DURHAM, N.H. - The University of New Hampshire men's basketball team will play host to Central Connecticut State as it puts its perfect record at Lundholm Gymnasium on the line Wed., Dec. 9 at 7 p.m. The game will be broadcast live on the Wildcat Sports Radio Network, with the link available at www.UNHWildcats.com.
The Wildcats and Blue Devils hook up for their seventh all-time meeting, with Central Connecticut leading the series, 4-2. Both of UNH’s wins in the series have come on the road, as they are 0-2 in Durham. In the most recent meeting between the two teams, the Wildcats scored a 78-70 win at Detrick Gymnasium on Nov. 17, 2007.
Senior forward Mike Christensen scored 23 points, including a career-high five 3-pointers, and added seven rebounds to lead the Wildcats.
The win raised the Wildcats’ record to 2-1, while the Blue Devils fell 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.
LAST TIME OUT
Freshman Ferg Myrick scored a career-high 11 points, but the Wildcats lost a defensive struggle to the University of Pittsburgh, 47-32, Dec. 4 at the Petersen Events Center.
The Wildcats fell to 2-3 on the season, while the Big East’s Panthers improved to 7-1. Pitt now leads the series 2-0 after also winning the first meeting, 53-38, at Petersen in 2003. UNH held Pitt to its lowest scoring output since March 10, 2007 when Georgetown only allowed 42 points in a 65-42 win against the Panthers in the Big East title game at Madison Square Garden.
Myrick, UNH’s America East Player of the Game, scored his points on 5 of 8 shooting, including 1 of 1 from behind the arc, in a career-high 18 minutes. Juniors Tyrone Conley and Dane DiLiegro chipped in with eight and six points, respectively, for the Wildcats, while DiLiegro grabbed eight boards and sophomore Russell Graham handed out three assists.
After senior Radar Onguetou knocked down a 3-pointer and junior Alvin Abreu sank a jumper, UNH led 5-0 with 16:21 remaining in the opening half. Pitt scored its first points on a pair of free throws from Ashton Gibbs at 14:49, and made its first field goal at 13:23 when Brad Wanamaker’s jumper made it 5-4.
Myrick’s layup put UNH’s lead back to three, but Wanamaker hit another jumper and then added a free throw to tie the game at seven with just under eight minutes to play. The Panthers seized the lead for good with a pair of free throws from Chase Adams at 4:30 before Gibbs scored the final six points of the half to cap an 11-0 run that gave Pitt a 15-7 lead at the break.
ESPN reported that the 22 combined points were the fewest in a first half of a Division I game since the shot clock era began in 1985 - when there was a 45-second clock, rather than the 35-second clock that was adopted in 1993. The teams broke the previous record held by Mississippi (15 points) and South Carolina (13 points), which combined for 28 points on Jan. 8, 2003. South Carolina ended up winning 55-49.
Conley opened the second half with a 3 from the left wing at 18:24 to cut UNH’s deficit to five. Pitt still led by five, 19-14, exactly two minutes later when it went on a 12-3 run - with seven points from Gibbs and five from Wanamaker - to take a 31-17 advantage midway through the half.
Myrick then converted consecutive baskets, and after a Dwight Miller free throw, junior James Valladares grabbed an offensive rebound and put the ball back to make it 32-23 with 7:17 to play. The Panthers then reeled off a 15-4 run to open its lead up to 18 (45-27) with just under two minutes to play before a DiLiegro dunk and Myrick’s trey cut it to 13 with a minute to play. Gibbs capped the scoring with a jumper that made it 47-32 with 34 seconds left.
Pitt outshot UNH, 40.5 percent (17-42) to 23.5 percent (12-51), and held a 36-31 edge on the glass, but the Wildcats outscored Pitt in the paint, 14-10, and turned the ball over 14 times, while forcing 16 Pitt turnovers.
Gibbs led the Panthers with a career-best 23 points and Wanamaker netted a career-high 19 as the two combined for 42 of Pitt’s 47 points.
The combined record of the three teams UNH has lost to this season is 18-7 (.720). The Wildcats have suffered all of their defeats on the road at Maryland (5-3), Harvard (6-2) and Pitt (7-2).
UNH is ranked within the top 100 teams in the country in a trio of categories. The Wildcats are 34th in 3-point field goal defense (.276), 63rd in scoring defense (62.0 ppg) and 96th in turnover margin (2.0). Individually, Russell Graham is 53rd in assist-to-turnover ratio (2.63) and Dane DiLiegro is 80th in rebounding (8.6 rpg).
HERRION VS. WILDCATS' 2009-10 OPPONENTS
Coming into the season, Bill Herrion owned a 115-67 (.632) record against the Wildcats’ 2009-10 opponents.
CAGING THE PANTHERS
In their 47-32 loss Dec. 4, the Wildcats held Pitt to its lowest scoring output since March 10, 2007 when Georgetown only allowed 42 points in a 65-42 win against the Panthers in the Big East title game at Madison Square Garden. Against UNH, Pitt was held scoreless for the first 5:15 of the game, did not convert its first field goal until 6:37 in, and went 15:30 before grabbing its first lead.
Freshman Myrick scored a career-high 11 points on 5 of 8 shooting, including 1 of 1 from behind the arc, in a career-high 18 minutes against the Big East’s Pitt on Dec. 4.
Senior Radar Onguetou is leading the Wildcats in 3-point shooting after sinking 50 percent (8-16) of his attempts. Onguetou came into the season a career 20 percent (9-45) shooter from long range.
TREY-MENDOUS STREAK FOR 'CATS
Heading into tonight's contest UNH has recorded at least one 3-pointer in 528 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 745 games by UNLV, a streak that started Nov. 26, 1986 and is still active.
DILIEGRO NETS TOP WEEKLY HONOR
Junior Dane DiLiegro was named America East Player of the Week for the period ending Nov. 29, the conference announced Nov. 30.
DiLiegro earned the first weekly conference honor of his career after averaging 18.5 points and 8.0 rebounds per game in a 78-60 loss at Harvard on Nov. 25, as well as a 72-58 victory at home versus Marist on Nov. 28. DiLiegro also shot 50 percent (15-30) from the field and 78 percent (7-9) at the line in the two games.
At Harvard, DiLiegro posted a solid performance of 10 points and eight rebounds before exploding against Marist. DiLiegro scored a career-high 27 points on 11 of 19 shooting from the floor and 5 of 5 shooting at the line, while pulling down eight boards. DiLiegro had matched his career best after just 14 first-half minutes, and was single-handedly outscoring Marist at the break, 21-20.
Junior Dane DiLiegro scored a career-high 27 points as he was 11-for-19 from the floor and made all five of his free throws in a season-high 34 minutes against Marist on Nov. 28, making him the first Wildcat to record that many baskets in a game since Blagoj Janev was a perfect 11-for-11 from the field en route to 31 points against Vermont on Jan. 9, 2007. The 11 field goals marked the second time in his career that DiLiegro converted 10 or more field goals, as he knocked down 10 shots when he set his previous career best of 21 points Feb. 19 of last season versus Maine. The 27 points is also the most for a Wildcat since classmate Alvin Abreu netted 28 against Santa Clara on Jan. 4 of last season.
HERRION CLIMBING WINS LIST
By defeating Marist, 72-58, Nov. 28, head coach Bill Herrion recorded his 47th victory at UNH and moved into fifth on the school's all-time wins list, passing Gib Chapman, who won 46 games in four seasons from 1992-96. Herrion moved past Phil Rowe, who won 45 games in six seasons from 1999-05, with his 91-45 win against Suffolk on Nov. 14, and now trails only Gerry Friel (188), William Cowell (119), Henry Swasey (108) and Bill Olsen (60) in the record books.
DOUBLE-DOUBLE ON THE RADAR
Senior Radar Onguetou scored 11 points and tied his career high with 12 rebounds against Marist on Nov. 28 to record his second career double-double. Onguetou's first double-double came at UMBC on Jan. 25, 2007 when he recorded the same 11 points and 12 rebounds.
AMERICA EAST SEASONS BESTS
Against Marist on Nov. 28, a trio of Wildcats submitted three of the best performances in America East this season. Junior Dane DiLiegro poured in a career-high 27 points, the most in the conference at the time. Senior Radar Onguetou matched his career best by grabbing 12 rebounds, which tied for the third best mark in the league. Sophomore Russell Graham surpassed his previous career high by handing out seven assists, the fourth best America East mark on the year at the time.
PICKING IT BACK UP
Senior Colbey Santos picked up where he left off last season in the America East semifinal against Binghamton when he netted a career-high 17 points on 4 of 5 shooting from behind the arc. In the season opener against Suffolk on Nov. 14, Santos scored 10 points, before netting 14 points at 25th-ranked Maryland on Nov. 20. The three-game double-digit scoring streak is the longest of Santos' career and also matches the number of games Santos recorded 10 or more points in the previous 86 games of his career.
In the Wildcats' 82-55 loss at 25th-ranked Maryland on Nov. 20, the 27-point deficit was the Terps' smallest margin of victory of the season to that point.
In the Wildcats' 82-55 loss at 25th-ranked Maryland on Nov. 20, sophomore point guard Russell Graham grabbed a game-high and career-best eight rebounds. Graham, who measures an even 6-feet tall, was the only player under 6-2 to play in the game.
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.
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 then career-best six assists.
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.
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.
In their 91-45 win against Suffolk on Nov. 14, the Wildcats blocked six shots, including three by freshman big man Chris Matagrano.
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.
DEMPSEY ON COLLEGE CHALKTALK
Associate Head Coach Ken Dempsey will be blogging at various points of the season on College Chalktalk. To follow along with Dempsey’s entries, click here.
WILDCAT BASKETBALL ON THE AIR
In the summer of 1999, the University of New Hampshire Athletic Department formed the “UNH Sports Network” — the largest network ever to broadcast UNH sporting events. Wildcats Sports Properties has added WGIN-AM 930 (Rochester) and WQSO-FM 96.7 (Portsmouth) as flagship stations on the Wildcat Sports Network, joining WGIR-AM 610 (Manchester), which was added in 2008. All three stations are part of the Clear Channel family and this change will go into effect at the beginning of the 2009-10 season. These three aforementioned stations – along with WUVR-AM 1490 (Lebanon), WNTK-FM 99.7 (New London) and WCNL-AM 1010 (Newport) – will carry the following: all UNH football & men’s hockey broadcasts and weekly coaches’ shows, a select number of men’s basketball, women’s basketball, and women’s hockey broadcasts, as well as “Wildcat Sports Today”, a three-minute daily update concerning UNH athletics. The games can also be heard on the internet at www.UNHWildcats.com, through a service from Stretch Internet. Stretch has also partnered with UNH to develop a podcast page for UNH fans to listen to archived broadcasts. Veteran play-by-play man Jim Jeannotte will return for his 29th year broadcasting UNH men’s basketball. Jeannotte will be joined by color analyst Mike Murphy, who enters his 10th season calling Wildcat men’s hoop.
WILDCAT BASKETBALL STREAMING LIVE
UNHWildcats.com, via Stretch Internet Broadcast, will carry 11 UNH men’s basketball games, as well as a pair of road contests this season. If you cannot attend Wildcat basketball, you can still tune into the game from anywhere you can gain access to the internet. Fans can get to the UNH men’s basketball broadcast site by going to the men’s basketball schedule page at www.UNHWildcats.com.
UNH HOOPS ON WILDCATS.TV
UNH and Pack Network have once again partnered to provide online video streaming of UNH’s seven ticketed sports for the upcoming 2009-10 season with UNHwildcats.Tv. Wildcat fans are encouraged to buy the “Wildcat All-Access Pass” which is an annual subscription for $79.95 that provides all the live coverage of UNH home athletic events. Fans can also purchase home events on a per game basis of $6.95.
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 County.
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.