DURHAM, N.H. – The University of New Hampshire men's basketball team will make its last road trip of the regular season when it takes on Binghamton University on Sunday, Feb. 22 at 2 p.m. at the Events Center. The contest will be aired live on Time Warners Sports. The Wildcats and Bearcats meet for just the 16th time in their short conference rivarly, with Binghamton leading the all-time series, 11-4. The Bearcats have won seven of the last eight matchups, including four straight. Binghamton is also 7-1 at Lundholm Gymnasium, having won seven straight after losing its first game there Feb. 2, 2002. On the road, the Wildcats are losing the series, 4-3, but have been victorious in three of their past five contests at the Events Center. In the most recent meeting, Binghamton downed the Wildcats, 60-47, Jan. 22, 2009 at Lundholm.
Senior guard Tyrece Gibbs scored 17 points to lead the Wildcats.
With the loss, the Wildcats dropped to 7-10 on the season and 2-3 in America East, while the Bearcats improved to 12-7 and sat atop the conference at 5-2.
Gibbs filled the rest of his stat line with three rebounds, four assists, a block and a steal in 37 minutes to garner UNH’s America East Player of the Game award.
Leading 33-28 coming out of the locker room, Binghamton scored the first five points of the second half to open its advantage up to 10. Gibbs answered with his second 3-pointer of the night 2:04 in, but after the teams traded baskets, a 7-2 run – sparked and capped by Malik Alvin buckets – gave the Bearcats a 47-35 lead with 11:38 remaining.
After a tough basket inside by sophomore center Dane DiLiegro, Gibbs stole the ball at midcourt, beat two Binghamton defenders and was fouled hard to the ground as he made an acrobatic layup that fueled a short 6-2 run by UNH and cut its deficit to eight with 9:21 to play. Binghamton answered with seven straight points, however, six of which were from Alvin, including a jumper at 7:23 that opened a 15-point lead (56-41) – its largest of the night.
The Wildcats came back with another 6-2 run that ended with a layup by sophomore guard Tyrone Conley, but Alvin put the finishing touches on the win as he closed the scoring with a layup with 1:30 left on the clock. Conley finished with 10 points and three rebounds, while DiLiegro added two points, six rebounds, an assist and a steal. Alvin, Binghamton’s America East Player of the Game, poured in 17 of his game-high 22 points in the second frame.
After a Gibbs pass setup a layup by junior guard Colbey Santos that tied the game at five in the early going, Binghamton used a 10-2 run to open its largest lead of the half at 15-7 with 13:41 left. Gibbs stopped the bleeding with his first trey of the game, which sparked an 8-2 run that brought the Wildcats within two.
After an Alvin 3-pointer gave Binghamton a 23-18 lead with 9:11 remaining in the opening stanza, a Conley trifecta and a pair of free throws by junior forward Radar Onguetou tied the game with 7:56 left. After the teams swapped a pair of free throws, two more at the charity stripe by sophomore guard Alvin Abreu gave UNH its final lead of the night at 27-25 with 5:01 to go.
The Bearcats ripped off eight straight points before another Abreu free throw closed the first-half scoring with Binghamton on top 33-28. Onguetou chipped in with five points and eight rebounds, while sophomore forward Rony Tchatchoua notched eight points and five rebounds.
Gibbs finished the night with 1,131 points and moved past Peter Laskaris (1,115) and Austin Ganly (1,127) for 14th place on UNH’s all-time scoring list.
The Wildcats were outshot 46 percent (20-44) to 28 percent (14-51), but won the battle on the glass, 38-30, including 17-6 on the offensive end. UNH also shot its second highest percentage of the season from the line at 71 percent (15-21).
LAST TIME OUT
Sophomore center Dane DiLiegro recorded his fourth double-double of the season to lead the Wildcats to a 63-54 come-from-behind win against the University of Maine on Feb. 19 in front of 2,214 fans at Lundholm Gymnasium.
The Wildcats, winners of two straight, improved to 11-14 on the season, including 6-7 in America East play and moved into fifth place in the standings. The Black Bears fell to 9-17 overall and 4-9 in the conference. UNH, which last beat Maine on its home floor in a 74-64 victory Jan. 8, 2003, defeated the Black Bears for the first time in its last six tries in front of the largest Lundholm crowd since 2,384 fans saw the ‘Cats lose 64-56 to the University of Vermont on Jan. 28, 2006.
DiLiegro, UNH’s America East Player of the Game, poured in a career-high 21 points on 10 of 14 shooting and tore down 12 rebounds. DiLiegro did a lot of dirty work in 35 minutes, pulling down six offensive rebounds and taking a handful of charges.
Trailing 48-38 with 8:51 to go in the game after a 9-0 Maine run, the Wildcats ripped off an 18-0 run that spanned 7:49 and gave them a 56-48 lead with 1:46 to play. Sophomore guard Alvin Abreu sparked the run with a 3-pointer and cut the deficit to one with a layup and a jumper after a pair of free throws from senior guard Tyrece Gibbs. DiLiegro gave UNH the lead for good – 49-48 with 5:59 to play – with a layup, and then handed his team some breathing room with an emphatic dunk. A 3-pointer by Gibbs and another DiLiegro layup capped with run with the Wildcats up eight.
A 3-pointer by Andrew Rogers with 1:02 remaining sliced the lead to 56-51, but that was as close as Maine would get. The Black Bears sent sophomore guard Tyrone Conley to the line, where he hit a pair to push the lead to seven. Mark Socoby and Gibbs traded free throws before a Gerald McLemore layup with 36 seconds left cut the lead to 59-54. Abreu followed with a pair of free throws and then DiLiegro fittingly capped the night with a two-handed slam – his fourth dunk of the contest – that gave the Wildcats their largest lead of the night at nine.
Abreu scored 13 points, including nine in the second half, on 5 of 11 shooting to go along with three rebounds, two assists and six steals. The six thefts are tied for the most in the America East this season with Binghamton University’s D.J. Rivera, who also had six swipes against Vermont on Jan. 8. Gibbs added 11 points, two rebounds and three assists.
The two teams went back and forth to start the game, with neither squad leading by more than two until a jumper by junior forward Radar Onguetou put the Wildcats up 21-17 at 6:21. Maine then scored six straight to take a two-point lead before DiLiegro tied it with a layup at 4:09. A Kaimondre Owes layup just 19 seconds later put Maine back on top 25-23, but a 9-0 run – sparked by a 3-pointer from senior guard Eric Gilchrese and capped with a DiLiegro dunk – gave UNH a 32-25 lead with 1:34 remaining in the half. Consecutive buckets, including a Sean McNally layup with two ticks left, cut the deficit to 32-29 at the half. UNH improved to 8-1 when leading at halftime.
Gilchrese tallied five points, two rebounds and two assists. Sophomore forward Rony Tchatchoua gave UNH a solid 28 minutes off the bench, which tied a career high, while tallying tallying four points, five boards, a block and altering numerous other shots.
Gibbs finished the night with 1,232 points and moved past Billy Pappas (1,228) for eighth place on UNH’s all-time scoring list.
UNH was narrowly outshot by Maine, 45 percent (21-47) to 43 percent (24-56), but won the battle on the glass, 33-31, and turned the ball over six fewer times (10) than the Black Bears (16). The Wildcats improve to 10-2 when holding their opponents to 60 points or less.
McLemore, Maine’s America East Player of the Game, led the Black Bears with 15 points.
With their 63-54 win against Maine on Feb. 19, the Wildcats picked up their 11th overall win and sixth in the conference. The 11 wins are the most for UNH since head coach Bill Herrion guided the ‘Cats to 12 victories in his first year at the helm in 2005-06. With three games remaining, the six conference wins also equal the same amount UNH earned the previous two seasons.
The Wildcats erased a 10-point deficit with 9:14 to play to record a 63-54 win against Maine on Feb. 19. It is the fourth time UNH has had to overcome a deficit of nine or more points to notch a victory. The ‘Cats used stifling defense that held Maine without a bucket for 8:11 to craft an 18-0 run that led them to the win.
DOUBLE-DOUBLE FOR DOUBLE D
Dane DiLiegro notched his fifth career double-double and fourth of the season versus Maine on Feb. 19 when he set a career high with 21 points and ripped down 12 boards. DiLiegro recorded 10 points and 11 rebounds against Hofstra on Dec. 27 for his first double-double of the season, posted 12 points and 12 boards at Maine on Jan. 19 for his second and temporarily set a new career high with 16 points to go along with 12 rebounds at UMBC on Feb. 10
LOOK, I'M ON TV!
In the last two America East television games the Wildcats have competed in, Dane DiLiegro has played like someone who doesn’t mind the limelight. DiLiegro set a career high with 16 points and pulled down 10 rebounds Feb. 10 at UMBC in a game aired on Comcast SportsNet. A little more than a week later on NESN, DiLiegro erased that mark with 21 points and 12 boards versus Maine on Feb. 19
Alvin Abreu recorded six steals against Maine on Feb. 19, tying the most swipes in a game in America East this season. Binghamton’s D.J. Rivera also tallied six thefts against Vermont on Jan. 8.
Alvin Abreu has netted 17 points in the second half three times this season, Nov. 29 at Marist, Dec. 13 at Long Island and Feb. 10 at UMBC. The sophomore guard picks up his scoring in the second half as he has averaged 4.8 points in the opening frame and 7.9 points in the second half. Abreu has scored in double digits in the first half just twice this season, while he has netted at least 10 points in the second stanza nine times, including a 19-point performance against Santa Clara on Jan. 4.
RANDOM "UNH RECORD WHEN..." TIDBITS
The Wildcats are 10-2 when holding their opponents to 60 points or less and are 5-1 when forcing their opponents to shoot under 40 percent from the floor. The tenacious defense pays off as the Wildcats are 8-1 when leading at halftime. The ‘Cats are tough to beat when their barrage of 3-point shooters are on, owning a 6-1 record when shooting over 40 percent from deep. The squad also must like playing in the middle of the week as they are 5-1 on Wednesdays.
UNH is ranked within the top 100 teams in the country in a trio of categories. The Wildcats are 46th in 3-point field goals per game (7.8), 77th in turnovers per game (13.0 tpg) and 91st in scoring defense (64.3). Individually, Tyrece Gibbs is 43rd in the nation in field goal percentage (39.3) and 65th in 3-pointers per game (2.6).
TREY-MENDOUS STREAK FOR 'CATS
Heading into tonight’s contest UNH has recorded at least one 3-pointer in 518consecutive games, a streak that spans 17 years. The last time the ‘Cats did not tally a trey was in a 59-47 loss to Dartmouth College on Jan. 8, 1991, when they were 0-for-3 from behind the arc. The NCAA record is currently 694 games by UNLV, a streak that started Nov. 26, 1986 and is still active.
HOLDING DOWN THE FORT
UNH has had a knack for holding down the opposing team’s leading scorer this season. In 22 games when the opposition has had its leading scorer play in the game, the Wildcats have held him under his season average 15 times, including 12 of the last 15.
Tyrece Gibbs scored 11 points versus Maine on Feb. 19 to bring his career total to 1,232 points and move past Billy Pappas (1,228) for eighth place on UNH’s all-time scoring list. Next up for Gibbs: Matt Alosa, who sits in seventh with 1,247 points.
Tyrece Gibbs played in his 100th game as a Wildcat on Jan. 11 versus Boston University. The senior needs to play in two more games to become the all-time leader in program history.
Tyrece Gibbs has done it all during his time in a UNH jersey, filling the stat line night in and night out. The effort paid off as Gibbs is just the second Wildcat in history to amass at least 1,000 points, 400 rebounds, 200 assists, 80 steals and 45 blocks. With 1,232 points, 475 rebounds, 236 assists, 86 steals and 55 blocks, Gibbs joins Eric Montanari (92-95), who totaled 1,038 points, 418 rebounds, 217 assists, 93 steals and 47 blocks, on the exclusive list.
Tyrece Gibbs is penciling his name in all over UNH’s record books. Last season, Gibbs drained 83 3-pointers, which is the second most in a single UNH season and just four off the record. Gibbs also registered the third most 3-point attempts (204) in a season and played the third most minutes (1,038) in a season. This year, Gibbs is fifth on UNH’s single-season 3-pointers made list with 66. The guard is currently second all-time on UNH’s 3-pointers made list (212), second in 3-point attempts (539), second in games played (112), fourth in blocks (55), fourth in minutes played (3,511), seventh in 3-point field goal percentage (.393) and seventh in field goals attempted (1,042). Gibbs, who became the 26th Wildcat to score 1,000 points in a career Dec. 13 at Long Island, is also close to moving into the top 10 in field goals made and assists.
GIBBS AE'S FOURTH ACTIVE LEADING SCORER
America East Active Scoring Leaders
Mike Trimboli (Vermont) 1,944
Darryl Proctor (UMBC) 1,825*
Corey Lowe (Boston U.) 1,256
Tyrece Gibbs (UNH) 1,221
Marqus Blakely (Vermont) 1,173
Jay Greene (UMBC) 1,115
Joe Zeglinski (Hartford) 1,099
Mark Socoby (Maine) 973
*1.024 points at UMBC, 801 at Coppin State
DANE TRAIN: NOW BOARDING...AND SCORING
Dane DiLiegro, who is currently second in the conference in offensive rebounds per game (3.0) and fifth in rebounding overall (7.2 rpg), is averaging 6.0 points and 7.2 rebounds per game, better than his numbers of 4.6 points and 6.1 boards per contest at this point last season. After posting one double-digit scoring game and six double-digit rebounding games in 29 contests last year, the center has notched six double-digit scoring games and six double-digit rebounding games in just 25 tilts this season.
FIRST TIME FOR EVERYTHING
When the Wildcats posted a 78-59 win against Albany on Feb. 15, the 19-point margin of defeat was the largest in the history of SEFCU Arena, which opened for the 1992-93 season. In addition, after recording a 30-29 rebounding edge in the game, the Wildcats became the first America East team to outrebound the Great Danes this season.
PUTTING IT ALL TOGETHER
The Wildcats’ 78-59 win against Albany on Feb. 15 was their second win of the season against an above-.500 team, as well as the first wire-to-wire win of the year over a Division I opponent as they led from the start. The ‘Cats shot 57 percent (25-44) from the floor and 60 percent (12-20) from behind the arc – both season highs – to pick up their third road win in the last four tries. They also held Albany to 40 percent (19-48) shooting from the field, including nine percent (1-11) from 3 – UNH’s best mark of the season.
FOUR HISTORY'S SAKE
With their 78-59 win against Albany on Feb. 15, the Wildcats recorded their 10th victory of the year and surpassed their win total from all of last season. That gives the ‘Cats three 10-win seasons in four years under head coach Bill Herrion, marking just the fourth time in school history that has happened. The last time UNH attained the feat was from 1982-83 to 1985-86 when the program put together three double-digit win seasons in four years under legendary UNH head coach Gerry Friel.
STAY FOR AWHILE
UNH Athletic Director Marty Scarano announced Feb. 5 that head coach Bill Herrion has been signed to a new five-year contract.
“We have great confidence in Bill Herrion and what he is accomplishing at UNH,” Scarano said. “Bill, his staff and the student-athletes are building a strong foundation for future success. We knew that this building process was a long-term proposition, and I see daily tangible evidence that our program is advancing. We are fortunate to have Bill leading this program. He knows what it takes and is dogged in his pursuit to make our program competitive.”
Herrion added, “I just want to thank UNH, particularly President Huddleston and Marty Scarano, for their support of our men’s basketball program. We have worked extremely hard to build this program, and with this commitment we will continue to pursue our goal of winning the America East championship.”
MOVIN' ON UP
Tyrece Gibbs moved up a trio of all-time program lists against Boston University on Feb. 7. Gibbs scored a game-high 20 points to bring his career total to 1,189 points and move past Matt Acres (1,169), Jim Rich (1,180) and Greg Steele (1,187) for 10th place on UNH’s all-time scoring list. In the final minutes of the opening half, the co-captain sank his 198th career 3-pointer, which moved him past Tommy MacDonald (197) and into second place on UNH’s all-time 3-point field goals made list. Gibbs also recorded the 51st block of his career, moving him into a fourth-place tie with Joe Rainis on the program’s all-time list.
After being away from the team Dec. 6-Jan. 17, Eric Gilchrese played in his first game Jan. 28 at Stony Brook and looked like he had not missed a beat. Gilchrese led the ‘Cats to a 71-60 come-from-behind win with 22 points on 6 of 10 shooting, including 5 of 7 from behind the arc.
CAN YOU SPARE A BASKET?
When the Wildcats overcame a nine-point halftime deficit to defeat Stony Brook, 71-60, Jan. 28, it was again there defense that came up big. The ‘Cats held the Seawolves to just four field goals and 18 percent shooting (4-22) in the second half, including just one basket and 11 percent shooting (1-9) in the final 10 minutes of the game.
Trailing 34-25 against Stony Brook at the half Jan. 28, the Wildcats exploded out of the locker room, tying the game with a 13-4 run that was part of a larger 27-8 run, which led the ‘Cats to a 71-60 win. The Wildcats scored more points in the first 8:29 of the second half (26) than they did in the entire first half (25).
DOUBLE-DOUBLE FOR CAPTAIN GIBBS
Tyrece Gibbs recorded his second career double-double when he netted 10 points and matched his career high with 10 rebounds at Vermont on Jan. 25. Gibbs’ previous double-double came in an overtime contest against Harvard on Nov. 29, 2006 at Lundholm Gymnasium when he tallied the same 10 and 10.
D.J. REJECTED BY WILDCAT D
Binghamton’s D.J. Rivera, who came into the Jan. 22 matchup against UNH ranked 23rd in the country in scoring at 20.6 points per game, only managed to score six points versus the Wildcats. It was the first time in 19 games that Rivera had been held to single digits, with 11 being his previous season low in points.
In his Jan. 18 “Bracketology” column on ESPN.com where he predicts the NCAA tournament bracket and updates it weeky, Joe Lunardi picked the Wildcats to win the America East and play the MEAC’s Florida A&M in the opening-round game. If the Wildcats were to win that game, Lunardi has them advancing to play No. 1 Pitt, where head coach Bill Herrion’s brother, Tom, is the associate head coach.
NON-CONFERENCE SLATE SUCCESS
After beating Dartmouth, 68-59, Jan. 17 to close out their non-conference slate at 5-7, the Wildcats finish with their best non-conference record since the 2003-04 season when they had an identical 5-7 record.
After their 65-47 win against UMBC at Lundholm Gymnasium on Jan. 14, the Wildcats improved to 5-2 at home this season, marking the best home start for UNH since it began the 1997-98 season 6-1 in Durham.
With their 65-47 victory against UMBC on Jan. 14, the Wildcats are now 2-1 in America East play for the first time since the 1994-95 season when they recorded two wins against Hofstra before losing to Delaware. The last time the ‘Cats started a conference slate 3-1 was during the 1991-92 campaign.
KNOCKING OUT THE CHAMP
After beating UMBC, 65-47, Jan. 14, the Wildcats, who last season knocked off defending champion Albany, 75-66, have now recorded a victory over the reigning conference champions in back-to-back seasons for the first time since the 1992-93 and 1993-94 campaigns when they notched wins over Delaware.
BENSON HELPS PUT BOUNCE IN WILDCATS' STEP
Brian Benson provided a surge of energy off the bench during UNH’s 11-2 to start the second half in its 65-47 win versus UMBC on Jan. 14. Benson threw down a monstrous two-handed slam off a feed from sophomore forward Rony Tchatchoua at 18:22, and just moments later came up with a huge rejection of Darryl Proctor that kept the team feeding off the noisy Lundholm crowd’s liveliness.
ESPN'S KATZ WEIGHS IN ON 'CATS
In his blog on ESPN.com, Andy Katz had this to say about the Wildcats and their fourth-year leader: “Bill Herrion may have finally hit a consistent stride in his rebuilding job at New Hampshire. Like Harvard, UNH took out Santa Clara at home by four and then opened up America East play by beating Hartford at home. A trip to Boston University is next for the Wildcats. A win there for UNH might be a significant turning point for Herrion.“
DILIEGRO LEADS WINDEXING WILDCATS
Dane DiLiegro tore down a career-high 17 rebounds, including 10 in the first half, in UNH’s 55-47 win against Hartford on Jan. 7. DiLiegro, who tallied more offensive rebounds (8) than Hartford’s entire team (5), led the Wildcats to a 44-29 rebound advantage. The 17 boards are also a season-high in America East this season, beating out Stony Brook’s Tommy Brenton, who had 15 against Maryland Eastern Shore on Nov. 14. The rebound total is the most anyone in the conference has recorded since Vermont’s Marqus Blakely had 29 at UNC-Wilmington on Feb. 23, 2008, and most in a conference game since Blakely had 20 against Hartford on Feb. 20, 2008.
HOME, SWEET HOME AGAINST HARTFORD
After its 55-47 win against Hartford at Lundholm Gym on Jan. 7, the Wildcats have now won five straight at home against the Hawks, dating back to the 2004-05 season.
OPENING UP RIGHT
UNH’s 55-47 win versus Hartford in its conference opener Jan. 7, paired with its 75-66 win at home against Albany in last season’s conference opener, gives the Wildcats victories in league openers in back-to-back years for the first time since the 1994-95 and 1995-96 seasons.
ABREU NAMED PLAYER OF THE WEEK
Alvin Abreu had a career day on the offensive end of the floor Jan. 4 against Santa Clara. Abreu propelled the Wildcats to a 58-54 victory on their home court with a career-high 28 points on 8 of 14 shooting. The sophomore guard also knocked down a career-best seven 3-pointers and was perfect from deep on the day, setting a school record for most treys in a game without a miss. Abreu also netted his 500th career point and finished the day with 513. For his efforts, Abreu was named America East Co-Player of the Week the following day. The award is the first for Abreu, who was a three-time America East Rookie of the Week last season, as well as an All-Rookie Team member.
Tyrece Gibbs became the 26th Wildcat in program history to score 1,000 points in a career when he knocked down a 3-pointer with 28 seconds left in the game against Long Island on Dec. 13. This marks the third straight season the Wildcats have seen one of their players reach the 1,000-point plateau. Blagoj Janev, who is currently fourth on UNH’s all-time scoring list with 1,340 points, recorded his 1,000th during the 2006-07 season, while Mike Christensen, 17th with 1,087 points, tallied his 1,000th last season.
UNH held the lead against Penn State for the greatest length of time of any of the Nittany Lions’ first four opponents of the season. The Wildcats led for 12:25 in their game with PSU, which won all four games. UNH’s America East-foe Hartford held the advantage for just 1:18, NJIT led for 26 seconds and William & Mary never led in their contest.
BENSON'S FAMOUS TEAMMATE
Brian Benson was on the court as a sophomore at Greece-Athena High School when team manager Jason “J-Mac” McElwain, who was diagnosed with autism at an early age, knocked down six 3-pointers in their division title game versus Spencerport on Feb. 16, 2006. The story quickly made national headlines, while McElwain turned into a celebrity overnight. McElwain met President Bush and Indianapolis Colts quarterback Peyton Manning, and also appeared on various talk shows, including The Oprah Winfrey Show, Larry King Live, Good Morning America, and Today. McElwain even won an ESPY Award for the Best Moment in Sports in 2006.
DILIEGRO TO REPRESENT COUNTRY, RELIGION
In September, Dane DiLiegro was named one of 12 members of the United States men’s basketball team that will compete at the 18th Maccabiah Games in Israel from July 12-23, 2009. The announcement was made by the head coach of the U.S. men’s basketball Maccabiah team, Bruce Pearl, who is also the men’s basketball head coach at the University of Tennessee.
The Maccabiah Games, also referred to as the “Jewish Olympics,” are held in Israel every four years and include the top Jewish athletes from around the world. The 17th games in 2005 attracted the largest Maccabiah attendance in history. With over 50 countries represented by 7,700 athletes, including 900 from the U.S., the Maccabiah Games became the third largest sporting event in the world. This year, the U.S. is looking to take over 1,000 athletes, including Olympic athletes such as swimmers Dara Torres and Jason Lezak.
DiLiegro becomes the sixth UNH athlete to participate in the Maccabiah Games, including the first basketball player.
DiLiegro joins Duke’s Jon Scheyer and Arizona State’s Derek Glasser on the team, which won gold in 2001 and bronze at the previous Games in 2005. By making the U.S. squad, DiLiegro joins some elite company, including Dolph Schayes, one of the 50 Greatest NBA players of all-time, Hall of Fame basketball coach Larry Brown, and Mark Spitz, who won a then-record seven gold medals at the 1972 Munich Olympic Games, an achievement surpassed only when Michael Phelps won his eighth gold medal of the 2008 Olympics.