January 4, 2012

Men's Hoop looks for first Conference win against Hartford (Jan. 5)

GAME NOTES (PDF)

DURHAM, N.H.
- The University of New Hampshire men's basketball team hits the road in search of its first conference victory, facing off against the University of Hartford on Thursday, Jan. 5 (7 p.m.) at Chase Arena. Links to live audio and live video, as well as live stats, will be available at www.unhwildcats.com.

THE MATCHUP
The Wildcats and Hawks meet for the 56th time ever in the history of the two programs, with Hartford leading the all-time series, 35-20. The last 20 meetings have nearly been even, as well as the last 10 meetings. Each team has also played well on their home court, as well. The Wildcats have won nine of 10 and six of seven against the Hawks at Lundholm Gymnasium, while the Hawks have won nine of 10 against the 'Cats at Chase Arena. Hartford won in Durham in 2010 for the first time since an 85-58 win Jan. 28, 2004, and UNH won at Hartford in 2009 for the first time since an 80-78 triumph Jan. 12, 2002. The 'Cats and Hawks had split the regular-season series four straight times until UNH swept it in 2009 and Hartford swept it in 2010. In the most recent meeting Feb. 27, 2011, the Wildcats dropped their regular-season finale to the Hawks, 62-54, at Chase Arena. Tyrone Conley scored 16 points, while Brian Benson (Rochester, N.Y.) equaled him with a career-high 16 to go along with 15 rebounds. Knotted at 13 with 10:51 remaining in the opening half, Hartford scored five straight points to grab an 18-13 lead with 7:37 left. Scott Morris (Walkersville, Md.) would drain a 3-pointer later in the half that cut the deficit to three. Morris then assisted on an inside basket from Benson that brought the Wildcats to within 24-23 with 3:19 to play. A long jumper from Genesis Maciel, followed by six straight points from Kevin Estes, closed the first-half scoring with Hartford holding a 31-23 advantage. The Hawks outshot UNH, 52 percent (13-25) to 37.5 percent (9-24) from the floor, while the Wildcats held a 45.5 percent (5-11) to 28.6 percent (2-7) advantage from behind the arc. Morris knocked down a jumper to open the second half and cut the deficit to six, but that was as close as the Wildcats would get the rest of the way. Eight straight Hartford points quickly ballooned the lead to 14, and after UNH had sliced it to nine, an 11-2 run gave the Hawks their largest lead of the afternoon at 50-32 with 12:22 remaining. A Conley trey sparked an 8-0 run that brought the Wildcats within 10, but six straight Hartford points pushed the lead back to 16. A pair of free throws from Jordon Bronner (Sleepy Hollow, N.Y.) and two layups from Benson cut it back to 10, but UNH would not get it closer than the final margin of eight.

SCOUTING HARTFORD
The University of Hartford (0-13, 0-1 AE) opened conference play with an 88-63 loss to the University at Albany (Jan. 2) at SEFCU Arena. Andres Torres led the Hawks with 13 points while Wes Cole and Yolonzo Moore II rounded out the Hawks' top-scorers with 12 and 11 tallies, respectively. The Great Danes never let up after building a 12-point halftime advantage and went on to take a 21-point lead over the Hawks midway through the second half. UAlbany continued to open up the game and took its largest lead at 28 during the closing seconds of the contest. Hartford closed out 2011 with a loss to La Salle, 73-55, at Tom Gola Arena in Philadelphia on New Year's Eve. Cole led the Hawks with 13 points, including 4-of-5 from downtown, while Mark Nwakamma added 10 points and pulled down a career-high nine boards. Three Hawks are averaging double figures in scoring this season led by Torres' 10.6 points-per-game. Freshmen Cole and Nate Sikma follow suit with 10.0 ppg each. Cole leads the team and is second in the league with 37 three-pointers, averaging 3.1 treys-per-contest. He has made at least one 3-pointer in 11 of 12 games he has appeared in this year. As a team, the Hawks lead the America East with 102 made three-pointers. Five of the team's seven top scorers are freshmen, as Hartford's rookies have accounted for 65-percent of its scoring this season.

CHARITY DRIVE
Sophomore Jordon Bronner (Sleepy Hollow, N.Y.) has been one of the most efficient shooters from the free throw line over the last two games, shooting 94.1 percent (16-17) from the stripe. He shot a perfect 8-for-8 against UMBC (Jan. 2) and in the outing prior he sank 8 of 9 shots from the line on his way to a career-high 24 points against Colgate (Dec. 31). The point guard ranks second on the squad with a .676 shooting clip (23-34) from the charity stripe this season.

MAKING IT RAIN
Sophomore forward Patrick Konan (Gainesville, Fla.) scored a career-high 20 points against UMBC (Jan. 2), as he was tabbed the America East Player of the Game, finishing the contest with five boards, one assist and one block. He shot 7 of 11 from the field, 2 of 4 from behind the arc and 4 of 4 from the charity stripe. Konan has scored in double figures three times this season.

FIVE GUYS
For the first time this season five Wildcats scored in double-figures, as Patrick Konan (Gainesville, Fla.) led the way with a career-high 20 points against UMBC (Jan. 2). The forward shot 7 of 11 from the field, 2 of 4 from behind the arc and 4 of 4 from the charity stripe in the contest. Chandler Rhoads (Berryville, Va.; 15), Alvin Abreu (Lynn, Mass.; 12), Ferg Myrick (Philadelphia, Pa.; 10) and Jordon Bronner (Sleepy Hollow, N.Y.; 10) rounded out UNH's double-digit scorers.

AIR JORDON
Sophomore Jordon Bronner (Sleepy Hollow, N.Y.) propelled the Wildcats to a 71-64 victory over Colgate (Dec. 31), setting career highs in points (24), free throws made (8), field goals (7) and 3-point field goals (2). The point guard was tabbed the America East Player of the Game, finishing the afternoon with three boards and a pair of steals. He shot a solid 7-of-11 from the floor and 2-of-3 from deep while knocking down 8-of-9 shots from the stripe.

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), achieving 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 after posting 15 points against the Great Danes.

FIELD MARKSMANSHIP
Senior guard Alvin Abreu (Lynn, Mass.) recently moved into ninth place all-time in program history in field goals made (454). He currently leads the Wildcats with 61 field goals this season, shooting 40.7 percent (61-150) 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 eighth place all-time in program history in career minutes played (3,266). This season he ranks third in the league in minutes played (423), averaging 35.2 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.

DEEP THREAT
Sophomore forward Patrick Konan (Gainesville, Fla.) ranks fourth in the America East in 3-point field goal percentage this season with a .395 (17-43) shooting clip from beyond the arc. He has been especially impressive over the course of the last five games, shooting 42.9 percent (9-21) from deep.

PLAYING THE PERCENTAGES
Senior Brian Benson (Rochester, N.Y.) ranks seventh in the America East in field goal percentage with a shooting clip of .481 (37-77). 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 36.6 boards per game, as the Wildcats are outrebounding their opponents by a margin of 1.2 rebounds per game. Brian Benson (Rochester, N.Y.) and Patrick Konan (Gainesville, Fla.) both rank among the league leaders in rebounds, collecting 9.3 (1st) and 6.3 (8th) 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 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
Jordon Bronner (Sleepy Hollow, N.Y.; 24), Alvin Abreu (Lynn, Mass.; 14), and Chandler Rhoads (Berryville, Va.; 10) all tallied double-digits against Colgate (Dec. 31). The last time three 'Cats scored in double-figures was against Marist (Dec. 17) when Abreu (18), Rhoads (17) and Ferg Myrick (Philadelphia, Pa.; 12) all scored in double-digits.

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 three treys against Colgate (Dec. 31) and currently ranks fifth all-time in career 3-point field goals made with 178. The senior captain recently passed Blagoi Janev, who finished his UNH career with 172 trifectas. Abreu leads the squad with 17 3-pointers this season, posting a .321 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 9.3 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 two blocks versus Colgate (Dec. 31) and currently ranks second on the program's all-time blocks list with 65. Benson leads UNH with 12 blocks (1 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.

RHOADS 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 12 points against UMBC (Jan. 2), passing Blagoi Janev (1,340) to rank fourth on the program's all-time scoring list with 1,340 points. He has scored in double-digits in 12 of the last 17 games spanning over the course of the last three seasons, including nine of 12 contests this season. In addition, he ranks first on the team and eighth in the league in scoring, posting 13.4 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.

TREY-MENDOUS STREAK FOR 'CATS
Heading into Monday's contest UNH has recorded at least one 3-pointer in 595 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 819 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 75 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 forward Patrick Konan (Gainesville, Fla.) scored a career-high 20 points to pace five players in double figures, but the University of New Hampshire men's basketball team was edged, 82-76, by UMBC in the America East conference opener for both teams at Lundholm Gymnasium on Monday night.

The Wildcats dipped to 5-7 overall and 0-1 in the conference, while the Retrievers improved to 2-11 on the season and 1-0 in the league.

Konan was tabbed the America East Player of the Game for New Hampshire, finishing the contest with five boards, one assist and one block. He shot 7 of 11 from the field, 2 of 4 from behind the arc and 4 of 4 from the charity stripe.

Chandler Rhoads (Berryville, Va.) registered 15 points, four boards and three assists in 40 minutes. Alvin Abreu (Lynn, Mass.) added 12 points, seven rebounds, three steals and one assist. Abreu's offensive output helped move him past Blagoj Janev (1,340) to rank fourth all-time in program history in points scored with 1,349 in his career.

Ferg Myrick (Philadelphia, Pa.) and Jordon Bronner (Sleepy Hollow, N.Y.) rounded out UNH's double-digit scorers, as the duo chipped in with 10 points apiece. Bronner also added five assists.

Chase Plummer claimed America East Player of the Game honors for UMBC, netting a game-high 23 points while adding seven rebounds, two steals, one assist and one block.

Konan canned back-to-back 3-pointers to stake the Wildcats to an early 6-0 lead. That set the tone for a half in which eight different 'Cats scored, and the team shot 56 percent (14-for-25) to grab a 39-32 halftime lead.

Despite the advantage at the break, the Retrievers came out in full throttle at the start of the second half, posting a 21-6 run that lasted 7:35. UMBC held UNH to just one field goal for the last 4:22 of the run, outscoring the 'Cats 15-2 during the stretch to take its first lead of the contest, 53-45, at 12:25.

Konan interrupted the spurt with a pair of free throws and then dished off a pass to Brian Benson (Rochester, N.Y.) for a dunk about a minute later to cut the deficit to four, 53-49, with 11 minutes remaining in regulation.

Hopes of taking back the lead were quickly erased when Plummer drained a jumper in the paint on the next trip up the floor, sparking a 10-4 scoring run that gave the Retrievers their largest lead of the contest, setting the score at 63-53 with 8:07 on the clock.

UNH was able to respond by pounding the ball into the paint, posting a 9-3 scoring spurt that trimmed the deficit to four, scoring all of its points around the basket. Myrick took control during the stretch, scoring on a pair of layups, including one that turned into a three-point play after he took the ball hard to the rack from the right side and scored with contact.

After trading baskets with one another for the next three minutes, New Hampshire came back with another run, outscoring the visitors 8-1 on a stretch that lasted 1:35 to claim its first lead in nearly 14 minutes, 74-73, with 46 seconds remaining. The 'Cats scored all eight points on the run from the free throw, as Bronner paved the way, shooting a perfect 6-for-6 from the stripe. He finished the night 8 of 8 from the line.

Following a pair of Bronner free throws, Brain Neller halted a string of six unanswered points by the Wildcats with a dagger 3-pointer from the top of the key to take back the lead, 76-74, with 32 seconds on the clock. UMBC outscored 6-2 UNH the rest of the way to preserve the victory in the closing moments of the contest, knocking down 6 of 6 shots from the charity stripe.

 

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