MEN'S BASKETBALL TAKES ON NO. 25 MARYLAND ON NOV. 20
DURHAM, N.H. – The University of New Hampshire men's basketball team will play their first road game of the season when it battles the 25th-ranked Maryland Terrapins on Friday, Nov. 20 at 8 p.m. at the Comcast Center. The game will be broadcast on WJZ Radio, with the links available on the men's basketball page at www.UNHWildcats.com. The meeting will be the first ever between the Wildcats and Terrapins.
LAST TIME OUT
Junior Dane DiLiegro and freshman Chandler Rhoads led five scorers in double digits with 14 points apiece as the Wildcats opened their season Nov. 14 with a 91-45 win against Suffolk University at Lundholm Gymnasium.
The Wildcats won their third straight home opener and started off the season 1-0 for the second consecutive year.
DiLiegro, the America East Player of the Game, recorded the sixth double-double of his career as he pulled down 15 rebounds in 22 minutes. The center was 4-for-7 from the floor and a career-best 6 of 8 from the line. Rhoads, meanwhile, played very well in his first collegiate game, tallying three rebounds, five assists and four steals in 23 minutes.
Rhoads got the Wildcats going with a layup to start the game before finding junior Tyrone Conley in transition for another layup that made it 4-0. UNH’s next bucket came when junior Alvin Abreu slid a pass underneath the basket to DiLiegro, who finished with a two-handed dunk. Rhoads converted another layup before Abreu found sophomore Brian Benson for another dunk that gave the Wildcats a 10-4 lead 2:40 into the contest.
Leading 19-9 with just over 13 minutes to play in the opening half, the Wildcats crafted a 12-2 run that was sparked when sophomore Russell Graham found senior Colbey Santos for a transition layup, and then a 3-pointer on the wing. Senior Radar Onguetou capped the stretch with a trey that made the Wildcat lead an even 20 at 10:40.
UNH still led by 20, 34-14, with 8:36 to play when Conley and Benson each recorded a layup and a 3-pointer to combine for the Wildcats’ next 10 points as they grabbed a 44-18 lead with 3:40 to play in the first half. Freshman Chris Matagrano capped the UNH scoring with a layup at 1:27 as the ‘Cats took a 46-23 lead into the break. Benson scored all nine of his points and pulled in five of his six rebounds in 12 first-half minutes, while Matagrano posted two of his four points and both of his rebounds in 10 minutes in the frame. Benson and Matagrano played well on the defensive end where they combined for five of UNH’s six blocks in the first half.
Abreu opened the second-half scoring with his first field goal of the game, a 3-pointer at 18:55. Suffolk would whittle the UNH lead to 51-30 with 15:31 remaining, but the Wildcats would take over from there as they went on an 18-0 run to take a commanding 69-30 lead at 9:12. An alley-oop dunk from Graham to Conley sparked the run and brought the Lundholm crowd to its feet. DiLiegro had a pair of buckets during the run, while Santos converted an old-fashioned three-point play midway through and then capped the stretch with another layup.
UNH led 73-37 two minutes later when freshman Ferg Myrick reeled in an offensive rebound and layed the ball in to kick off an 11-1 run, which was capped by a Matagrano jumper that put the Wildcats on top 84-38 with 4:44 to play.
Junior James Valladares knocked down a jumper and Myrick drilled a 3 before Rhoads capped the scoring with a pair of free throws to make it 91-45 with 11 seconds on the clock.
Abreu finished with 12 points, five rebounds, seven assists and three steals in 27 minutes, while Conley filled the stat line with 11 points, a rebound, two assists, a block and a steal in 27 minutes. Santos scored 10 points in 14 minutes and Onguetou tallied eight points on 2 of 2 shooting from behind the arc and at the line to go along with eight boards. Graham tallied two points, two rebounds and six assists, and was dogged on the defensive end as he constantly pressured the ball and recorded two steals. Myrick posted five points, three boards, an assist and a steal in seven minutes, while Valladares finished with two points in six minutes.
The Wildcats shot 48 percent from the floor (32-67), while holding Suffolk to just 29 percent shooting (17-58). As a team, the ‘Cats tallied 22 assists on 32 baskets, won the battle on the boards, 49-40, and had 10 turnovers to Suffolk’s 22.
Karl Busch led Suffolk with 10 points, seven rebounds and three assists.
No. 25 Maryland is the first ranked team the Wildcats have faced since they dropped an 86-47 decision at 15th-ranked Boston College on Nov. 10, 2006.
FIRST TIME FOR EVERYTHING
The Wildcats have not recorded a win over an ACC team in eight tries.
RHOAD TO SUCCESS
Freshman Chandler Rhoads was named America East Rookie of the Week for the period ending Nov. 15 the conference announced Nov. 16.
Rhoads shined for the Wildcats in the first collegiate game of his career against Suffolk on Nov. 14 as he scored a game-high 14 points and added five assists, four steals and three rebounds in 23 minutes of action during UNH’s 91-45 win at Lundholm Gymnasium.
Rhoads became just the fifth Wildcat since the awards’ inception in 1983 to win it the first week of the season, joining Todd Black (Dec. 10, 1983), Joe Spitale (Dec. 5, 1988), Will Chavis (Nov. 22, 1998) and Chris Vetrano (Nov. 21, 2004). The point guard was also the first Wildcat to garner the honor since current junior Alvin Abreu on Feb. 25, 2008.
CRASHING THE GLASS
Against Suffolk on Nov. 14, junior Dane DiLiegro pulled down 15 rebounds, which is the second highest total of his career. DiLiegro leads the conference in rebounding (15.0 rpg), defensive rebounding (10.0 drpg) and is tied for the lead in offensive rebounding (5.0 orpg) with teammate Brian Benson.
Junior Alvin Abreu continued his pattern from last year of picking up his scoring in the second half. After going into the break with just two points against Suffolk on Nov. 14, Abreu came out and netted 10 in the second stanza to finish with 12. Abreu also added seven assists, five rebounds and three steals.
The Wildcats dished out an assist on 69 percent (22-32) of their baskets in their 91-45 win against Suffolk on Nov. 14. Last year the ‘Cats assisted on 50 percent (323-647) of their buckets.
In their 91-45 win against Suffolk on Nov. 14, the Wildcats blocked six shots, including three by freshman big man Chris Matagrano.
TREY-MENDOUS STREAK FOR 'CATS
Heading into tonight’s contest UNH has recorded at least one 3-pointer in 524 consecutive 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 739 games by UNLV, a streak that started Nov. 26, 1986 and is still active.
PICKING IT BACK UP
In the first game of the year versus Suffolk on Nov. 14, senior Colbey Santos picked up where he left off last season in the America East semifinal against Binghamton when netted a career-high 17 points on 4 of 5 shooting from behind the arc. Against Suffolk, Santos scored 10 points, his second highest total in a UNH uniform.
Sophomores Brian Benson and Russell Graham both set career highs versus Suffolk on Nov. 14. Benson scored a career-high nine points, while Graham dished out a career-best six assists.
Head coach Bill Herrion and his staff announced Nov. 11 that Scott Morris has signed a National Letter of Intent to join the Wildcats and attend school next fall.
“One of our needs with this year’s recruiting class was to get a 2-guard that can shoot the basketball,” Herrion said. “Losing Colbey Santos after this year and Alvin Abreu and Tyrone Conley being seniors next year, we have to make sure we have depth at the shooting guard spot. Scott is a tough, athletic kid, who can really shoot the ball from the 3. He is a total student-athlete and we are very happy to have him here at UNH.”
Morris, who is currently a senior at Walkersville High School, averaged 18.6 points, 6.3 rebounds. 6.6 assists and 2.0 steals per game last season as he led the Lions to the regional finals and an 18-7 record. Morris was named to the Frederick News Post All-County First Team, as well as the All-Gazette First Team, and was First Team All-Piedmont Division. As a sophomore, the 6-foot-2-inch, 190-pound guard averaged 13.2 points, 5.5 rebounds and 5.9 assists as an All-Piedmont Division first teamer. The three-year starter and two-time team MVP also performs well off the court as he is the owner of a 4.0 grade-point-average, which ranks No. 1 in his class of 328.
Juniors James Valladares, Alvin Abreu and Dane DiLiegro all spent part of their summers representing their respective countries while playing basketball internationally. Valladares suited up for the El Salvador National Team at the FIBA COCABA Games in Cancun, Mexico, where he averaged 17.4 points per game. Abreu practiced with the Dominican National Team in Santo Domingo, where he battled with the likes of Francisco Garcia of the Sacramento Kings, Charlie Villanueva of the Detroit Pistons and Edgar Sosa, a senior at Louisville. DiLiegro played for the United States at the 18th Maccabiah Games in Israel. DiLiegro averaged 8.8 points and 5.2 rebounds per game en route to helping the Americans capture the gold medal.
Head coach Bill Herrion was inducted into the New England Basketball Hall of Fame as a special honoree with the Clark University High School Basketball Tournament on Oct. 9. Along with the Clark Tournament itself and two major contributors to the success of the tournament, Herrion went in as one of just three players that will represent 70 years of basketball greatness at “The Clark.” Herrion’s best game came on Feb. 19, 1976 in a 96-79 win against Nashoba that lifted Oxford into the championship. Herrion knocked down 14 baskets and was 19 of 21 from the free throw line en route to scoring 47 points. The 19 free throws still stand as a single-game tournament record, while the 47 points are the third most in a single game and the 14 field goals are sixth most.
NEW KIDS ON THE BLOCK
The Wildcats welcome in three
newcomers this season. Chandler Rhoads (Berryville, Va.), a
6-foot-4, 190-pound point guard, attended Air Force Prep last
season and averaged 17 points, five rebounds, five assists and
three steals per game. Rhoads, who has great size, speed and
strength and will increase the Wildcats’ already solid depth
on the perimeter, graduated as the all-time leading scorer at
Clarke County High School with 1,638 points. Rhoads, who was named
Virginia State A Basketball Player of the Year after averaging 25.6
points, 6.0 rebounds and 6.0 assists per game during his senior
campaign, lead Clarke County to a pair of state championships
during his four years at the school. Rhoads was also a First Team
All-State member his junior and senior seasons, as well as being a
McDonald’s All-American nominee his final year at Clarke
Ferg Myrick (Philadelphia, Pa.), a 6-6, 180-pound wing, is a very good athlete who has size and is long. Myrick averaged 20 points, 12 rebounds and two blocks per game last season at Prep Charter High School. Myrick, a McDonald’s All-American nominee, led Prep Charter to a 21-7 record.
Chris Matagrano (Sayreville, N.J.) is a 6-9, 250-pound center, who plays hard and brings a great work ethic to the squad. Matagrano averaged 12 points and eight rebounds per game last season for Blair Academy, where he led the school to a 19-4 record, as well as the program’s first New Jersey Prep A state championship in school history. Matagrano, who has great size, physical presence and very good skill for a big man, graduated from Sayreville High School, where he led the program to the NJSIAA tournament in 2007-08 for the first time in five years after averaging 12 points and 12 boards per game en route to being voted the squad’s MVP.