DURHAM, N.H. -- The University of New Hampshire men's basketball team will hook up with Colgate University for the 27th time, with the Wildcats holding a 16-10 advantage in the all-time series. In their most recent meeting Nov. 26, 2005 at Cotterell Court, the Wildcats posted three scorers in double-digits to defeat Colgate, 60-52, to record their first win of the season, and Coach Herrion’s first win as head coach of the Wildcats.
Ioannis Karalis was the high-scorer for New Hampshire with 13 points, while Mike Christensen and Blagoj Janev followed with 12 points apiece.
The Raiders jumped out to a 4-0 lead to begin the game with baskets from Kyle Chones and Dan Gentile. Tyrece Gibbs got New Hampshire on the board with a 3-pointer that started a 15-2 run for New Hampshire at 18:37. Colgate cut New Hampshire’s lead to four (17-13) when Kyle Roemer banked a shot from behind the arc with nine minutes remaining in the half. The Wildcats built their lead back up as high as ten while the Raiders shot 5-of-12 with three turnovers before the end of the half. New Hampshire shot 55 percent in the half and was up 31-21 at the half.
New Hampshire came out strong in the second half. Christensen banked a jumper at 19:32 to increase the lead. For most of the half, New Hampshire was able to hold onto a lead of 10 points or more. Their highest lead of the game came with 7:35 left in the game when a jumper from Karalis put New Hampshire up by 17 points at 52-35. Roemer sank two free throws immediately after to spark a 9-2 run for the Raiders.
With 30 seconds left in the game, Roemer hit a 3-pointer to close the lead to 58-52 in favor of New Hampshire. Jermaine Anderson sank two free throws with 12 seconds left. Colgate’s Jon Simon attempted a shot from behind the arc at the seven-second mark but missed with Christensen rebounding the ball and hanging onto it for the win.
Roemer scored a game-high 17 points in 31 minutes of action for Colgate.
LAST TIME OUT
The Wildcats’ sixth straight loss dropped their record to 3-7, while the Gaels’ third win in four games improved their record to 3-7.
Gilchrese scored 20 points and added a career-high eight assists, four rebounds and three steals, while Gibbs knocked down a career-high six 3-pointers en route to scoring 20 points in the loss.
The Wildcats led, 69-68, with 6:31 remaining in the contest, but the Gaels went on an 11-1 run to take a 79-70 lead with 4:51 remaining. The lead grew as large as 11 points with 1:01 remaining, until Gilchrese scored the final four points of the game to close it out.
Freshmen Rony Tchatchoua and Tyrone Conley scored 11 and 10 points, respectively, while senior forward Mike Christensen tallied eight points, eight rebounds and six assists off the bench for the Wildcats.
After UNH scored the first points of the game, the Gaels used an 11-0 run to take a 19-7 lead nearly seven minutes into the game. The ‘Cats bounced back with a 12-0 run of their own – highlighted by a pair of Gibbs 3-pointers – to grab a 23-22 lead with 7:32 remaining in the half. The two teams battled back and forth for the remainder of the half, with Iona eventually taking a 39-35 lead into the break.
Iona’s lead expanded to 50-43 three minutes into the second frame until the Wildcats scored six straight points, on treys by Gilchrese and Gibbs, to cut the deficit to one. The game stayed that way until Iona pulled away over the final five minutes of the contest.
Milan Prodanovic led five Gael scorers in double digits with 18 points.
UNH was outshot 60 percent (30-50) to 48 percent (24-50) from the field, while both teams turned the ball over 21 times.
In the Dec. 15 game versus Iona, freshman guard Alvin Abreu had a pair of streaks stopped. His double-digit scoring streak was halted at three, while his streak of recording at least a pair of treys in a game ended at seven. He scored five points and only knocked down one 3-pointer in the game.
ABREU TAKES HOME WEEKLY CONFERENCE HONOR
The America East conference announced Dec. 10 that freshman guard Alvin Abreu was named America East Men’s Basketball Rookie of the Week for the week ending Dec. 9.
Abreu averaged 12.0 points and 4.0 rebounds per game over the last week in losses against Northeastern University at home (62-57) and Brown University on the road (68-52). Abreu scored 10 points and added five rebounds against the Huskies, and matched his career high by netting 14 points versus the Bears.
Abreu, who ranks first in the conference among rookies in scoring at 11.3 points per game, has scored in double digits in eight of nine games and has recorded at least two 3-pointers in eight of nine games this season.
DOUBLE-DOUBLE FOR DOUBLE D
Freshman forward Dane DiLiegro recorded the first double-double of his career Dec. 3 versus Northeastern when he posted career-highs in points and rebounds, with 12 apiece. The double-double was the first this season for the Wildcats.
'CATS INK PLAYER DURING EARLY SIGNING PERIOD
The Wildcats announced Wednesday, Nov. 14 that Brian Benson has signed a National Letter of Intent during the early signing period, and will attend UNH and play for the program beginning in the 2008-09 academic year.
Benson, a 6-foot-8-inch forward from Greece-Athena High School in Rochester, N.Y., was a 2007 All-Greater Rochester all-star selection after averaging 15 points and 10 rebounds for the Section V Class AA champions.
Benson should help the ‘Cats in the frontcourt, with senior forward Mike Christensen graduating in the spring.
“We are happy with Brian’s decision to join our basketball program,” UNH men’s basketball Head Coach Bill Herrion said. “He comes from a very successful high school program and has been very well-coached. Brian really fits one of our recruiting needs. He is athletic, can run the floor and is a good rebounder. He also gives us depth with our frontcourt.”
University of New Hampshire men’s basketball head coach Bill Herrion enters his third season as the leader of the program and with seven newcomers added to the program, this could be his most difficult challenge to date. UNH compiled a 10-20 record last season, which translated into a seventh-place finish in the America East Conference. The Wildcats fell for a second straight season to the eventual America East champions - the University at Albany.
Despite losing two talented America East All-Conference performers in Blagoj Janev and Jermaine Anderson, the Wildcats bring back three starters from the 2006-07 campaign. Senior Mike Christensen (Reston, Va.), along with junior Tyrece Gibbs (Brockton, Mass.) and sophomore Radar Onguetou (Yaounde, Cameroon) look to lead a very young group of ‘Cats to the promise land as the captains for the 2007-08 season. Christensen returns from a season-ending foot injury, which he suffered Jan. 9 during a pivotal conference match up with Vermont. The senior forward posted 13.1 points and 5.0 rebounds per game in 15 appearances, including a 28-point performance the game before he endured the injury. Gibbs, who started 28 of 29 games last season, averaged 9.5 points and 5.1 rebounds per game. He stepped his game up in a major way offensively when Christensen went down with his foot injury. Gibbs scored in double-digits in eight of the last 13 games. Onguetou showed the greatest improvement over the course of the season. He made 18 starts in 30 appearances and became the team’s leading offensive rebounder. Onguetou posted a double-double against Dartmouth College and scored a career-high 15 points against Hartford.
The Wildcats also bring back senior Shawn Tobey (Eliot, Maine). Tobey’s work ethic landed him in coach Herrion’s starting lineup towards the end of the season, including a start in the America East Quarterfinal round. Sophomore Joe Cheslock (Dover, N.H.) also returns to the program, and will vie for playing time at the shooting guard and small forward positions.
In addition to the returning veterans, Herrion introduces seven newcomers to the program. Junior college-transfer Eric Gilchrese (Springfield, Ill.) comes to New Hampshire after two years at Lewis & Clark Community College. The Trailblazers finished fourth in the 2007 NJCAA Men’s Division II National Tournament and had Gilchrese named to the All-Tournament Team. Gilchrese averaged 14.0 points, 4.0 rrebounds and 5.0 assists per game during the 2006-07 season. Tyrone Conley (Burlington, Vt.) and Alvin Abreu (Lynn, Mass.) add depth at the guard position. Conley is a 6-foot-2-inch wing player from Burlington High School. Conley is BHS’ all-time leading scorer with 1,566 points an was named to the All-State Team during his sophomore, junior and senior seasons. Conley averaged 18 points and 11 rebounds per game during his high school career. Abreu joins the Wildcats out of Boys to Men in Chicago. Abreu averaged 20 points and eight rebounds per game while at Lynn Classical High School, and was a North Eastern Conference All-Star. He averaged 14.0 points per game in 2006-07 at Boys to Men, which was ranked one of the top five schools in the nation that season.
In addition to the three guards, UNH adds forwards Rony Tchatchoua (Douala, Cameroon), Dane DiLiegro (Lexington, Mass.) and James Valladares (Kaufman, Texas). Tchatchoua is a 6-6 power forward from Findlay Prep in Las Vegas, who was league MVP when his high school, Little Rock Christian Academy, captured the state championship in 2005. He was named to the All-State Team, as well as being selected a McDonald’s All-American in 2006. DiLiegro, a 6-8 power forward/center from Worcester Academy, was three-time Middlesex League Champion while at Lexington High School. DiLiegro was a Middlesex League All-Star his senior year after he averaged 11.0 points, 10.0 rebounds and 4.0 blocks per game. Valladares is a 6-8 forward out of Kaufman High School, where he averaged 19.0 points, 12.0 rebounds and 5.0 blocks per game last season. Valladares was District MVP his senior year, District Defensive Player of the Year his junior year and District Newcomer of the Year his sophomore year when he was also named First Team All-Region. The Wildcats also welcome junior transfer Colbey Santos (East Wareham, Mass.) from James Madison University. Santos will sit out the 2007-08 season due to NCAA transfer regulations.
The Wildcats also made a coaching staff change as they welcomed newly appointed associate head coach Ken Dempsey to the program. Dempsey spent the last five seasons as the men’s basketball Associate Head Coach at the University of Missouri-Kansas City. Dempsey also served as the University of North Carolina-Greensboro assistant coach from 1999-2001. Dempsey is familiar with the Northeast region, having served as the assistant coach at Northeastern University from 1994-1999. Prior to joining the staff at Northeastern, Dempsey was an assistant coach at Monmouth (N.J.) University from 1984-94. The players he recruited earned 21 all-conference selections and helped the team to three conference championship game appearances.
Dempsey is a proven, self-directed and high-profile coaching/recruiting professional with over 24 years of full-time leadership experience at the previous listed Division I institutions. Dempsey has a reputation as one of the top recruiters in the country by numerous national recruiting and coaching publications and boasts a 100-percent graduation rate among student-athletes recruited. Each of Dempsey’s past four recruiting classes at UMKC were ranked as one of the nation’s top 100 by Hoop Scoop Online.
As recruiting coordinator for head coach Wayne Szoke at Monmouth for eight seasons, Dempsey’s recruiting efforts produced the school’s all-time Division I scoring co-leaders, seven of the school’s top-10 Division I scoring leaders and a GTE Academic all-American. Dempsey also serves actively on the National Association of Basketball Coaches (NABC) Board of Directors.
Dempsey earned a bachelor’s degree in journalism in 1983 from Moravian College in Bethlehem, Pa., where he was a four-year letter-winner in basketball and baseball. He also completed a master’s degree in education from Monmouth in 1991.