BALTIMORE, Md. – The University of New Hampshire women's basketball team opens up its conference schedule on Monday, Jan. 2 when they visit the reigning America East regular-season champion University of Maryland Baltimore County for a 7 p.m. matchup at RAC Arena. Links to live stats, audio and video will be available at unhwildcats.com.
Monday's matchup between UNH and UMBC will be the 16th meeting all-time between the two programs. New Hampshire won four of the first six meetings against UMBC, but the Retrievers swept the season series last year after the two squads split the season series the previous three years. UMBC claimed the most recent victory, defeating UNH, 63-55, at Lundholm Gymnasium on Feb. 13, 2011.
SCOUTING UMBC (6-7, 0-0 AE):
The University of Maryland Baltimore County women's basketball team fell at Virginia Tech, 57-52, Thursday evening on the second day of the Hokie Classic … UMBC is coming off back-to-back losses and stands at 6-7 on the season … UMBC won the America East regular season last year but fell to Hartford in the semifinals of the conference tournament … Most recently against Virginia Tech, Erin Brown and Brittany Crowell combined for 34 points on 10 3-pointers … Brown tied her career high with six 3-pointers in nine attempts and finished with 18 points, while Crowell set new career bests with 16 points and four triples in eight attempts, as UMBC matched a season high with 10 treys in the game, shooting 47.6 percent from beyond the arc … The Retrievers shot 37.3 percent from the floor in the game while holding Virginia Tech to just 31.0 percent, but while the Hokies shot just 50 percent from the charity stripe, their 16 free throws proved to be the difference in the game, as UMBC went to the line just six times … Brown leads the league in scoring (15.8) and ranks ninth in rebounding (6.8), while Michelle Kurowski tops the conference in free throw percentage (90.9) … As a team, the Retrievers own the best numbers at the charity stripe with a free throw percentage of 73.9.
SCOUTING NEW HAMPSHIRE (7-5, 0-0 AE):
The University of New Hampshire women's basketball team downed the New Jersey Institute of Technology, 79-71, in the consolation game of the Cyclone Challenge Friday evening … The Wildcats split at the Cyclone Challenge, also losing to host Iowa State, and stand at 7-5 on the season … Denise Beliveau posted 24 points and 12 rebounds for her fifth double-double of the season … Three other Wildcats reached double figures as Morgan Frame finished with 20 points and nine rebounds … Kelsey Hogan and Abigail LaRosa added 13 and 11, respectively, as Hogan dished out four assists and LaRosa was 7-of-8 from the charity stripe … Additionally, Cari Reed recorded a career-high seven assists … On the season, Beliveau ranks sixth in the league in scoring (12.8) and fourth in rebounding (8.4) … Hogan is the most efficient 3-point shooter in the league, clocking in at 47.5 percent from beyond the arc … As a team, UNH leads the conference in 3-point field goal percentage (34.8) and rebounding defense (35.6), and rank second in field goal percentage (37.6).
RISING TO THE (CYCLONE) CHALLENGE
Denise Beliveau enjoyed her trip to Ames, Iowa last week as the senior averaged 18 points and 7.5 rebounds per game at the Iowa State Cyclone Challenge. In the consolation game against NJIT, Beliveau poured in a season-high 24 points and added a game-high 12 rebounds for her fifth double-double of the season. The senior was highly efficient from the floor as she shot 8-of-14 from the field and 3-of-4 from long range. Her sharpshooting efforts fueled the Wildcats to a victory as she halted a 13-2 NJIT run with eight straight points, including back-to-back 3-pointers, to put UNH back in contention after an early deficit. Beliveau also logged double-digits in the opener against Big-12-foe Iowa State as she chipped in 12 points and added four steals, en route to All-Tournament Team honors.
The UNH starting five accounted for all but two of the team's 79 points in the win over NJIT on Dec. 30. Denise Beliveau led the way with 24 points, while Morgan Frame (20), Kelsey Hogan (13) and Abigail LaRosa (11) also reach double-figures. Cari Reed just missed the mark with nine points and also dished out a career-best seven assists. In all, the team's 79 total points mark the highest scoring output of the season.
SETTING NEW MARKS
Kelley Flynn recorded season highs of 10 points, six rebounds and four blocks at Iowa State in the opening round of the Cyclone Challenge (Dec. 29). The double-digit mark was Flynn's highest scoring output since the season-opener at Brown when she notched 8 points.
Morgan Frame, a junior transfer just four games into her UNH career, erupted for a career-high 35 points and 12 rebounds at Wagner on Dec. 21. Frame shot 15-for-26 from the floor to pace the Wildcats and fell just one point shy of matching the school record for points in a game, earning America East Player of the Week honors for her efforts. She also collected three steals in 41 minutes off the bench. Frame was instrumental throughout the contest as she scored nearly half of UNH's points in the first stanza (13-of-27) to keep the Wildcats within reach at halftime. She went on to net 18 in the second half and four points in overtime to seal the victory. Frame notched a double-double in each of her first two games since becoming eligible as a mid-year transfer last season and is averaging 21.5 points and 9.8 boards per game this season.
New Hampshire is off to a 5-2 start in road games this season, picking up victories over a trio of Ivy Leaguers in Brown, Cornell and Dartmouth, as well as Rhode Island and Wagner. The Wildcats are averaging 58.4 points per game when away from the friendly confines of Lundholm Gymnasium.
LEADING THE LEAGUE
Only two players have netted 30-point performances in the America East this season, and both belong to New Hampshire. Morgan Frame owns the highest single-game effort in the league with a 35-point outing at Wagner, while Cari Reed represents the other member of the club with a 32-point showing against Harvard. Additionally, Frame's 15 field goals and Reed's eight 3-pointers are also single-game league-best efforts this season.
New Hampshire has played its best basketball in close games this season as the club is a perfect 4-0 in games decided by five points or less. Most recently, UNH downed Wagner, 73-72, in overtime, thanks to a last-second jumper by Denise Beliveau in extra time. Earlier in the season, Kelsey Hogan tipped in a game-winning buzzer-beater to help UNH beat Cornell. In both those contests, Cari Reed kept the Wildcats in the game with a late 3-pointer, including a timely distance shot at Wagner to send the game into overtime.
CRASHING THE BOARDS
Denise Beliveau grabbed a season-best 14 rebounds against Manhattan, marking the most by a Wildcat this season. Beliveau ranks fourth in the America East in rebounding with 8.4 boards per contest and leads the league in defensive rebounds (5.9). As a team, the Wildcats are 7-0 when they pull down more rebounds than the opposition and currently lead the conference in defensive boards (35.6).
Sophomore Kelsey Hogan and junior Cari Reed both rank inside the top-five in the America East for 3-point field goal percentage. Hogan leads the league at 47.5 percent shooting from beyond the arc, while Reed ranks fourth in the conference at 41.1 percent. As a team, UNH owns the best 3-point field goal percentage in the conference, shooting 34.8 percent from behind the arc.
FANTASTIC FOUR WILL SCORE
The Wildcats boast four players averaging double-digits is scoring through 12 games this season. Morgan Frame leads the lineup with 21.5 points per game, while Denise Beliveau, Kelsey Hogan and Cari Reed clock in at 12.8, 11.1 and 10.5, respectively.
Senior Denise Beliveau has already logged five double-doubles in just 12 games this season, with three 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 posted 18 points and 10 boards at Cornell, leading all players in both categories. After recording 15 points and 13 rebounds at Dartmouth, she led all players with 17 points and 14 rebounds against Manhattan. Most recently, Beliveau dropped a season-best 24 points and added 12 rebounds against NJIT. Beliveau is no stranger to the accomplishment as she posted a conference-best 11 double-doubles last season.