GAME NOTES (PDF)
DURHAM, N.H. - The University of New Hampshire men's basketball team is set for its final non-conference road tilt, taking on Providence College on Tuesday, Dec. 20 (7 p.m.) at the Dunkin' Donuts Center. The game will be aired live on ESPN 3 and COX Sports. Links to live stats, as well as audio and video, will be available at www.UNHWildcats.com.
The Friars have posted a 13-1 mark all-time versus New Hampshire. The last eight games in the series have been played at the Dunkin' Donuts Center. In the last meeting between the two teams, the Friars defeated the Wildcats, 75-51, on November 23, 2005. UNH's lone win in the series was a 27-23 decision on February 26, 1930. In the most recent meeting between the two programs, Blagoj Janev led the Wildcats with 15 points on 5-of-8 shooting from the field and 4-of-4 shooting from the free throw line. Tyrece Gibbs made his first career start and contributed ten points, four rebounds, and two blocked shots. Four players scored in double figures for Providence, led by Randall Hanke with 17 points on 8-of-9 shooting from the field as well as nine rebounds. Donnie McGrath hit three 3-pointers on his way to 15 points, while Weyinmi Efejuku contributed 11 points and a game-high five steals.
Providence (9-2) comes into Tuesday's matchup looking to extend its home non-conference winning streak to 19 games. The streak started with an 87-78 win over Yale on December 21, 2009. Last season, the Friars won all 10 of their home non-conference games. This season, the team has defeated seven teams at the Dunkin' Donuts Center. The Friars' longest non-conference home winning streak is 56 games, which went from February 13, 1971 to December 27, 1974. Since the Big East was founded in 1979-80, the team's longest non-conference regular season winning streak is 28 games. The Friars look to extend that streak riding on the back of a five-game winning streak. Most recently the Friars took down Bryant University, 72-61, on Saturday, Dec. 10, at the Dunkin' Donuts Center. Sophomore guard Bryce Cotton scored a game and career-high 34 points. He shot 11-of-16 from the field and a perfect 10-of-10 from the free throw line. It was the fourth time this season that Cotton has scored 20 or more points in a game. It also marked the most points by a Friar since Marson Brooks scored 52 points versus Notre Dame on February 23, 2011. Freshman LaDontae Henton registered a double-double as he had 13 points and 12 rebounds. His 12 boards were a career high. Sophomore Gerard Coleman also scored in double-digits with 13 points. The Bulldogs extended their lead to as many as eight points in the second half (39-31), but the Friars would go on a 26-17 run to eventually take the lead, 57-56 with under four minutes to play. From then on Providence held on for the win, going on a 17-5 run to win the game, 72-61. Overall, the Friars shot 44.4 percent from the field, including a season-high 91.7 percent (22-24) from the free throw line. There were four ties and seven lead changes in the contest. Providence has suffered just two losses this season, both coming at the South Padre Island Invitational against Iowa State (Nov. 25) and Northern Iowa (Nov. 26). Henton was named Big East Rookie of the Week on Dec. 12, for the second week in a row. Henton averaged 17.7 points, 9.3 rebounds, and 2.3 blocks per game during the stretch. He is the second Friar to earn back-to-back Rookie of the Week Honors since Michael Smith in 1992. The Friars have posted a 47-6 mark all-time versus the America East Conference. In the Friars' most recent game versus an America East squad, Providence earned a 106-64 win against Vermont, on November 24, 2009. The Friars have recorded a 5-0 mark this season versus New England opponents with victories over Fairfield, Holy Cross, Brown, Boston College and Bryant. The Friars have registered a 644-291 (.689) mark all-time against New England opponents.
Junior forward Ferg Myrick (Philadelphia, Pa.) posted season highs in points (12) and assists (3) while also pulling in four boards versus Marist (Dec. 17). Myrick, who is averaging 7 points per game this season, has scored in double-digits in two of the last three games. Before going down with a season ending injury last season, Myrick emerged as one of the top offensive threats in the Wildcat rotation, posting 12.1 points and 4.1 rebounds per game in 14 contests. The forward showed signs of promise during his freshman campaign when he claimed America East All-Rookie Team honors after registering 7.6 points and 2.6 rebounds per game.
Sophomore forward Patrick Konan (Gainesville, Fla.) ranks fifth in the America East in 3-point field goal percentage this season with a .400 (10-25) shooting clip from beyond the arc. He has been especially impressive over the course of the last four games, shooting 50 percent (7-14) from deep.
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 (59.9 ppg) and defensive field goal percentage (.411; 167-406). The 'Cats had their most impressive defensive effort against Marist, holding the Red Foxes to opponent season lows in field goal percentage (.327; 18-55) and 3-point field goal percentage (.111; 1-9). Additionally, the Wildcats have held opponents under 60 points in three straight games, including four of the last five outings.
Senior Brian Benson (Rochester, N.Y.) ranks seventh in the America East in field goal percentage with a shooting clip of .509 (29-57). Over the course of the last three games he is shooting 60 percent (9-15) from the floor and has shot over 50 percent in all but three contests this season. Last season the center shot .394 (63-160) from the field, including a .404 mark in conference play.
New Hampshire ranks second in the conference in rebounding, pulling in 38.5 boards per game, as the Wildcats are outrebounding their opponents by a margin of 4.9 rebounds per game. Brian Benson (Rochester, N.Y.) and Patrick Konan (Gainesville, Fla.) both rank among the league leaders in rebounds, collecting 10 (1st) and 6.3 (8th) 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 14.4 (7th) and 13.8 (10th) points per game, respectively. The two have led the team in scoring in six of the first eight games this season. Abreu has finished as the top scorer in four contests, including a season-best 21-point outburst against Dartmouth (Nov. 30).
Sophomore Jordon Bronner (Sleepy Hollow, N.Y.) ranks third in the league in assist to turnover ratio (2.0), posting 24 assists with just 12 turnovers. The point guard has turned the ball over just twice in the last three games and currently ranks ninth in the America East is assists with a mark of 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.
Alvin Abreu (Lynn, Mass.; 18), Chandler Rhoads (Berryville, Va.; 17) and Ferg Myrick (Philadelphia, Pa.; 12) all tallied double-digits against Marist (Dec. 17). The last time three 'Cats scored in double-figures was against Holy Cross (Dec. 3) when Patrick Konan (Gainesville, Fla.; 13), Chris Matagrano (Sayreville, N.J.; 11) and Rhoads (10) all scored in double-digits. It is the third time in the last four games three or more Wildcats have reached double figure scoring.
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.
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.) and sophomore Jordon Bronner (Sleepy Hollow, N.Y.) rank ninth in the America East in steals with 10, averaging 1.3 per game. Abreu 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). Bronner posted a season-best three steals against Suffolk (Nov. 11) while also notching two steals versus Marist (Dec. 17).
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 second on the squad with 12 3-pointers this season, posting a .324 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 10 boards per game this season. Last year he ranked second among league leaders in rebounds, compiling 8.3 per game. He has turned in three 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 (1.0 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.
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 13.8 points per game, a mark that ranks 10th 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 Marist (Dec. 17) and recently passed Scott Drapeau (1,290) to rank seventh on the program's all-time scoring list with 1,302 points. He has scored in double-digits in nine of the last 13 games spanning over the course of the last three seasons, including six of eight contests this season. In addition, he ranks first on the team and seventh in the league in scoring, posting 14.3 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 591 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 815 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 74 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 Alvin Abreu (Lynn, Mass.) scored a game-high 18 points, and the University of New Hampshire men's basketball team erased an early 10-point deficit to run past Marist, 73-56, in non-conference action Saturday afternoon at Lundholm Gymnasium.
Chandler Rhoads (Berryville, Va.) was named the America East Player of the Game, registering 17 points, six rebounds, four assists, three steals and one block, as the guard played all 40 minutes. He finished the contest shooting 6-for-11 from the field, 3-for-6 from deep and 2-for-2 from the charity stripe.
Ferg Myrick (Philadelphia, Pa.) rounded out UNH's double-digit scorers with a season-best 12 points, four boards and three assists. Brian Benson (Rochester, N.Y.) added 14 rebounds and four points.
Marist took the early advantage, outscoring UNH 12-2 through the first eight minutes of action before the Wildcats' bench sparked an 18-6 run to grab its first lead, 20-18, at 7:43.
Myrick scored seven consecutive points during the spurt en route to nine points in 12 minutes of play, and Chris Matagrano (Sayreville, N.J.) tacked on four points and five rebounds in only seven minutes of action as the 'Cats went to halftime with a 31-26 advantage.
The two squads came into the second frame exchanging baskets in the early going, but New Hampshire was able to create some separation with a 13-2 run that pushed its lead to its highest margin to that point, 47-32.
Myrick sparked a spurt of nine unanswered points that kicked off the run, sinking a layup and Rhoads and Matagrano capped off the stretch with layups on consecutive possessions, building the lead to 15 at 14:09.
UNH held its ground for the next four minutes until the Wildcats caught fire midway through the stanza, posting a 16-6 run, scoring on five straight trips up the floor to polish off the stretch. Jordon Bronner (Sleepy Hollow, N.Y.) capped off the 6:30 scoring outbreak with a jumper, giving the Wildcats their largest lead of the contest, 68-43, with 4:37 on the clock.
Marist responded scoring seven unanswered, cutting the score to 68-53 with 2:53 remaining in regulation. Patrick Konan (Gainesville, Fla.) snapped the run with a 3-pointer at 2:31, as the 'Cats outscored the Red Foxes 5-3 the rest of the way to hold onto the win.