DURHAM, N.H. – The University of New Hampshire men's basketball team continues America East Conference play Wednesday at 7 p.m. when it travels to take on UMBC at RAC Arena in Baltimore, Md.
THE MATCHUP: UNH and UMBC meet for the 23rd time in the history of the two America East rivals, with UNH holding a 13-9 advantage. The Wildcats posted a 56-42 victory over the Retrievers earlier this season. Frank Okeke registered his first career double-double (12 points, 11 rebounds) and Jaleen Smith and Jordon Bronner chipped in with 10 points apiece to lead UNH. Rodney Elliot and Bryan Harris paced the Retrievers with 10 points each.
LAST TIME OUT: Senior forward Chase Plummer drained 23 points and freshman guard Rodney Elliot added 21, but UMBC dropped an America East Conference showdown with the University of Maine on Saturday Feb. 1 at the Cross Insurance Center in Bangor, Maine. Maine used a 55.9% field goal percentage and 61.5% shooting from 3-point range to jump out to a 56-36 halftime advantage. The Retrievers fought back in the second half, outscoring the Black Bears 44-27 in the stanza, but couldn't complete the comeback. Plummer led the second-half charge, scoring 17 points in the frame
PLAYERS TO WATCH: Freshman phenom Rodney Elliot paces the Retriever offense, averaging 14.2 points and 4.1 rebounds. Senior Chase Plummer (11.6 points) and freshman guard Bryan Harris (11.0 points) also average double-digit points for UMBC. Junior forward Devarick Houston is also a key player for the Retrievers, leading the team in blocks per game (1.2) and steals per game (1.8), while adding 5.4 boards and 5.1 points per contest.
THIS DATE IN HISTORY: On Feb. 5, 1983 the Wildcats earned a 68-56 victory over Colgate University. UNH went on to finish the year with a 16-12 overall record, including an 8-2 mark in the North Atlantic Conference.
NATIONALLY RANKED: The Wildcats have one of the topped ranked defenses in the country. UNH has moved into 29th in scoring defense, holding opponents to just 63.0 points per contest. In America East play the Wildcats hold opponents to just 56.1 points per game.
DION-A-MITE: Freshman guard Daniel Dion has been stellar for the Wildcats in the past five games. Dion is averaging 11.1 points over that span, including a career-best 20-point effort in the Wildcats 61-32 triumph over UMass Lowell. Over the past three games alone, the guard is posting 14.3 points a contest.
WILDCATS ON ESPN3: The Wildcats' upcoming game against Stony Brook (Feb. 8, 2 p.m.) will be broadcast live on ESPN 3.
PELCHER EARNS SECOND AE WEEKLY HONOR: Wildcats' center Chris Pelcher was named America East Co-Player of the Week, the league announced Monday, Jan. 27. Pelcher returned from a leg injury that kept him out 11 games to average 12.0 points, 10.5 rebounds, and 6.0 blocks in two games last week for the Wildcats. The senior started the week with 11 points, seven rebounds, and five blocks during UNH's 60-56 win over Albany on Thursday, before notching 13 points, 14 rebounds, and a career-high seven blocks during the Wildcats' 61-32 triumph over UMass Lowell.
MAKING HISTORY: The Wildcats had a record-setting day in their 61-32 win over UMass Lowell. UNH held the River Hawks to 12.2% shooting (6 of 49) from the floor, the lowest shooting percentage in the history of the NCAA since the shot clock was introduced in 1986.
HE'S A FLIRT: Senior center Chris Pelcher flirted with a triple-double in the Wildcats 61-32 win over UMass Lowell. Pelcher scored 13 points, snagged 14 rebounds, and recorded a career-high seven blocks. Though he missed out on a triple-double by three blocks, the senior captain still collected his fifth double-double of the season in the victory.
DION SETS CAREER-HIGHS: Freshman guard Daniel Dion notched a career-high 20 points and seven rebounds against UMass Lowell. Dion hit 8 of 11 shots, and 4 of 6 from downtown. The guard bested his previous career-high of 14 that he set against Suffolk.
CRUNCH TIME: The UNH defense buckled down over the final seven minutes of its win over Albany. The Wildcats held the Great Danes to six points over the final 7:16 of the game, including a five-minute scoreless span that allowed UNH to take a 51-50 lead.
PELCHER RETURNS: Senior center Chris Pelcher returned to action in the Wildcats' 60-56 victory over Albany. Pelcher, who played in six games before going down with a leg injury, posted 11 points, seven rebounds, and a career-high five blocks for UNH in the victory.
BLOCK PARTY: Freshman forward Williams Gabriel posted a career-high three blocks in the Wildcats' loss to Vermont. Gabriel leads the team with 17 total blocks and ranks seventh in the league with 0.9 swats per contest. Gabriel also ranks third in conference blocks per game, averaging 1.4 rejections during conference games.
VARIETY PACK: The Wildcats have used 16 different starting lineups over the course of the season. Every member of the team who has played in a game has earned a start. Jordon Bronner is the only player to have started every game.
DROPPING DIMES: Sophomore forward Frank Okeke posted a career-high five assists in the Wildcats loss to Hartford. Okeke bested his previous career-high of three, which he posted in the Wildcats' loss to Stony Brook earlier this season.
CONFERENCE CALL: Junior guard/forward Tommy McDonnell is averaging a career-high 4.4 rebounds during conference games this season. McDonnell opened the conference schedule with one rebound before posting five against Binghamton, a career-high nine against UMBC, five against Hartford, three against Vermont, four against Albany, and five against UMass Lowell.
FOUR SCORE: Four Wildcat players scored in double-figures during the team's 56-42 victory over UMBC. Daniel Dion netted a game-high 13 points, Frank Okeke added 12, and Jaleen Smith and Jordon Bronner notched 10 points each. It marks the first time since Nov. 11, 2013 that the Wildcats had four players hit double-figures.
AE PLAYER OF THE GAME: Sophomore forward Frank Okeke netted his first career double-double in UNH's 56-42 win against UMBC. Okeke scored 12 points and grabbed 11 rebounds on the way to being named America East Player of the Game for the Wildcats.
CHASING 1,000: Senior captain Patrick Konan is closing in on 1,000 points in his collegiate career. Konan, who totaled 213 points in his one year with Liberty College, has scored 778 points during his time with UNH, making him 9 points short of 1,000.
TENACIOUS D: The Wildcats own the 2nd best defense in the America East. UNH ranks 2nd in opponent points per game, allowing just 62.7 points per contest. The Wildcats also rank first in field goal defense, with opponents shooting just 39.7% from the floor.
SUPER SMITH: Freshman Jaleen Smith registered a career-high 15 points for UNH against Brown. The freshman netted seven points in the first half and eight in the second. Smith went 4-10 from the field, 3-5 from beyond the arc, and 4-4 from the line on the night.
DOUBLE-DOUBLE TROUBLE: Senior Patrick Konan posted his second double-double of the season and the seventh of his career Tuesday night at Brown. Konan scored 14 points and grabbed career-high 13 boards for the Wildcats in the loss.
SECOND CHANCE POINTS: The Wildcats registered 14 offensive rebounds on the way to scoring a season-high 22 second chance points against Brown. UNH topped its previous high of 16 second-chance points, which they recorded at Central Conn. St. and Yale.
CRASHING THE BOARDS: UNH grabbed 42 rebounds in its loss to Brown, the third highest total of the season. Patrick Konan led the Wildcats with 13 boards on the night. UNH only posted more rebounds against Suffolk (50) and Central Conn. St. (46).
CAROLINA HURRICANE: Freshman forward John Edwards (Charlotte, N.C.) registered a career-high 13 points during the Wildcats' loss to Sacred Heart. Edwards shot 3-7 from the floor and 7-10 from the charity stripe.
IRONMAN: Senior guard Jordon Bronner has averaged 36.1 minutes and 10.8 points over the past nine games for UNH. During the span, Bronner tallied 12 points, four rebounds, and two assists in 34 minutes against Towson, notched 12 points, four rebounds, and three assists in a career-high 40 minutes against Sacred Heart, and registered 37 minutes in a 23-point exhibit at Brown.
KONAN THE BARBARIAN: Senior forward Patrick Konan scored a career-high 25 points and snagged eight rebounds in UNH's 72-64 loss to Towson. Konan scored 14 points in the second half and netted a career-best 11 free throws.
12's THE NUMBER: The Wildcats snatched 12 offensive rebounds during their loss to Towson. Patrick Konan led the way for UNH with four offensive boards. The Wildcats outrebounded Towson 36-33 in the game.
OKEKE'S A-OK: Sophomore forward posted a career-day for UNH during the team's loss to Stony Brook. Okeke scored a personal-best 14 points on 6-12 shooting. The forward also snagged four rebounds, dished-out a career-high three assists, and earned a career-high two steals.
McDONNELL MAKES A DIFFERENCE: Junior forward Tommy McDonnell registered a +9 plus/minus for UNH during the second half against Yale. McDonnell scored four points, collected four rebounds, and dished out two assists in 19 second-half minutes for the Wildcats.
GABRIEL'S BIG DAY: Freshman big man Williams Gabriel filled in well in the absence of Chris Pelcher during UNH's loss to CCSU. The Wildcat center scored a career-best seven points on 2-of-4 shooting, snagged a career-high six rebounds, and added two blocks.
TEXAS YOUTH MOVEMENT: The freshmen trio of Jaleen Smith (Freeport, Texas), Daniel Dion (Cedar Park, Texas), and Jacoby Armstrong (Sachse, Texas) all notched carrer-bests in UNH's loss to CCSU. Smith posted career-highs in points (10), rebounds (5), steals (2), free throws (4-4), and minutes (20). Dion posted career-bests in assists (6) and rebounds (5). Armstrong claimed his first career double-double, earning 10 points and a career-high 10 rebounds in the loss.
PELCHER HONORED WITH MONTHLY AWARD: Chris Pelcher was named to the collegehoopsdaily.com's November All-Conference Team. The senior center logged 13.7 points, 11.8 rebounds, and 2.5 blocks over the course of six games in November. Pelcher recorded four double-doubles for the Wildcats during that span.
BE AGGRESSIVE: After shooting just one free throw in the first half of the team's loss to Holy Cross, the Wildcats drew 13 fouls and shot 18 free throws in the second stanza.
OFF THE BENCH: Patrick Konan provided a spark for the Wildcats off the bench in the team's loss to Holy Cross. Konan notched 13 points and six rebounds to lead UNH.
THEY CALL HIM RAMBO: Jacoby Armstrong earned himself another career-day for UNH against Bryant. The freshman netted a career-high 15 points and grabbed six rebounds in the team's, 60-55, loss to Bryant. Armstrong accelerated his game after he performed well in UNH's loss to Marquette two weeks ago. The freshman forward scored, a previous career-high, six points and hauled in a career-high eight rebounds in a 27-minute effort for the Wildcats.
DOUBLE-DOUBLED: Chris Pelcher scored 11 points and hauled in 13 rebounds for his fourth double-double of the season against Bryant. In his first three seasons of college basketball, Pelcher had recorded just two double-doubles.
AIR JORDON: Senior Jordon Bronner is having a career-year for the Wildcats. Bronner is averaging a career-best 9.7 points per game. He is shooting 36.0% from the field and 33.9% from downtown.
KONAN CLAIMS FIRST DOUBLE-DOUBLE: Senior forward Patrick Konan earned his first double-double of the season in the Wildcats' loss to No.25 Marquette. Konan notched 14 points on 4-of-7 shooting and corralled 10 rebounds for his first double-double of the season and the sixth of his career.
PLAYER OF THE WEEK: Chris Pelcher was recognized as the America East Co-Player of The Week, Monday Nov. 18. Pelcher averaged 17 points, 15.5 rebounds, 3.5 blocks, and 1.5 assists during a 1-1 week for the Wildcats. The center tallied a double-double with 14 points and 16 boards in UNH's 84-81 victory over Duquesne before adding a second double-double performance of the week in the Wildcats' loss to NJIT, scoring 20 points and securing 15 rebounds on the night.
GLASS CLEANER: After five games Chris Pelcher was ranked fourth in the nation in rebounds per game with 13. The redshirt senior grabbed 17 rebounds in the Wildcat's opening win over Suffolk, snagged 16 boards in UNH's victory over Duquesne, and secured 15 rebounds in the team's loss to NJIT.
ON POINT: Through the first two games of the season the Wildcats were ranked 18th in the country in field goal percentage, shooting 54.1% from the field. Jaleen Smith (75.0%), Chris Pelcher (64.0%), and Daniel Dion (60.0%) led the Wildcats in the category.
GIVE ME MORRIS: Scott Morris netted a Career High 17 points in the Wildcat's win over Duquesne. Morris scored 11 of his 17 points in the second half. The senior captain shot 5-of-8 from beyond the arc and 2-of-2 from the free throw line in the win.
FOUR SCORE: Chris Pelcher led the Wildcats on offense with 25 points while Patrick Konan dropped 19 points in UNH's 94-70 win over Suffolk. Freshman Daniel Dion drained 14 in his collegiate debut as Jordon Bronner finished the night with 12.
BIG DEBUT: Daniel Dion's 14 points in the Wildcat's season opener against Suffolk was the most by a UNH freshman during their collegiate debut since former Wildcat Chandler Rhoads scored 14 points in his 2009 debut against Suffolk.
CRASHING THE BOARDS: The Wildcats pulled down 51 rebounds against Suffolk in the season opener Saturday, Nov. 9. Senior Chris Pelcher came down with a career high 17 rebounds in the effort, while classmate Patrick Konan recorded seven.
ALL-TIME CONFERENCE WINS LEADER: Head coach Bill Herrion, who enters his ninth year with UNH and 23rd in the America East Conference, currently holds the title of winningest coach in America East Conference history, earning 333 wins in his career.
PRESEASON COACHES' POLL: The Wildcats (31 points) were picked to finish fifth in the America East preseason coaches' poll. Vermont (64), received six first-place votes and were tabbed as preseason favorites to finish first. Stony Brook was picked second with 58 points and took the remaining three first-place votes. Albany was selected third with 49 points while Hartford was fourth with 44 points. After New Hampshire, UMBC was selected sixth with 28 points while Binghamton (24), Maine (20) and UMass Lowell (8) rounded out the field.
A FRESH GROUP OF FRESHMEN: UNH welcomed in a group of five freshmen in the off-season, all of which are poised to make a big impact for the team. Jacoby Armstrong (Sasche, Texas) arrived in Wildcat Country from Wylie High School while Daniel Dion (Cedar Park, Texas) most recently played at Vista Ridge High School. John Edwards (Charlotte, N.C.) is fresh off a career at Brewster Academy as Williams Gabriel (Lagos, Nigeria) came from Huntington Prep. Jaleen Smith (Freeport, Texas), who hails from Brazosport High School, rounds out the group.
A CLASS WITH CLASS: Each of the four members of the 2013-14 senior class have been elected as captains. Jordan Bronner, Patrick Konan, Scott Morris and Chris Pelcher will serve as captains.
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 2013-14 UNH men's and women's basketball seasons on the Wildcat Sports Radio Network. Veteran play-by-play man Jeannotte will return for his 32nd year broadcasting UNH men's basketball, while color analyst Murphy enters his 13th 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 WEEY in Keene (93.5 FM) and WEEI in Concord (101.5 FM) plus all broadcasts are streamed live and archived via Stretch Internet at www.unhwildcats.com. All game broadcasts begin 30 minutes prior to tipoff.
WILDCATS STREAMING LIVE: The America East Conference and NeuLion have partnered to bring fans complete game coverage of all America East basketball games. The portal, AmericaEast.tv, brings fans exclusive content as well as live events, free of charge.
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.
OPENING DAY EXPLOSION: Tommy McDonnell, Frank Okeke and Chris Pelcher each put up career numbers in points against Suffolk in the home opener (Nov. 9). Pelcher finished with 25 points as Okeke drained six and McDonnell netted five.