stormed back to grab its first lead of the half, 50-49, with 3:30 to go on a layup from Maldunas, who was on the receiving end of a pick-and-roll feed from Jvonte Brooks underneath the basket.
However, the Wildcats kept the Big Green at bay the rest of the way, posting four unanswered points to reclaim the lead and the secure the victory. UNH's lone field goal during the stretch came when Chandler Rhoads (Berryville, Va.) poked the ball loose and sent it up the floor to Jordon Bronner (Sleepy Hollow, N.Y.) who finished off the play with a layup to put the Wildcats up 52-50 with 1:18 remaining in regulation.
New Hampshire was able to shut down Dartmouth on the ensuing two possessions, forcing turnovers on both occasions. With a chance to put the game away for good, Abreu was fouled and sent to the line with four seconds remaining, knocking down the second of two attempts from the stripe to push the lead to three.
After a change of possession Dartmouth nearly sent the game into overtime, darting the ball up the floor, but Mack McKearney's 3-pointer from the left wing rimmed out and the buzzer sounded.
This will be the 31st meeting between the Crusaders and the Wildcats on the hardwood, with Holy Cross leading the all-time series 20-10. New Hampshire won the last meeting 55-52 in Durham a year ago, but the Crusaders had previously been victorious in three of the prior four games in the series. Holy Cross holds an 11-3 advantage in games played at home, notching wins in two straight decisions at Hart Recreation Center. Holy Cross and New Hampshire first met on Jan. 10, 1973, with the Crusaders posting a 78-60 victory in Worcester. Last time the two squads met senior Tyrone Conley scored 16 points and knocked down the go-ahead 3-pointer with 33 seconds left to lift the Wildcats to a 55-52 victory on Nov. 20, 2010 at Lundholm Gymnasium. Conley, the America East Player of the Game, sunk four 3s and filled the box score in 36 minutes with four rebounds, two assists, three steals and a pair of blocks. Sophomore Ferg Myrick (Philadelphia, Pa.) added 14 points and six rebounds, while senior Dane DiLiegro narrowly missed his second straight double-double with 11 points and nine boards. DiLiegro was 5 of 11 from the field and tallied two assists and two steals. Devin Brown led the Crusaders with 16 points. With Holy Cross leading 52-51 with 40 seconds on the clock, Conley missed a 3 from the left wing, but DiLiegro tracked down the rebound and dove on the ball before calling timeout to give the 'Cats a second chance. They made good on the new opportunity as Conley buried a 3-pointer from the right elbow with 33 seconds to go to put his team up 54-52. After Brown missed a driving layup with 18 seconds to play and Mike Cavataio missed the follow up shot, Myrick grabbed the rebound and passed the ball off to freshman point guard Jordon Bronner (Sleepy Hollow, N.Y.), who was fouled. Bronner made one of two at the line and then pressured the ball up the court and forced Andrew Beinert to miss a fall-away 3-pointer from the top of the key as time expired.
SCOUTING HOLY CROSS
Holy Cross is off to a 2-5 start this season, but the Crusaders have faced one of the toughest non-conference schedules in the Patriot League. All five of the Crusaders' losses this year have come against teams ranked in the top 160 of the ratings percentage index: Harvard (18th), the College of Charleston (62nd), Maine (106th), Fairfield (108th) and Providence (159th). The Crusaders have dropped two straight games coming into Saturday's contest, most recently falling to Providence, 82-77, on the road. R.J. Evans and Dave Dudzinski led the Crusaders with 21 points each. Dudzinski hit nine of 13 shots from the field and set a new career high in scoring for the second straight game, in addition to grabbing a career-high 11 rebounds. Evans' 21 points were his highest total this season, to go along with four rebounds, three steals and two assists. Prior to the two-game skid, Holy Cross won two of its previous three contests, collecting victories over Hartford (Nov. 23) and Boston College (Nov. 18). The Crusaders dropped a 73-52 road decision to Fairfield (Nov. 20) in between the two wins. Holy Cross was picked to finish in third place in the Patriot League Preseason Poll, receiving 73 total points. Senior guard Devin Brown was the lone Crusader to receive preseason accolades as he was tabbed to the preseason All-Patriot League team. He has lived up to expectations this season, averaging 14.6 points, 3.1 rebounds and 2.3 assists, while shooting 42.4 percent (14 of 33) from long range.
Senior guard Alvin Abreu (Lynn, Mass.) registered a season-best 21 points versus Dartmouth (Nov. 30), leading the Wildcats to a 53-50 victory at Lundholm Gymnasium. It was the highest single-game scoring total posted by any Wildcat this season, as he was tabbed the America East Player of the Game, finishing the contest 7-for-13 from the floor and 2-for-3 from beyond the arc. He also pulled in three boards, dished out two assists and collected a steal. The last time Abreu scored 20-plus points came against Lesley University (Nov. 13, 2010) when he poured in exactly 20 points in the season-opener at Lundholm Gymnasium.
SHUT IT DOWN
New Hampshire has emerged as one of the top defensive teams in the America East to start the season, ranking first in the league in scoring defense (61.8 ppg) and defensive field goal percentage (.430; 89-207). In their most recent outing the 'Cats held Dartmouth to opponent season lows in scoring, field goal percentage and 3-point field goal percentage, limiting the Big Green offense to just 50 points on just 35.3 percent (18-51) shooting from the floor and 22.2 percent (4-18) shooting from deep.
The Wildcats rank second in the America East in turnover margin (+2.75), forcing 64 turnovers and giving up the rock just 53 times in their first four games. In their most recent outing versus Dartmouth (Nov. 30) the 'Cats posted a season-low 10 turnovers, as point guard Jordon Bronner (Sleepy Hollow, N.Y.) did not turn the ball over once and tallied five assists while playing all 40 minutes.
THE TIMES THEY ARE A-CHANGIN
UNH claimed its fourth straight victory versus the Big Green earning a 53-50 victory at Lundholm Gymnasium on Nov. 30. Despite Dartmouth's 31-29 advantage in the all-time series, New Hampshire has been victorious in six of the last seven and 10 of the last 13 meetings in the annual rivalry matchup of the Granite State's two Division I basketball programs. The last time Dartmouth defeated New Hampshire was on Jan. 15, 2008 in a 65-60 overtime decision at Lundholm Gymnasium.
UNH recently announced that two student-athletes have committed to attend UNH and play for the Wildcat basketball program next fall. Frank Okeke, a 6-foot-6-inch, 220-pound forward from DeSoto, Texas, joins the Wildcats after posting 9.0 points, 9.0 rebounds and 3.0 blocks per game as a junior at DeSoto High School. His production in the frontcourt was key to DeSoto's success in 2010-11, as the Eagles were ranked No. 19 in the county while posting a 34-4 record. Additionally, DeSoto was tabbed 5A Regional II District Champions and McDonald's Invitational Gold Division Champions last season. Okeke, who also played for the highly touted Deron Williams Elite AAU program, was also part of the DeSoto squad that was named a Texas 5A Regional Finalist in 2011. Chris Orozco, a 6-foot-3-inch, 175-pound combo guard from Tenafly, N.J., joins the UNH basketball program after spending the last three years with Tenafly High School. The two-time All-Bergen selection is closing in on becoming just the 11th Bergen boy to reach the 2000-career-point mark after leading the Tigers to 58 wins over the course of the last three seasons. Last year he was tabbed a Second-Team All-Group 3 and First-Team All-Bergen County for The Star-Ledger honoree, registering 21.7 points, 10.1 rebounds and 5.1 assists per game. He capped off his junior campaign leading the Tigers to a 20-4 record while winning the Big North Patriot Division title.
FOUR OF A KIND
Four Wildcats have scored in double-figures in two of the first three games this season, most recently when Chandler Rhoads (Berryville, Va.; 14), Patrick Konan (Gainesville, Fla.; 12), Alvin Abreu (Lynn, Mass.; 11) and Ferg Myrick (Philadelphia, Pa.; 10) achieved the milestone against Loyola (Nov. 20). New Hampshire also reached the mark against Suffolk (Nov. 11), as Rhoads (20), Abreu (19), Brian Benson (Rochester, N.Y.; 17) and Jordon Bronner (Sleepy Hollow, N.Y.; 15) all turned in double-figure scoring efforts. Prior to the outing versus Suffolk, the last time four Wildcats scored in double-digits in the same contest came in a 62-59 overtime victory against Albany (Feb. 2) at Lundholm Gymnasium. It was in that contest that Rhoads (15), Scott Morris (Walkersville, Md.; 14), Dane DiLiegro (12) and Tyrone Conley (10) all registered double-digit points.
Senior guard Alvin Abreu (Lynn, Mass.) ranks third in the America East in steals with six, averaging 1.8 per game this season. He posted a season-best four steals against Suffolk (Nov. 11) while also picking up a pair of steals versus Boston College (Nov. 14). Abreu reached his career high in steals against Maine on Feb. 19, 2009 with six.
Senior guard Alvin Abreu (Lynn, Mass.) notched a pair of treys against Dartmouth (Nov. 30) and currently ranks sixth all-time in career 3-point field goals made with 168. The senior captain recently passed Matt Alosa, who finished his UNH career with 163 trifectas. Abreu ranks second on the squad with seven 3-pointers this season, posting a .389 clip from deep. He posted his highest single-season 3-pointer total during the 2007-08 campaign with 32 treys, a mark that ranks 10th all-time in program history.
Senior center Brian Benson (Rochester, N.Y.) ranks first in the America East conference and eighth in the nation in rebounding, pulling in 11.5 boards per game this season. Last year he ranked second among league leaders in rebounds, compiling 8.3 per game. He has turned in two double-digit rebounding efforts this season, posting a season-best 16 boards against Suffolk (Nov. 11).
Senior center Brian Benson (Rochester, N.Y.) tallied two blocks versus Loyola (Nov. 20) and currently ranks fourth on the program's all-time blocks list with 59. Benson leads UNH with six blocks (1.5 bpg) this season, ranking fourth in the America East. He ended last season ranking fifth in the league in shots blocked, notching 1.1 per game.
Junior guard Chandler Rhoads (Berryville, Va.) matched his career high with 20 points against Boston College (Nov. 14). He rounded out his night shooting 6-of-14 from the floor, including 2-of-6 from 3-point distance, and cashed in on 6-of-10 free throw attempts. He chipped in with five rebounds and an assist in 37 minutes. He currently ranks second on the squad with 14.8 points per game, a mark that ranks ninth among league leaders. The last time Rhoads scored 20 points in a game was against Vermont (Jan. 20, 2011), as he finished the contest 5-for-15 from the field, 4-for-7 from deep and 6-for-6 from the charity stripe. He capped off last season collecting America East All-Defensive Team honors after starting in all 30 games. The versatile guard was equally impressive offensively, leading the team in assists (85) and ranking second in points (273).
CLIMBING THE CHARTS
Senior guard Alvin Abreu (Lynn, Mass.) posted 21 points against Dartmouth (Nov. 30), passing Matt Alosa (1,247) to rank ninth on the program's all-time scoring list with 1,256 points. He has now scored in double-digits in seven of the last nine games spanning over the course of the last three seasons, including all four contests this season. In addition, he ranks first on the team and fifth in the league in scoring, posting 17.0 points per game.
Senior center Brian Benson (Rochester, N.Y.) notched his third career double-double, tallying 17 points and 16 rebounds against Suffolk (Nov. 11). The captain earned a pair of double-doubles last season, with his most recent coming against Hartford (Feb. 27) when he registered 16 points and 15 boards. He finished the 2010-11 campaign pulling in double-digit rebounds in eight games while scoring in double-figures in three outings.
The Wildcats shot an impressive 53.2 percent (33-62) from the field and 50 percent (9-18) from deep against Suffolk (Nov. 11). New Hampshire was especially impressive in the first half of the contest, registering 51 points on 64.7 percent (22-34) shooting from the field and 66.7 percent (6-9) shooting from 3-point range. The last time UNH shot above 50 percent in both categories was last season against UMBC (Jan. 23) when the 'Cats earned an 80-60 victory over the Retrievers. New Hampshire finished the contest with a shooting clip of .510 from the field and .519 from beyond the arc.
Senior center Brian Benson (Rochester, N.Y.) and sophomore guard Jordon Bronner (Sleepy Hollow, N.Y.) both registered career highs in points versus Suffolk (Nov. 11). Benson tallied 17 points in the game, reaching the mark on 7-for-13 shooting. His previous career high (16) came last season against Hartford (Feb. 27). As for Bronner, not only did he reach a career high in points, but he also matched career bests in field goals made (5), free throws made (4), and three-point field goals made (1) in the contest.
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.
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 Wednesday's contest UNH has recorded at least one 3-pointer in 587 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 810 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, 2010 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 72 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.