MEN'S BASKETBALL GAME NOTES VS. BOSTON UNIVERSITY
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DURHAM, N.H.
-- The University of New Hampshire men's basketball team will meet Boston University for the 116th time when the two teams battle on Wednesday, Jan. 9 at 7 p.m. at Case Gymnasium in Boston. The Terriers lead the all-time series, 81-35. In their most recent meeting, senior co-captain Jermaine Anderson shot a perfect 12-of-12 from the foul line en route to a game-high 22 points as the University of New Hampshire Wildcats defeated the Boston University Terriers, 60-55, in America East men’s basketball action at Lundholm Gymnasium on Feb. 21, 2007.
   
The Wildcats, who snapped a five-game losing streak with the win, improve to 9-17, including 5-8 in America East, while the Terriers fell to 10-14 overall, including 7-5 in the conference.
   
Anderson tallied 12 of his 22 points at the line, all coming during the second half. He was awarded America East Player of the Game for his efforts.
   
The Wildcats and Terriers exchanged baskets throughout the first half of play until BU freshman Tyler Morris scored the final five of his 14 points to put the visitors up 26-21 heading into halftime.
   
UNH tied the score up at 30 apiece with 15:25 to play as junior guard Jude Roybal made a move to beat his defender and finished with a layup. The Wildcats held the lead throughout most of the second half until Morris netted a foul shot at the charity stripe to put the Terriers back into the lead at 43-42 with 7:22 remaining. UNH senior forward Blagoj Janev scored 13 points and five rebounds and drilled a key 3-pointer with 5:50 to play as the ‘Cats reclaimed a 46-43 lead and never looked back. Anderson added a trey of his own with 3:28 left and made four points at the line in the final 38 seconds of action to secure the 60-55 win.
   
UNH sophomore guard Tyrece Gibbs was the third Wildcat to score in double digits with 10 points along with eight rebounds, while Roybal added seven points and two assists. Freshmen Sam Herrick and Radar Onguetou combined to grab 14 rebounds in the winning effort.
   
The Terriers also recorded three scorers in double digits as freshman Corey Lowe and Scott Brittain combined for 27 points, while Morris notched 14 points in the loss.

LAST TIME OUT

    Junior guard Tyrece Gibbs led four scorers in double digits, including two with at least 20 points, but the University of New Hampshire men’s basketball team fell, 86-73, to the University of Maryland-Baltimore County on Jan. 6 to close out its five-game home stand at Lundholm Gymnasium.
   
The loss put the Wildcats’ record at 4-9, including 1-1 in America East play, while the win moved the Retrievers to 10-5 overall and 2-0 in the conference.
      
Fresh off a 19-point performance against Albany, Gibbs tied his career high with 22 points on 6-of-11 shooting from behind the arc. Gibbs, who added six rebounds in his 39 minutes of work, also tied a career high with the six 3-pointers.
      
Freshman guard Alvin Abreu backed up Gibbs’ effort with 20 points, eight rebounds and four assists, while playing an entire 40 minutes for the second consecutive game.
      
UNH, which surprised a few people with its win against two-time defending champion Albany on Jan. 3, hung with what most are calling the best team in the conference in UMBC for 37 minutes. The ‘Cats had the lead (62-61) as late as 8:30 remaining in the contest until UMBC outscored UNH, 25-11, over the final eight minutes to close out the game.
      
The Wildcats showed a lot of heart in the game, twice coming back from eight-point deficits, including the one that gave them their final lead. Trailing by eight midway through the second half, freshman guard Tyrone Conley hit back-to-back treys before Abreu, UNH’s America East Player of the Game, gave the Wildcats the lead with a 3 of his own. Conley chipped in with 10 points in 19 minutes in his return from illness.
      
After UNH took a 3-0 lead to open the game on a 3-pointer by junior guard Eric Gilchrese, the two teams began a seven-minute seesaw battle that ended when UMBC went on a 14-6 run that gave it a 31-23 lead with 4:50 left in the first half. The Wildcats then used a 13-6 run to get back into the game and head into the locker room trailing by just one, 37-36.
   
The back-and-forth battle ensued again in the second half until UMBC opened its second eight-point lead of the game, 61-53. The ‘Cats still only trailed by six, 73-67, with 3:28 left, but made only one basket the rest of the way.
      
Senior forward Mike Christensen produced a solid stat line by tallying 12 points, eight rebounds and six assists.
      
UMBC matched UNH’s four double-digit scorers, but had three that scored at least 20 points. Cavell Johnson equaled Gibbs with 22 points, while UMBC’s America East Player of the Game Darryl Proctor and Brian Hodges each dropped 21. Proctor also pulled down 10 rebounds.
  
The Wildcats took care of the ball, recording just eight turnovers, which is the fewest amount all season. UMBC turned the ball over just six times, however.
      
UNH also continued its hot free throw shooting, hitting on 16-of-18 from the stripe (89 percent), but was outshot from the field, 55 percent (33-60) to 39 percent (22-57).

ABREU GARNERS SECOND WEEKLY CONFERENCE HONOR

The America East conference announced Jan. 7 that freshman guard Alvin Abreu was named America East Men’s Basketball Rookie of the Week for the week ending Jan. 6. This is the second time Abreu has garnered the honor this season.
       
Abreu averaged 17.0 points, 7.0 rebounds and 2.5 assists over the course of two games during the week. Abreu helped the ‘Cats win their first conference opener since beating Vermont, 75-68, on Dec. 3, 1997, by scoring 14 points and pulling down six rebounds in 40 minutes of a 75-66 win over Albany on Jan. 3. Abreu then submitted his second 20-point performance of the season, and tallied eight rebounds and four assists in his second consecutive 40-minute effort, as UNH fell to UMBC – the top team in the conference – 86-73 Jan. 6.
      
Abreu also won the award Dec. 10, when he averaged 12.0 points and 4.0 rebounds in games against Northeastern University and Brown University.
      
Abreu, who leads all America East rookies in scoring at 12.7 points per game, has scored in double digits in 11 of 13 games this season, including the last three in a row. He is second on the team in both field goals (55) and 3-pointers made (28).

THERE'S A FIRST TIME FOR EVERYTHING

When the Wildcats defeated two-time defending America East champion Albany, 75-66, on Jan. 3, they not only won their conference opener for the first time since Dec. 3, 1997 when they defeated Vermont, 75-68, but they grabbed their first win of the year when trailing at halftime, and when being outscored in the paint. Coming into the game, the ‘Cats were 0-6 in both categories.

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.”

2007-08 OUTLOOK

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 six 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.

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