Massachusetts holds a slight lead (15-12) in this historical series, which dates back to New Hampshire’s first season at varsity status. The rivals competed each year from the 1975 inaugural season until the 1990-91 season, sometimes meeting more than once a year. The Minutewomen won the first handful of games, but the Wildcats ended that streak with their first victory over UMass, a 76-61 home win on Jan. 21, 1980. The teams met only occasionally throughout the 1990’s and, after a brief stint of yearly meetings from 1999-2003, are facing each other for the first time since Nov. 14, 2006. These teams have battled into overtime three times, in which the Wildcats have been victorious twice. The most recent Wildcat win in Amherst came on Dec. 13, 2001, in which the visitors coasted to a 66-44 victory.
ROOKIE OF THE WEEK HONOR
Kelsey Hogan (Nashua, N.H.), a freshman guard, was named America East Rookie of the Week, as announced by the conference Monday afternoon.
Hogan, who was named America East Player of Game in New Hampshire’s season opener against Bryant, led the Wildcats with a game-high 20 points on 7-for-14 shooting from the floor in her collegiate debut. During 39 minutes of action, the guard totaled eight boards, all on the defensive end, and dished out four assists to lead the squad in both categories. She notched 11 points during the second half of action, including five straight to break a 50-50 tie and give the Wildcats a five-point lead (55-50) halfway through the second stanza. She also hit a fast-break layup toward the end of the game to get the Wildcats within one point, 67-66, with 24 seconds on the clock.
Sophomore forward Denise Beliveau (Framingham, Mass.), who was selected as the 2008 America East Rookie of the Year, also earned Rookie of the Week honors during the Wildcats’ first week of action last season.
SCOUTING NEW HAMPSHIRE (0-1):
The University of New Hampshire women’s basketball team fell to Bryant University, 69-66, in the 2008-09 season-opener on Friday evening … The Wildcats held the lead for the majority of the game, but the Bulldogs pulled ahead with 42 seconds left to grab the win from the home team … Freshman Kelsey Hogan (Nashua, N.H./Nashua North) delivered a game-high 20 points, while junior Candace Williams (Norfolk, Mass./St. Rapheal Academy (RI)) contributed with 14 to lead the Wildcats in scoring … Junior Chrissy Hall (Northbridge, Mass./Northbridge) totaled all of her eight points and three assists during the first half of action, while Lauren Wells (West Chester, Pa./Archbishop Carroll) and Jill McDonald (Middlebury, Vt./Middlebury Union) chipped in with seven points apiece for the Wildcats … New Hampshire, which opened up the game on a 6-0 run on back-to-back 3-pointers by Hogan and Williams, led by as many as 13 points (45-32) with 16:23 left in regulation.
SCOUTING MASSACHUSETTS (1-1):
The Minutewomen come in tonight's match up against the Wildcats with a 1-1 record, with their last win coming at home against Manhattan, 71-68, in which the squad rallied from a 24-point deficit ... In its previous outing, UMass opened up the season against Vermont on the road and was handed its first loss of the year by a score of 83-69 ... So far this season, the Minutewomen have been led by senior guard Stefanie Gerardot, who is currently averaging 26.5 points and 7.5 rebounds per game, along with a team-high six steals ... UMass has also had steady production from sophomore forward Teya Wright who is averaging 10 points and 8 rebounds per game this year.
Kelsey Hogan (Nashua, N.H.), with 20 points vs. Bryant (Nov. 14), is the first freshman to lead the team in scoring in a season opener since Nov. 28, 1993, when Pam Brandell led the squad with six points and seven rebounds against Rhode Island. The 20-point performance marks Hogan as the highest-scoring Wildcat freshman in season tip-off games over the past 25 years – and possibly ever, as records prior to that season are inconclusive.
HOMECOMING OF SORTS
New Hampshire assistant coach Katie Nelson played for the Minutewomen from 2001-06 and and is currently the all-time leader in career 3-point field goals made (191) and assist-to-turnover ratio (1.36). Nelson and her teammates faced the Wildcats twice during her collegiate career. With the score knotted 25-25 at the half, the Wildcats held Nelson scoreless and her teammates to just 19 second-half points en route to a 66-44 road victory on Dec. 13, 2001. On Dec. 7, 2002, Nelson found revenge, as she dished out a team-high five assists to go along with six points in a 70-50 Minutewomen win at Lundholm Gym. Three years later, the Wildcats learned their lesson and held the senior guard scoreless once again and went on to grab the 59-43 home win on Dec. 4, 2005, which marks the Wildcats' most recent victory against UMass. Nelson did however record her four rebounds, an assist and two steals.
UNH LOOKS TO MAKE AE 2-0 VS. UMASS THIS SEASON
The Minutewomen are 0-1 against America East teams, as Vermont defeated UMass, 83-69, on Nov. 14. Junior Courtnay Pilypaitis scored a team-high 26 points, including her 1,000th career point, and senior Amy Rosenkrantz added a career-high 24 points, to lead Vermont to a victory to open up the season.
HELLO OLD FRIEND
New Hampshire junior Racheal Fowler (Glassboro, N.J.) and UMass senior Sakera Young both hail from Glassboro, N.J. and played together at Glassboro High School. Fowler, a center, and Young, a guard, were both selected as Tri-County All-Stars. Fowler's junior year- Young's last high school season- the team finished with a 21-4 mark and a Tri-County Conference Classic Divisional Championship.
ATLANTIC 10 INFLUENCE
This Atlantic 10 match up is a familiar one to head coach Kristin Cole and her staff, as she hails from A-10 member Xavier, and three of her assistants are Atlantic 10 school graduates. In her five years as assistant coach at Xavier, Cole and the Musketeers went 6-0 against the Minutewomen, including a 69-46 quarterfinal win at the 2004-05 A-10 Championships. Wildcat assistant coaches Tara Boothe (Xavier '06) and Katie Nelson (UMass '06) went head-to-head on Feb. 17, 2006. Boothe recorded a double-double with 27 points and 13 rebounds to lead the host school to a 77-50 victory. Nelson had six points, all on 3-pointers. Boothe, who is Xavier's all-time leading scorer and rebounder, also notched a double-double (22p, 10r) in the 2005 Atlantic 10 quarterfinal game against UMass. Assistant coach Mountain MacGillivray attended A-10 institution, Temple, and played college baseball.
LAST TIME OUT
In the first game of the season, the Wildcats lead for the majority of the game, but Bryant University pulled ahead with 42 seconds remaining to steal a victory from the Wildcats, 69-66, on Nov. 14 at Lundholm Gymnasium. The loss was just their second season-opener defeat in nine years. Freshman Kelsey Hogan (Nashua, N.H.) delivered a game-high 20 points, while junior Candace Williams (Norfolk, Mass.) contributed with 14 to lead the Wildcats in scoring.
Junior guard Amy Simpson (Waterford, Conn.) has cracked the top-ten in the Wildcat's list of career 3-point field goals made by sinking 100 trifectas in her two years as a Wildcat. Last season, Simpson, who led the team in scoring, drained 55 shots from beyond the arc, which was just three shy of the record for 3-pointers in a single season. During her freshman campaign she recorded 45 3-pointers, including six trifectas in the Wildcats final regular-season game at Binghamton (March 3, 2007).