MEN'S BASKETBALL GAME NOTES VS. QUINNIPIAC
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DURHAM, N.H. -- On Sunday, Nov. 25 at 1 p.m., the University of New Hampshire men's basketball team will welcome in Quinnipiac University to Lundholm Gymnasium for the first time ever. With the two teams meeting just twice before, the series is tied 1-1. The first time the two teams matched up, Nov. 19, 2005, Quinnipiac downed UNH, 64-62, at the Tyler Ugolyn Columbia Classic. Most recently, the Wildcats avenged that loss with a 64-59 win on the road Nov. 26, 2006.
   
Senior co-captain Blagoj Janev delivered a game-high 23 points to lead the Wildcats over Quinnipiac in that game at Burt Kahn Court.
   
With the victory, head coach Bill Herrion reached 250 career wins in his 16th season as a head coach.
   
The Bobcats opened the game with a 7-0 run highlighted by a Van Crafton 3-pointer. UNH returned with a 16-2 run as junior forward Mike Christensen drilled a trey from beyond the arc to put the Wildcats up 16-9 with 11:20 remaining. Christensen finished the contest with 16 points and a team-high eight rebounds. The Wildcats headed into the half with a slight 26-25 lead as the visitors shot 7-of-21 (33.3%) from the floor, while QU shot 9-of-28 (32.1%).
   
The Bobcats tied the score at 29 apiece on a layup by senior guard Chris Wehye, but the Wildcats would hold the lead throughout the rest of the contest as freshman forward Dan McGeary began another UNH run by hitting a 3-pointer with 16:56 remaining. The Wildcats led by as many as nine points with 8:53 remaining in the contest, but struggled to put the host team away as Adam Gonzalez pulled the Bobcats within two at 58-56 on a layup with 2:00 on the clock. Gonzalez led all Quinnipiac scorers with 20 points. Janev, however, nailed four clutch baskets from the charity stripe in the final 1:52 of play to ice the game and contribute to UNH’s first victory of the season. He was awarded America East Player of the Game for his efforts on the court.
   
UNH senior co-captain Jermaine Anderson posted eight points, three assists, four rebounds and two blocks, while sophomore guard Tyrece Gibbs notched six points, eight rebounds and three steals in the victory. The Wildcats shot 37% from the field for the game and 21-of-28 (75%) from the foul line. Both teams pulled down 35 rebounds apiece.

LAST TIME OUT

Senior forward Mike Christensen scored 23 points, including a career-high five 3-pointers, and added seven rebounds to lead the University of New Hampshire men’s basketball team to a 78-70 victory over Central Connecticut State University on Saturday night at Detrick Gymnasium.
       
The win raises the Wildcats’ record to 2-1, while the Blue Devils fall to 0-3.
       
Junior guard Tyrece Gibbs, who finished with 13 points five, rebounds and five assists, scored all of his points in the second half and hit a few big shots, including a 3-pointer that iced the game for the ‘Cats.
      
 With UNH leading 73-68, Gibbs drilled a 3-pointer with 1:04 remaining to effectively shut the lights out on CCSU.
      
Tied at six 5:49 into the game, the Wildcats reeled of a 9-0 run to put distance between themselves and the Blue Devils. The 19 second span that the game was tied marked the only time in the game the Wildcats did not have the lead.
       
The Blue Devils, led by Tristan Blackwood’s 13 first-half points, stormed back to cut the Wildcat lead to one. The game stayed tight until the ‘Cats scored eight straight points, capped by a Christensen trey with 2:07 left in the half.
       
UNH, which had three players – including Christensen – who scored 10 points in the opening half, went into the locker room with a 40-33 lead.
       
Junior guard Eric Gilchrese netted 10 of his 12 points in the first half, while freshman guard Alvin Abreu had 10 of his in the first. Gilchrese and Abreu also handed out four and three assists, respectively.
       
The two teams traded shots in the opening five minutes of the second half until Christensen and Gibbs drained back-to-back 3-pointers to give the Wildcats a game-high 13 point advantage.
       
Freshman forward Dane DiLiegro chipped in with eight points and seven rebounds for UNH.
       
New Hampshire shot 45 percent from the field, including 54 percent from behind the arc (14-26).
       
Blackwood finished with 19 points to lead the Blue Devils.

'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 six 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, along with junior Tyrece Gibbs and sophomore Radar Onguetou 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 on 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 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. 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 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 six newcomers to the program. Tyrone Conley is a 6-foot-2-inch wing player from Burlington, Vermont. Conley scored over 1,000 points and was named to the All-State Team during his sophomore, junior and senior season seasons. He averaged 18 points and 11 rebounds per game. Alvin Abreu adds depth at the guard position 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 ppg in 2006-07 at Boys to Men, which was ranked in the top five in the nation.
   
In addition to the two guards, UNH adds forwards Rony Tchatchoua and Dane DiLiegro. Tchatchoua is a 6-6 power forward from Findlay Prep in Las Vegas, while DiLiegro is a 6-8 power forward/center from Worcester Academy. The Wildcats also welcome junior transfer Colbey Santos 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 assistant 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.
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