DURHAM, N.H. – The University of New Hampshire men's basketball team continues its three-game road stretch against Penn State on Sunday, Dec. 23 at the Bryce Jordan Center (11 a.m.). The game will be broadcast live on the Big Ten Network. Links to live audio and live video, as well as live stats, will be available at www.unhwildcats.com.
UNH (4-6, 0-0 AE)
at Penn State (6-4, 0-0 BIG 10)
Sunday, Dec. 23 | 11:00 a.m. | Bryce Jordan Center | University Park, Pa.
Big Ten Network
Tom Werme (play-by-play), Dan Bonner (analyst)
THE MATCHUP | The Wildcats and Nittany Lions battle for just the fourth time in the history of the two programs, with Penn State leading the all-time series, 3-0. The squads first met Feb. 1, 1981 as PSU defended its home floor with an 85-72 victory. All three meetings have been played at PSU. In the most recent meeting, Penn State downed the 'Cats, 70-50, at the Bryce Jordan Center on Nov. 23, 2008. Senior guards Tyrece Gibbs and Eric Gilchrese scored 14 and 13 points, respectively. Gibbs tallied four rebounds, four assists, a block and a steal, while Gilchrese added three rebounds, an assist and a steal. The Wildcats took care of the ball in the second half, turning it over just twice after PSU forced 10 turnovers in the first half. UNH shot 33 percent (18-55) from the field in the game, while the Nittany Lions were 49 percent from the floor (25-51).
SCOUTING THE NITTANY LIONS | Penn State enters Sunday's game at 6-4 overall after winning three of the last four, including an 80-76 overtime victory over Delaware State last Sunday. DSU erased an 18-point deficit and tied the game with 12 seconds remaining to force overtime. D.J. Newbill led Penn State tying his career high with 22 points. He shot 61.5 percent (8-13) from the floor and 5-of-6 at the foul line. Jermaine Marshall was second on the team with 15 points and added seven rebounds and a career high five assists in 42 minutes of action. Sasa Borovnjak posted his best outing of the season with 14 points, one shy of a career high, and a career high tying eight rebounds… Newbill and Marshall are averaging 15.6 and 15.1 points, respectively… Ross Travis leads the team in rebounding (7.6 rpg) and joins Newbill and Marshall as the only players to start all ten games this season… Point guard Tim Frazier, a preseason All-Big Ten selection, will miss the rest of the season due to injury. The senior led the Big Ten last year in assists (6.2 per game), and also paced the team in scoring (18.8 points) and steals (2.4).
LEAGUE LEADERS || New Hampshire leads the America East in three team categories, pacing the conference in field goal percentage defense (.372, 217-584), 3-point field goal percentage defense (.220, 41-186) and defensive rebounds (27.9).
NATIONALLY RANKED DEFENSE | New Hampshire ranks second nationally in three-point FG percentage defense, holding teams to 22 percent shooting from beyond the arc, and 24th in overall field goal percentage defense limiting foes to 37.2 percent.
PHILLY'S FINEST | Ferg Myrick posted a team-high 21 points in a 61-59 overtime loss at Boston College on Sunday. He also added eight rebounds, four assists and a career-high five steals. Myrick recorded 11 points in the first half to give the Wildcats a 31-23 lead at intermission. Myrick ranks sixth in the America East with 15.7 points per game and ranks second on the team in both rebounding (7.4) and steals (1.6). Myrick has scored double-figures in 9 of 10 games and reached at least 20 points in three of the last five contests. Myrick is averaging 19.6 points per game over the last five games.
COMMON DENOMINATOR | UNH and Penn State have one common opponent this season as both teams lost to Boston College in non-conference action. UNH fell to the Eagles in overtime, 61-59, last Sunday on the road. PSU lost to BC, 73-61, at home on Nov. 28 despite Marshall's 25-point effort.
HOME COOKING | UNH snapped a four-game skid on the tail end of a five-game road stretch by going 2-1 at home before falling at Boston College on Sunday. The Wildcats are 3-1 at home this season and have been better across the board when at Lundholm Gymnasium, averaging 75.5 points per game and shooting 49.8 percent from the field and 40 percent from downtown. On the road, the Wildcats are averaging 60.8 points per game, shooting 37.3 percent from the floor and 25.4 percent from 3-point territory.
STEALING THE SHOW | Chandler Rhoads snagged a career-high six steals in the win over Yale and currently leads the league with 2.3 steals per contest. Rhoads needs just 13 more steals to reach 100 in his career.
BIG ADDITION | Chris Pelcher has been a force down low for the Wildcats this season as he leads the conference in blocks (1.9) and ranks second in field goal percentage (60.7, 51-84). He also ranks fifth in rebounding (7.6) and 10th in scoring (12.4). The junior transfer recorded 16 points and a game-high 12 rebounds against UConn (11/29) for his second double-double of the season.
PAINT IT BLACK | UNH is 4-0 when it finds a way to score inside this season by winning the battle down low, but 0-5 when they are outscored in the paint. Additionally, the Wildcats are 0-5 when the opponent scores first.
ON THE OFFENSIVE | New Hampshire scored 84 points in the loss against CCSU, marking the team's highest scoring output since the season-opening win over Suffolk (91-51). The Wildcats set season-highs in field goal percentage (57.1, 28-49), 3-point field goal percentage (48.0, 12-25), 3-pointers made (12) and assists (19). All 10 starters reached double-figures, while the Wildcats had five players hit double-digits for the first time since the season-opener.
ALL-AROUND GAME | Chandler Rhoads posted a strong overall performance against CCSU, leading the team in scoring with 18 points on 8-of-10 shooting from the floor. He also added a career-high seven assists to pair with three steals.
LEGEND KILLER | Ferg Myrick came up big against mighty UConn, registering a game- and season-high 20 points to pair with seven boards. Myrick is averaging 19.5 points per game against the Huskies after a 19-point performance as a sophomore during the 2010-11 season.
RHOADS SCHOLAR || Chandler Rhoads poured in a career-best 21 points in the team's loss at NJIT. Rhoads, who was 8-of-15 from the floor in 39 minutes of action, scored 14 points in the second half including a string of seven-straight for the Wildcats.
PELCHER'S CAREER DAY || Chris Pelcher put up some impressive numbers against NJIT as he posted career-highs of 17 points and 11 rebounds for his first career double-double. He shot 7-of-14 from the floor and was perfect at the charity stripe (3-3). He also registered a career-high four blocks.
KONAN THE BARBARIAN || Patrick Konan scored 11 points in the opening half against NJIT to help give the Wildcats a 35-29 lead at halftime. Konan hit three of his four 3-pointers in the first half and finished with 14 points on 5-of-10 shooting from the floor before leaving the game due to injury.
DOUBLE-DOUBLE TAKE || Ferg Myrick and Patrick Konan both posted double-doubles at Dartmouth (Nov. 13). Myrick recorded a game-high 19 points and a career-high 11 rebounds for his first career double-double, while Konan had 14 points and 11 boards for the third of his career. It was the first time two Wildcats notched double-doubles in the same game since Feb. 12, 2012 when Brian Benson (16 pts, 12 rbs) and Konan (15 pts, 11 rbs) accomplished the feat in a loss at UMBC last season.
TAKE THEM TO SCHOOL || UNH downed its intrastate rival Dartmouth, 72-58, to mark the team's fifth-straight win over the Big Green. Dartmouth still leads the all-time series, 31-30, but the Wildcats have won seven of the last eight meetings and 11 of the last 14.
FIVE GUYS || New Hampshire had five players reach double-figures in the season-opening win over Suffolk. Patrick Konan led the way with a game-high 16 points, followed by Chris Pelcher (14), Ferg Myrick (14), Scott Morris (13) and Chris Matagrano (10). The trio of Myrick, Morris and Matagrano came off the bench to reach the double-figure mark. It was the first time UNH had five players score double-digits in the same contest since Jan. 1, 2012, when the Wildcats fell to UMBC at home in the conference opener.
IMPRESSIVE DEBUT || Chris Pelcher netted then-career highs of 14 points and nine rebounds against Suffolk in his UNH debut. Most impressively, he was highly efficient in the process as he went 7-of-8 from the field (.875) and added three assists. Pelcher played his first two seasons at Iona and sat out the entire 2011-12 season due to NCAA transfer regulations.
CRASHING THE BOARDS || New Hampshire pulled down 51 rebounds against Suffolk, marking the most in a single game since Jan. 15, 2011 when the Wildcats grabbed 54 rebounds in a double-overtime loss at Stony Brook. Chris Pelcher and Ferg Myrick led the way this time around with nine boards apiece, while 11 of 13 Wildcats snagged multiple rebounds.
TREY-MENDOUS STREAK FOR 'CATS || UNH has recorded at least one 3-pointer in 622 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. UNLV holds the NCAA Division I record for most consecutive games scoring a 3-point goal. Since the 3-point field goal was adopted by the NCAA in 1986-87, UNLV has converted at least one 3-pointer in all 840 games played.
HERRION CHASING HISTORY || Head coach Bill Herrion, who enters his eighth year at UNH and 22nd in America East, is the league all-time leader in championship wins (21) and ranks second in conference victories (150). Herrion is just two victories behind former Boston U. coach Dennis Wolff for the most in conference history.
DEFENSE, DEFENSE, DEFENSE || The Wildcats ranked in the 80th percentile nationally in scoring defense last season, holding opponents to just 62.8 points per game, which ranked third in America East. Additionally, UNH was the best on the conference defending the 3-pointer last season as it held foes to 29.7 percent from beyond the arc, which ranked 13th nationally. Lastly, senior Chandler Rhoads earned America East Al-Defensive honors for the second straight year.
SIGNING DAY || UNH recently announced that two student-athletes have signed National Letters of Intent to attend UNH and play for the Wildcat basketball program next fall.
John Edwards, a 6-foot-6-inch forward from Charlotte, N.C., joins the Wildcats after playing at Brewster Academy, one of the top prep schools in the country. He averaged 5.0 points per game on a squad that went 33-1 overall en route to the National Prep Championship.
Daniel Jackson, a 6-foot, 170-pound point guard from Cedar Park, Texas, comes to UNH after playing the last three years at Vista Ridge High School. Jackson led the squad with 15.0 points per game and topped the district with 7.0 assists per contest as a junior last season. He was named first-team all-district for his efforts and also earned all-district academic honors.
OH CAPTAIN, MY CAPTAIN || Seniors Chandler Rhoads (Berryville, Va.), Ferg Myrick (Philadelphia, Pa.) and Chris Matagrano (Sayreville, N.J.) have been named captains for the upcoming 2012-13 season.
Rhoads, who also served as a captain last season, returns as one of the premier defenders in the conference after he was named to the America East All-Defensive Team for the second time in as many seasons. Rhoads also proved to be a key component on the offensive end, logging 11.2 points per game and 2.7 assists per games as a junior. Rhoads started every game for the Wildcats last season and ranked first in the league in minutes played (36.6).
Myrick enjoyed a productive junior campaign after he missed most of his sophomore season due to injury. The forward averaged 8.5 points per game and ranked second on the team with 15 blocks during the 2011-12 season. A consistent offensive player, Myrick scored double-digit points 12 times on the season, highlighted by a 19-point outburst in a victory against Towson. Myrick was named to the America East All-Rookie team as a freshman in 2009-10 after averaging 7.6 points per game.
Matagrano appeared in 26 games off the bench for the 'Cats in 2011-12, averaging 11.7 minutes per contest and 2.2 rebounds per game. Matagrano, who ranked third on the team with a .469 shooting percentage, had his best game against Holy Cross (Dec. 3) when he notched career highs in points (11) and rebounds (7).
PRESEASON COACHES' POLL || New Hampshire (34 points) was picked to finish sixth in the America East Preseason Coaches' Poll. The Wildcats were tabbed to finish behind the University of Vermont (60), Stony Brook University (58), Boston University (49), Albany (38), and the University of Maine (35). The Catamounts were predicted to win the league and received five out of eight first-place votes. Stony Brook, last year's runner-up and regular-season champion, collected the remaining four first-place votes. The University of Hartford (26) was selected seventh, followed by UMBC (15) and Binghamton (9) to round out the field.
Chris Orozco (Tenafly, N.J.) was named First-Team All-League in three straight seasons prior to coming to UNH. He was also named to the First-Team All-County squad for his last two seasons at Tenafly High School.
Logan Mortenson (South Jordon, Utah) averaged 15.0 points and 7.0 rebounds per game over his four year career Juan Diego Catholic High School in Draper, Utah. He averaged 14.0 points and 6.0 rebounds per game as a senior and was named a McDonald's All-American Nominee and an All-State Second-Team selection. Most recently, he posted 12.0 points, 5.0 rebounds and 3.0 assists per game last year at St. John's Northwestern Military Academy.
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 www.collegechalktalk.com.
WILDCATS STREAMING LIVE || UNH and Pack Network have once again partnered to provide online video streaming of UNH athletics for the upcoming 2012-13 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 || Wildcat Sports Properties (WSP), a property of Learfield Sports, is pleased to announce that Jim Jeannotte and Mike Murphy will once again serve as the broadcast duo for the 2012-13 UNH men's and women's basketball seasons on the Wildcat Sports Radio Network. Veteran play-by-play man Jeannotte will return for his 31st year broadcasting UNH men's basketball, while color analyst Murphy enters his 12 season calling Wildcat men's hoops.
The Wildcat Sports Radio Network consists of flagship stations WGIR (610-AM) in Manchester, which has been headquarters for UNH play-by-play since 2008, The Wave (WQSO 96.7-FM) in Portsmouth and the Sports Animal (WPKX 930-AM) in Rochester. Affiliates include WNTK (99.7 FM) in New London and WSMN (1590-AM) in Nashua, plus all broadcasts are streamed live and archived via Stretch Internet at www.unhwildcats.com. All game broadcasts begin 30 minutes prior to tipoff.