March 1, 2013

Game Notes: Women's Basketball Closes Regular Season at Maine (March 2)

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The Matchup
    The University of New Hampshire women's basketball team concludes the regular season Saturday, March 2 at the University of Maine. Game time at Memorial Gym is 2 p.m.
    UNH has a 27-45 lifetime record, including this season's 61-54 victory at Lundholm Gym, against Maine. The Wildcats have won six straight vs. the Black Bears and that includes each of the last two trips to Orono – the 'Cats prevailed 66-50 last year in Maine and won 64-47 on Jan. 11. The Black Bears' most recent win was Feb. 16, 2010 in Orono by a score of 69-61. During UNH's current six-game winning streak, only this year's meeting was decided by single figures.
    Earlier this year (Jan. 29), Kaylee Kilpatrick recorded 16 points, four rebounds, three assists and a career-high four blocks to lead UNH to a seven-point victory. Cari Reed also scored 16 points while Morgan Frame pulled down a game-high 12 rebounds and tallied four assists. Corinne Wellington led four Black Bears in double-digit points with 14 and also had a team-high seven rebounds. Liz Wood netted 12 points while Ashleigh Roberts and Courtney Anderson both finished with 10.
    The Wildcats led 20-10 at 9:16 of the first half before Maine clawed within four points, 22-18, with an 8-2 run. The teams exchanged scores the rest of the half and New Hampshire took a 31-24 lead into halftime. UNH reestablished a double-digit lead of 37-27 at 16:31, but Maine utilized a 10-0 run to level the score, 39-39, at 13:01. Maine had a chance to take its first lead of the game, but Roberts did not complete the potential three-point play by missing the free throw. The 'Cats slowly pulled away the next seven minutes to build a 50-42 lead at 6:59 and the Black Bears did not get closer than six points the rest of the way.
    UNH recorded a 41-35 rebounding advantage, season-high seven blocks and season-low nine turnovers. The Wildcats tallied 15 assists on 23 field goals. Maine shot 41.8% (23-55) from the floor and 42.9% (6-14) from the foul line.
    Last year (Jan. 25, 2012) at Alfond Arena, UNH built a 16-7 lead through six minutes, extended the advantage to double figures (26-15, at 3:51) and led 32-21 at halftime. The Wildcats went on a 13-0 run in the second half to build a 54-37 advantage with eight minutes remaining en route to the 66-50 victory.

The State of New Hampshire
    New Hampshire enters Saturday's game with a 10-17 overall record that includes 5-10 in America East and 3-11 on the road (1-6 in conference road games). The Wildcats ended their three-game homestand with back-to-back losses to Binghamton (55-42) and Albany (55-46); it began with a 51-49 win vs. Hartford.
    After a stretch of winning three of four games (Jan. 26 through Feb. 6), UNH has now lost four of five games (Feb. 13-27).
    New Hampshire has followed last year's 16-win campaign with 10 wins so far this season. The last time UNH recorded back-to-back double-digit win seasons was in 2005 (15) and 2006 (15); 2006 was the last of 20 consecutive double-digit win seasons that started in 1987.
    The Wildcats entered the week (through Feb. 24) ranked in the Top 100 nationally (343 ranked) in scoring defense (#72; 56.7 ppg allowed).
    UNH has not yielded 60 (or more) points in six consecutive games. The last opponent – and only one the past 10 games – to reach that mark was Stony Brook (60-47 loss on Feb. 2).
    Seven of the eight games in January were decided by eight points or less. During that stretch, UNH lost by margins of two, three, four and seven points and won by one, seven and eight points.
    UNH ended its streak of eight consecutive road losses with a 60-52 victory at Binghamton University on Jan. 26; since then, the 'Cats have lost all three road games. The Wildcats had opened the season with back-to-back road wins against Yale University and College of the Holy Cross.
    With head coach Maureen Magarity on maternity leave spanning Dec. 22, 2012 through Feb. 2), UNH went 3-8. Associate head coach Mike Roux filled in as head coach during Magarity's absence. She returned to the bench for the Feb. 6 victory against UVM but then missed both of last week's road games. Magarity once again returned to the sideline for each game during the three-game homestand.

Developing the Playoff Picture
    UNH, by virtue of its 5-10 conference record, is seventh in the America East standings with one game remaining in the regular season. UMBC, Vermont and Stony Brook are tied for fourth place, just one game ahead of the Wildcats at 6-9.
    New Hampshire will finish between the No. 4-7 seeds.
    The 'Cats hold the head-to-head tiebreaker advantage against UMBC and Vermont, but SBU holds the edge in that head-to-head tiebreak.
    If the teams finish in a four-way tie, UMBC wins the initial tiebreak to gain the No. 3 seed, followed by Stony Brook at No. 4, UNH at No. 5 and UVM at No. 6.
    If there is a three-way tie involving UNH, UMBC and Vermont, the Wildcats win that tiebreaker to gain the No. 4 seed; UMBC would follow at No. 5 and UVM at No. 6.
    If there is a three-way tie involving UNH, Stony Brook and Vermont – Stony Brook is No. 4, UNH is No. 5 and Vermont is No. 6.
    If there is a three-way tie between UNH, UMBC and Stony Brook – UMBC is No. 4, Stony Brook is No. 5 and UNH is No. 6.
    Albany, host of the 2013 America East Women's Basketball Championship (March 8 & 10) has secured the top seed and Hartford will be the No. 2 seed.

Regular-Season Finale
    Saturday's game at Maine will mark the ninth consecutive year that UNH plays its final game of the regular season on the road; the stretch began 2005 at Boston University.
    The Wildcats were 59-52 overtime victors in last year's regular-season finale at Binghamton University, and that win ended a streak of 12 straight losses in the last game of the regular season. The last time UNH had ended regular-season play with a win was in 1999 (69-57 at home vs. Vermont).

Saluting The Seniors
    UNH's four-member Class of 2013 was honored Feb. 27 prior to tipoff against Albany in the last regular-season game at Lundholm Gym. This senior class – comprised of Morgan Frame, Jilliane Friel, Cari Reed and Lauren Wells – has compiled 44 wins and helped lead the Wildcats to their second-ever postseason appearance with a berth in the 2012 WBI tournament.

The Twitterverse
    The following factoids are 140 characters or less, which makes them suitable for sharing with your Twitter followers:
    Vote 4 Cari Reed of @UNHHoops as the Fans Choice Player of the Year on the @America East Facebook page #UNHHoops #AEHoops
    This is the 9th straight yr @UNHHoops plays its regular-season finale on the road #UNHHoops #AEHoops
    Cari Reed moved into @UNHHoops Top 20 career points list & is tied at No. 19 w/914 pts #UNHHoops #AEHoops

What Just Happened
    UNH's offensive execution and stifling defense gave the Wildcats a 30-18 halftime lead against Albany, but the Great Danes went on an 18-0 run in the second half to rally for a 55-46 victory Wednesday night at Lundholm Gym.
    Morgan Frame led the 'Cats in both points (16) and rebounds (eight). Cari Reed climbed from No. 21 to 19 on the program's all-time points leaderboard with her 11-point effort; she now has 914 career points. Ariel Gaston scored a career-high nine points and matched her season high of seven rebounds while Kelsey Hogan contributed six points, six rebounds and four assists.
    UA's Megan Smith scored a game-high 20 points on 9 of 14 shooting from the floor. The Great Danes trailed 36-26 at 13:26 of the second half when they scored 18 consecutive points to take a 44-36 lead. UNH got no closer than four points (44-40 at 3:20) the rest of the way.

What Happens Next
    New Hampshire opens postseason play Friday, March 8 with an America East quarterfinal game at the University at Albany's SEFCU Arena.

New Hampshire Notables
    New Hampshire held Albany to 18 first-half points, which marked the third lowest halftime score for an opponent this season. The Wildcats allowed just 11 points to UVM (Feb. 6) and 16 to Brown (Dec. 2).
    UNH limited the opposition to less than 50 points for the fifth time this season in the 51-49 victory against Hartford on Feb. 20. It also marked the second time this year an opponent did not hit a 3-point shot (the Hawks were 0-for-9); the first time it happened was Jan. 5 vs. Stony Brook.
    UNH held its largest lead of the season – 30 points (57-27) – versus Vermont at Lundholm Gym on Feb. 6. The 22-point margin of victory (67-45) is the second largest.
    The Wildcats established season highs in both field goal percentage (57.5%; 23-40) and 3-point field goal percentage (61.5%; 8-13) in that Feb. 6 game against the Catamounts. The eight 3-pointers tied a season high, the 15 assists ranks No. 2 and the 67 points is the third highest total for the year.
    The 57.5% field goal percentage marks UNH's best effort since Jan. 22, 2010 [57.9% (33-57) vs. Albany], and the 61.5 3-point FG% is the team's best sharpshooting effort since Dec. 11, 2003 [66.7% (6-9) vs. Wisconsin-Milwaukee).
    UNH limited Vermont to 11 first-half points, which marked the lowest halftime total by an opponent in the last 20 years; the previous first-half low was 14 points by Stony Brook on Feb. 1, 2002.
    New Hampshire recorded seven blocks vs. Maine (Jan. 29). It's the highest team total since Jan. 1, 2011, when the Wildcats recorded seven blocks in a triple OT game against the University Rhode Island.

'Cat Clips
    Sophomore point guard Ariel Gaston scored a career-high nine points (4 of 6 FGs, including one 3-pointer) and matched her season high of seven rebounds Feb. 27 vs. Albany. She came off the bench and played 19 minutes.
    Gaston has been quietly effective the past 11 games. She is averaging 4.3 points, 4.3 rebounds and 2.8 assists per game in 31.9 minutes during this stretch, which dates back to Jan. 19.
    In six games since returning to the starting lineup (Feb. 6 vs. Vermont), junior guard Kelsey Hogan is averaging a team-high 13.0 points, 4.3 rebounds and 2.5 assists per game. She is shooting 46.9% (23-49) from the floor, including 47.6% (10-21) from 3-point range, the past five games.
    Senior forward Morgan Frame has climbed atop the team leaderboard in rebounding at 6.9 per game (she has a team-high 187 rebounds). Frame has been very consistent of late with eight rebounds at UMBC (Feb. 13) followed by back-to-back nine-rebound efforts against Boston U. (Feb. 16) and Hartford (Feb. 20); she pulled down eight boards vs. Albany (Feb. 27).
    Frame's point production has been equally consistent during that span. She scored 12 points vs. both Hartford and Stony Brook (Feb. 2) and netted nine points each of the three games in between. Frame netted a team-high 16 points vs. Albany.
    UNH's longest active streak for consecutive starts belongs to Frame (47 games).

Milestone Watch
    Two Wildcats are in the top 10 in 3-pointers made. Senior shooting guard Cari Reed ascended into the top 5 at the Brown Bear Basketball Classic with the first of her four 3-pointers vs. Quinnipiac and reached the 150 milestone Jan. 19 vs. Boston U. Reed is currently No. 3 at 170.
    Junior point guard Kelsey Hogan reached the 100 milestone Feb. 6 at home against Vermont with the last of her 4-for-4 effort and then climbed into a tie for 10th with four more 3s at UMBC on Feb. 13. Hogan is also No. 13 in career assists with 266; she tallied #250 Feb. 2 at Stony Brook.

This Date In History
    In the 37-year history of UNH varsity women's basketball, the Wildcats have a 3-7 record on March 2 and that includes 0-3 on the road. In the most recent March 2 game, UNH lost 59-57 to UMBC in the 2012 America East quarterfinals.

Conference Call
    Through games of March 1, UNH ranks sixth in the America East conference in offense (53.4 ppg) and fifth in defense (56.7 ppg). The Wildcats lead the league in free throw percentage (.695), rank fourth in field goal percentage (.380), FG% defense (.385) and rebounding margin (+1.8) as well as fifth in blocks (2.3 per game).
    On the individual leaderboards, senior guard Cari Reed ranks fourth in scoring (12.4 ppg) and eighth in rebounding (6.6 rpg) – she and teammate Morgan Frame are two of three players ranked in the top 8 in both stats.
    Reed is also atop the leaderboard in free throw percentage (.862) as well as fifth in minutes (34.0 per game), fourth in 3-point field goals made (2.0 per game) and seventh in 3-point field goal percentage (.355).
    Senior forward Morgan Frame is eighth at 10.8 ppg and fifth at 6.9 rpg; Frame is 10th in free throw percentage (.647).
    Sophomore forward Kaylee Kilpatrick ranks fifth in field goal percentage (48.2%) and fourth blocks (1.0 per game). Classmate Ariel Gaston is eighth in assist/turnover ratio at 1.3 and junior Kelsey Hogan is seventh in both assists (3.2 per game) and minutes (32.5).

Clutch Performer
    Senior shooting guard Cari Reed has been a clutch performer for the 'Cats this season and was named co-captain in mid-December; she missed consecutive games (Feb. 13 at UMBC and Feb. 16 at Boston U.) before returning to action with 16 minutes off the bench vs. Hartford (Jan. 20). In that limited time, Reed missed all four field goal attempts, including three 3-pointers, and went 1-for-2 from the foul line for one point; she also tallied two rebounds, one assist and one steal.
    In the Jan. 26 game at Binghamton University, she helped secure the 60-52 victory by making 5 of 6 free throws in a 31-second span (from 1:12 to 41 seconds) in which the score advanced from 55-48 to the final of 60-52.
    Against UMBC on Jan. 9, Reed went 4-for-4 from the foul line in the last 16 seconds to extend New Hampshire's lead from 58-56 to 62-56 and help secure a 63-62 victory.
    In the season 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 in the next game 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. Against Cornell (Nov. 25), 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.
    Reed leads the team in scoring (12.4 ppg), 3-point field goals made (49) and attempted (138) and minutes (34.0 mpg). She is second in rebounding (6.6 per game), field goals made (105) and attempted (257), blocks (13) and both free throws made (50) and attempted (58); she is also third in assists (37).
    In 13 America East conference games, her numbers are 12.2 ppg, 6.2 rpg, 1.2 apg, 1.0 steals and 0.6 blocks per game in 33.3 mpg.
    Reed has been the team's top scorer 13 times, and the top rebounder 10 times. She has seven double-digit rebounding efforts; the rest of the team has seven double-digit rebound games. Reed also has five of the team's eight double-doubles on the season.
    Reed returned to the starting lineup for Senior Night against Albany on Feb. 27; she finished with 11 points and three steals. In the Feb. 23 game vs. Binghamton, Reed came off the bench to lead the team in scoring with 13 points in 29 minutes. She made 4 of 9 field goals, including 3-for-6 from 3-point range.
    In the Feb. 2 game at Stony Brook, Reed scored a team-high 14 points – she made all five free throws – and also tallied six rebounds, three assists, three steals and one block.
    One game earlier vs. Maine (Jan. 29), Reed scored 16 points and tied her personal best of six FTs made by going 6 of 7 from the foul line.
    In the Jan. 19 game vs. Boston University, Reed recorded her 150th career 3-pointer and fifth double-double of the season (sixth career) with a season-high 22 points and career-high 13 rebounds. Her 3-pointers started and ended a 14-0 spurt near game's end that trimmed a 16-point deficit to two, 54-52.

Listings for Reed
    If the season ended today, Cari Reed would have the second best single-season free throw percentage in school history at 86.2% (50-58), and that includes 91.2% (31-34) in America East conference action. The top overall mark of 90.0% was established by Kathy Ladd in '80-81.
    Reed is currently No. 18 on the program's career blocks leaderboard with 40. Next on the list is Deb Dorsch (1986-90) with 41. Ahead of that are Carrie Kimball (1992-96; 42 blocks) and Laura Seiden (1989-93; 42) and Rita McCarroll (1986-90; 43).
    Reed climbed into the Top 20 on UNH's career points leaderboard during her 11-point effort Feb. 27 vs. Albany. She surpassed Marcie Lane (1991-94; No. 20 at 910) into a tie for 19th with Martha Morrison (1978-82; 914). Kathy Sanborn (1975-79) and Danielle Clark (2003-07) are tied at No. 17 with 930 career points.

Hitting the Boards
    New Hampshire has outrebounded the opponent in 16 of 27 games this season and the total has been equal three times. UNH tallied its second-highest totals in rebounds (44) and rebounding margin (+15) at Binghamton University on Jan. 26, but the Bearcats recorded a 42-38 edge last Saturday, Feb. 23. The highs of 46 rebounds and +19 were established Dec. 17 vs. Wagner.
    The Wildcats recorded a 39-38 edge at home against Stony Brook, which entered that Jan. 5 game with a +6.8 rebounding advantage, and the 'Cats outrebounded the Seawolves 37-32 at Pritchard Gymnasium on Feb. 2.
    UNH allowed 19 offensive rebounds to Vermont (Jan. 2) and the Catamounts recorded a 37-34 overall advantage. In the Feb. 6 rematch, New Hampshire finished with the 30-26 edge; UVM had 13 offensive rebounds.
    Albany tallied a 45-25 rebound advantage Jan. 16 to mark the highest total by an opponent and the largest edge by the opposition. In the Feb. 27 rematch at Lundholm Gym, the 'Cats held a 19-16 first-half advantage but the Great Danes finished ahead 41-33.

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.
    Frame leads the team in rebounding (6.9 rpg), field goals made (113) and attempted (279), free throws made (66) and attempted (102) and is atop the steals leaderboard with 25. She ranks second in scoring (10.8 ppg) as well as third in minutes (28.3 per game) and fourth in assists (33).
    In 15 America East conference games, Frame is averaging 11.2 ppg, 7.2 rpg and 1.5 apg in 30.2 mpg.
    Frame has been very consistent of late with eight rebounds at UMBC (Feb. 13) followed by back-to-back nine-rebound efforts against Boston U. (Feb. 16) and Hartford (Feb. 20). She pulled down a team-high eight boards Feb. 27 vs. Albany.
    Frame's point production has been equally consistent during that span. She scored 12 points vs. both Hartford and Stony Brook (Feb. 2) and netted nine points each of the three games in between. Most recently, Frame scored a team-high 16 points vs. Albany.
    UNH's longest active streak for consecutive starts belongs to Frame (47 games).
    The 6-foot-1 forward matched her career high of 12 rebounds, including four on the offensive glass, against Maine on Jan. 29. She also matched her personal best of four assists the third consecutive game.
    Frame scored a season-high 23 points (8-14 FGs, 7-8 FTs) and also tallied eight rebounds, four assists, three steals and a blocked shot to propel UNH to a 60-52 victory at Binghamton (Jan. 26). The seven free throws are a career high. Frame set the tone in the game by scoring 10 of the team's initial 14 points; after the Bearcats closed within 51-46, she made two fouls shots and then assisted on a layup in less than a minute to extend the margin to nine points.

Block Party
    New Hampshire's stretch of 14 consecutive games with multiple blocks ended Feb. 13 at UMBC, when UNH did not record a blocked shot. In that span of 14 games – Dec. 9 through Feb. 6 – the Wildcats totaled 51 blocks.
    Including that Feb. 13 game, UNH has recorded just one blocked shot the past five games the 'Cats had one block at Boston U. (Feb. 16).
    Sophomore forward Kaylee Kilpatrick leads the team with 27 blocked shots – she tallied a career-high four blocks Jan. 29 vs. Maine and UNH tallied a season high seven in that game. Reed ranks second with 13.
    Through 27 games, New Hampshire has a 63-49 edge in blocked shots. Boston U. rejected eight UNH shots Feb. 16 at Case Gym and one game later Hartford finished with four blocks.

Captain of the 'Cats
    Junior guard Kelsey Hogan is co-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 multiple 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.
    In Wednesday's game vs. Albany, Hogan finished with six points, six rebounds and a team-high four assists.
    Hogan matched her career high of 20 points Feb. 13 at UMBC. She matched her personal best of four 3-pointers for the second consecutive game to climb into a tie for 10th place on the program's career leaderboard (with 104).
    The Feb. 6 game vs. Vermont will be one to remember for Hogan, who made her return to the starting lineup and played 25 minutes against the Catamounts. Hogan recorded her 100th career 3-pointer made with the last of her four 3s on the night; she made all six field goal attempts to become the first Wildcat since Jan. 29, 2005 to shoot 100% from the floor (minimum five attempts); Ebony Woods was 6-for-6 back on that day. Hogan also pulled down a team-high four rebounds.
    One game earlier at Stony Brook University (Feb. 2), Hogan reached another personal milestone by recording her 250th career assist. She is the 13th Wildcat to attain that number.
    Through 27 games this season, Hogan, who has missed seven games (Nov. 25 & 28; Jan. 16-19-23-26-29), leads the team in assists (63; 3.2 apg) and is third in scoring (9.5 ppg) as well as fifth in rebounding (3.5 rpg). She is second in minutes per game (32.5), third in 3-pointers made (20) and second in 3-point field goal percentage (.290).
    Hogan returned to action Feb. 2 at Stony Brook. She came off the bench to play 16 minutes and finished with four points, one rebound and three assists. Hogan's previous game was Jan. 9 vs. UMBC; she tallied four points, two rebounds and one assist in 31 minutes against the Retrievers.
    In five games since her return to the starting lineup (Feb. 6 vs. Vermont), junior guard Kelsey Hogan is averaging a team-high 13.0 points, 4.3 rebounds and 2.5 assists per game. She is shooting 46.4% (26-56) from the floor, including 43.5% (10-23) from 3-point range, the past six games.
    Hogan matched her career high of nine assists Nov. 17 at Holy Cross. She established that personal benchmark Jan. 22, 2012 vs. Binghamton University.

Home & Road Splits
    UNH's offensive split between home and away games is negligible (54.1 ppg at home; 52.9 ppg away), but the defensive numbers are very different at 51.2 ppg allowed in 12 home games and 61.2 ppg allowed on the road.
    The Wildcats' field goal percentage is lower at home (.372) compared to .385 on the road. The 3-point field goal percentage is marginally higher at home (27.0% home; 24.9% away).
    UNH has been a better rebounding team at home with a +2.3 margin compared to +1.8 on the road; part of that road margin is skewed due to Albany's 45-25 edge (Jan. 16).

Kaylee Killa
    Sophomore forward Kaylee Kilpatrick started 15 consecutive games before coming off the bench for the Feb. 27 Senior Night game against Albany; she has been on the court for 22 of 27 opening tipoffs. She is averaging 7.4 points, 4.4 rebounds, 1.1 assists, 1.0 blocks and 24.9 minutes per game. Kilpatrick leads the team – and is No. 5 in the America East conference – in field goal percentage at 47.1%; she ranks first on the squad in blocks (27) as well as third in rebounding and fourth in scoring.
    Kilpatrick has recorded multiple blocks in eight games, including a stretch of four consecutive games spanning Jan. 23 through Feb. 2 with 11 blocks in that time.
    In 15 America East games, Kilpatrick is averaging 7.2 ppg, 3.9 rpg, 1.1 apg, 1.2 blocks and 0.7 steals in 25.7 minutes per game.
    Kilpatrick finished with 10 points (4-7 FGs; 2-3 FTs) and four rebounds in UNH's 51-49 victory against Hartford on Feb. 20.
    In the Feb. 6 game against Vermont, Kilpatrick was efficient at the offensive end of the court with 10 points on 3 of 4 field goals and 4-for-4 shooting from the foul line. She also recorded three rebounds, two assists, one steal and a block in 24 minutes.
    The 6-foot-4 forward re-wrote her record book in January. She ended the month with a career-high four blocks and tied a career high of two steals against Maine (Jan. 29). Kilpatrick previously recorded a career-high 12 rebounds as part of UNH's 44-29 edge on the boards at Binghamton (Jan. 26) – she also tallied eight points, two blocks and a steal vs. the Bearcats.
    One game earlier, Kilpatrick netted a personal-best 19 points on 9 of 12 shooting from the floor Jan. 23 at the University of Hartford. Her other stats included three blocks and two steals. During UNH's 15-4 spurt that trimmed the deficit to 54-52 with 1:29 remaining at Hartford, Kilpatrick recorded five points, two assists and two blocks.

Nothing's Free
    New Hampshire leads the America East conference in free throw percentage (69.5%), but only Maine, with 329, has attempted fewer foul shots than the Wildcats' 394.
    In two games the week of Jan. 28-Feb. 3, UNH made 22 of 26 free throws (84.6%) and that included 11-for-12 at Stony Brook.
    Since then, however, UNH has shot 63.2% (60-95) from the foul line in six games. The 'Cats went 15-for-23 (65.2%) in the 51-49 win against Hartford on Feb. 20 and then 13 of 20 from the foul line vs. Binghamton (Feb. 23).
    UNH has made just one free throw in two games this year. The Wildcats made 1 of 4 free throws Dec. 1 vs. Quinnipiac and went 1-for-1 at the foul line Dec. 22 at Cleveland State; in comparison, the Vikings made 12 of 16 free throws. It marked the lowest number of FTs made since Feb. 25, 2010, when UNH went 1-for-6 from the foul line against Binghamton University. New Hampshire had not attempted as few as one FT In a game since going 0-for-1 from the foul line in a 55-42 loss vs. Fairfield University on Dec. 10, 1986; Kris Kinney was the 'Cat who missed that lone free throw attempt.
    The Wildcats attempted just two free throws (and made both) in the 50-43 loss at Brown (Dec. 2), and attempted just four free throws – and made all four – in the 68-65 victory at Holy Cross (Nov. 17).
    UNH recorded season highs in both free throws made (22) and attempted (34) Dec. 17 at home against Wagner College.
    In the Wednesday, Jan. 16 game at Albany, the 'Cats recorded the second-highest totals in both free throws made (21) and attempted (28). Later that week (Jan. 19), UNH made 3 of 6 foul shots vs. Boston U.
    In two games vs. Stony Brook, the Wildcats have made 22 of 25 free throw attempts for a percentage of .880.

Taking Point
    Sophomore point guard Ariel Gaston has played in all 27 games and started 15 games, including a stretch of 13 consecutive game that ended on Senior Night – Feb. 27 against Albany; she was previously in the starting lineup consecutive games against Cornell and Harvard (when Kelsey Hogan was sidelined).
    In her 15 starts, Gaston is averaging 3.5 ppg, 3.4 rpg and 2.5 apg in 28.9 minutes per game. In the past 11 games, she has played 30+ minutes eight times with an average of 31.9 per game; Gaston is averaging 4.3 ppg, 4.3 rpg and 2.8 apg the past 11 games. Overall, her numbers include 3.3 ppg, 3.2 rpg, and 2.0 apg in 22.8 mpg.
    Gaston netted a career-high nine points (4 of 6 FGs, 1-1 3s) and matched her personal best of seven rebounds in 19 minutes off the bench against Albany on Feb. 27.
    She finished with five points, six rebounds, two assists and two steals – as well as just two turnovers – in 34 minutes of action to help the Wildcats upend Hartford, 51-49, on Feb. 20.
    Gaston recorded a season-high seven rebounds Feb. 16 at Boston University. She also finished with a team-high four assists for the second consecutive game.

Dial from long distance
    In 15 America East conference games, UNH has made 28.8% of its 3-pointers by making 61 of 212 attempts; that percentage, which ranks sixth in the league, was boosted by an 8 of 13 (61.5%) performance Feb. 6 against Vermont;  – in comparison, the 'Cats were a combined 8 of 35 (22.9%) the previous two games. In the past two games, UNH shot 3 of 14 (21.4%) vs. Binghamton and 4-17 (23.5%) vs. Albany.
    New Hampshire also shot well from 3-point distance with an 8 of 18 (44.4%) effort Jan. 19 at home vs. Boston U.
    Overall, the 'Cats have made 108 of 409 3-pointers, which is a mark of 26.4% that is lowest in America East.
    With senior guard Cari Reed and junior guard Kelsey Hogan entering the season shooting 36.2% and 41.5%, respectively, from 3-point range, one wouldn't expect the UNH Wildcats to have many games struggling to make a 3-pointer.
    New Hampshire went 0-for-17 from 3-point range against Central Connecticut State at Lundholm Gym on Dec. 9 with Reed and Lauren Wells missing six 3-pointers and Hogan attempting four 3-point shots; Jilliane Friel accounted for the other 3-point field goal attempt.
    That game marked the second time through nine games that UNH did not make a 3-point shot. The Wildcats were 0-for-7 from 3-point range in the Nov. 14 season opener at Yale.
    Prior to this season, the last time the 'Cats did not make a 3-point field goal was Feb. 25, 2009, when they missed all 15 shots from beyond the arc against Stony Brook University at Lundholm Gym (50-49 win).

Going Back to the Wells Again
    Another player 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 has been in the starting lineup 12 times – including eight consecutive games spanning Dec. 1 to Jan. 2 – scored a season-high 11 points Dec. 17 against Wagner College. She made 4 of 9 field goal attempts and that included 2-for-6 from 3-point range.
    Wells is averaging 3.4 points, 1.7 rebounds, 0.6 assists and 22.0 minutes per game. In 15 America East conference games (three starts), her numbers are 1.9 ppg, 1.5 rpg and 17.8 mpg.

Friel-ing good
    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 the Wildcats' 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.
    Friel was once again thrust into the role of point guard Jan. 16 at Albany and played a season-high 28 minutes (she had played a total of 27 minutes in her previous seven appearances spanning 10 UNH games). She finished that game with three points – all on free throws –, two rebounds, one assist and one block.
    Friel scored a season-high five points (2-3 FGs, including 1-1 3-pointers) in eight minutes of action Feb. 13 at UMBC. She pulled down a season-high four rebounds Feb. 16 at Boston U.; that total matched her career high.
    In her last game at Lundholm Gym, Friel made her first career start. She tallied two points, three rebounds an assist and two steals in 22 minutes.
    Friel is averaging 1.5 points, 1.1 rebounds and 0.8 assists in 9.4 minutes per game (20 games played). In 13 America East conference games, her numbers include 1.8 ppg, 1.2 rpg and 0.8 apg in 11.4 minutes per game.

Incoming
    The UNH women's basketball program welcomed 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 is averaging 1.3 ppg and 1.2 rpg in 6.2 minutes per game (19 games played); she was sidelined by injury for four games (Dec. 17 to Jan. 2) and has played each of the last nine games.
    Martenet has been productive as a viable option off the bench the past month. In the Feb. 6 game vs. Vermont, she scored a career-high six points with a personal-best 4 of 4 effort from the foul line. She also pulled down three rebounds in a career-high 12 minutes off the bench.
    In limited action at Stony Brook (Feb. 2), Martenet tallied two points, two rebounds and a block in four minutes. One game earlier against Maine (Jan. 29), she recorded two points and two rebounds in six minutes.
    Elizabeth Belanger and Victoria Duffey joined 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 started six consecutive games (Nov. 20 to Dec. 5) and 9 of the last 12, is averaging 6.1 points, 3.7 rebounds, 1.0 assists and 24.0 minutes per game (27 games played; 16 starts).
    In 15 America East conference games (nine starts), her numbers are 5.8 ppg, 3.5 rpg and 1.1 apg in 24.0 mpg.
    Belanger has been held scoreless each of the last two games; she missed all three field goal attempts vs. Binghamton and went 0-for-2 in nine minutes off the bench vs. Albany.
    In the Feb. 16 game at Boston U., Belanger matched her career high with a team-high 12 points. She shot 3 of 6 from 3-point range to establish a personal best in 3-pointers.
    Belanger set a career high of 12 points in UNH's 67-45 win against Vermont at Lundholm Gym on Feb. 6. She shot 5-for-9 from the field, and that included 2 of 3 on 3-pointers. Belanger's other stats included three rebounds, three assists and a steal in 24 minutes off the bench.
    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 12 games; she ended a streak of nine consecutive DNPs Feb. 2 at Stony Brook, where she entered the game in the final minute of both halves. Prior to that, Duffey had not seen game action since Dec. 22 at Cleveland State. She is averaging 2.9 minutes per game with a season-high of nine at Holy Cross.

Forward Reserve
    Sophomore forward Stephanie Spoto has come off the bench in all 27 games this season. She is averaging 1.9 points, 1.6 rebounds and 10.5 minutes per game. Feb. 6 at UMBC, Spoto made 3 of 5 field goals for six points in 16 minutes, which marked her fourth-highest playing time of the season. She finished with two points and two rebounds in 18 minutes at Boston U. (Feb. 16).
    Spoto scored a career-high nine points against the Wagner Seahawks on Dec. 17. She had not attempted a free throw in her Wildcat career prior to that game and went 7-for-10 from the foul line. Spoto also recorded four rebounds and a steal in the game.
    Spoto pulled down a career-high eight rebounds and was credited with two steals vs. Dartmouth (Dec. 5).

On Second Thought
    Cari Reed has three of the team's five 20+ point efforts this season – two on the second day of a month, and both of those on the road. She netted 21 points Dec. 2 at Brown University and scored 20 at Vermont (Jan. 2). Looking ahead, the Wildcats close the regular season March 2 at Maine.

Wildcats on the Air
    The Wildcat Sports Radio Network will broadcast a total of 13UNH women's basketball games during the 2012-13 season. All 11 home games as well as the Nov. 28 road game at Harvard and Feb. 16 game at Boston U. 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
   WZEI-FM 101.5 – Concord
    A total of five 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 & FOX College Sports Atlantic
Jan. 16    at Albany    ESPN3
Jan. 19    Boston U.    WBIN & FOX College Sports Atlantic
Jan. 23    at Hartford    CPTV & CPTV Sports
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 Black Bears
    The University of Maine enters Saturday's game with a 4-23 overall record that includes 3-11 in America East and 2-7 at home (2-5 in conference home games). The Black Bears' game scheduled Feb. 27 at Boston University was canceled; the team bus was in a single-vehicle accident Tuesday en route to BU.
    In the America East conference, Maine enters the weekend ranked  No. 5 in offense (54.9 ppg) and last in defense (68.3 ppg). The Black bears are sixth in FG% (.368), fourth in free throw percentage (.672) and eighth in rebounding margin (-4.1).
    Danielle Walczak leads three double-digit scorers at 10.4 ppg; she also ranks second in rebounding at 5.5 per game. Ashleigh Roberts and Liz Wood are tied for second in scoring at 10.2 ppg. Wood is the team leader in rebounds (6.7 rpg), assists (65) and steals (41), and is a 3-point threat (30-for-107).

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