McDonald, Benson: Service Credit Union Student-Athlete Spotlight & Weekly Roundup

January 3, 2011

Jill McDonald (Middlebury, Vt.) of the women’s basketball team and Brian Benson (Rochester, N.Y.) of the men’s basketball team are featured in this week's Service Credit Union Student-Athlete Spotlight. This information and more can be found in this week's Wildcat Roundup.



Jill McDonald, women’s basketball

     Jill, a 6-foot-3 center from Middlebury, Vermont, recorded her second consecutive double-double with a career-high 22 points and 12 rebounds to help lead the UNH women’s basketball team to last Saturday’s 88-74 triple-overtime victory against Rhode Island. She was also credited with a season-high five blocks.

     In that game vs. URI, the senior was 3-for-3 from 3-point range – the three 3-pointers also marked a personal best – and also made 9 of 10 foul shots.

     Earlier in the week, Jill was named to the 20th Annual Hawk Classic All-Tournament Team. She tallied 11 points and 11 rebounds in a 62-61 loss to Quinnipiac University after opening the tourney with 19 points, four rebounds, two blocks and two steals against St. Joseph’s.

     Jill has recorded multiple blocks six of the last seven games, including the past four, and leads the team with 19 blocks on the season. That total ranks second in the America East conference.

     Through 12 games this season, Jill ranks second on the team in rebounding (6.6 per game) and third in scoring (9.6 ppg). She is also the leader in field goals made (44) as well as second in both free throws made (22) and attempted (31).

     Jill holds the school single-season record for blocks with 58 (2010 season) and shares the single-game record of seven. She also holds the #3 single-season mark of 43 (2009) and is currently third on the career blocks list with 133.


Brian Benson, men’s basketball

     Brian, a 6-foot-9 forward from Rochester, New York, averaged 8.3 points, 7.7 rebounds and 0.7 blocks in three games last week to help raise his season averages to 4.3 ppg, 6.5 rpg and 0.92 blocks in 20.4 minutes per game.

     The junior ranks has a team-high 12 blocks and ranks second on the team – eighth in the America East conference – in rebounding.

     Brian scored a season-high 12 points on 4-for-5 shooting, including a make of his only 3-point attempt, in the team’s 68-66 victory against Cornell University in the opening round of the Richmond Marriott Holidays on the Hardwood Classic on Dec. 29. He then tallied seven points and a career-high 11 rebounds against Virginia Commonwealth University in the tourney title game. Brian played a season-high 27 minutes (six points, eight rebounds) in the league opener at Albany on Jan. 2.

     In the last eight games, Brian has shot 18-for-35 (51.4%) from the floor, including 5 of 12 (41.7%) from 3-point range to increase his season averages to 39.2% from the floor and .313 from 3-point range. He recorded a personal best of five blocks Dec. 22 at Central Connecticut State University; he also grabbed nine rebounds that game, which at the time matched his career high.

     Last year as a sophomore, Brian was named to the America East Men’s Basketball All-Academic Team.

Kelsey Hogan, women's basketball: America East Rookie of the Week



Tuesday, December 28

Women’s basketball: at St. Joseph’s 67, UNH 66 (20th Annual Hawk Classic)

Wednesday, December 29

Women’s basketball: Quinnipiac 62, UNH 61 (20th Annual Hawk Classic)

Men’s basketball: UNH 68, Cornell 66 (VCU Christmas Tournament; Richmond, Va.)

Thursday, December 30

Men’s basketball: at Virginia Commonwealth 78, UNH 65 (VCU Christmas Tournament)

Saturday, January 1

Women’s basketball: at UNH 88, Rhode Island 74 [three overtimes]

Sunday, January 2

Men’s hockey: St. Lawrence 2, at #2 UNH 1 [overtime]

Men’s basketball: at Albany 59, UNH 44



Tuesday, January 4

Women’s basketball at Albany, 7 pm

Men’s basketball at Boston U., 7:30 pm

Thursday, January 6

Women’s basketball vs. Boston U., 7 pm

Friday, January 7

Men’s hockey vs. UMass-Lowell, 7 pm

Saturday, January 8

Men’s basketball vs. Binghamton, 1 pm

Sunday, January 9

Gymnastics vs. Rutgers, 1 pm

Women’s hockey vs. Northeastern, 2 pm


MEN’S BASKETBALL (6-7, 0-1 America East)

  • The men’s basketball team finished as runner-up at the Richmond Marriott Holidays on the Hardwood Classic and then opened America East conference action with a 59-44 road loss to Albany. UNH defeated Cornell, 68-66, in the tourney opener and fell to host Virginia Commonwealth, 78-65.
  • Tyrone Conley (Burlington, Vt.) became the 28th member of UNH’s 1,000 point club Jan. 2 at Albany. Conley finished the game with 15 points, including four 3-pointers, four rebounds, three assists, two steals and a block. 
  • Brian Benson (Rochester, N.Y.) ranks second on the team and eighth in America East in rebounding at 6.5 per game. He is averaging 7.6 rpg in the last seven games, including 11 at VCU on Dec. 30. 
  • Chandler Rhoads (Berryville, Va.) had a memorable homecoming at VCU. He scored 10 points on 4 of 5 shooting, pulled down a career-high eight rebounds and was credited with five assists vs. Cornell. Rhoads scored a career-high 15 points with five rebounds and two assists against VCU. 
  • With the 68-66 victory vs. Cornell, UNH reached six wins before New Year’s Day for the first time since the 1994-95 season. 

WOMEN’S BASKETBALL (3-9, 0-0 America East)

  • The UNH women’s basketball team went 1-2 last week with a pair of one-point losses at the 20th Annual Hawk Classic, which was hosted by St. Joseph’s (Philadelphia), and a triple-overtime win at home against Rhode Island – it was the first triple overtime game in program history
  • The Wildcats outscored the Rams 18-4 in the third extra session to record the 88-74 victory. The ‘Cats made 13 of 28 3-pointers – one less than the school record.
  • Denise Beliveau (Framingham, Mass.) recorded her third double-double of the season with a career-high 25 points and 10 rebounds vs. URI.
  • Jill McDonald (Middlebury, Vt.) also had a double-double in that game with a career-high 22 points and 12 rebounds. McDonald made 9 of 10 foul shots, including all four attempts in the third extra session. She also recorded five blocks.
  • Cari Reed (Oswego, N.Y.) led the team’s 3-point barrage on 5-for-10 shooting from beyond the arc. She netted a personal best of 21 points.


  • The UNH gymnastics team opens the 2011 season Jan. 9 at home against Rutgers University. The meet begins at 1 p.m. at Lundholm Gym.

MEN’S ICE HOCKEY (10-3-4, 8-1-2 Hockey East)

  • UNH returned to action Jan. 2 with a 2-1 overtime loss at home to St. Lawrence University. The Wildcats entered the game unbeaten both at home (4-0-3) and in overtime (1-0-4).
  • Matt DiGirolamo (Ambler, Pa.) made 28 saves, including 13 in the third period and two in overtime, against SLU.
  • John Henrion (Holden, Mass.) scored UNH’s only goal vs. the Saints to mark the second consecutive game with a point. He has a point in three of the last four games.

WOMEN’S ICE HOCKEY (9-10-0, 2-7-0 Hockey East)

  • UNH was idle last week and resumes play Jan. 9 at home against Hockey East foe Northeastern University. Game time at the Whittemore Center is 2 p.m.


  • The UNH ski season begins its EISA season Jan. 14-15 at the St. Lawrence Winter Carnival. The alpine races will be held at Whiteface Mountain while the Nordic events will take place at Mt. Van Hoevenberg.


  • UNH did not compete in a meet last week. The Wildcats return to action Jan. 17 at Boston University. 


  • UNH was idle last week. The Wildcats return to action Jan. 22 at home against Holy Cross and Quinnipiac. The meet begins at noon at the Paul Sweet Oval in the Field House. 


  • New Hampshire did not have a meet last week. The ‘Cats return to action Jan. 22 against Holy Cross and Quinnipiac at UNH’s Paul Sweet Oval in the Field House. The meet begins at 12 p.m. 



  • UNH wrapped up the 2010 season with a 12th-place finish at the ICAAAA Championships at Van Cortlandt Park on Nov. 20; 20 teams competed at the meet.


  • UNH concluded the 2010 season with a 14th-place finish at the ECAC Championships, which were held Nov. 20 at Van Cortlandt Park; 23 teams competed at the meet.

FIELD HOCKEY (14-7 overall, 5-0 America East)

  • UNH completed the 2010 season with a 14-7 record following a 2-1 overtime loss to Albany in the America East championship game on Oct. 6. The 14 victories marked the highest single-season total since the ’00 squad also had 14 wins.
  • Junior forward Whitney Frates (Woodstock, Vt.) was named to the 2010 Longstreth/NFHCA All-America Second Team. It marks the second consecutive year a Wildcat was honored as an All-American.

FOOTBALL (8-5 overall, 5-3 CAA)

  • The 10th-ranked UNH football team was defeated 16-3 by fifth-ranked University of Delaware in an NCAA quarterfinal at Delaware Stadium on Dec. 10.
  • Dino Vasso (Crum Lynne, Pa.) was named to a total of three All-America teams: The Sports Network/ FCS Second Team, Associated Press All-America Second Team and AFCA Football Championship Subdivision Coaches’ All-America Team.
  • Matt Evans (Hanover, Mass.) was also named to a total of three All-America teams: The Sports Network/ FCS Second Team, Associated Press All-America Second Team and the Walter Camp Football Foundation 2010 Football Championship Subdivision All-America Team.

MEN’S SOCCER (9-5-6 overall, 2-3-2 America East)

  • The UNH men’s soccer team concluded the 2010 season with a tie in the America East championship game at UMBC. The Wildcats and Retrievers battled to a scoreless tie through regulation and overtime, then UMBC won the title by virtue of a 5-3 edge on penalty kicks.

WOMEN’S SOCCER (8-8-4 overall, 4-3-1 America East)

  • UNH’s 2010 season came to an end with the fifth-seeded Wildcats’ 2-1 loss at fourth-seeded Albany in the America East quarterfinals on Oct. 28.

VOLLEYBALL (10-17 overall, 5-7 America East)

  • UNH ended the 2010 season on a high note with a 3-2 come-from-behind win at UMBC on Nov. 12. UNH has reached double digits in wins five of the last six seasons.
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