WOMEN'S BASKETBALL TAKES ON CANISIUS COLLEGE ON DEC. 28

GAME NOTES (PDF)

THE MATCHUP
    Monday's matchup between New Hampshire and Canisius College will mark the third meeting all-time between both teams, with the last matchup coming on Dec. 20, 2008. In that game, the Golden Griffs got the best of the Wildcats, earning an 64-37 victory at Lundholm Gymnasium. However, in the first meeting between both teams on Jan. 6, 1994, UNH earned a 74-61 victory in Durham.

SCOUTING CANISIUS COLLEGE (5-5):
        Canisius College is coming off a 63-32 loss to Marquette on Dec. 21 at the Al Maguire Center ... The loss drops the Griffs to 5-5 on the season, while the Golden Eagles improved to 8-4 ... For the Griffs, the loss comes as their third straight loss ...  After starting the year off with two straight losses, the Griffs won five straight games, including two wins against Binghamton and Albany, both members of the America East Conference ... Canisius extended its NCAA record of consecutive games with a 3-pointer to 464 games on a 3-pointer by Micayla Drysdale just one minute into the action ... Marquette has won all six matchups against Canisius in its history ... The 32-point output by Canisius tied a program record for fewest points in a game, which last happened on Fe. 9, 1978 against Niagara ... Brittane Russell has eight points, nine rebounds, four assists and two steals in the game ... The nine rebounds in the contest give Russell 504 for her career, making her the first player in program history with 1,000 points, 500 rebounds, 300 assists and 200 steals in her career ... Cansius took the early 3-2 lead, but didn't score for nearly a 13-minute stretch, as Marquette notched 23 unanswered points to go up 25-3 ... The Griffs responded posting a 15-2 run to close out the half ... Marquette started out the second half much the way they did in the first frame, posting a 12-2 run pushing its lead to 39-20 ... Canisius would make one last push with a 7-2  run to cut the score to 41-27, but that would be as close as the Griffs could get the rest of the way, as Marquette held on to the lead to preserve the victory ... Russell leads the Griffs with 12.4 points, 5.0 rebounds, 4.2 assists and 3.4 steals per game this season ... Drysdale has knocked down a team-best 18 3-pointers this season, shooting a .391 clip from beyond the arc.

SCOUTING NEW HAMPSHIRE (4-6):
    Last time out the University of New Hampshire women's basketball team fell to the University of Louisville 76-67 on Dec. 22 at Lundholm Gymnasium ... UNH outscored Louisville 36-29 in the first frame, outshooting the Cardinals .405 to .367 in the stanza ... Louisville picked up the pace in the second half, shooting a .593 clip from the floor, including a .500 mark from beyond the arc on its way to outscoring the 'Cats 47-31 in the frame ... Three Wildcats scored in double-figures for the fourth time this season in the contest ... Candace Williams (Norfolk, Mass.) scored 18 points and pulled down five rebounds in the game, becoming just the eleventh Wildcat to score over 1,000 points and compile 500 rebounds in program history. For her career she has compiled 1,007 points and 548 rebounds ... For Williams,  it was the 13th time in the last 16 games dating back to last year she has scored in double-figures ... Jill McDonald (Middlebury, Vt.) tallied career-highs in points (18), rebounds (9) and blocks (5) ... She has tallied a block in each of the last six games ... Lauren Wells (West Chester, (Pa.) tallied 12 points, one shy of her career high, for the second time this season ... Amy Simpson (Waterford, Conn.) notched a 3-pointer field goal against the Cardinals, giving her 173 3-point field goals for her career, which is just six away from UNH's all-time career mark of 179 ... Simpson scored 5 points in the contest, giving her 56 on the young the season. She now has 930 points for her career, which ranks 15th all-time in program history ... The Wildcats currently have three players averaging in double figure scoring, with Williams leading the way with 12.8 points per game, while Beliveau and McDonald are averaging 12.6 and 11.7 points per game ... The last time at least three Wildcats ended the season averaging double-figures in scoring was the 2007-08 campaign, when Simpson averaged 11.3 points, Ashley Cerniglia averaged 10.8 points, Williams averaged 10.5 points and Beliveau averaged 10.0 points per game ...  Simpson tallied eight assists for the second time this season in the game, giving her the second-best assist total in the conference with 57 through the first 10 games this year ... In UNH's previous outing, the University of New Hampshire women's basketball team earned a 80-72 victory against Holy Cross on Dec. 20 at Lundholm Gymnasium ...The 80-point output by the ‘Cats is the largest point total posted by New Hampshire since it notched 85 points against UMBC on Jan. 10, 2009 ... UNH outscored Holy Cross 47 to 35 in the second stanza, posting an impressive .615 percent shooting clip from the floor during the frame ... Simpson recorded 10 points, a career-high 11 assists, along with two blocks and two steals ... Including Simpson, five Wildcats finished in double-figure scoring ...  Denise Beliveau (Framingham, Mass.) led all scorers with 20 points and was followed by McDonald (18 points, six rebounds), Williams (15 points, nine rebounds) and Racheal Fowler (Glassboro, N.J.; 10 points) ... In addition to Beliveau's 20 points, she also tallied three steals in the contest, making it the seventh time this season she has compiled multiple steals in a game.

PLAYER OF THE WEEK
    Amy Simpson (Waterford, Conn.) a senior guard on the University of New Hampshire women's basketball team, was honored as Player of the Week by the America East Conference on Dec. 21.
    Simpson recorded 10 points and a career-high 11 assists to propel the Wildcats to an 80-72 victory Sunday afternoon against Holy Cross at Lundholm Gymnasium. Simpson also recorded two steals, two blocks, two rebounds and was one of five Wildcats in double digit scoring in the contest.
    After trailing 37-33 at the half, Simpson ignited the ‘Cats with 15:37 remaining, sparking a 10-0 run by setting up Jill McDonald (Middlebury, Vt.) with a layup and scoring a basket of her own on ensuing possessions in a span of 2:37 to take a 49-39 lead. She then helped UNH build its largest lead of the game with a steal and a long outlet pass to Racheal Fowler (Glassboro, N.J.) for a layup, capped off with a 3-pointer by Simpson on the next possession to push the score to 71-56 in favor of the home team.
    Scoring all of her 10 points in the second frame, Simpson helped the Wildcats outscore the Crusaders 47 to 35 in the stanza, as the team posted an impressive .615 percent shooting clip from the floor. Not to mention, the 80-point output by the ‘Cats is the largest point total posted by New Hampshire since it notched 85 points against UMBC on Jan. 10, 2009.

TRIPLE THREAT
    Three Wildcats scored in double-figures for the fourth time this season against Louisville on Dec. 22. Candace Williams (Norfolk, Mass.) and Jill McDonald (Middlebury, Vt.) each tallied 18 points, while Lauren Wells (West Chester, Pa.) added 12 points. The last time three Wildcats scored in double-figures was in UNH's 78-65 overtime victory over Harvard on Nov. 24. In that contest, Williams (18), McDonald (17) and Denise Beliveau (14) helped achieve the feat. The trio was at it once again versus UMass as Williams (17), Beliveau (15), and McDonald (10) all scored in double-digits. UNH first accomplished the plateau this season against St. Joseph's, as Beliveau led the way with 21 points, while Williams and Wells tallied 15 and 12 points, respectively, leading the 'Cats to a 64-56 victory at Lundholm Gymnasium.

CAREER NIGHT
    Jill McDonald (Middlebury, Vt.) tallied career-highs in points (18), rebounds (9) and blocks (5) against Louisville on Dec. 22. McDonald reached the 18-point mark in the game prior against Holy Cross, when she helped lead the 'Cats to an 80-72 victory. The success is nothing new for the junior center, as she is off to a stellar start this season, posting 16.0 points, 7.0 rebounds and 2.7 blocks per game in the last three outings.

DOING WELLS
    Lauren Wells (West Chester, (Pa.) tallied 12 points, one shy of her career high, against the University of Louisville on Dec. 22. In addition, she also compiled a career-high four steals in the contest. For Wells, it was the second time this season she has score 12 points, as she also reached the mark in a 64-56 win against St. Joseph's on Nov. 13.

TORCHING THE NETS
    The Wildcats scored 80 points against Holy Cross on Dec. 20, marking the largest point total posted by New Hampshire since it notched 85 points against UMBC on Jan. 10, 2009. The 80-point output not only comes as a season-high in scoring, but it also marks the first time UNH has shot over 50 percent (54.4; 31-57) from the floor since the ‘Cats did so against Iona on Dec. 12, 2007, when they finished with a .500 percent (30-60) shooting clip.

5-HEADED MONSTER
    Five Wildcats finished in double-figure scoring in an 80-72 decision against Holy Cross College on Dec. 22. Denise Beliveau (Framingham, Mass.) led all scorers with 20 points and was followed by Jill McDonald (Middlebury, Vt.; 18 points, six rebounds), Candace Williams (Norfolk, Mass.; 15 points, nine rebounds), Amy Simpson (Waterford, Conn.; 10 points, 11 assists) and Racheal Fowler (Glassboro, N.J.; 10 points). The last time five Wildcats scored in double-figures was against Colgate on Dec. 5, 2008, when Simpson (24), Abigial LaRosa (Hampton, N.H.) (19), Williams (13), Chrissy Hall (Northbridge, Mass.) (13) and Fowler (10) all scored in double-figures.

WELCOME TO THE CLUB
    After tallying 18 points and pulling down five rebounds against Louisville on Dec. 22, Candace Williams (Norfolk, Mass.) became just the eleventh Wildcat to score over 1,000 points and compile 500 rebounds in program history. For her career she has compiled 1,007 points and 548 rebounds.  The last 'Cat to achieve the feat was Danielle Clark in 2007, who finished her UNH career with 1,331 points and 579 rebounds. Kris Kinney tops the list, finishing her UNH career with 2,231 points and 897 rebounds after a four-year stint with the 'Cats from 1985-89.

SPREADING THE FLOOR
    The Wildcats currently have three players averaging in double-figure scoring, with Candace Williams (Norfolk, Mass.) leading the way with 12.8 points per game, while Denise Beliveau (Framingham, Mass.) and Jill McDonald (Middlebury, Vt.) are averaging 12.6 and 11.7 points per game. The last time at least three Wildcats ended the season averaging double-figures in scoring was the 2007-08 campaign, when Amy Simpson (Waterford, Conn.) averaged 11.3 points, Ashley Cerniglia averaged 10.8 points, Williams averaged 10.5 points and Beliveau averaged 10.0 points per game.

STEALING THE SHOW
    Denise Beliveau (Framingham, Mass.) tied her career-high with five steals against Seton Hall on Dec. 3, marking the third time she has reached the mark in her UNH career. It was also the first time a Wildcat compiled five steals in a game since Candace Williams (Norfolk, Mass.) did so on Dec. 5, 2008 against Colgate. On the season, Beliveau has tallied multiple steals in a game seven times for the Wildcats. She currently leads the team with 22 steals and ranks third in the conference with an average of 2.2 steals per game.

3-POINT PARADE
    Amy Simpson (Waterford, Conn.) knocked down a 3-pointer on Dec. 22 against Louisville, giving her 173 3-point field goals for her career. The impressive total ranks second all-time in program history, six field goals shy of Heidi Plencner's all-time mark of 179. This season, Simpson has drilled 12 trifectas, averaging 5.6 points per game. Last year, she notched 62 3-pointers, which was the best single-season mark in program history.

BLOCK PARTY
    Jill McDonald (Middlebury, Vt.) notched a career-high five blocks versus Louisville on Dec. 22, giving her a block in each of the last six games. The last Wildcat to tally five blocks in a game was Ray Williams, who reached the mark against Yale on Nov. 19, 2005. On the season she has 17 blocks, giving her the fourth-best block total in the conference, with an average of 1.7 per game. The quick start is nothing new for the junior, as she is picking up right where she left off last season, when she tallied the second best single-season block total in program history with 47. For her career, she ranks sixth all-time in blocks with 68.

RIGHT ON POINT
    Amy Simpson (Waterford, Conn.) scored five points last time out against Louisville, giving her 56 on the young the season. She now has 930 points for her career, which ranks 15th all-time in program history. Her two best offensive outbursts came against No. 21 Maryland and Holy Cross, when she tallied a season-high 11 and 10 points, respectively. The point guard came up in the clutch for the Wildcats against Harvard as she drained the first of two free throws to send the game into overtime tied at 58-58. Simpson led the charge in the overtime period as the Wildcats outscored the Crimson 20-7 to earn the 78-65 victory. Last season she notched a career-high 357 points, averaging 11.5 points per game. In the season prior, she finished with 315 points, with an average of 11.3 points per game.

CENTURY CLUB
    Amy Simpson (Waterford, Conn.) tallied two steals against Louisville on Dec. 22, giving her 108 steals for her Wildcat career. The impressive total ranks 23rd all-time in program history. The last Wildcat to break into the 100-steal club was Whitney Edwards, who played for the 'Cats from 2003-07 and compiled 229 for her career, which ranks second all-time in program history. On the season, Simpson ranks second on team with 15 steals, averaging 1.5 per game.

DEFENSIVE SPECIALISTS

     So far this season the Wildcats have been playing stellar defense against some impressive company. They have held opponents to a conference-best .349 shooting percentage from the floor this year, while shooting an impressive .389 clip themselves. The fresh start comes against an A-10 (St. Joseph's, UMass), an ACC (Maryland) and two Big East (Seton Hall, Louisville) programs, following a season in which opponents shot .404 from the field against the ‘Cats. Against Quinnipiac on Nov. 29, New Hampshire held the Bobcats to just 29.5 percent shooting. In the game prior versus Harvard, the Wildcats kicked off the game playing stingy defense against the Crimson, holding them scoreless for the first 5:16 of the action and not allowing a field goal until the 8:44 mark. In UNH's 58-57 win over UMass on Nov. 20, the Wildcats compiled a season-high 13 steals and forced a season-best 27 turnovers. In UNH's matchup against No. 21 Maryland on Nov. 16, the ‘Cats pestered the Terps into shooting just .278 from the field, holding their offense to just 63 points, which was Maryland's second lowest point total in the last 29 games dating back to last season. The only team to hold the Terps to an even lower point total was Louisville, who defeated Maryland 77-60 in the NCAA Elite Eight on March 30, 2009. Against St. Joe's, the ‘Cats were just as impressive, holding the Hawks to just .277 shooting and a total of 56 points.

DOING THE DISHES
    Amy Simpson (Waterford, Conn.) has stepped up in her new role as point guard this season, notching the second-best assist total in the conference with 57 through the first 10 games this year. In her most recent action against Louisville on Dec. 22, she tallied her second best assist total of the season, dishing out eight assists for the second time this year. In the game prior, she tied a career-high with 11 assists against Holy Cross College on Dec. 20. The last time she reached the 11-assist mark came against UMBC on Feb. 2, 2008. For her career, Simpson has tallied 263 assists, ranking her 12th all-time in program history. To break into the top-10 all-time, Simpson needs just 26 assists, which at her current pace should be attained in five games. Simpson has been stellar across the board for the 'Cats this year, averaging 5.6 points, 5.7 assists, 3.1 rebounds and 1.5 steals per game.

DIAMON IN THE ROUGH
    Diamon Beckford (Philadelphia, Pa.) scored a career-high eight points and pulled down five rebounds against Harvard on Nov. 24. The solid production has been nothing new this season for the freshman sensation, as she notched five points and three boards against Louisville on Dec. 22. Against UMass on Nov. 20, she tallied six points, five boards and two steals. In the game prior, she notched seven points, seven boards and one block against No. 21 Maryland on Nov. 16. In that contest she helped the Wildcats respond to a 20-9 Terrapin run that started the game, as she knocked down a jumper at 7:44 to set off an 11-3 scoring stretch, which cut the home team's lead down to just three points, with the score set at 23-20 at 4:21. Including the jumper, she totaled five points on the run. This season Beckford has posted 4.1 points and 3.5 rebounds per game.

CONSISTENT 'CAT
    Candace Williams (Norfolk, Mass.) netted 18 points against Louisville on Dec. 22, making it the 13th time in the last 16 games dating back to last year she has scored in double-figures. Most recently, she notched a season-high 18 points for the third time this season against Louisville on Dec. 22. Her two other 18-point outings came in back-to-back efforts against Quinnipiac (Nov. 29) and Harvard (Nov. 24). During the 16 game span, she has tallied 22 points on two occasions, the latest coming in a 66-62 win over Albany at the SEFCU Arena on Feb. 28, 2009. Her other 22-point outburst came against defending conference champion Vermont on Feb. 22, 2009. Last year she posted double-figures in all 23 games to start the season, including back-to-back 25-plus point games. She had a career-high 27-point performance at Boston University (Jan. 17, 2009), then posted 26 at Stony Brook (Jan. 21, 2009). In 1998-99, Orsi Farkas posted double figures in all 31 games for the Wildcats.

IN THE CLUTCH
    With UNH's 78-65 overtime victory over Harvard University on Nov. 24, the Wildcats have now won their last six decisions in overtime dating back to March 1, 2003, when UNH defeated Stony Brook 70-67 in the extra frame. Tuesday's win marks the largest margin of victory in overtime in program history. It is also UNH's first win against Harvard since Dec. 29, 1999, when the Wildcats defeated the Crimson 70-58 at Lundholm Gymnasium.

DOUBLE-DOUBLE TROUBLE
    Denise Beliveau (Framingham, Mass.) notched her first double-double of the season on Nov. 24 against Harvard with 14 points and 14 rebounds. For the forward, it was her third career double-double as she also notched double digit efforts against Northeastern (22 pts, 10 rbs) on Dec. 15, 2007 and Binghamton (18 pts, 11 rbs) on Jan. 19, 2008. Including Tuesday's game against Harvard, Beliveau has scored in double figures in three games this season, as she tallied 21 points against St. Joseph's and 15 points against UMass.

A-10 SPECIAL
    UNH's 58-57 win over UMass on Nov. 20 marked the first time the Wildcats knocked off two Atlantic-10 teams in the same season since the 1989-90 campaign. The 'Cats earned their first victory over an Atlantic-10 opponent this season on Nov. 13, when they defeated St. Joseph's University 64-56 at Lundholm Gymnasium. During the 1989-90 season, the Wildcats defeated Rhode Island 67-56 on Nov. 28 and earned a 66-60 win against UMass on Dec. 9 to complete the A-10 sweep in non-conference play.

PICTURE PERFECT
    In addition to her 21 points and nine rebounds in UNH's 64-56 win over St. Joseph's University on Nov. 13, Denise Beliveau (Framingham, Mass.) tied her career high in free throws made, knocking down 10-of-10 shots from the charity stripe. Included in that total are four tallies which came in the last two minutes of play to seal the victory for the 'Cats. It was the first time a Wildcat shot 100 percent from the foul line since Danielle Clark (12-12) did so on Nov. 26, 2006 against Iona. The last time Beliveau knocked down 10 free throws in a game came against Northeastern on Dec. 15, 2007. She finished that night with 22 points, 10 rebounds, three assists and two steals.

LAST TIME OUT
    Jill McDonald (Middlebury, Vt.) tied a career-high scoring 18 points and pulling in a team-high nine rebounds, but it was not enough, as the University of Louisville defeated the University of New Hampshire women's basketball team, 76-67, Tuesday night at Lundholm Gymnasium.
    With the win the Cardinals snap a two-game losing streak, improving to 7-5 on the season. As for the Wildcats, they fall to 4-6 on the year.
    McDonald was named America East Player of the Game for UNH, as she also added a career-high five blocks and two assists on the night.
    The first four minutes of the action was a back-and-forth battle between both teams, which featured one lead change and three ties, until Denise Beliveau (Framingham, Mass.) snapped the knotted score with a layup to put the Wildcats up 8-6 at 16:19.
    The basket by Beliveau triggered a 15-8 run by the ‘Cats, as Amy Simpson (Waterford, Conn.) quickly followed the score setting up McDonald for a layup in the post. On UNH's next possession, Simpson was at it again, as she delivered a pass to Candace Williams (Norfolk, Mass.) that led to another quick layup by the ‘Cats pushing the score to 12-8 in favor of the home team, with 13:46 remaining in the first half.
    New Hampshire would build its lead further over the course of the next 2:07, as a 3-pointer by Diamon Beckford (Philadelphia, Pa.) and a layup by Simpson increased UNH's lead to eight, with the score 18-10 at 11:39.
    Louisville would strike back cutting the deficit back down to four, as Keshia Hines and Nikki Hines scored back-to-back baskets, setting the score at 18-14 with 10:48 remaining.
    However, UNH would catch fire once again late in the stanza as a Kelley Flynn (Hopkinton, N.H.) layup ignited a 15-8 run by the ‘Cats that pushed their lead to its largest margin of the half, with score 36-25 at 1:02.
    Following the New Hampshire run, Ashley Rainey knocked down a pair of free throws and Monique Reid drilled a jumper with just two seconds remaining in the half, cutting the score to 36-29 at the intermission.
    The Wildcats picked up right where they left off in the second stanza jumping out with seven unanswered points, led by a pair of layups by Williams and a 3-pointer by Lauren Wells (West Chester, Pa.).
    Becky Burke ended the stretch knocking down a trifecta, but New Hampshire kept pace as McDonald buried a pair of free throws and scored on a layup on back-to-back trips up the floor to give UNH its largest lead of the game setting the score at 47-33 with 16:56 remaining.
    Louisville began to pick up the pieces on the ensuing possession, as Monique Reid knocked down a pair of free throws that led to six unanswered points, cutting the lead down to eight at 15:31.
    Williams knocked down a jumper to break up the run at 15:04, but it was not enough to shut down the Cardinals as they pushed on with a 17-8 run, capped off with a 3-pointer from Burke, cutting UNH's lead down to five, with score set at 59-54 with 9:11 remaining.
    For the next 3:11 the two squads traded baskets, until Louisville posted a 13-2 run to close out the action, holding New Hampshire scoreless for the remaining 2:28 of the game.
    Williams finished the night with 18 points, four rebounds, two steals and an assist. With her 18-point output, she now has 1,007 points for her career, becoming just the 14th Wildcat in program history to reach the 1,000-point plateau. Wells chipped in with 12 points and four steals.
    As for the Cardinals, Reid led the way with 16 points and six boards. Burke added 14 points, four rebounds and four assists.

WILDCATS PICKED FOURTH IN PRESEASON POLL
    The University of New Hampshire women's basketball team received 38 points to place fourth in the America East preseason poll that was released this afternoon by the conference.
    The Wildcats finished last season in fifth place in the conference with an 8-23 record, including a 6-10 mark against America East opponents, after being picked seventh in last year's preseason poll. New Hampshire's 38-point total tied with Boston University, who is coming off an undefeated conference regular season and its first appearance in the postseason WNIT. UMBC finished followed closely behind UNH and BU, with 35 points in the sixth place spot.
    Vermont, last year's conference champion, is predicted to once again capture the title, receiving five first place votes and tallying 61 points. Hartford is selected to finish second with 60 points, garnering four first place votes in the poll. Binghamton is predicted to finish third, with 45 points.
    Stony Brook University is slated to finish seventh (23 points), while the University of Maine (13) and the University at Albany (11 points) round out the final three spots in the poll.

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