DURHAM, N.H. - The University of New Hampshire men's basketball team battles Marist College on Saturday, Dec. 17 (1 p.m.) at Lundholm Gymnasium. Links to live stats, as well as audio and video, will be available at www.UNHWildcats.com.
The Wildcats and Red Foxes meet for just the fifth time in their history, with the series tied at 2-2. After UNH won the first meeting, 70-60, at the Dartmouth Tournament on Jan. 2, 1983, the series took a 25-year hiatus until the two teams met during the 2008-09 season, with Marist winning that meeting on its home court, 63-61. In the most recent meeting between the two squads Chandler Rhoads (Berryville, Va.) and Tyrone Conley combined for 31 points, but the Wildcats dropped a 58-49 decision to Marist College at the McCann Center on Feb. 19, 2011. Rhoads, the America East Player of the Game, scored 16 points on 6 of 13 shooting to go along with three assists and three rebounds in 35 minutes. Conley added 15 points on 6 of 17 shooting and tallied three assists, two rebounds and two steals in 39 minutes. Dorvell Carter led Marist with 18 points, while Devin Price added 15 and five assists. After the Wildcats jumped out to a 4-0 lead on baskets by Conley and Rhoads, Marist tied the game at six on a pair of 3-pointers by Carter and then proceeded to go on a 13-2 run that made it 19-8 midway through the opening half. A layup from Jordon Bronner (Sleepy Hollow, N.Y.) stopped the bleeding, but the Red Foxes came back with six straight points to open the gap to 15 at 25-10 with 7:19 remaining. A Carter layup gave Marist its largest lead of the half at 31-15 with 1:20 to play before a Rhoads free throw closed the scoring and sent the two teams into the locker room with the Red Foxes on top, 31-16. Marist led 35-20 just 2:25 into the second half when the Wildcats went on a 7-0 run that featured a pair of Conley dunks – one off a steal at midcourt and the other coming via a Rhoads alley-oop. The Red Foxes answered back with a 10-2 run, however, that made it 45-29 midway through the half. Conley answered with a trey that was part of a 4-0 spurt that cut it to 12, but Marist widened the gap to 16 at 54-38 with 3:18 remaining. A layup and 3-pointer from Rhoads sparked a 9-0 run that brought the Wildcats to within seven with 56 seconds on the clock, but Marist went 4-for-4 from the line on its next two possessions to seal it. Dane DiLiegro posted nine points – all in the second half – eight boards, two blocks, an assist and a steal. Brian Benson (Rochester, N.Y.) pulled down 10 rebounds and chipped in four points. Marist outshot UNH, 40 percent (20-50) to 37 percent (20-54), including 46.7 percent (7-15) to 15 percent (3-20) from deep. The Red Foxes also held a 38-32 advantage on the glass. The Wildcats outscored Marist in the paint, 26-18, and turned the ball over just six times, while forcing eight turnovers.
Marist (4-5, 1-1 MAAC) is on a two-game winning streak, as the Red Foxes have won three of their last four games coming into Saturday's matchup. Marist has claimed victories over Colgate (Nov. 26), Rider (Dec. 4) and Army (Dec. 7) during the stretch. Most recently Marist took down Army, 59-56, using a 7-0 run to come from behind and claim the victory. Junior Devin Price and freshman Chavaughn Lewis led Marist with 17 and 11 points, respectively. Sophomore Adam Kemp led a defensive attack with a career-best six individual blocks, as the squad finished with 11 swats. Nine of the 10 players who participated for Marist registered points. Kemp led the team on the glass with 11 rebounds while Manny Thomas corralled a career-best six boards. The duo also registered nine combined blocks, a career-high six for Kemp and a career-high three for Thomas. R.J. Hall led all Red Foxes with four assists. As a team, Marist outshot Army, 46.2 percent (24-52) to 35.1 (20-57). They finished behind the Black Knights in both 3-point percentage and free throws at 29.2 percent (7-24) versus 28.6 (6-21) and 75.0 (9-12) to 45.5 (5-11). However, the Red Foxes held Army to just 14.3 percent shooting from long range in the second half. Marist ranks atop the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference in 3-point field goal percentage, posting a .426 shooting clip (66-155) from deep. Individually, Price ranks first in the league in 3-point field goal percentage (.500) and fourth in 3-pointers made (20). Kemp is among the league leaders in blocks, ranking second with 2.3 swats per contest.
PLAYING THE PERCENTAGES
Senior Brian Benson (Rochester, N.Y.) ranks sixth in the America East in field goal percentage with a shooting clip of .519 (28-54). Over the course of the last two games he is shooting .667 (8-12) from the floor and has shot over 50 percent in all but two contests this season. Last season the center shot .394 (63-160) from the field, including a .404 mark in conference play.
New Hampshire ranks third in the conference in rebounding, pulling in 37.9 boards per game, as the Wildcats are outrebounding their opponents by a margin of 4.7 rebounds per game. Brian Benson (Rochester, N.Y.) and Patrick Konan (Gainesville, Fla.) both rank among the league leaders in rebounds, collecting 9.4 (1st) and 6.6 (7th) boards per game, respectively.
Senior Alvin Abreu (Lynn, Mass.) and junior Chandler Rhoads (Berryville, Va.) both rank in the top 10 in the America East in scoring, averaging 13.7 (7th) and 13.3 (10th) points per game, respectively. The two have led the team in scoring in five of the first seven games this season. Abreu has finished as the top scorer in three contests, including a season-best 21-point outburst against Dartmouth (Nov. 30).
Sophomore Jordon Bronner (Sleepy Hollow, N.Y.) ranks fourth in the league in assist to turnover ratio (1.9), posting 23 assists with just 12 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 3.3 per game.
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.
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.
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 (60.4 ppg) and second in defensive field goal percentage (.425; 149-351). 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.
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 fifth in the America East in steals with 10, averaging 1.4 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).
Senior guard Alvin Abreu (Lynn, Mass.) notched two treys against Fairfield (Dec. 11) and currently ranks fifth all-time in career 3-point field goals made with 173. The senior captain recently passed Blagoi Janev, who finished his UNH career with 172 trifectas. Abreu ranks first on the squad with 12 3-pointers this season, posting a .333 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 in rebounding, pulling in 9.4 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 a block versus Fairfield (Dec. 11) and currently ranks second on the program's all-time blocks list with 61. Benson leads UNH with eight blocks (1.1 bpg) this season, ranking third 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 six points against Fairfield (Dec. 11) and recently passed Dan Nolan (1,258) to rank eighth on the program's all-time scoring list with 1,284 points. He has scored in double-digits in eight of the last 12 games spanning over the course of the last three seasons, including five of seven contests this season. In addition, he ranks first on the team and seventh in the league in scoring, posting 13.7 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 Saturday's contest UNH has recorded at least one 3-pointer in 590 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 814 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.
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.
LAST TIME OUT
Senior center Brian Benson (Rochester, N.Y.) registered 11 points and eight rebounds, but the University of New Hampshire men's basketball team fell to Fairfield University, 58-52, on Sunday afternoon at Webster Bank Arena.
Benson was named the America East Player of the Game for the Wildcats, rounding out the afternoon with one block, one assist and one steal. He shot 5-for-8 from the field and 1-for-2 from beyond the arc.
Ferg Myrick (Philadelphia, Pa.) added nine points and seven boards in 21 minutes off the bench. Patrick Konan (Gainesville, Fla.) chipped in with nine points and five rebounds.
Ryan Olander led Fairfield with 19 points, three boards, two blocks and two steals. Derek Needham posted 15 points and a pair of assists.
Fairfield opened up play with a 10-4 scoring run, as Needham fueled the stretch with five points on a scoring spurt that lasted 6:30. The Wildcats snapped the run scoring on three straight trips up the floor, as Chris Matagrano (Sayreville, N.J.) registered baskets on back-to-back possessions and Myrick sank a layup to knot the score at 10-10 with 11:30 remaining in the first frame.
The Stags responded firing off six unanswered when Olander netted three points the old-fashioned-way and Jamel Fields drained a trey, as the Stags pushed their lead back up to six, 16-10, at 9:27.
Konan sank a 3-pointer of his own about two minutes later, but after a change of possession, Sean Crawford drilled a jumper that sparked a 9-3 run that set the score at 25-16 with 3:56 remaining in the first stanza.
Neither team found the bottom of the net for the next 1:59 until Konan registered the last field goal of the half, knocking down another trey, sending Fairfield into the locker room with a 25-19 advantage.
New Hampshire kicked off the second frame in convincing fashion, as Chandler Rhoads (Berryville, Va.) and Alvin Abreu (Lynn, Mass.) sank treys on consecutive possessions, knotting the score at 25-25 with 18:45 on the clock.
The offensive outburst was short lived for UNH, as a pair of free throws by Jamel Fields set off a 9-0 scoring stretch that extended the home team's advantage to nine, 34-25, with 16:00 remaining in regulation.
Midway through the frame Benson notched baskets on back-to-back trips up the floor, helping UNH trim the score to 36-31 at 11:42. However, Fairfield came right back with six unanswered points that fueled a 9-2 run, pushing its lead to its highest margin of the contest with a 45-33 edge with 8:35 on the clock.
New Hampshire was able to slice that deficit in half moments later when Matagrano drained a pair of free throws and Myrick drilled a 3-pointer from the left wing, setting the score at 47-41 at 4:55.
The Stags responded with an 8-2 scoring spurt that pushed the lead back up to 12, 55-43, with 1:29 remaining in regulation. The 'Cats came back with a 9-3 scoring run to close out the contest, but it was too little too late and the Stags were able to hold onto the lead and secure the victory.