Game Notes: Women's Basketball Returns to Road Against Harvard (Nov. 28)
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The University of New Hampshire women's basketball team takes a 3-1 overall record into a Nov. 28 game at Harvard University (4-2). The game, which will be broadcast on the Wildcat Sports Radio Network, begins at 7 p.m. at Lavietes Basketball Pavilion.
UNH has a 17-9 overall record, including last year's 69-62 home loss, against Harvard. The Wildcats have a 7-6 road record in this series, but the Crimson has won five consecutive home games since the 'Cats prevailed 85-71 on Feb. 1, 1994.
These programs have tipped off against one another each of the previous five years and Harvard has a 4-1 edge. In the most recent meeting at Lavietes Basketball Pavilion, the Crimson won 96-63 on Dec. 10, 2010. New Hampshire's most recent victory vs. Harvard was Nov. 24, 2009, when the 'Cats were 78-65 victors in overtime at Lundholm Gym.
This series began Feb. 14, 1977 with UNH recording a 61-46 home victory. The 'Cats won the initial six meetings and 15 of the first 16. Since January 1996, Harvard has the 8-2 edge.
The State Of New Hampshire
New Hampshire enters the Nov. 28 game at Harvard with a 3-1 overall record, which matches the team's best start (through four games) the past decade. The Wildcats were 3-1 in 2005-06 and 2009-10. The 2005-06 team went on to win its next three games, whereas the 2009-10 squad lost the next four.
With a 68-65 win at Holy Cross on Nov. 17, UNH started 2-0 for the first time since the 2005-06 season. Between that season and this, UNH won season openers three times (2007-08, 2009-10, 2011-12) but lost the following game.
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.
What Just Happened
Cari Reed scored a game-high 17 points, including two free throws with nine seconds remaining, to lead UNH to a 59-56 victory against Cornell University at Lundholm Gym on Nov. 25. UNH won its home opener – the Wildcats have won 11 of their last 13 home openers – to improve to 4-0 lifetime against Cornell and 3-1 overall this season.
Reed made 5 of 8 field goal attempts, including 3-for-6 from 3-point range, and made all four foul shots to account for her 17 points. She also tallied five rebounds and a steal in 38 minutes to garner America East Player of the Game recognition.
Following a New Hampshire timeout, Lauren Wells drove down the right side of the lane and made a layup to make the score 57-56 in favor of the 'Cats with 27 seconds to play.
The Big Red called a 30-second timeout and a missed jumper was pulled in by Ariel Gaston. Gaston missed the front end of the 1-and-1, but Elizabeth Belanger corralled the ball and then had it knocked out of bounds with 10 seconds on the clock. Reed was fouled on the ensuing inbounds play and made both free throws to extend the advantage to 59-56 with nine seconds remaining.
Cornell advanced the ball up the middle and Allyson DiMagno's contested 3-pointer from the top-right side of the arc fell well short and into the arms of Gaston at the buzzer.
What Happens next
New Hampshire travels to compete in the Brown Classic (Dec. 1-2) this weekend and opens the tourney Saturday against Quinnipiac University. UNH's next home game is Dec. 5 (5:30 p.m.) against Dartmouth College as part of a women's & men's doubleheader at Lundholm Gym.
New Hampshire Notables
UNH shot a season-low 39.6% from the floor in its 59-56 victory versus Cornell University at Lundholm Gym on Nov. 25, but the six 3-pointers matched the team's season high established Nov. 17 at Holy Cross.
Cornell attempted 27 free throws; the first three opponents combined for 35 foul shots.
Senior forward Morgan Frame has scored in double digits all four games with a season high of 17 at Holy Cross (Nov. 17) and low of 11 vs. Cornell (Nov. 25).
Freshman guard Elizabeth Belanger recorded her first career double-double with 11 points and a team-high 11 rebounds Nov. 25 against Cornell. Both totals are personal bests.
Senior guard Jilliane Friel, who missed the first three games of the season, matched her career high of four assists in 15 minutes of action off the bench vs. Cornell.
Senior guard Cari Reed made all four free throw attempts versus Cornell and is 9-for-9 from the foul line this season.
In two of four games this season, neither team has led by more than six points and all four games have been decided by six points or less.
In the opener at Yale, the Bulldogs' largest lead was four points and the 'Cats led by no more than six; that was also the final margin (57-51).
Then against Holy Cross, the Crusaders led by as many as 11 points and UNH by as many as five en route to a three-point victory, 68-65.
Last Tuesday at Boston College, the Wildcats held the largest lead of six points; BC's greatest margin was five points in the five-point win.
Most recently versus Cornell, the 'Cats led by 10 points three times and faced a deficit as large as five in a three-point victory.
Hitting the boards
UNH recorded the rebound advantage each of its first four games against Yale (44-36), Holy Cross (31-24), Boston College (36-31) and Cornell (40-39).
Get Outta Here
New Hampshire recorded just one blocked shot through three games and then recorded two in the Nov. 25 home opener against Cornell University. Sophomore forward Kaylee Kilpatrick has accounted for all three of the Wildcats' blocks this season.
The opposition has been credited with just two blocks – both in the game at Boston College.
The Wildcats attempted just four free throws – and made all four – in the 68-65 victory at Holy Cross (Nov. 17). It marked the lowest number of free throw attempts since Feb. 23, 2011, when UNH was 3 of 4 at the foul line; it was the lowest total of free throws made since the 'Cats went 4-for-9 from the foul line Dec. 3, 2011 against Holy Cross; they were 3-10 vs. Seton Hall on Nov. 16, 2011.
UNH recorded season highs in both free throws made (15) and attempted (19) in the Nov. 14 season opener at Yale.
On The Road
New Hampshire opened the 2012-13 season with three consecutive road games to match the program's longest stretch of road games at the outset of a season. The road began Nov. 14 with a 57-51 win at Yale University, continued Nov. 17 with a 68-65 victory at College of the Holy Cross and ended Nov. 20 at Boston College (64-59 loss).
The only other time it happened was in 1990-91 (Holy Cross, 93-65 loss; Brown, 78-73 loss; UMass, 75-54 win). Between then and now, 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.
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.
The past two Novembers, UNH has a 5-2 record in away games. In addtion to the 2-1 start this season, the Wildcats won three of four road games last November.
This Date In History
In the 37-year history of UNH varsity women's basketball, the Wildcats have a 3-7 record, including 2-5 on the road, on Nov. 28. They have lost three straight Nov. 28 games, and that includes a 2000 matchup at Harvard. New Hampshire's most recent win on this date was 1999; that was a 76-70 victory against Siena College.
Framework For Success
Senior forward Morgan Frame was selected to the America East Preseason All-Conference Team at the league's Media Day in late October.
Through four games, Frame leads the team in scoring (13.8 ppg), steals (five) and field goals (21), and she ranks second in both field goals attempted (39) and field goal percentage (53.8%) as well as rebounding (5.5 per game) and minutes (27.3 per game). Frame is also atop the team leaderboard in free throws made (13) and attempted (19).
She has proven capable of taking control of games. With UNH trailing by 10 points (56-46) with eight minutes remaining at Holy Cross, Frame scored nine consecutive points and 11 overall during the Wildcts' 15-0 run; she also had two steals during that stretch.
In the next game at Boston College, Frame scored eight consecutive UNH points in the latter part of the first half as the 'Cats and Eagles exchanged baskets.
Senior shooting guard Cari Reed has been a clutch performer for the 'Cats this season. In the opener at Yale, Reed pulled down a defensive rebound with nine seconds remaining and secured the 57-51 victory by hitting both foul shots with five seconds to play. Then at Holy Cross on Nov. 17, Reed lifted UNH to a 68-65 victory by hitting a 3-pointer with three seconds on the clock. Most recently against Cornell, she hit a pair of free throws with nine seconds remaining to extend UNH's lead to three points and the final margin of 59-56.
Through four games this season, Reed is tied for the team lead in scoring (13.8 ppg) and is averaging a team-best 9.0 rebounds per game as well as 35.8 minutes per game, which also ranks first. She is atop the leaderboard in 3-pointers (eight) and is second in assists (seven).
Reed recorded her second career double-double with 18 points and 12 rebounds at Holy Cross (Nov. 17). Both totals led all players and the 12 rebounds matched her personal best. She nearly tallied a double-double in two other games with eight points, 11 rebounds at Yale and 12 points, eight rebounds at Boston College.
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) a year ago.
Through four games this season, Hogan leads the team in assists (5.0 per game) and minutes (35.7 per game), and she ranks third in points (13.7 ppg) as well as third in field goal percentage (48.3%) and fifth in rebounding (3.7 rpg). Hogan, who missed Sunday's home opener vs. Cornell, is also perfect from the foul line with a team-high nine free throws.
Hogan matched her career high of nine assists Nov. 17 at Holy Cross. She established that personal benchmark Jan. 22, 2012 vs. Binghamton University. In the opener at Yale, Hogan made all eight free throw attempts; the eight foul shots was a career high.
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.
Wells, who started each of the first two games of the 2012-13 season, came off the bench vs. Cornell to score a season-high nine points in 24 minutes on 3-for-6 shooting from the floor and 2 of 2 from the foul line. She is averaging 3.5 points and 22.5 minutes per game.
Return to Action
Senior shooting guard Jilliane Friel, who was sidelined the opening two weeks of the season due to injury, made her 2012-13 season debut in the Nov. 25 home opener vs. Cornell, and she was even pressed into the role of point guard due to injury and foul trouble.
In 15 minutes, Friel contributed across the board with three points, two rebounds, one steal and four assists, which matched her career high.
Sophomore forward Stephanie Spoto has scored two points all four games and is averaging 10.3 minutes. She recorded a personal-best four rebounds Nov. 25 vs. Cornell and career-high two assists against both Cornell and Holy Cross (Nov. 17).
Sophomore forward Kaylee Kilpatrick has started all four games and is averaging 7.8 points, 3.8 rebounds and 27.3 minutes per game. Kilpatrick leads the team in field goal percentage at 60.9% and blocks (three) – in fact, she is the only Wildcat with a block – and is fourth in both scoring and rebounding.
Kilpatrick's highlights include a career-high eight points at Yale (Nov. 14) and season-high 10 points on 5-for-6 shooting at Holy Cross (Nov. 17). She also tallied a personal-best three assists in that game vs. HC.
Sophomore point guard Ariel Gaston has played in all four games and was in the starting lineup vs. Cornell; she helped secure the Wildcats' victory with two defensive rebounds in the last 15 seconds of the game. Gaston's season highlights include four rebounds at Yale and three steals at Holy Cross.
Sophomore guard Alexandra Leftridge has not seen game action this season. She is expected back from injury in late December.
Entering this week's action, UNH leads the America East conference in field goal percentage (43.1%). The Wildcats are second in free throw percentage (72.7%), third in rebounding (37.8 rpg) and rebounding margin (+5.2) as well as fourth in both offense (60.8 ppg) and defense (59.0 ppg).
On the individual leaderboards, three 'Cats rank among the top 10 in scoring with senior forward Morgan Frame and senior guard Cari Reed tied at No. 4 at 13.8 points per game; junior guard Kesley Hogan follows at No. 6 (13.7 ppg). Reed ranks third in rebounding at 9.0 per game and Hogan is second in assists (5.0 per game).
The Wildcats have three of the top six in field goal percentage. Sophomore forward Kaylee Kilpatrick is No. 2 at 60.9% and is followed by Frame (No. 4; 53.8%) and Hogan is sixth (48.3%).
One current 'Cat is already in the Top 10 on UNH's career leaderboard for 3-point field goals made and another will approach that list during the 2012-13 season. Senior shooting guard Cari Reed is currently No. 6 with 129 3-pointers while junior point guard Kelsey Hogan is 12th at 90. Hogan is also tied at No. 14 in career assists with 218.
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.
Martenet, who played four minutes off the bench in the season opener at Yale (Nov. 14) but did not play at Holy Cross, saw four minutes of first-half action last Tuesday at BC. She hit 15-foot jumpers on back-to-back possessions to lift the 'Cats into a 33-33 tie late in the half. Those marked her first career points.
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.
Belanger, who has started each of the last two games, is averaging 6.8 points, 5.3 rebounds, 1.3 assists and 25.5 minutes per game. She ranks third on the team in rebounding and assists.
In her second career start, Belanger recorded her first career double-double with 11 points and 11 rebounds against Cornell.
Belanger made her collegiate debut off the bench in the season opener at Yale. She finished with eight points, three rebounds and one steal in 25 minutes.
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.
Duffey has seen limited action off the bench in all four gmes. She is averaging 4.3 minutes per game with a season-high of nine at Holy Cross.
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. The Wildcat Sports Radio Network affiliates include:
WGIR-AM 610 (flagship station) – Manchester
WPKX-AM 930 (flagship station) – Rochester
WQSO-FM 96.7 (flagship station) – Portsmouth
WNTK-FM 99.7 – New London
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
Scouting the Crimson
Harvard University (Cambridge, Mass.) enters Wednesday night's game vs. UNH with a 4-2 overall record that includes 1-0 at home. Last weekend, the Crimson traveled to the state of Michigan and returned home with a 72-61 loss to Michigan and a 67-63 win against Eastern Michigan.
Harvard's offense, which is averaging 69.3 points per game and shooting 47.4% from the floor (including 44.9% from 3-point range), is led by junior guard Christine Clark at 19.0 ppg. She is followed by senior forward Victoria Lippert (10.2) and sophomore forward Temi Fagbenle (10.0). Senior forward Emma Golen is the team's top long-range threat at 68.2% (15-for-22) from 3-point range.
Fagbenle leads the team in rebounding (6.5 per game) and Lippert is second at 6.0 rpg. Senior center Miriam Rutzen (20 assists) and Clark (17) are the top playmakers; Clark has recorded a team-high 12 steals while Rutzen is atop the blocks leaderboard with 10.
On the boards, Harvard is averaging 34.5 rebounds per game in comparison to the opponent's 32.7 rpg.