Men's Basketball Caps off Road Stretch Versus Fairfield (Dec. 11)

GAME NOTES (PDF)

DURHAM, N.H.
 - The University of New Hampshire men's basketball team ends its three-game road stretch when it takes on Fairfield University on Sunday, Dec. 11 (1 p.m.) at Webster Bank Arena. Links to live stats, as well as audio and video, will be available at www.UNHWildcats.com.
 
LAST TIME OUT
Senior guard Alvin Abreu (Lynn, Mass.) led four Wildcats in double-figures with 18 points, as the University of New Hampshire men's basketball team took down Brown University, 69-56, on Wednesday evening at the Pizzitola Sports Center.
 
The Wildcats improve to 3-3 with the victory while Brown drops its third straight game, falling to 4-7.
 
Chandler Rhoads (Berryville, Va.; 16), Patrick Konan (Gainesville, Fla.; 11), and Ferg Myrick (Philadelphia, Pa.; 10) also scored in double-digits, marking the third time this season four 'Cats have scored in double-figures. Rhoads and Konan added eight and seven rebounds, respectively.
 
Jordon Bronner (Sleepy Hollow, N.Y) chipped in with six points, eight rebounds and six assists in the contest.
 
Abreu was tabbed the America East Player of the Game, finishing the night 6-of-11 from the floor, 3-of-5 from deep and 3-of-4 from the charity stripe. He also added three boards and two steals.
 
New Hampshire finished the contest shooting 46.9 percent (23-49) from the field and 44.4 percent (8-18) from beyond the arc. The Wildcats were especially impressive in the second frame, finishing 48 percent (12-25) from the floor and 60 percent (6-10) from three-point land, outscoring the Bears 42-34 during the stanza.
 
The Wildcats opened the contest firing on all cylinders, putting together a 15-2 run that lasted 5:02. Konan capped off the run when he sent an inside-out pass to Brian Benson (Rochester, N.Y.) on the right wing and he drilled a trey at 14:58. Benson fueled the offensive spurt with five points while Konan and Rhoads each notched four points apiece.
 
Brown chipped away at the UNH lead midway through the first stanza as a pair of Sean McGonagill free throws set off a 14-3 run that knotted the score at 20-20 with 3:48 remaining.
 
New Hampshire battled back from the offensive lapse when Abreu dropped in a midrange jumper that sparked a 7-2 scoring run heading into the break. Myrick ended the stretch on a high note, sinking a trey from the left wing with 49 seconds remaining in the frame to push UNH ahead 27-22 heading into the locker room.
 
Konan helped keep up UNH's offensive presence at the start of the second stanza, scoring the first and last field goal of a 10-6 scoring stretch that gave the 'Cats a 37-28 edge with 14:25 remaining in regulation.
 
Despite the brief offensive spark, Brown came back scoring five unanswered points on its way to piecing together a 13-4 run that evened the score for just third time in the contest by a mark of 41-41 with 10:13 on the clock.
 
Both squads would trade baskets for the next 3:52 until Rhoads and Abreu knocked down 3-pointers on consecutive trips up the floor and Chris Matagrano (Sayreville, N.J.) added a free throw, pushing the lead to seven, 56-49, with 4:56 remaining.
 
Tyler Ponticelli responded notching three points the old-fashioned-way on the ensuing possession and Longi Yiljep sank one-of-two from the stripe, cutting UNH's lead down to just three.
 
Rhoads answered right back with 3-pointer next trip up the floor, doubling the advantage at 3:05. After Brown failed to score at the other end, Bronner drove right side and took on a pair of defenders, finishing with a layup off the glass while drawing contact. He finished the play by knocking down the free throw that followed, giving the Wildcats a 62-53 lead with 2:15 remaining.  
 
New Hampshire outscored Brown 7-3 the rest of the way, knocking down 5-of-8 attempts from the stripe to preserve the victory.
 
THE MATCHUP
New Hampshire and Fairfield meet for the ninth time, as the Stags hold a 1-7 lead over the Wildcats in the all-time series. Fairfield has earned victories in each of the last two contests, claiming both wins on its home court. New Hampshire's lone victory in the series came on Dec. 29, 1983 when the Wildcats took down the Stags 102-82 at Lundholm Gymnasium. Despite UNH's struggles with Fairfield, head coach Bill Herrion owns a 2-0 record all-time against the Stags. Over the course of the last three seasons the Wildcats have posted a 2-2 record against Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference opponents, including a 2-0 mark during the 2009-10 campaign. It was during that season that New Hampshire defeated both Marist (Nov. 28) and Loyola (Feb. 20). 
 
SCOUTING FAIRFIELD
Fairfield (6-4, 2-0 MAAC) comes into Sunday's matchup with a three-game winning streak, most recently routing Old Dominion, 59-51, on Friday night at the Hall of Fame Holiday Showcase, played at the MassMutual Center. Derek Needham scored a game-high 19 points, while Rakim Sanders just missed a double-double with nine points and 15 rebounds to lead the Stags to victory. Fairfield also collected victories against Canisius (Dec. 4) and Niagara (Dec. 2) on the winning streak. The Stags, who have earned postseason berths in each of the last two years, are coming off back-to-back 20-win seasons heading into the 2011-12 campaign. Fairfield was especially impressive last season, posting a school-record 25 wins while earning a berth to the National Invitation Tournament (NIT). The program returns nearly everyone from that squad, including Needham, a two-time All-MAAC honoree that has led the Stags in scoring in each of the last two seasons. Needham has been a steady contributor once again this season, registering 10.9 points, 2.3 assists and 2.2 rebounds per game. Sanders leads the team in points (17.1 ppg), rebounds (8.4 rpg) and assists (2.4 apg). Additionally, he ranks fifth among league leaders in both scoring and rebounding. Fairfield is one of the strongest defensive teams in the league, ranking first in scoring defense (61.6 ppg) and 3-point field goal defense (.410; 46-151) while ranking third in defensive field goal percentage (.410; 219-534).
 
NOW BOARDING
New Hampshire ranks second in the conference in rebounding, pulling in 38 boards per game, as the Wildcats are outrebounding their opponents by a margin of four rebounds per game. Brian Benson (Rochester, N.Y.) and Patrick Konan (Gainesville, Fla.) both rank among the league leaders in rebounds, collecting 9.7 (1st) and 6.8 (7th) boards per game, respectively.
 
DYNAMIC DUO
Senior Alvin Abreu (Lynn, Mass.) and junior Chandler Rhoads (Berryville, Va.) both rank in the top 10 in the America East in scoring, averaging 15 (5th) and 14.2 (8th) points per game, respectively. The two have led the team in scoring in five of the first six games this season. Abreu has finished as the top scorer in three contests, including a season-best 21-point outburst against Dartmouth (Nov. 30).
 
COURT GENERAL
Sophomore Jordon Bronner (Sleepy Hollow, N.Y.) ranks third in the league in assist to turnover ratio (2.2), posting 22 assists with just 10 turnovers. The point guard has turned the ball over just three times in the last three games and currently ranks seventh in the America East is assists with a mark of 3.7 per game.
 
FOUR OF A KIND
Four Wildcats have scored in double-figures in three games this season, most recently when Alvin Abreu (Lynn, Mass.; 18), Chandler Rhoads (Berryville, Va.; 16), Patrick Konan (Gainesville, Fla.; 11) and Ferg Myrick (Philadelphia, Pa.; 10) achieved the milestone against Brown (Nov. 7). Prior to that outing the last time UNH reached the mark was against Loyola (Nov. 20), as Rhoads (14), Konan (12), Abreu (11) and Myrick (10) finished in double-digits.
 
KONAN THE BARBARIAN
Sophomore forward Patrick Konan (Gainesville, Fla.) posted a season-high 13 points and a career-best 11 rebounds, earning his first career double-double versus Holy Cross (Dec. 3). Konan, who was tabbed the America East Player of the Game for New Hampshire, finished the contest 4-for-10 from the field, including 2-for-5 from deep and 3-for-3 from the charity stripe in the contest.
 
TRIPLE TROUBLE
Patrick Konan (Gainesville, Fla.; 13), Chris Matagrano (Sayreville, N.J.; 11) and Chandler Rhoads (Berryville, Va.; 10) all scored in double-digits against Holy Cross (Dec. 3). Rhoads has scored in double-figures in four of the first five games this season, leading the team in points in two of those contests. Matagrano scored in double-digits for just the second time in his career, finishing the contest with a career-high seven rebounds. Additionally, Konan posted a season-high 13 points and a career-best 11 rebounds, earning his first career double-double.
 
DOUBLE-DIGIT DANDY
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 (60.8 ppg) and second in defensive field goal percentage (.412; 129-313). The 'Cats had their most impressive defensive effort against Dartmouth, holding the Big Green to opponent season lows in scoring and 3-point field goal percentage, limiting the Big Green offense to just 50 points on just 22.2 percent (4-18) shooting from deep.
 
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.
 
NEW 'CATS IN TOWN
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.
 
STEALING THE SHOW
Senior Alvin Abreu (Lynn, Mass.) ranks fourth in the America East in steals with 10, averaging 1.7 per game. He posted a season-best four steals against Suffolk (Nov. 11) while also picking up a pair of steals versus Boston College (Nov. 14) and Brown (Dec. 7).
 
FROM DOWNTOWN
Senior guard Alvin Abreu (Lynn, Mass.) notched three treys against Brown (Dec. 7) and currently ranks sixth all-time in career 3-point field goals made with 171. The senior captain recently passed Matt Alosa, who finished his UNH career with 163 trifectas. Abreu ranks first on the squad with 10 3-pointers this season, posting a .345 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.
 
BOARD GAMES
Senior center Brian Benson (Rochester, N.Y.) ranks first in the America East conference in rebounding, pulling in 9.7 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).
 
BLOCK PARTY
Senior center Brian Benson (Rochester, N.Y.) tallied a block versus Holy Cross (Dec. 3) and is currently tied for second on the program's all-time blocks list with 60. Benson leads UNH with seven blocks (1.2 bpg) this season, ranking fifth in the America East. He ended last season ranking fifth in the league in shots blocked, notching 1.1 per game.
 
RHOAD SCHOLAR
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 18 points against Brown (Dec. 7), passing Dan Nolan (1,258) to rank eighth on the program's all-time scoring list with 1,278 points. He has scored in double-digits in eight of the last 11 games spanning over the course of the last three seasons, including five of six contests this season. In addition, he ranks first on the team and fifth in the league in scoring, posting 15 points per game.
 
DOUBLE-DOUBLE TROUBLE
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.
 
50/50 CHANCE
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.
 
CAREER NIGHT
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.
 
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 Sunday's contest UNH has recorded at least one 3-pointer in 589 consecutive games, a streak that spans 21 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 812 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 73 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 http://collegechalktalk.com/coachesDiary/new hampshire/2011-12/index. 

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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