November 13, 2012

Game Notes: Women's Basketball Opens Season Nov. 14 at Yale

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The Matchup
    The University of New Hampshire women's basketball team plays its 2012-13 season opener Nov. 14 at Yale University. Game time at the John J. Lee Amphitheater is 7 p.m.
    UNH has a 9-1 lifetime record against Yale. The Bulldogs won the most recent matchup, 76-55, on Nov. 29, 2008, in a tournament at Long Island University. The series began in the 1981-82 season with a 72-62 road victory by UNH and continued three subsequent years. The teams didn't tip off again until Jan. 1991 in Lundholm Gym, and one year later the 'Cats hit the road. UNH and Yale met again when they opened the 1995 new year at the Florida International tournament, and then the teams exchanged home games in December 2004 and November 2005.
    In the most recent meeting at Yale (Nov. 19, 2005), the Wildcats prevailed 75-59; that game marked UNH's season opener. New Hampshire has a 4-0 road record in this series.

The State of New Hampshire
    UNH, under the direction of third-year head coach Maureen Magarity,     returns 11 letterwinners, including three starters, from last year's team that recorded 16 victories and advanced to the WBI tournament. At 16-14 overall, it was the Wildcats' first winning season since 2006 and the highest single-season victory total since 2002. And at 9-7 in America East, the fourth-place finish in the league standings marked the best since 2005.
    Statistically, UNH returns three of its top four scorers, two of its top three rebounders, the top two 3-point shooters, two of the top four assist leaders and a player who started all 30 games a year ago.

For Openers
    New Hampshire has a 22-15 overall record in season openers, and that includes 6-9 on the road as well as 7-1 against Ivy League schools. Wednesday's game will mark the third consecutive year UNH opens on the road; last year, the Wildcats were 62-57 victors at Brown and in November 2010 the 'Cats lost at Notre Dame.
    Since the 2005-06 season, UNH has alternated wins and losses with wins in the odd years (2005-07-09-11) and losses in the even years (2005-08-10). If that trend continues, the 'Cats will return from Yale with a loss to the Bulldogs.
    UNH has tipped off against Yale in one other season opener, and the Wildcats prevailed 75-59 in New Haven on Nov. 19, 2004. That game was the fifth of six consecutive season-opening victories for the 'Cats spanning the 2000-01 through 2005-06 seasons.
    New Hampshire won seven consecutive season openers from 1978-79 through 1984-85.
    Of the previous 37 season openers, only one has extended into overtime and that was Nov. 19, 2004, when UNH recorded a 75-73 victory against intrastate rival Dartmouth College at Lundholm Gym.
    The highest point total UNH has scored in a season opener is 90 points (90-37 win vs. Southern Maine, 11/10/83), whereas the lowest output is 31 (61-31 loss at Rhode Island, 11/28/93).

Marked improvement
    New Hampshire improved its win total seven games from the 2010-11 (nine victories) to 2011-12 seasons (16 victories) to tie the second-highest margin of improvement in program history. UNH also saw a seven-game improvement from 1998 (12) to 1999 (19), while the highest mark of eight games was from 1991 (10) to 1992 (18).

On The Road
    New Hampshire opens the 2012-13 season with three consecutive road games – starting Nov. 14 at Yale University – to match the program's longest stretch of road games at the outset of a season.
    The only other time it happened was in 1990-91 (Holy Cross, 93-65 loss; Brown, 78-73 loss; UMass, 75-54 win). In between, the 'Cats did open three consecutive seasons – 1992-93, 1993-94 and 1994-95 – with three consecutive games away from home; in all three years, a road game was followed by two tourney games.

Road Warriors
    Last season, UNH played 18 of its 30 games away from Lundholm Gym with a 9-7 road record and 1-1 ledger in neutral-site games. The Wildcats were particularly strong on the road in the opening month (5-1 record) with victories at Brown (62-57), Cornell (63-62), Dartmouth (58-53), Rhode Island (52-33) and Wagner (73-72, overtime); the only loss was at Central Connecticut State.

This Date In History
    In the 37-year history of UNH varsity women's basketball, the Wildcats have an 0-2 record on Nov. 14 – and both games were season openers. Most recently, the 'Cats lost vs. Bryant (69-66) in 2008; they previously lost at UMass (60-38) in 2006.

Captain of the 'Cats
    Junior guard Kelsey Hogan is captain of the 2012-13 UNH Wildcats; last year, she was a co-captain alongside Denise Beliveau and started all 30 games. Hogan is a mulitple threat in the backcourt – as the quarterback of the offense, she is strong on the dribble and an excellent passer; she is also an accurate jumpshooter who led not only the team but the America East conference in 3-point field goal percentage (.446; 41-for-92).
    Hogan also led New Hampshire in assists, ranked second in both 3-point field goals made and minutes (33.9 mpg) as well as third in scoring(10.2 ppg), field goals made and attempted, field goal percentage (.386) and free throws made and attempted.
    With those statistics, Hogan's other conference rankings included fifth in FT percentage (.896), seventh in minutes, 11th in both scoring and assists and 12th in field goal percentage.
    Other stats illustrate Hogan is a multi-dimensional overall player. In addition to her offensive prowess, she also tied for second on the squad in steals and was third in rebounding (3.8 rpg).

Framework For Success
    Senior forward Morgan Frame was selected to the America East Preseason All-Conference Team at the league's Media Day on Oct. 23.
    In her first year as a UNH Wildcat in 2012, Morgan Frame led the team in scoring (16.0 points per game) and ranked second in rebounds (7.5 per game) to garner America East All-Conference Second Team recognition. She would have led the league in scoring and ranked No. 8 in rebounding if she met the minimum requirement of 75% games played (Frame played in 22 of 30 games – 73.3%).
    Frame led the team in field goal percentage (.443), and she also attempted the most free throws despite missing eight games (due to NCAA transfer regulations).
    The 6-foot-1 forward, a two-time America East Player of the Week honoree who was named UNH's Player of the Game five times, ranked second among Wildcats in field goals attempted and made as well as made free throws.
    Frame was UNH's top scorer 12 times (in 22 games) and the top rebounder nine times; she led the squad in both statistics seven times and tallied seven double-doubles, including a 35-point, 12-rebound effort against Wagner in just her second game as a Wildcat. The 35 points marked the highest single-game output by any America East player last year.

Going Back To The Wells Again
    Another player who returns with starting experience is senior guard Lauren Wells, who utilizes her quickness and athleticism to drive past defenders – and be a disruptive force at the other end of the court as a defender – but she can also hit the mid-range jumper.
    Wells missed the entire 2012 season due to injury, but she started 21 of 29 games in 2011 as a junior and was in the starting lineup all 31 games in '10. In her junior season, Wells ranked third on the team in steals, fourth in assists and fifth in scoring; she also led the team in free throw percentage and ranked ninth in America East in 3-point field goal percentage.

Deep Threat
    Senior shooting guard Cari Reed is a third returning starter from last year's lineup. She played in 28 of 30 games with 22 starts a year ago, when the 6-footer led the team in 3-point field goals made (44) and attempted (123). Reed also ranked second among all 'Cats in 3-point field goal percentage (.358) and blocks.
    The sharpshooter rewrote the UNH record book with eight 3-pointers in a game against Harvard at Lundholm Gym on Dec. 6, 2011; she had shared the previous benchmark of six 3-pointers in a game with six others. Reed finished that game vs. Harvard with a career-high 32 points.
    In other statistics, Reed ranked fourth in scoring average (7.8 ppg), field goal percentage (.383) and minutes (25.8 per game).

A Lot To Lose
    One of the starters and statistical leaders lost to graduation is forward Denise Beliveau, who is one of the top all-around players in program history. She led the 2012 team in points (423), rebounds (8.6 per game), field goals made (145) and attempted (352), free throws made (98), steals (66) and minutes (35.1 per game) en route to garnering America East All-Conference First Team, All-Defensive Team and All-Academic Team; in addition, Beliveau ranked second in both field goal percentage (.412) and free throw percentage (.838) as well as third in 3-point FG percentage (.337) and assists (46).
    In the America East conference rankings, Beliveau was in the top 5 in five statistical categories and among the top 10 in two other stats.
    On the program's career leaderboard, she ranks sixth in scoring (1,365 points), fourth in both rebounds (843) and 3-pointers (141), third in steals (202) and 18th in assists (202).

Wildcats On The Air
    The Wildcat Sports Radio Network will broadcast a total of 12 UNH women's basketball games during the 2012-13 season. All 11 home games as well as the Nov. 28 road game at Harvard will be on the air.
    A total of four games will be televised, including home games vs. Central Connecticut State University and Boston University. Here is the complete schedule.
Dec. 9    Central Conn State    WBIN and FOX College Sports Atlantic
Jan. 16    at Albany    ESPN3
Jan. 19    Boston U.    WBIN and FOX College Sports Atlantic
Jan. 26    at Binghamton    Time Warner Cable
    Another option for fans to follow live action of the UNH women's basketball home games is online videostreaming at unhwildcats.tv

Incoming
    The UNH women's basketball program welcomes four newcomers to the 2012-13 squad and that includes sophomore center Corinne Coia, who transferred following her freshman year (2011-12) at the University of Rhode Island; she is ineligible to play for the Wildcats this season.
    Kendall Martenet is the other new addition to the frontcourt. The 6-2 forward was a three-time captain at Mukwonago High School, where she led the team in rebounding as a junior and senior.
    Elizabeth Belanger and Victoria Duffey join the Wildcat backcourt. Belanger garnered ESPN Boston All-State Team and Boston Herald All-Scholastic Team, Lowell Sun Player of the Year and Dual County League MVP accolades at Acton-Boxborough Regional High School.
    Duffey comes to UNH from Waterford Our Lady of the Lakes after lettering at Walled Lake Central High School for three years. She was a three-year starting point guard and two-time captain at Walled Lake Central, where she earned three All-Conference and two Academic All-State accolades.

Leader of the 'Cat Pack
    Maureen Magarity (Marist '03) enters her third year as head coach of the University of New Hampshire women's basketball team in the 2012-13 season. Magarity became the sixth head coach in program history in May 2010 and the youngest coach of a Division I team – men's or women's – in the country.
    Magarity has quickly made a positive impact on the program with a 25-34 record in two seasons; in comparison, UNH was a combined 33-87 the four years prior to her arrival.
    And in just her second year at the helm in Durham, Magarity guided the Wildcats to their second postseason appearance (beyond conference postseason play) in the program's 37-year history when UNH advanced to the 2012 Women's Basketball Invitational. New Hampshire finished the year with a 16-14 overall record to mark the team's first winning season since 2006 and most wins since 2002.
    In her first season, Magarity led the Wildcats to a 9-20 overall record and they doubled their conference wins from the previous season.

America East Preseason Prognostications
    UNH tied for fourth in the 2012-13 America East Preseason Coaches' Poll that was released in late October. The Wildcats received 37 points to tie with the University of Vermont behind University at Albany (61 points; five first-place votes), Boston University (56; two) and University of Hartford (54; two). UMBC (34), University of Maine (17), Binghamton University (16) and Stony Brook University (12) complete the nine-team poll.
    Senior forward Morgan Frame was voted to the Preseason All-Conference Team. She was an All-Conference Second Team selection in 2012.

Scouting the Bulldogs
    Yale University (New Haven, Conn.), picked third in the Ivy League Preseason Poll, enters Wednesday's matchup with an 0-1 overall record following an 87-71 loss at College of the Holy Cross on Nov. 9. The Bulldogs trimmed a six-point halftime deficit to two points, 45-43, at 16:24 of the second half but Holy Cross went on an 18-5 run in a five-minute span to build a 15-point cushion; Yale never pulled within single figures the rest of the way.
    Nyasha Sarju played 25 minutes off the bench – equivalent minutes to the five starters – and led four double-digit scorers with 18 points. Sarah Halejian (15 pts), Zenab Keita (12) and Janna Graf (11) also scored in double figures; Keita and Graf tied for the team lead in rebounds with seven, while Halejian, the reigning Ivy League Rookie of the Year, tallied a team-best four assists.
    Last year, Yale finished 16-12 with a third-place finish in the Ivy League at 8-6. Three starters return, including Megan Vasquez. She has been the top scorer each of the previous three seasons (15.3 ppg a year ago) and is a two-time All-Ivy League First Team honoree. Graf led the squad in rebounding (5.8 rpg) and was second in scoring (10.6 ppg).
    The Bulldogs are missing three players – Hayden Latham, Alexandra Osborn-Jones and Arrice Bryant – due to injury.

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