November 10, 2010

WOMEN'S HOOP TIPS OFF SEASON AGAINST NO. 12 NOTRE DAME

GAME NOTES

THE MATCHUP

Friday's meeting between New Hampshire and Notre Dame will mark the first matchup all-time between the two squads. The Wildcats are 18-32 all-time against Big East opponents. Last season, New Hampshire squared off against three Big East programs (Syracuse, Seton Hall, Louisville), but did not earn a victory in any of those contests. The last time the 'Cats earned a win over a Big East opponent came on Dec. 28, 2004 when they defeated Providence, 62-52, at Lundholm Gymnasium. UNH is 26-14 all-time in season openers, posting an 8-2 mark in its last 10 decisions.

SCOUTING NOTRE DAME (0-0, 0-0 BIG EAST):

Last time out No. 12 Notre Dame downed Michigan Tech, 102-30, in the exhibition debut for both teams on Nov. 3 at Purcell Pavilion ... Junior guard Natalie Novosel scored a game-high 21 points, including nine in a game-opening 17-0 run ... Novosel connected on 8-of-11 shots from the field while adding a game-best six steals and five rebounds, in just 18 minutes of action ... Five Fighting Irish players scored in double figures, with freshman guard Kayla McBride coming off the bench to chip in 14 points, eight rebounds and three steals ... The Fighting Irish shot 54.3 percent (38-of-70) in their first action of the season, and outrebounded the Huskies, 53-18 (including 25 offensive rebounds), leading to a 26-0 edge in second-chance points ... Notre Dame also forced 33 turnovers, with 25 of those coming on steals, and limited MTU to a .211 field goal percentage (8-of-38) for the game ... Notre Dame posts its largest margin of victory ever in an exhibition game (72 points), eclipsing the old record of 66 points set in a 2008 preseason win over Gannon (Pa.), 96-30 ... The Fighting Irish also tied the record for fewest points allowed in an exhibition, which had been set in that 2008 game against Gannon ... Notre Dame topped the 100-point mark in exhibition play for the first time since 1998, when the Fighting Irish downed the Visby Ladies (a Swedish club), 111-82.

SCOUTING NEW HAMPSHIRE (0-0, 0-0 AE):

Last time out the University of New Hampshire women's basketball team fell to Bentley University, 78-51, Monday night in an exhibition matchup at Lundholm Gymnasium ... Kelsey Hogan (Nashua, N.H.) poured in a team-high 11 points, while also tallying three rebounds and two assists ... Kate Early (Corning, N.Y.) posted eight points and five rebounds in the contest ... Cari Reed (Oswego, N.Y.) chipped in with eight points, three boards and two assists ... The Wildcats return three members of their starting lineup from last season, including America East Preseason All-Conference selection Denise Beliveau (Framingham, Mass.), who ranked second on the team in both scoring (11.2 ppg) and rebounds (6.1 rpg) ... She also compiled a team-best 44 steals on the year ... The squad also returns senior center Jill McDonald (Middlebury, Vt.) who is fresh off a season when she set the UNH record for most blocks in a single-season with 58, while also ranking third on the team in scoring (9.9 ppg) and rebounding (4.6 rpg).

2010-11 CAPTAINS ANNOUNCED

University of New Hampshire women's basketball head coach Maureen Magarity and her staff recently announced that senior Jill McDonald (Middlebury, Vt.) and junior Denise Beliveau (Framingham, Mass.) have been named captains for the upcoming 2010-11 season.

 "We are very proud of Jill and Denise and think they are both deserving of the title of captain this season," said Magarity. "We expect they will bring consistent leadership both on and off the court."

McDonald is fresh off her most impressive season in blue and white and looks ready to anchor the Wildcats in the paint this year. Playing in 29 games last season, she made the most her time on the floor, showing great strides of improvement from her sophomore campaign. McDonald set the UNH record for most blocks in a single-season with 58, while also ranking third on the team in scoring (9.9 ppg) and rebounding (4.6 rpg).

Beliveau is coming off her first full season of action since 2007-08. After sitting out the 2008-09 season due to injury, she came back strong playing in 27 games, including 25 starts last year. She finished the year averaging 11.2 points and 6.1 rebounds per game, totals that both ranked second on the team. Her defense didn't lack either, showcasing her skills as one of the team's best defenders, compiling a team-best 44 steals.

BELIVEAU NAMED TO AE PRESEASON ALL-CONFERENCE TEAM

Junior forward Denise Beliveau (Framingham, Mass.) of the University of New Hampshire women's basketball program was recently named to the America East Preseason All-Conference Team by the conference.

Beliveau is coming off her first full season of action since 2007-08 when she tabbed as the America East Rookie of the Year and was named to the conference's All-Rookie team. Playing in 28 of 29 contests, Beliveau averaged 10.0 points and 6.2 rebounds per game, both top marks among the conference's freshmen.

Rebounding from an ACL injury that sidelined the forward the entire 2008-09 season, Beliveau came back strong last year playing in 27 games, including 25 starts. She finished the season averaging 11.2 points and 6.1 rebounds per game, totals that ranked second on the team. She also proved to be deadly from beyond the arc, netting the most 3-pointers on the team, finishing 34-of-110 (.309) for the year.

      Her defense didn't lack either, showcasing her skills as one of the team's best defenders, compiling a team-best 44 steals. Tallying multiple steals in 13 games, Beliveau tied her career-high with five steals against Seton Hall (12/3); marking the third time she has reached that mark in her UNH career.

WOMEN'S HOOP SETS SIGHTS HIGH HEADING INTO 2010-11

It's all about new beginnings for head coach Maureen Magarity and the University of New Hampshire women's basketball program.

Entering her first year at the helm, Magarity kicks off the 2010-11 campaign with a wealth of talent and the chance for the team to make its mark. With a number of experienced players returning from last year's squad, as well as the addition of high-impact newcomers, the Wildcats are primed to make a run at a wide-open America East conference.

Despite losing a number of key players from last year's senior class, the Wildcats are led by a pair of experienced veterans in center Jill McDonald (Middlebury, Vt.) and forward Kate Early (Corning, N.Y.), both of whom are ready to pave the way for UNH's young squad.

McDonald is fresh off her most impressive season in blue and white and looks ready to anchor the Wildcats in the paint this year. Playing in 29 games last season, she made the most of her time on the floor, showing great strides of improvement from her sophomore campaign. McDonald set the UNH record for most blocks in a single-season with 58, while also ranking third on the team in scoring (9.9 ppg) and rebounding (4.6 rpg).

Early should also give New Hampshire a solid post presence after serving as a valued role player last season. Playing in 15 games off the bench, Early scored in six games, while chipping in 3.4 minutes per contest.

Junior forward Denise Beliveau (Framingham, Mass.) adds to UNH's firepower coming off her first full season of action since 2007-08. After sitting out the 2008-09 season due to injury, Beliveau came back strong playing in 27 games, including 25 starts last year. She finished the year averaging 11.2 points and 6.1 rebounds per game, totals that both ranked second on the team. Her defense didn't lack either, showcasing her skills as one of the team's best defenders, compiling a team-best 44 steals.

Junior center Kelley Flynn (Hopkinton, N.H.) should also bolster the frontcourt after seeing action in 19 games last year. She finished the season averaging 3.6 rebounds and 3.5 points per game. Proving to be a solid presence in the paint, Flynn set UNH's single-game block record with seven swats against Stony Brook (2/3). She also set career-highs in points (16) and rebounds (13) on the year against Albany (1/22) and Dartmouth (1/19), respectively.

UNH will also lean on newcomer Bridgette McKnight (East, Norriton, Pa.) for production down low. McKnight comes to UNH after posting more than 600 points and 700 rebounds at the Peddie School, where she played in 103 of 105 games for her career as a four-year starter for the Falcons. In her stint at Peddie, McKnight was named both Second Team and Third Team All-Prep, twice. She helped lead the Falcons to an 88-17 record, on their way to winning four NJIAA Prep A State Championships and four Mid-Atlantic Prep League titles. The Falcons were also nationally ranked three out of her four years and were ranked in the Top 25 by ESPN and USA Today during her senior season.

The 'Cats will also draw strength from an experienced group of guards, as they bolster an immense amount of talent and depth in the backcourt.

Junior Lauren Wells (West Chester, Pa.) is expected to anchor the load, as she looks ready to assume the role of a go-to option on offense after starting in all 31 games last year. Ranking fourth on the team in scoring, Wells finished the 2009-10 campaign with an average of 6.7 points per game. She emerged as a 3-point assassin, knocking down the second-most trifectas on the squad, while also ranking 10th in the conference in 3-point field goal percentage (.323).

Also competing for playing time at the guard spot is sophomore Jilliane Friel (Durham, N.H.) who saw action in 17 games last year. Seeing limited playing time as a freshman, Friel made the most of her opportunities, notching a career-high nine points on 3-of-4 shooting against Boston University (1/28) in extensive action. The impressive performance marked just the second time in her career she tallied three 3-pointers in a game.

After missing the entire 2009-10 season, sophomore Abigail LaRosa (Hampton, N.H.) returns to the hardwood looking to make the same type of impact she had as the team's starting point guard as a freshman.

During that season she started in all 31 games, posting an average of 6.4 points, 3.2 rebounds, and a team-best 3.0 assists per game. The combo-guard didn't fall short defensively either, as she led the team in steals with 35 and chipped in with six blocks.

Sophomore Jackie Lyons (Reading, Mass.) should also help provide some stability at the point guard position after playing in 11 games off the bench last season. Backing up 1,000-point scorer Amy Simpson, Lyons saw limited action, but put together a solid effort against Binghamton (1/24) tallying two points, one rebound, one assist, and one steal.

Sophomore Cari Reed (Oswego, N.Y) also figures to compete for a good chunk of minutes in the backcourt. The outside gunner saw action in 27 games, including two starts, leading all Wildcat freshmen with 3.4 points and 2.1 rebounds per game. Additionally, she finished with the second-best 3-point field goal percentage on the team, posting a .358 clip (19-of-53) from deep.

Freshman guard Kelsey Hogan (Nashua, N.H.) should also provide stability within the rotation, after sitting out the last two years with season-ending injuries. Starting in the three games she appeared in as a true freshman, she averaged 8.0 points, 3.3 rebounds, and 3.0 assists per game. The freshman's best game came against Bryant (11/14) when she notched a career-high 20 points and eight rebounds against the Bulldogs.

Freshman Sarah-Marie Frankenberger (Gross Gerau, Germany) will also be in the mix to see some action after playing in the European Basketball College Exposure Camp earlier this year in Bonn, Germany. Last season she played for the German National U20/21 Team, averaging 6.3 points, 5.0 rebounds and 1.7 assists per contest in nine games, while posting a 58.3 percent shooting clip from the floor. She has played with the European Championship squad each of the last three years, posting 6.3 points and 3.5 rebounds per game in that span. She helped lead the national team to a 13th-place finish in the European Championships last season.

With a solid group of core players, increased depth and a load of young talent, the Wildcats have set themselves up not only for a successful campaign in 2010-11 but to become a top contender in the America East for many years to come.

 
 
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