February 24, 2010

MEN'S BASKETBALL KICKS OFF TWO-GAME HOMESTAND AGAINST UMBC ON FEB. 24

COMPLETE GAME NOTES

DURHAM, N.H. - The University of New Hampshire men's basketball team plays host to the University of Maryland, Baltimore County on Wednesday, Feb. 24 (7 p.m) at Lundholm Gymnasium, with seeding for next weekend's America East Championship tournament on the line. The game will be broadcast live on the Wildcat Sports Radio Network. Links to live audio and video, as well as live stats, will be available at www.UNHWildcats.com.

The Wildcats and Retrievers meet for the 15th time in their short conference rivarly, with UNH leading the all-time series, 8-6. The ‘Cats have won four of the last five meetings at Lundholm Gymnasium. After UNH began the series with three straight wins at RAC Arena, the Retrievers came back with a three-game streak of their own at RAC Arena. In the most recent meeting Jan. 21, however, junior Alvin Abreu scored a game-high 22 points to lead the Wildcats to a 62-58 win against UMBC at RAC Arena.

The Wildcats grabbed their first road win of 2009-10 to improve to 7-10 on the season, including 2-4 in America East play. They also snapped a three-game losing streak at the RAC, which featured contests that were decided by a total of nine points. The Retrievers dropped their ninth straight game to fall to 1-18 overall and 0-6 in the conference.

Abreu, UNH’s America East Player of the Game, was 7-for-18 from the floor, including 2-for-6 from behind the arc, and tallied four rebounds and an assist. Freshman Ferg Myrick added a career-best 15 points on 6 of 9 shooting, including 2 of 3 from deep, while recording two rebounds, a block and a steal in 19 minutes. Junior Tyrone Conley posted 14 points, six boards, a block and a steal.

Chauncey Gilliam led UMBC with 16 points and eight rebounds, while Matt Spadafora earned America East Player of the Game honors for the Retrievers with seven points and 10 boards.

UNH led 30-29 at halftime – improving to 7-1 when ahead at the break – but UMBC jumped on top when Gilliam opened the second half with a jumper. Conley responded with a 3-pointer to regain the lead for the Wildcats at 33-31. The ‘Cats led 40-35 after a steal in the open court and a dunk from Abreu, but an 8-0 run – sparked by a Chris De La Rosa jumper – gave the Retrievers a 43-40 lead with 10:22 to play.

Myrick then stopped the bleeding and sparked a 12-0 run when he drove to the hoop, took contact, made the layup and converted the three-point play at the line. Conley followed with a 3 that gave the Wildcats the lead for good before Myrick had a hand in the final three plays to end the run. After making a steal in the open court, Myrick took it in for a layup, then set up junior Dane DiLiegro with a quick pass that led to a dunk before hitting a runner in the lane to cap the run and make it 52-43 with 7:08 remaining.

UMBC came back with an 8-0 run, however, that was capped by a Spadafora layup, which sliced the UNH lead to 52-51 with 2:44 left. Abreu then stepped up and made what might have been the biggest shot of the night when he drained a 3-pointer from the right wing that gave the Wildcats some breathing room at 2:14.

After De La Rosa made 1 of 2 at the line, Abreu sank both of his free throws to open the Wildcat lead to 57-52 with 38 seconds left. Gilliam then hit 1 of 2 at the stripe before Abreu made another pair to bring the score to 59-53 with 25 seconds on the clock. Robbie Jackson’s baseline jumper cut UMBC’s deficit to four and Abreu made 1 of 2 at the line to make it 60-55 with 13 ticks left. Gilliam nailed a 3 to cut it to two with six seconds remaining, but sophomore Russell Graham sealed the victory with a pair of free throws with 1.8 to go.

Senior Radar Onguetou kicked off the scoring with a basket inside before a pair of jumpers from Abreu put the Wildcats on top 6-2 to start the game. The teams battled back and forth, with neither squad going up by more than three until an 8-2 run put UNH up 22-18 with 7:03 remaining in the opening half. Trailing 16-14, Myrick knocked down consecutive 3-pointers and Abreu sank a jumper to build the four-point lead.

Jackson drained a pair at the line, but Abreu responded with a 3 to put the Wildcats up 25-20 with 6:24 left. Gilliam hit a pair at the stripe to cut it to three, but Conley came back and knocked down a trey to make it 30-24. UMBC scored the final five points of the half, however, to climb within one at the break.

DiLiegro and Onguetou each chipped in with four points, while adding six and five rebounds, respectively. Graham tallied two points, four boards and three assists.

Jackson added 13 points for UMBC.

The Wildcats outshot the Retrievers, 37.3 percent (22-59) to 36.4 percent (20-55), including 30.4 percent (7-23) to 11.1 percent (1-9) from behind the arc. UNH also won the battle on the glass, 39-36, and its bench outscored UMBC’s, 20-15. The Retrievers outscored the Wildcats, 22-18, in the paint and turned the ball over nine times while forcing 10 turnovers.

LAST TIME OUT

Junior Alvin Abreu scored 16 points and classmate Tyrone Conley knocked down a runner with 0.7 seconds remaining as the Wildcats knocked off Loyola (Md.), 61-60, in an ESPN BracketBusters matchup on Feb. 20 at Reitz Arena.

The Wildcats’ win in their first ever BracketBusters game lifted them to 11-15 on the season, while the Greyhounds, who dropped to 2-3 in the event all-time, fell to 12-15. UNH wrapped up its non-conference slate at 6-6, giving the program its best non-conference record since it went 7-3 during the 1994-95 season.

Abreu, UNH’s America East Player of the Game for the sixth straight contest and ninth time in the last 12 games, finished with two assists, two rebounds and a steal and was 8-for-10 at the line. Abreu also extended his career-best double-digit scoring streak to 10 games and has scored 10-plus points in 13 of the last 14 tilts. Conley added 11 points, six rebounds and a steal, and was 9-for-10 at the stripe, making the game-winning basket his only of the game. Sophomore Brian Benson netted a career-best 11 points on 4 of 7 shooting, including 1 of 2 from behind the arc, and added three rebounds and a block in a career-high 30 minutes.

Jamal Barney led the Greyhounds with 16 points.

Trailing by five, 60-55, with 2:08 to play, the Wildcats started their comeback when sophomore Russell Graham grabbed his own rebound off a missed 3-pointer and put it back to cut the deficit to three. After forcing a miss on the other end, the Wildcats made it 60-59 when Abreu was fouled and sank both at the line. The UNH defense again clamped down to force a turnover with 23 seconds left and take the ball back.

The Wildcats moved the ball around, but could not find an open shot as the Greyhounds stuck with the UNH shooters. With the clock running down, the ‘Cats looked for an open man and found Conley at the top of the paint where he let go of a runner off of one foot that found the bottom of the net with seven-tenths of a second left and gave his team a 61-60 lead.

Loyola (Md.) called a full timeout, followed by a full timeout by UNH before the Greyhounds ran their final play, throwing a three-quarters court inbound pass that was intercepted by Graham, who jumped up and grabbed the ball to seal the win. The Wildcats forced the Greyhounds to go 0-for-2 from the field with a turnover in the final 2:24.

Graham chipped in with five points, six rebounds and three assists in 25 minutes off the bench. Graham, who now has 102 assists on the year, is the first Wildcat to reach 100 helpers in a season since Colin Donahue handed out 135 during the 2000-01 season.

The Greyhounds began the game on a 9-1 run and still led by eight, 15-7, with 12:05 to go in the opening half when UNH went on a 14-2 run to take their first lead of the afternoon. Back-to-back three-point plays from junior Dane DiLiegro and Benson quickly sliced the deficit to two before a pair of free throws by Brian Rudolph made it 17-13 at 11:23.

Conley then got to the line, where he sank a pair, followed by three consecutive free throws, including a pair at 6:38, that gave the Wildcats the 18-17 lead. Benson capped the run with a 3 from the right wing that made it 21-17 with 5:36 left.

UNH still led by four a minute later when J’hared Hall knocked down a 3 to cut the lead to one, 23-22. Tony Lewis made 1 of 2 at the line to knot the game at 27 with 2:46 to play before a layup and a jumper by Benson opened the Wildcat lead back up to four at 31-27 with 33 seconds on the clock. Kelly Garrett closed the scoring by draining a 3-pointer with four seconds left that made it 31-30 at the half. The ‘Cats improved to 11-2 when tied or leading at the break.

Jawaan Wright opened the second half with a pair of free throws that gave Loyola a 32-31 lead just 46 seconds in. UNH would not lead again until Conley’s basket with 0.7 left. The Greyhounds still led by one, 38-37, with 13:54 remaining when a 3-pointer by Brett Harvey and free throw by Rudolph opened their lead up to five. The two teams continued to go back and forth with the Loyola lead still standing at five with 2:08 on the clock when the Wildcats used their 6-0 run to win the game.

DiLiegro posted nine points as he was a perfect 4 of 4 from the field and 1 of 1 at the line. DiLiegro also added five boards to pull into an eighth-place tie with Pete Smilikis (603) on UNH’s all-time rebounding list.

Freshman Chandler Rhoads chipped in with five points, three assists and two boards, while senior Radar Onguetou pulled down seven rebounds and freshman Chris Matagrano recorded a career-high five boards.

UNH held a massive 43-26 edge on the glass, including 17-5 on the offensive end, which led to a 12-2 advantage in second-chance points. The Wildcats were outshot, 42.9 percent (18-42) to 33.3 percent (18-54), but outscored the Greyhounds 22-20 in the paint and held a 36-26 margin in bench scoring.

Abreu finished the day with 1,100 points and moved past former teammate Mike Christensen (1,087) for 18th on UNH’s all-time scoring list. Erie Feragne (1,105) and Peter Laskaris (1,115) are next up on the list.

Rudolph, Wright and Harvey all added 10 points for the Greyhounds.

DOUBLING UP

Junior Alvin Abreu currently owns a 10-game double-digit scoring streak, the longest of his career. Abreu, who is averaging 18.4 points per game during his current stretch, set his previous longest streak of seven games from Dec. 30, 2007-Jan. 19, 2008. Abreu’s streak is also the longest for a Wildcat since Ben Sturgill scored 10-plus points in 13 consecutive contests from Jan. 19-March 4, 2005.

OUT OF THEIR LEAGUE

With their 61-60 win against Loyola (Md.) on Feb. 20, the Wildcats closed out their non-conference slate at 6-6, which is their best mark since going 7-3 during the 1994-95 season.

BUSTING BRACKETS?

Playing in their first ever ESPN BracketBusters game Feb. 20, the Wildcats scored a 61-60 victory at Loyola (Md.), which was participating in the event for the fifth time.

PASSING THE CENTURY MARK

With his first of three assists against Loyola (Md.) on Feb. 20, sophomore point guard Russell Graham became the first Wildcat to record 100 helpers in a season since Colin Donahue (135) during the 2000-01 campaign.

HEATING UP FROM THE LINE

The Wildcats have improved at the free throw line as of late. After shooting just 63.8 percent (234-367) from the stripe through the first 18 games of the season, the ‘Cats have made 69.7 percent (138-198) of their shots from the line over the last eight contests. Individually, Alvin Abreu has gone from 73.3 percent through the first 18 contests, to 83.7 over the last eight, Tyrone Conley has moved from 64.1 percent to 80.6, Ferg Myrick jumped from 61.1 percent to 81.0 and Chandler Rhoads has improved from 44.4 percent to 63.2.

HOME, SWEET HOME

The Wildcats have started out the season 8-3 at home for the first time since the 1997-98 campaign when they won 8 of their first 11 games in Durham. The ‘Cats have been victorious in 11 of their last 14 home contests dating back to last year.

DURHAM FIRE MARSHAL BACK IN BUSINESS

With 2,355 fans packing Lundholm Gymnasium against Vermont on Jan. 27, another 2,073 versus Hartford on Feb. 6, followed by 1,759 against Binghamton on Feb. 11 and 1,701 versus Maine on Feb. 17, the Wildcats have put together a four-game streak of 1,700-plus crowds at Lundholm, which is the longest streak since Feb. 9-March 6, 1995 when the Wildcats saw six straight crowds of 2,000 or more enter the building.

02/09/95    Boston U.    2,457  (73-60 win)
02/16/95    Vermont    2,796  (95-84 win)
02/24/95    Drexel    3,250  (83-74 loss)
02/26/95    Delaware    3,094  (113-111 win, OT)
03/04/95    Delaware    3,060  (83-81 win – NAC quarterfinal)
03/06/95    Northeastern    3,250  (91-70 loss – NAC semifinal)

ABREU NOT LIGHTENING HIS LOAD

Junior Alvin Abreu has begun to carry more of the scoring load over the last 14 games, averaging 16.4 points per game. Take out his career-low one-point performance at Maine on Jan. 18 and the tri-captain is averaging 17.6 ppg during that span. Abreu has 13 double-digit scoring games during that stretch, including 10 straight, which is a career best. His previous longest double-digit scoring streak was seven games from Dec. 30, 2007-Jan. 19, 2008.

RANDOM "RECORD WHEN..." TIDBITS

The Wildcats are 7-4 when scoring first, 11-4 when scoring more than 60 points, 6-3 when shooting 40 percent or greater from the field and 4-1 when shooting over 40 percent from behind the arc. The ‘Cats also hold some impressive defensive records, going 11-2 when tied or leading at the half, 11-6 when allowing 60 points or fewer, 7-3 when holding their opponent under 40 percent from the floor and 7-5 when holding their opponent under 30 percent from deep.

'CATS AMONG LEAGUE LEADERS

A number of Wildcats find themselves in the top 10 on a handful of conference lists. Point guard Russell Graham ranks first in the league in assist-to-turnover ratio (+2.6) and third in assists (3.9 apg), Dane DiLiegro is third in rebounding (8.2 rpg) and fourth in field goal percentage (.486), Alvin Abreu is seventh in scoring (14.9), eighth in free throw percentage (.771) and ninth in 3-pointers made per game (1.7), and Tyrone Conley is seventh in 3-pointers made per game (2.0) and 10th in steals per game (1.1).

DEFENSIVE SPECIALISTS

The Wildcats have built on their solid defensive year a season ago and have held their opponents to 60 points or less in a game 17 out of 26 times. The ‘Cats, who held the Big East’s Pitt to 47 points Dec. 4, are third in the league in scoring defense at 62.5 ppg. UNH is second in the conference in 3-point field goal percentage defense at 31.1 percent and fourth in field goal percentage defense at 40.9 percent.

LOVEABLE LUNDHOLM

Junior Alvin Abreu is averaging 17.0 points per game this season at Lundholm Gymnasium, while adding 13.4 ppg on the road. Abreu is also shooting 41.5 percent (61-147) at home, but hitting on just 33 percent (65-197) of his shots away from Lundholm. The same trend holds true for the whole squad, which averages 66.7 ppg on 40.1 percent shooting at home and just 57.2 ppg on 35.5 percent shooting on the road.

JUNIOR TRIO SOLID IN CRUNCH TIME

Juniors Alvin Abreu, Tyrone Conley and Dane DiLiegro have stepped up down the stretch in games this season for the Wildcats. In the final five minutes, the three are a combined 48-for-93 (.516) from the field and 68 of 89 (.764) at the line. Inside of one minute, the trio is also impressive, shooting 13 of 26 (.500) from the floor and 38 of 43 (.884) at the stripe.

NATIONALLY RANKED (AS OF FEB. 21)

UNH is ranked within the top 100 teams in the country in a trio of categories. The Wildcats are 44h in 3-point field goal defense (.311), 47th in scoring defense (62.5 ppg), and 75th in field goal percentage defense (.409). Individually, Russell Graham is 17th in assist-to-turnover ratio (2.62) and Dane DiLiegro is 84th in rebounding (8.2 rpg).

TREY-MENDOUS STREAK FOR 'CATS

Heading into Wednesday’s contest UNH has recorded at least one 3-pointer in 549 consecutive games, a streak that spans 19 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 765 games by UNLV, a streak that started Nov. 26, 1986 and is still active.

TOP-NOTCH OPPONENTS

The combined record of the 12 teams UNH has lost to this season is 193-134 (.590). The Wildcats have suffered their defeats on the road at Maryland (19-7), Harvard (18-6), Pitt (21-6), Hofstra (16-13), Army (14-12), Santa Clara (11-18), Stony Brook (20-7), Binghamton (12-17) and Vermont (21-8), as well as Boston U. (16-12), Hartford (7-20) and Maine (18-9), who they also lost to at home.

CONFERENCE COACHING CONQUESTS

Head coach Bill Herrion is currently tops among active coaches and third overall in America East regular season conference victories. Herrion’s 136 conference wins are far and away better than the league’s other eight coaches, with Albany’s Will Brown the next closest with 64. Overall, Herrion sits behind only former Boston University head coach Dennis Wolff (152) and long-time Vermont head man Tom Brennan (147).

CONLEY TY-RRIFIC OVER 13-GAME STRETCH

Tyrone Conley caught fire over 13 games from Dec. 9-Jan. 27. After averaging just 6.6 points per game on 26.1 percent (12-46) shooting from the field, 18.5 percent (5-27) shooting from deep and 40 percent (4-10) shooting at the line through his first five games, Conley picked up his game during the stretch. The junior poured in 14.8 ppg on 40.9 percent (61-149) shooting from the floor, 40.5 percent (34-84) shooting from behind the arc and 68.5 percent (37-54) shooting at the stripe.

FERG-OTTEN ONE NO MORE

Freshman Ferg Myrick has provided a lift off the bench for the Wildcats as of late. After playing in just 10 of UNH’s first 15 games and averaging 4.2 points per game, Myrick has received solid minutes in his team’s last 10 contests and put up good numbers. In seven games from Jan. 27-Feb. 14, the 6-foot-6-inch wing averaged 9.1 ppg on 46.5 percent (20-43) shooting from the floor, 50 percent (5-10) shooting from behind the arc and 82.6 percent (19-23) shooting at the line.

TAKING THE HIGH RHOAD

Freshman Chandler Rhoads submitted one of the best performances of his short career at Vermont on Feb. 14. Rhoads netted a career-high 16 points on 5 of 10 shooting and added a career-best eight rebounds, two steals and an assist in 30 minutes, also the most of his career. The point guard has now recorded back-to-back games of 10-plus points for the first time this season.

ZEBRAS, WHISTLES AND FREE THROWS...OH MY!

In their Feb. 14 meeting at Patrick Gymnasium, UNH and Vermont set several season highs and jumped on to a handful of record book lists. The 64 combined fouls called are the third most all-time and second most this season. Arizona (50) and Northern Arizona (34) combined for 84 fouls Jan. 26, 1953, while Seattle (45) and Washington (33) committed 78 fouls earlier this year Jan. 26. The seven players who fouled out of the game is also the third most all-time and second most this season. UNLV (6) and Hawaii (6) combined for 12 on Jan. 19, 1979, as did Arizona (7) and West Texas State (5) on Feb. 14, 1952. Seattle (6) and Washington (2) had eight players foul out in their Jan. 26 tilt. The 60 combined free throws made are good for fifth all-time. Vermont, which went to the line 55 times, made 40 of the shots, which is the ninth most all-time and second most this season.

DUSTING OFF THE RECORD BOOKS

After their 10th win of the year Feb. 11 versus Binghamton (67-60), the Wildcats have now posted four double-digit win seasons in a five-year span for the first time since 1969-70 to 1973-74. They have also put together a streak of seven straight nine-plus win seasons for the first time since 1918-1919 to 1926-27.

TWO GRAND CROWDS

With 2,355 fans packing Lundholm Gymnasium against Vermont on Jan. 27 and another 2,073 versus Hartford on Feb. 6, it marked the first time consecutive crowds of 2,000-plus filled Lundholm since Feb. 9-March 6, 1995 when the Wildcats saw six straight crowds of 2,000 or more enter the building.

500-500 CLUB

Junior Dane DiLiegro became the 14th member of UNH’s 500 points-500 rebounds club on a layup with 19:15 to go in the game Feb. 9 at Albany. DiLiegro is the first to join the club, which features 11 1,000-point scorers, since Tyrece Gibbs (1,329 pts, 506 rebs) last year.

DOUBLE-DIGIT DILIEGRO

After posting 12 rebounds against Hartford on Feb. 6 and 10 boards at Albany on Feb. 9, junior Dane DiLiegro has recorded back-to-back 10-plus rebound games for the second time this season and fourth time in his career. DiLiegro has never put up double-digit rebound performances in three straight contests.

ABREU'S MILESTONE

Junior Alvin Abreu became the 27th Wildcat to reach the 1,000-point plateau on his basket with 1:28 remaining in the game against Hartford on Feb. 6. Abreu is the first to reach the milestone since Tyrece Gibbs (1,329) last season.

WILDCATS RECEIVE BRACKETBUSTERS OPPONENT

The Wildcats will play Loyola University (Md.) in the team’s first ever ESPN BracketBusters game, ESPN announced Feb. 1.

The game, which will be the first meeting between the ‘Cats and Greyhounds, is set for Saturday, Feb. 20 (1 p.m.) at Loyola’s 2,100-seat Reitz Arena. The teams will play a “return” game at Lundholm Gymnasium in either November or December of 2011.

The Greyhounds, who play in the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference, are currently 10-11 this season, including 3-8 in the MAAC. Loyola is 5-0 against common opponents, having beat Vermont (79-66) and Marist (68-61) at home, as well as UMBC (69-66), Dartmouth (58-41) and Marist (80-64) on the road. UNH is 4-0 against those same opponents with wins at UMBC (62-58) and at home against Marist (72-58), Dartmouth (69-59) and Vermont (75-56).

While UNH has never played in a BracketBusters game, Loyola is 2-2 in their four BracketBusters contests. The Greyhounds won at home against High Point (77-71) in 2006 and on the road at Tennessee State (62-60) in 2007, while dropping games to UC Davis (67-64) at home in 2008 and at Drexel (74-58) last season.

OVER 60

The Wildcat offense has been improving over the last couple of weeks, stringing together three games of 60-plus points with 62-, 75- and 73-point performances against UMBC, Vermont and Binghamton, respectively. In their two most recent games, however, the defense has allowed more than 60 points (Binghamton – 76, Boston U. – 69) in consecutive contests for just the second time this year, including the first in conference play.

DYNAMIC DUO

Juniors Tyrone Conley and Alvin Abreu each scored 21 points in the Wildcats’ 75-56 win versus Vermont on Jan. 27. It was the second time this season, as well as in their careers that the two have scored 20 or more in the same game. The duo also accomplished the feat in a 69-59 win against Dartmouth on Dec. 20.

FREE HANDOUTS

In the Wildcats’ 75-56 victory against Vermont on Jan. 27, sophomore point guard Russell Graham handed out a career-high 12 assists, while only turning the ball over once in a career-best 37 minutes. As a team, the ‘Cats recorded 19 assists – the most assists they have had against a Division I team this season – on 26 field goals.

OTHER SEASON BESTS VS. VERMONT

In the 75-56 win versus Vermont on Jan. 27, the Wildcats reached a season high against Division I opponents in points (75), as well as season bests in blocks (7) and attendance (2,355). The attendance was the highest at Lundholm Gymnasium since 2,384 fans watched Vermont beat UNH, 64-56, Jan. 28, 2006.

PHILLY'S FINEST

Freshman Ferg Myrick helped lead the Wildcats to their first road victory of the season, 62-58, at UMBC on Jan. 21 with a career-best 15 points on 6 of 9 shooting, including 2 of 3 from behind the arc. Myrick crafted a 12-0 run that pushed his team’s lead from 43-40 with 10:22 to play, to 52-43 with 7:08 remaining, and also fueled an 8-2 run earlier in the game that turned a two-point deficit into a two-point lead with a pair of 3-pointers.

GRAHAM-TASTIC!

Point guard Russell Graham really picked up his play over three games from Jan. 13-Jan. 18, averaging 5.7 points, 6.7 rebounds, 5.7 assists and just 1.0 turnover per game during that span, which included lines of six points, eight rebounds and seven assists Jan. 18 at Maine and a career-high 11 points, five boards and six helpers Jan. 13 versus Albany. The sophomore also started contributing more offensively over five games from Jan. 7-Jan. 18, averaging 6.6 points per contest, with nine- and seven-point outings Jan. 7 against Boston U. and Jan. 10 at Stony Brook, respectively.

LATE TO THE PARTY

After not even attempting a 3-pointer in the first 46 games of his career, junior James Valladares has hit a trey in four consecutive contests from Jan. 10-Jan.18.

PARTY OF FIVE

In their 67-59 win against Albany on Jan. 13, the Wildcats had five scorers in double digits. It marked the first time they had five scorers with 10 or more points in a game since Jan. 4, 2004 when Craig Walls (14), Marcus Bullock (12), Blagoj Janev (11), Griffin Walker (11) and Roland Williams (10) all scored in double digits at home against Northeastern.

GREAT DANE

Junior Dane DiLiegro recorded a double-double of 13 points and 13 rebounds in the Wildcats’ 67-59 win against the Albany Great Danes on Jan. 13. DiLiegro, who also posted a double-double of 20 points and 16 boards against Boston U. on Jan. 7, submitted two double-doubles in a three-game span for the first time in his career.

GOLDEN GRAHAM

Sophomore Russell Graham put together a solid night in the Wildcats’ 67-59 win against Albany on Jan. 13. The point guard scored a career-high 11 points on 3 of 6 shooting from the field, including 1 of 2 from behind the arc and added five rebounds, six assists and just two turnovers.

GLASS MILESTONE

Junior Dane DiLiegro recorded his 500th career rebound with his third board of the game against Stony Brook on Jan. 10 to become the 90th player in America East history to reach the mark. DiLiegro is the second active leading rebounder in the conference behind Vermont’s Marqus Blakely.

FIRST TRIP DOWNTOWN

Against Stony Brook on Jan. 10, junior James Valladares broke out for a career-high 11 points on 4 of 6 shooting, including 3 of 4 from 3-point land. Valladares, who played a season-high 23 minutes, had never even attempted a 3-pointer in his career coming into the game.

DOUBLE-DOUBLE FOR DOUBLE D

Dane DiLiegro was a monster inside for the Wildcats in their game against Boston U. on Jan. 7. DiLiegro netted 20 points and was one rebound shy of his career best, pulling down a season-high 16 boards as he recorded his second double-double of the season and seventh of his career. It was the highest point and rebound totals DiLiegro has reached in a single game during his career.

SECOND CHANCES

Ferg Myrick made the most of his 15 minutes against Boston U. on Jan. 7. The freshman chipped in with four points and added a block, but it was on the glass where he made his biggest impact. Myrick pulled down eight boards, including five on the offensive end.

GRAHAM ON POINT

Sophomore point guard Russell Graham continued his solid play for the Wildcats against Boston U. on Jan. 7 as he matched his career high with nine points and added five assists, four rebounds and steal, while only turning the ball over twice in a career-best 33 minutes.

CLOUD NINE

In their Jan. 2 game at Santa Clara, juniors Tyrone Conley and Dane DiLiegro each recorded nine field goals, shooting 9-for-16 and 9-for-12 from the floor, respectively. The last time two Wildcats have posted nine or more baskets in the same game was Feb. 24, 1995 against Drexel and current head coach Bill Herrion. Scott Drapeau and Matt Alosa each tallied nine buckets for the ‘Cats at Lundholm Gymnasium as they were 9 of 23 and 9 of 24 on the night, respectively.

FAST 50

With his 63-55 win against Colgate on Dec. 30, head coach Bill Herrion earned his 50th career victory at UNH and became just the second coach in program history to record 50 wins in less than five full seasons. Gerry Friel, UNH’s all-time winningest coach, won 61 games in his first five years in Durham.

.500 CLUB

With their 63-55 win versus Colgate on Dec. 30, the Wildcats improved to 5-5 on the season, marking the first time the ‘Cats have reached New Year’s Day at .500 or better since they started the 1997-98 season at 5-5 through the first two months of the year.

CLAMPING DOWN

The Wildcat defense once again played a strong role in the team’s 63-55 win against Colgate on Dec. 30. The ‘Cats held the Raiders withouth a field goal for the first 5:54 of the game and then sealed the win by forcing Colgate to miss all four of their shots over the final 32 seconds.

REELING IN THE REBOUNDS

In their 63-55 win against Colgate on Dec. 30, the Wildcats had three players record at least eight rebounds en route to holding a 46-31 advantage on the glass. Dane DiLiegro pulled in 10 boards, and Alvin Abreu and Radar Onguetou reeled in eight apiece as the ‘Cats posted their highest total versus a Division I opponent this season.

BOOT CAMP BOARDING

Juniors Dane DiLiegro matched his season high by pulling down 15 rebounds at Army on Dec. 22. DiLiegro also recorded 15 boards in the season opener versus Suffolk on Nov. 14.

CENTER OF ATTENTION

With starting center Dane DiLiegro in foul trouble for much of the Wildcats' 69-59 win against Dartmouth on Dec. 20, freshman center Chris Matagrano gave the ‘Cats a nice lift off the bench. Matagrano reached career highs in points (5) and rebounds (4) in 10 minutes.

WELL, THAT DIDN'T LAST VERY LONG

After setting season highs in field goal percentage and 3-point field goal percentage in their previous home game against Central Connecticut State, the Wildcats heated up again to erase those marks in a 69-59 win versus Dartmouth on Dec. 20. The ‘Cats shot 53.3 percent (24-45) from the field and 44.4 percent (4-9) from behind the arc against the Big Green.

SOMETHING GOOD ABREU-IN'

Junior Alvin Abreu erupted for a season-high 25 points in the Wildcats' 67-55 win against Central Connecticut State on Dec. 9. The total was Abreu's second highest of his career and most since he dropped 28 on Santa Clara at Lundholm Gymnasium on Jan. 4, 2009.

TICKLING THE TWINE

After a defensive struggle in their previous game at Pitt in which the Wildcats scored 32 points, they came in on fire versus Central Connecticut State and stayed hot throughout the game. The ‘Cats set season highs in shooting percentage from the field (.500), behind the arc (.429) and at the line (.750).

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.

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.

POURING BUCKETS

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.

MARGINALLY BETTER

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.

STANDING TALL

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.

SECOND-HALF STUD

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.

SOPHOMORE JINX?

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.

DROPPING DIMES

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.

BLOCK PARTY

In their 91-45 win against Suffolk on Nov. 14, the Wildcats blocked six shots, including three by freshman big man Chris Matagrano.

GREAT SCOTT!

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.

INTERNATIONAL INCIDENT

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.

View: Mobile | Desktop