November 16, 2010

WOMEN'S BASKETBALL SET TO TAKE ON DARTMOUTH IN HOME OPENER (NOV. 16)

GAME NOTES (PDF)

THE MATCHUP

New Hampshire will take on Dartmouth at home, marking the 32nd meeting between these intrastate rivals, in a series that dates back to the 1978-79 season. The teams each earned a victory in the first two battles, before the Wildcats won five straight contests. Though the Wildcats lead the all time series, 16-15, the Big Green are closing in on this intrastate rivalry, as Dartmouth has won the last five head-to-heads. The most recent Wildcat win came in a 75-73 overtime victory in the 2004-05 season opener (Nov. 19, 2004).

SCOUTING DARTMOUTH (0-1, 0-0 IVY):

Dartmouth opened up the 2010-11 campaign with a 66-37 loss to Northwestern (Nov. 12) on the road ... Dartmouth is 1-7 all-time against Big 10 opponents  ...  Senior Brittney Smith finished with 12 points and 14 rebounds earning her 25th career double-double ... Sophomore Faziah Steen was the team's second leading scorer with nine points ... Northwestern outrebounded Dartmouth 44-34 in the contest ... Dartmouth shot just 25.5 percent from the floor and 21.4 percent from three in the contest ... After trailing 35-14 at halftime, the Big Green stormed back in the second half, cutting the lead to only 14, but the Wildcats were able to hold on for the win ... Dartmouth had nine assists on 14 field goals, assisting on 64 percent of made shots ... Last year, the Big Green assisted on just 55 percent of its 487 field goals.

SCOUTING NEW HAMPSHIRE (0-1, 0-0 AE):

The University of New Hampshire women's basketball team finished its first week of action 0-1, dropping a 99-48 decision to No. 12 Notre Dame at Purcell Pavilion ... New Hampshire finished the game with a .514 (19-37) shooting clip from the floor ...  Despite scoring just 12 points in the first half, the Wildcats picked up the pace in the second stanza, scoring 36 points on 70 percent shooting (14-20) ... Sophomore guard Cari Reed (Oswego, N.Y.) dropped in a team-best 11 points on 5-of-7 shooting ... Sarah-Marie Frankenberger (Gross Gerau, Germany) finished the game with eight points, four boards and two steals ... Lauren Wells (West Chester, Pa.) also added eight points, along with three rebounds and three steals

REED IT AND WEEP

Sophomore guard Cari Reed (Oswego, N.Y.) dropped in a team-best 11 points on 5-of-7 shooting against No. 12 Notre Dame on Nov. 12, reaching double-figure scoring for the third time in her career. The last time she scored in double-figures came against Albany (2/21/10) when she notched 11 points against the Great Danes.

TORCHING THE NETS

The University of New Hampshire women's basketball team shot 51.4 percent (19-37) from the floor against No. 12 Notre Dame on Nov. 12. For UNH, it marks the first time the Wildcats have shot over 50 percent in a game since Feb. 3 against Stony Brook when they finished with a .553 shooting clip on 26-of-47 shooting. Included in New Hampshire's impressive shooting performance was a second half in which they scored 36 points while shooting 70 percent from the field (14-20).

LAST TIME OUT

Sophomore guard Cari Reed (Oswego, N.Y.) dropped in a team-best 11 points on 5-of-7 shooting, but the University of New Hampshire women's basketball team fell to No. 12 Notre Dame, 99-48, Friday afternoon at Purcell Pavilion in the season-opener for both teams.

The Fighting Irish held a 53-12 edge after the first frame on 57.1 percent shooting (20-35) from the floor. However, New Hampshire picked it up in the second half, scoring more than double the points they scored in the entire first stanza with 36 on 70 percent shooting (14-20).

Devereaux Peters kicked off the second frame with a bucket at 19:26, but it was Jill McDonald (Middlebury, Vt.) who scored the first basket of the half for the visitors, helping keep the Wildcats on pace, trading points with the Irish for the next four minutes.

The 'Cats would continue to stay on track in the minutes that followed, but Notre Dame was able to piece together a 9-4 run that spanned two minutes, capped off with a Brittany Mallory 3-pointer that gave the home team a 50-point lead with 13:54 remaining.

New Hampshire held the Irish scoreless for just over a minute on its way to posting a 10-6 run, sparked by a Reed jumper at 13:02 that had the 'Cats off and running. Kelley Flynn (Hopkinton, N.H.) and Reed chipped in four points apiece during the stretch that lasted just over eight minutes.

The Fighting Irish would strike back with six unanswered, but UNH responded with an 11-8 run, as Sarah-Marie Frankenberger (Gross Gerau, Germany) dropped in five points from the charity stripe along the way to lead the Wildcats in the final minutes of the contest.

Frankenberger finished the game with eight points, four boards and two steals. Lauren Wells (West Chester, Pa.) also added eight points, along with three rebounds and three steals. Peters led the way for the Irish, tallying a game-high 23 points and eight boards.

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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