For the first time the New Hampshire Wildcats enter the America East Tournament as the ninth seed. The Wildcats, picked fifth by the conference coaches before the season, finished tied with Albany for eighth place in America East with a 4-12 conference record. However, the Great Danes win the tie breaker with a regular season win over Vermont. Overall, UNH finished with a 9-19 record, going 8-6 at home, 0-12 on the road, and 1-1 in neutral site games.

The Wildcats begin the tournament in the first round game against the Albany Great Danes. UNH split with Albany during the regular season, each team garnering a home win. A victory by the Wildcats will lead to a quarterfinal matchup against No. 1 seeded Hartford. With a win, the Wildcats would face Boston U. or Binghamton in the semifinals. The Wildcats have won one game against each of these teams during the regular season. With a semifinal win, the Wildcats would advance to the finals for the first time in school history.

New Hampshire dropped two America East games to close out the regular season. Senior forward Danielle Clark and Ashley Cerniglia posted 13 points apiece on Wed., Feb. 28, but Vermont rallied from a 17-point deficit to beat the Wildcats, 59-56. Senior Ray Williams helped out with 10 points and six rebounds. Senior Whitney Edwards had five assists in the first half en route to a career-high nine helpers. Freshman Amy Simpson notched a career-high 21 points to lead the Wildcats in scoring, but it was not enough as Binghamton defeated New Hampshire, 66-61. Simpson hit a career-best six 3-pointers (six-of-nine), including four in the first half of action. Salée-Marie Johnson went four-for-four from the field, including 3-of-3 from beyond the 3-point arc, to total 11 points for the Wildcats. Edwards posted 10 points and dished out five assists in the game for the Wildcats. For the second consecutive game, Williams led the Wildcats in rebounding, pulling down nine boards, including six on the offensive end of the court.

Albany dropped its final two games of the regular season, falling to Stony Brook, 67-61, on Senior Day and Vermont, 65-61, on the road. Freshman Charity Iromuanya led the team against Stony Brook, tying a career-high with 17 points. She also added five assists, two steals and two rebounds in 35 minutes of action. Junior forward Kristin Higy scored 16 points to go along with three rebounds, one assist, one steal and one block versus the Seawolves. Sherri Mikus added 11 points, eight boards, three assists and three steals in the contest. Iromuanya recorded her third straight game in double figures at Vermont, recording 12 points for the Great Danes. She added three rebounds, three assists, two steals and a block against the Catamounts. Higy and freshman guard Britney McGee also scored 12 points in the game. Senior guard Amanda Ward added 11 points to go along with four rebounds and three assists. Higy leads the team, averaging 10.5 points per game and shoots a team-high 48.6 percent from the floor, while also grabbing a team-best 6.3 rebounds. Ward adds 10.4 points while Iromuanya, who chips in with 6.0 points, leads the team with 1.6 steals and shoots a team-high 85.7 percent from the free throw lin.

    Freshmand guard Amy Simpson (Waterford, Conn.) recorded a career-high 21 points in the Wildcats game against Binghamton on March 3. Simpson drained six of her nine 3-point attempts, four of which came during the first half alone. With 43 shots hit from beyond the arc this season, Simpson is eighth in the America East in 3-pointers made, averaging 1.54 per game. As a freshman Simpson has already climbed onto UNH’s career-list for 3-pointer made in a career (tied for 18th).

    Whitney Edwards (Mt. Vernon, N.Y.), a 2005-06 America East All-Defensive Team member, leads the America East in steals with 71 on the season, averaging 2.54 steals per game. Of all of Division I women’s basketball players, Edwards ranks 50th in steals per game. Edwards recorded a season-high six takeaways in the 58-55 overtime victory against Binghamton on Jan. 17. Edwards is in second place on UNH’s all-times steals list, with 224 career takeaways; she is 16 away from the top spot.

    Whitney Edwards (Mt. Vernon, N.Y.), who leads the America East in assists (4.54 apg),  set a new career high with nine helpers verses Vermont on Feb. 28. She dished out five of her nine assists to go along with seven points during the first half of action. Edwards, with 377, moves up to second place on UNH’s career assists all-time list. Edwards is fifth on the America East’s assist/turnover ratio list (1.40).

    Junior forward Ashley Cerniglia (Pittsford, N.Y.). who has missed 15 games this season due to an injury, found her groove in the Wildcat’s victory over Boston U. on Feb. 24. Cerniglia drained a career-high five 3-pointers including back-to-back treys just 35 seconds apart. Fourteen of her 17 points in the game came during an impressive first half; she went 4-for-6 from beyond the arc during the opening frame. Cerniglia then went on to lead the team in points, with 13, and rebounds, with eight, against Vermont on Feb. 28. Cerniglia is tied with Amy Simpson for most 3-pointers made per game, averaging 1.54. She is third on the squad in scoring, averaging 7.2 points per game.

    During the Feb. 24 win over Boston U. the Wildcats tied the school record for most 3-pointers in a single game by draining 11 3-pointers. The Wildcats have made at least one 3-point shot in 211 consecutive games, spanning the last eight seasons. The last time UNH failed to make a 3-pointer was on Jan. 18, 2000, at Brown, when the team missed all 12 3-point attempts. Three additional times during the streak the Wildcats have set the school record by making 11 3-pointers in a game: at Quinnipiac on Dec. 3, 2004, at UMBC on Jan. 21, 2004, and at UMBC again on Jan. 21, 2005.

    With 1,331 career points, senior forward Danielle Clark (Corinna, Maine) is sixth on UNH’s all-time career point list. With 573 career rebounds, Clark has moved into the ninth spot on UNH’s all-time career rebound list. Also on UNH’s all-time scorers list is senior Ray Williams (Mississauga, Ontario); she has 865 points and is 18th on the list. With 564 boards, Williams also sits on the rebound list with Clark T10th place). Williams is fourth on UNH’s all-time block list with 84 in her career.

    UNH defeated Binghamton on Jan. 17 in the first overtime game of the season. The Wildcats have won five straight overtime games dating back to Jan. 17, 2004. The most recent OT loss came against the Bearcats, 63-56 on that date. Last season the Wildcats had back-to-back overtime victories at the Lehigh Christmas City Classic, defeating Towson 70-69 on Dec. 29, then edging by Lehigh 66-58 the following night. UNH and Stony Brook have battled into two overtime games. The Wildcats came out on top in both of those extra minute challenges. The most recent, Mar. 10, 2004 was during the America East Tournament (played at Hartford) in which the Wildcats defeated the Seawolves, 74-65, to advance to the semifinals.

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