GAME NOTES (PDF)
DURHAM, N.H. - The University of New Hampshire men's basketball team will battle Colgate University on Saturday, Dec. 31 (1 p.m.) at Lundholm Gymnasium. The game will be broadcast live on WBIN-TV and 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 Wildcats and Raiders meet for the 32nd time in the history of the two programs, with UNH holding a 19-12 advantage. The 'Cats have won four of the last five overall, including three straight. Before 2002, the teams had not squared off in 12 years after meeting every season from 1976-1990. In the most recent meeting Dec. 4, 2010, UNH grabbed a 65-60 win at Cotterell Court. In that matchup Dane DiLiegro scored 20 points and Ferg Myrick (Philadelphia, Pa.) added 17 as the Wildcats took down the Raiders. The victory was number 300 of his career for head coach Bill Herrion. The 21-year head man was the 72nd active head coach and 284th all time to reach the milestone. Joe Hoban, Yaw Gyawu and Nick Pascale led Colgate with 16, 14 and 12 points, respectively. Sterling Melville closed the first-half scoring with a dunk that made it 33-21 with 37 seconds to play. DiLiegro scored the first four points of the second half, overall, and the first six points for UNH to make it 39-23 just two minutes in. Myrick followed with a jumper at 17:37 that gave the Wildcats their largest lead of the game at 18. After Mike Venezia and Tyrone Conley traded 3-pointers, Colgate went on a 16-5 run that was capped by a Brandon James 3-pointer with 10:53 to play. Myrick stopped the bleeding with a jumper before Venezia sank 1 of 2 at the line and Hoban's layup sliced it to 51-45 with 8:20 left. Four straight points from DiLiegro stretched the lead back to 10, but Gyawu answered with four straight points of his own to make it 55-49 with 4:23 remaining. DiLiegro hit two more from the line before Mitch Rolls knocked down a 3-pointer to make it 57-52 with 3:50 to go. Myrick made a pair at the line and then sunk 1 of 2 on the following possession to push the lead back to eight at 60-52 with 55 seconds on the clock. The lead was still eight at 61-53 when a Hoban trey sliced it to five with 36 seconds left. Colgate fouled the rest of the way, but the Wildcats hit four free throws to offset the Raiders four points.
Colgate (5-7, 0-0 PATRIOT) comes into Saturday's matchup with a two-game losing streak, dropping decisions Hofstra (Dec. 22) and Quinnipiac (Dec. 28). Last time out three Raiders scored in double-figures, but it wasn't enough as the Raiders saw its four-game home winning streak come to an end with an 80-70 loss to the Bobcats at Cotterell Court. Seniors Mike Venezia and Sterling Melville led the Raiders with 15 and 14 points, respectively, while junior Mitch Rolls scored all 10 of his points in the second half. Senior Nick Pascale pitched in eight points, while grabbing a team-high eight rebounds in the loss. Pascale is closing in on becoming just the fifth Raider in school history to score 500 or more points, grab 500 or more rebounds and block 100 or more shots in a career. Pascale currently has 480 points, 474 rebounds and 94 blocked shots. Rolls currently leads the Patriot League in 3-point field goal percentage, knocking down 53.3 percent of his shots from beyond the arc. Rolls has made 24-of-45 3-pointers this season, while Venezia has made 22-of-52 3-pointers (42.3 percent) which ranks ninth in the league. As a team the Raiders rank second in the Patriot League with a 39.6 field goal percentage from deep.
TAKING THE HIGH RHOAD
Junior Chandler Rhoads (Berryville, Va.) scored 12 of his team-leading 16 points in the second half of play against Sacred Heart (Dec. 29), marking the second time in the last three outings he has reached double-digits. The combo guard achieved the mark on the back of 9-of-12 shooting from the charity stripe, matching a career high in free throws made. The last time he knocked down nine shots at the line came last season against Albany (Feb. 2) when he led UNH to a 62-59 victory at Lundholm Gymnasium on the back of 15 points.
Senior guard Alvin Abreu (Lynn, Mass.) recently moved into 10th place all-time in program history in field goals made (445). He currently leads the Wildcats with 52 field goals this season, shooting 39.7 percent (52-131) 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).
Senior guard Alvin Abreu (Lynn, Mass.) recently moved into ninth place all-time in program history in career minutes played (3,193). This season he ranks fourth in the league in minutes played (350), averaging 35 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.
Sophomore forward Patrick Konan (Gainesville, Fla.) ranks fifth in the America East in 3-point field goal percentage this season with a .405 (15-37) shooting clip from beyond the arc. He has been especially impressive over the course of the last five games, shooting 47.6 percent (10-21) 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 (62.3 ppg), second in defensive 3-point field goal percentage (.322; 39-121), and third in defensive field goal percentage (.429; 220-513). 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 seven outings.
Senior Brian Benson (Rochester, N.Y.) ranks seventh in the America East in field goal percentage with a shooting clip of .507 (34-67). Over the course of the last five games he is shooting 56.0 percent (14-25) 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.
New Hampshire ranks third in the conference in rebounding, pulling in 37.3 boards per game, as the Wildcats are outrebounding their opponents by a margin of 2.3 rebounds per game. Brian Benson (Rochester, N.Y.) and Patrick Konan (Gainesville, Fla.) both rank among the league leaders in rebounds, collecting 9.8 (1st) and 6.2 (7th) boards per game, respectively.
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.
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.
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 .298 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 9.8 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 Sacred Heart (Dec. 29) and currently ranks second on the program's all-time blocks list with 63. Benson leads UNH with 10 blocks (1.0 bpg) this season, ranking fourth in the America East. He ended last season ranking fifth in the league in shots blocked, notching 1.1 per game.
Junior guard Chandler Rhoads (Berryville, Va.) matched his career high with 20 points against Boston College (Nov. 14). He rounded out his night shooting 6-of-14 from the floor, including 2-of-6 from 3-point distance, and cashed in on 6-of-10 free throw attempts. He chipped in with five rebounds and an assist in 37 minutes. 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 eight points against Sacred Heart (Dec. 31) and recently passed Tyrone Conley (1,304) to rank sixth on the program's all-time scoring list with 1,323 points. He has scored in double-digits in 10 of the last 15 games spanning over the course of the last three seasons, including seven of 10 contests this season. In addition, he ranks first on the team and seventh in the league in scoring, posting 13.5 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.
TREY-MENDOUS STREAK FOR 'CATS
Heading into Saturday's contest UNH has recorded at least one 3-pointer in 593 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 818 games by UNLV, a streak that started Nov. 26, 1986 and is still active.
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.
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
Junior guard Chandler Rhoads (Berryville, Va.) scored 12 of his team-leading 16 points in the second half, but the University of New Hampshire men's basketball team suffered a 77-59 setback to Sacred Heart University in non-conference action at Lundholm Gymnasium on Thursday night.
Rhoads was selected as the America East Player of the Game, rounding out his evening with two boards, two steals and one assist. Brian Benson (Rochester, N.Y.) chipped in with 10 points and nine boards, narrowly missing his second double-double of the season in 33 minutes.
Shane Gibson led all scorers with 22 points while adding 10 rebounds and two assists for Sacred Heart. Chris Evans registered 19 points, six boards and three helpers.
Sacred Heart shot 52 percent (17-of-33) in the first half to build a 44-22 lead at the intermission. Gibson connected on 7-of-10 shots for 16 points and pulled down eight rebounds in the stanza.
The Wildcats opened the second half with back-to-back jumpers from Alvin Abreu (Lynn, Mass.) and Rhoads, trimming the score to 44-26 at 18:08. Despite the offensive burst, the Pioneers picked up the pace with a pair of unanswered baskets that led to a 15-9 run that lasted just under five minutes, giving the visitors their largest lead of the contest, 59-35, with 11:18 remaining in regulation.
New Hampshire responded with treys from Patrick Konan (Gainesville, Fla.) and Scott Morris (Walkersville, Md.) on consecutive possessions, opening up a streak of 12 unanswered points.
The spurt was interrupted when Evans sank a jumper, but Benson drained a trifecta and Abreu hit a jumper at the top of the key less than a minute apart to cut the deficit to nine, 61-52, with 5:11 on the clock.
After a change of possession, Gibson laced a 3-pointer, setting off a 16-7 run to close out the contest. Morris was the only Wildcat to register a field goal in the last five minutes of play, netting a pair of treys.