December 1, 2011

Women’s Basketball Kicks Off Homestand Against Holy Cross (Dec. 3)

Game Notes

DURHAM, N.H. – The University of New Hampshire women's basketball team kicks off a three-game home stretch with a matchup against the College of the Holy Cross on Saturday, Dec. 3 at Lundholm Gymnasium. The game is slated to start at 2 p.m. Links to live stats and live video will be available at www.unhwildcats.com.

LAST TIME OUT

HANOVER, N.H. – Three players scored in double-figures and senior Denise Beliveau (Framingham, Mass.) posted a game-high 15 points and 13 rebounds as the University of New Hampshire women's basketball team knocked off Dartmouth, 58-53, Wednesday evening at Leede Arena.

With the win, the Wildcats move to 3-2 on the season, while the Big Green drop to 2-4 overall.

Beliveau recorded her third double-double of the season, finishing with five steals. Sophomores Sarah-Marie Frankenberger (Gross Gerau, Germany) and Bridgette McKnight (Norristown, Pa.) both enjoyed career nights, scoring 14 and 10, respectively. Frankenberger shot 6-of-13 from the floor, while McKnight shot 4-of-8 and also added seven rebounds and four steals.

Junior Faziah Steen paced the Big Green with 15 points. As a team, the Wildcats shot at a 32.8 percent clip and posted 15 steals off 22 Dartmouth turnovers.

The teams traded points at the opening of the contest for even play, until the home side netted four straight baskets for the 13-6 lead at the 14:11 mark. The Wildcats answered right back with a 14-0 run, highlighted by a pair of 3-pointers by Frankenberger and Beliveau, pushing UNH on top, 20-13 with just under 10 minutes left in the first stanza. 

After Dartmouth responded with consecutive buckets to pull within two, 20-18, the Wildcats ended the half on a 15-6 stretch over the course of 6:55, as the visitors went into the locker room with a 35-24 at halftime. The stretch was headlined by an 11-0 run, sparked by a conventional 3-point play by Frankenberger, while the team posted 12 steals in the opening frame. Frankenberger led all players with 14 points on 6-of-7 shooting from the floor, while Beliveau added 12 points and eight boards.

Dartmouth started the second half with a 9-2 run in the span of two minutes, as Steen drilled three treys to pull the home side within four, 37-33.

Sophomore Kelsey Hogan (Nashua, N.H) snapped the stretch with a pair of free throws about a minute later, but the Big Green answered with a 5-1 run to pull within three at 41-38. UNH halted the Big Green's momentum with a 5-0 run as Beliveau stepped back for a trifecta, followed by a steal and subsequent lay-up by senior Abigail LaRosa (Hampton, N.H.), for the 46-38 advantage at 13:00.

The back-and-forth action continued over the next six minutes, until the Wildcats clamped down on the defensive end and took advantage of several trips to the line for the 53-45 lead with 4:30 left to play.

Slowly but surely, the Big Green chipped away at the lead as a pair of free throws pulled the home team within three at 57-53 with 42 seconds remaining. After a LaRosa free throw increased the UNH lead to five, the Wildcat defense stepped up in the final 35 seconds, preventing the Big Green to find a quality shot as time expired for the victory.

THE MATCHUP

New Hampshire will take on non-conference opponent Holy Cross at home, marking the 21st matchup between the two programs, in a series that dates back to the 1982-83 season. The Crusaders hold a 13-7 record in the series, with their most recent victory coming last season in a 78-67 decision on Nov. 23 at the Hart Center. UNH's first matchup against Holy Cross came on Feb. 15, 1983, which resulted in a 69-57 Wildcat victory. In the last seven meetings between the two squads, Holy Cross has a 5-2 record against New Hampshire. However, the Wildcats controlled the series in the first five meetings, posting a 4-1 record, including four straight wins.

SCOUTING HOLY CROSS (3-4, 0-0 PL): 

The College of the Holy Cross women's basketball team fell to Central Connecticut State, 63-54, on the road Wednesday … The Crusaders stand at 3-4 on the season with wins over Quinnipiac, UMass and Harvard … Sophomore Alex Smith led the way against CCSU with a team-high 15 points and added four steals … Fellow sophomore Brisje Malone also notched double-figures with 11 points … In the game, Holy Cross shot 32 percent from the floor (21 of 66) while Central Connecticut shot 52 percent (26 of 50) … The Blue Devils won the rebounding battle, 44-32, as sophomore Christine Ganser led the Crusaders with a season-high seven rebounds … On the season, Smith leads the Patriot League with 5.3 assists per game and ranks fourth in the league with 13.0 points per game … Individually, Smith and Malone boast the top assist/turnover ratio in the league, each clocking in at 1.5 … As a team, the Crusaders pace the league in scoring average (62.0), free throw percentage (74.6) and assists (16.3).  

SCOUTING NEW HAMPSHIRE (3-2, 0-0 AE):

The University of New Hampshire women's basketball team downed intrastate rival Dartmouth College, 58-53, on the road Wednesday night … UNH now stands at 3-2 on the young season with all three victories coming on the road against Ivy League teams … Three players scored in double-figures, including senior Denise Beliveau who posted a game-high 15 points and 13 rebounds, and is now one point shy of 1,000 in her career … Beliveau earned her third double-double of the season and also matched a career high with five steals … Sophomores Sarah-Marie Frankenberger and Bridgette McKnight both enjoyed career nights, scoring 14 and 10, respectively … Frankenberger shot 6-of-13 from the floor, while McKnight shot 4-of-8 and also added seven rebounds and four steals … Beliveau ranks third in the America East in rebounding (9.0) and second in defensive rebounds (6.4) … Beliveau and sophomore Kelsey Hogan rank 12th and 13th in scoring, respectively, with 11.4 and 11.2 points per contest … As a team, the Wildcats boast the best rebounding defense in the conference with 35.0 boards per contest.

THE COACHES

Head Coach Maureen Magarity is back for her second season as head coach of the University of New Hampshire women's basketball team. Last season, Magarity led UNH to a 6-10 conference record - twice as many wins as the year before - and a trip to the America East tournament before the Wildcats fell to Binghamton in the quarterfinals. Magarity was named the sixth head coach in the history of the program on May 18, 2010 and the youngest coach of a Division I team – men's or women's – in the country.

Head coach Bill Gibbons returns for his 27th season at the helm of the Holy Cross women's basketball team and is the winningest coach in program history. He has led the Crusaders to nine Patriot League Championships in the last 17 years. He has also made 12 postseason appearances (11 NCAA Tournaments and one WNIT) in his 26 years as head coach, including sixteen 20-win seasons.

BELIVEAU NEARS 1000 POINTS

With 999 career points, Denise Beliveau is set to join some elite company as the senior needs just one point to become the 16th member of the program's 1,000 point club. Beliveau will look to pass Heidi Plencner (1,000 pts) on the all-time scoring list, while Amy Simpson was the last Wildcat to join the club, hitting the career mark on January 10, 2010.    

HOGAN'S HEROES

Sophomore Kelsey Hogan is off to a great start this season as she ranks second on the team in scoring with 11.2 points per game, netting double-digit numbers in three games. A proven player in crunch time situations, Hogan posted 15 points at Cornell, including the game-winning basket with one-tenth of a second left on the clock to secure the, 63-62 victory. In UNH's season-opener at Brown, Hogan erupted for a game-high 17 points, more than she had in any single game last season, shooting 4-of-5 from downtown and also added a career-high nine boards. Hogan went on to best that mark with 10 rebounds against Seton Hall. She ranks third in the conference in 3-point field goal percentage (50.0) and eighth in field goal percentage (43.2).

DOUBLE JEOPARDY

Senior Denise Beliveau has already logged three double-doubles in just five games this season, each coming on the road against Ivy League teams. She dropped in 10 points and added a game-high 13 rebounds in the season opener at Brown and also posted 18 points and 10 boards at Cornell, leading all players in both categories. Most recently, she posted 15 points and 13 rebounds at Dartmouth Wednesday night. Beliveau is no stranger to the accomplishment as she posted a conference-best 11 double-doubles last season. 

WELL DONE

Sophomore Sarah-Marie Frankenberger enjoyed a breakout performance in Wednesday's win at Dartmouth as she scored a career-best 14 points, shooting 6-of-7 in the first half. Frankenberger currently ranks second in the America East in field goal percentage, shooting 50.0 percent on 15-of-30 from the floor.

McKNIGHT AND DAY

Sophomore Bridgette McKnight was instrumental in the team's win at Dartmouth as she set career highs across the board with 10 points, seven rebounds and four steals in 28 minutes of action. She played her best in the second half, scoring eight points with six rebounds, and finished with a pair of assists. 

SWEET CHARITY

Denise Beliveau ranks second in the conference in free throw shooting percentage this season with a near perfect 14-of-15 (93.3) at the charity stripe. As a team, the Wildcats rank third in the league at 71.1 percent, trailing only UMBC (81.8) and Stony Brook (72.1).

ALL-AROUND EFFORT

Denise Beliveau led all players with 15 points and 13 boards in UNH's win at Dartmouth, marking her third double-double performance and double-digit scoring effort of the season. Beliveau ranks near the top of the America East in several statistical categories, including second in defensive rebounds (6.4), third in rebounding (9.0), and 12th in scoring (11.4). 

OCEAN'S 13

The Wildcats were all over the ball in Wednesday's victory at Dartmouth as the team posted 15 steals, including 12 in the first half. Denise Beliveau led the attack with five steals, while Bridgette McKnight added four, while the 'Cats scored 22 points off turnovers in the contest.

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