December 28, 2011

Men's Basketball set to host Sacred Heart (Dec. 29)

GAME NOTES (PDF)

DURHAM, N.H.
- The University of New Hampshire men's basketball team kicks off a two-game homestand against Sacred Heart University on Thursday, Dec. 29 (7 p.m.) at Lundholm Gymnasium. The game will be broadcast live on the Wildcat Sports Radio Network. Links to live audio and live video, as well as live stats, will be available at www.unhwildcats.com.

THE MATCHUP
New Hampshire and Sacred Heart have met just once all-time, as the Pioneers earned the lone win in the series with a 50-42 decision at the William H. Pitt Center. Ferg Myrick recorded 10 points and six rebounds and Dane DiLiegro posted eight points and eight boards to lead the Wildcats. Jerrell Thompson poured in 24 points and pulled down nine rebounds to lead Sacred Heart. Leading 10-8 just 5:51 into the game, Sacred Heart, which never trailed in the contest, used a 5-0 spurt to push its lead to seven with 11:15 to play in the opening half. The Wildcats answered, however, with a three-point play from DiLiegro and a layup from Myrick, the America East Player of the Game, that made it 15-13 with 9:06 to go. From there, however, the Pioneers used an 18-3 run to open the game up and grab a 33-16 lead with 1:38 to play in the half. Thompson netted 11 of his 13 first-half points during the run, including a 3 to cap it. A 3-pointer by freshman Scott Morris (Walkersville, Md.) just 14 seconds later stopped the bleeding, but the Pioneers scored the final three points of the half to take a 36-19 advantage into the break. Sacred Heart was winning the battle on the glass, 27-13, including 10-3 on the offensive end, at halftime. UNH stormed out of the locker room on a 15-2 run, scoring eight straight before Thompson hit Sacred Heart's first shot of the half, 5:05 in. That was followed by seven straight Wildcat points that cut their deficit to 38-34 with 11:56 to play. With the gap still at four 1:57 later, Sacred Heart scored four straight – all at the line – to push its lead up to 44-36 with 4:58 remaining. Despite allowing just one field goal the rest of the way, the Wildcats would not get closer than six as the Pioneers snatched five offensive rebounds in the final 3:32 to whittle away the clock. The 'Cats held Sacred Heart to 2-of-14 (14 percent) from the field in the second half.

SCOUTING SACRED HEART
Sacred Heart (6-8, 1-1 NEC) comes into Thursday's matchup with a two-game losing streak, losing five of its last six games, most recently dropping decisions to Notre Dame (Dec. 19) and Boston College (Dec. 21). The Pioneers will have their work cut out for them against the Wildcats, as they are 1-6 on the road this season, with their lone victory coming at Quinnipiac in their NEC opener. Last time out the Pioneers fell to the Eagles, 83-73, at Conte Forum. Junior Shane Gibson led Sacred Heart with 25 points, becoming the 33rd player in Sacred Heart history to eclipsed 1,000 career points and the ninth since the program turned to Division I (1999-00) to reach the milestone. It was also Gibson's third-straight game hitting the 20-point mark and sixth this season. He finished 8-of-12 from the field and 5-of-7 from three on the night. The Pioneers rank first in the NEC in assists, dishing out 14.6 per game. Freshman guard Phil Gaetano ranks fourth in the league in assist to turnover ratio (49 a/28 to) and ninth in assists (3.5 apg). SHU is the top free throw shooting team in the league, making 73.9 percent at the charity stripe.

FIELD MARKSMANSHIP
Senior guard Alvin Abreu (Lynn, Mass.) recently moved into 10th place all-time in program history in field goals made (443). He currently leads the Wildcats with 50 field goals this season, shooting 40.7 percent (50-123) from the floor. Abreu notched a career-high 141 field goals during the 2009-10 campaign, finishing the season with a .358 shooting clip (141-394).

IRON MAN
Senior guard Alvin Abreu (Lynn, Mass.) recently moved into ninth place all-time in program history in career minutes played (3,165). This season he leads the league in minutes played (322), averaging 35.8 minutes per game. He logged his most time on the hardwood during the 2009-10 campaign, registering 1000 minutes while averaging 33.3 minutes per contest.

PHILLY'S FINEST
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 6.8 points per game this season, has scored in double-digits in two of the last four 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.

DEEP THREAT
Sophomore forward Patrick Konan (Gainesville, Fla.) ranks sixth in the America East in 3-point field goal percentage this season with a .394 (13-33) shooting clip from beyond the arc. He has been especially impressive over the course of the last four games, shooting 47.1 percent (8-17) 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 (60.7 ppg) and second in defensive field goal percentage (.420; 192-457). 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 four of the last six outings.

PLAYING THE PERCENTAGES
Senior Brian Benson (Rochester, N.Y.) ranks seventh in the America East in field goal percentage with a shooting clip of .508 (30-59). Over the course of the last four games he is shooting 58.8 percent (10-17) from the floor and has shot over 50 percent in all but three contests this season. Last season the center shot 39.4 percent (63-160) from the field, including a .404 mark in conference play.

NOW BOARDING
New Hampshire ranks third in the conference in rebounding, pulling in 38.2 boards per game, as the Wildcats are outrebounding their opponents by a margin of 3.7 rebounds per game. Brian Benson (Rochester, N.Y.) and Patrick Konan (Gainesville, Fla.) both rank among the league leaders in rebounds, collecting 9.9 (1st) and 6.6 (6th) boards per game, respectively.

COURT GENERAL
Sophomore Jordon Bronner (Sleepy Hollow, N.Y.) ranks fourth in the league in assist to turnover ratio (2.1), posting 27 assists with just 13 turnovers. The point guard has turned the ball over just three times in the last four games and currently ranks ninth in the America East is assists with a mark of 3 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
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.

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.

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.

FROM DOWNTOWN
Senior guard Alvin Abreu (Lynn, Mass.) notched two treys against Providence (Dec. 20) and currently ranks fifth all-time in career 3-point field goals made with 175. The senior captain recently passed Blagoi Janev, who finished his UNH career with 172 trifectas. Abreu leads the squad with 14 3-pointers this season, posting a .318 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 9.9 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).

BLOCK PARTY
Senior center Brian Benson (Rochester, N.Y.) tallied a block versus Providence (Dec. 20) and currently ranks second on the program's all-time blocks list with 62. Benson leads UNH with nine 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.

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. 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 13 points against Providence (Dec. 20) and recently passed Tyrone Conley (1,304) to rank sixth on the program's all-time scoring list with 1,315 points. He has scored in double-digits in 10 of the last 14 games spanning over the course of the last three seasons, including seven of nine contests this season. In addition, he ranks first on the team and sixth in the league in scoring, posting 14.1 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.

TREY-MENDOUS STREAK FOR 'CATS
Heading into Saturday's contest UNH has recorded at least one 3-pointer in 592 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 817 games by UNLV, a streak that started Nov. 26, 1986 and is still active.

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.

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.

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
Sophomore Patrick Konan (Gainesville, Fla.) just missed notching his second career double-double, registering a season-high 17 points and nine rebounds, but the University of New Hampshire men's basketball team fell to Providence College, 67-52, on Tuesday evening at the Dunkin' Donuts Center.

The Wildcats fall to 4-5 on the season while the Friars win their sixth straight, improving to 10-2.

Konan was named the America East Player of the Game for just the second time this season, as he rounded out the night with two assists in 32 minutes. He shot 7-of-17 from the floor and 3-of-8 from beyond the arc.

Alvin Abreu (Lynn, Mass.) added 13 points and one rebound. Brian Benson (Rochester, N.Y.) corralled nine boards, tallied three points and one block.

After trailing 29-23 heading into the break, New Hampshire stormed back with an 11-3 run to open up second half and take its only lead of the contest, 34-32, at 15:34.

Konan fueled the 'Cats with seven points during the stretch, scoring the first basket of the run on a layup and then dished off a pass under the basket to Benson for a dunk on back-to-back possessions. The forward polished off the scoring outbreak with a layup and a trifecta on consecutive trips up the floor to give UNH the two-point edge.

Vincent Council answered Konan's trey with a layup on the other end of the floor; setting off a 13-2 Providence run that reclaimed the lead, 45-36, with 12:33 remaining in regulation.

A pair of Chandler Rhoads (Berryville, Va.) free throws disrupted the run and sparked an 8-5 scoring stretch by the Wildcats that trimmed the deficit down to six. Jordon Bronner (Sleepy Hollow, N.Y.) and Abreu both dropped in layups on consecutive possessions while Rhoads finished off the stretch with two more free throws at 9:45.

The Friars responded with five unanswered on their way to posting a 15-2 run that gave the home team its largest lead of the contest, 65-46, with 3:23 remaining in regulation. LaDontae Henton and Gerard Coleman combined for 11 points during the stretch, as Henton scored the final three field goals of the spurt to put UNH away for good.

Providence opened the game up with a 6-2 run, fueled by a pair of buckets in the paint by Coleman on back-to-back trips up the floor to spark the scoring spurt. The run was disrupted when Abreu knocked down a fastbreak 3-pointer, but the Friars kept pace, posting a 10-1 run from that point on to build their lead to 16-7 at 10:34 of the first half.

After a brief scoring lull by both squads, Konan and Abreu helped right the ship, each sinking a trey, as the Wildcats fired off six unanswered points to cut the deficit to three with 7:32 on the clock.

Both squads exchanged baskets for the next two minutes, but a Konan 3-pointer from the right wing set the score at 22-20 in favor of the home team with 5:09 remaining in the first stanza. Providence would take control from there, putting together a 9-3 scoring run to close out the half, heading into the locker room with a 29-23 edge.
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