November 20, 2010

Men's Basketball Caps Wildcat Doubleheader Against Holy Cross on Nov. 20

COMPLETE GAME NOTES

DURHAM, N.H. - The University of New Hampshire men's basketball team will play Holy Cross for the first time in 10 years when the two teams meet Saturday, Nov. 20 (7 p.m.) at Lundholm Gymnasium. Links to live video, as well as live stats, will be available at www.UNHWildcats.com.  

The Wildcats and Crusaders meet for the 30th time in their two histories, with Holy Cross holding a 20-9 advantage all-time. The teams have not played each other since the 2000-01 season, but have split the last six contests. Despite the fact that Holy Cross has won two straight in the series, UNH has won four of the last 10 overall and three of five at Lundholm Gymnasium. The two teams played each other every season from 1972-73 to 1996-97, but have squared off just twice since then. In the most recent meeting, the 'Cats dropped a 64-54 decisison at Holy Cross on Dec. 28, 2000.

Josh Sankes netted 18 and pulled down 12 rebounds for the Crusaders.

Trailing 33-22 at the half, the Wildcats (2-7) went on an 8-0 run to start the second, pulling themselves to within 33-30. UNH managed to cut the deficit to one, 37-36, at 15:03 when sophomore Jeff Senulis hit a 3.

From there, however, the Crusaders (8-3) scored 13 unanswered points in five minutes, giving them a 50-36 lead with 10:23 to go. UNH cut the Holy Cross lead to 10 only twice after that.

Junior Austin Ganly had a team-high 15 for the Wildcats. Freshman Allen Gould scored 13 in the first half but was held scoreless after the break. Conversely, Senulis, who went scoreless in the first, chipped in 13 in the second.

The Wildcats led by as much as four in the first, leading 16-12 with 9:50 remaining, but the Crusaders finished the half on a 21-6 run to take a 33-22 advantage into the break.

LAST TIME OUT

Senior Tyrone Conley scored 18 points and classmate Dane DiLiegro recorded his first double-double of the season as the Wildcats erased a 17-point, second-half deficit to defeat Dartmouth College, 55-53, Nov. 16  at Leede Arena.

The Wildcats improved to 2-0 for the first time since the 2004-05 season, while the Big Green fell to 0-2. UNH head coach Bill Herrion earned his 60th win with the program, moving into a fourth-place tie on the wins list with Bill Olsen.

Conley, who netted 11 points in the second half, pulled down six rebounds in 35 minutes. DiLiegro posted 13 points and 10 boards, and put back one of his six offensive rebounds with 1.5 seconds remaining in regulation to give his team the eventual two-point winning margin.

Jabari Trotter led Dartmouth with 18 points.

Trailing 40-23 with 15:11 to play in the second half, the Wildcats locked down the Big Green and ripped off a 20-4 run to whittle the deficit to one with 7:19 remaining. During the 8:13 span, which included a 7:13 stretch that featured a 14-0 run, the UNH defense forced Dartmouth to shoot 2-for-12 from the floor and forced four turnovers.

Conley, the America East Player of the Game, sparked the run with a 3-pointer before a jumper by Tyler Melville pushed the lead back to 16. Buckets by sophomore Ferg Myrick, freshman Jordon Bronner and Conley sliced it to 10, before a Bronner trey from the right wing made it 42-35 with 12:29 to play.

A pair of Myrick baskets cut it to three and a DeAndray Buckley free throw drew the Wildcats to within a pair at 8:03. David Rufful's layup pushed the lead to four, before an Alvin Abreu 3-pointer from straightaway made it 44-43 with 7:19 to go. The lead was back to four at 51-47 with 5:02 on the clock until Myrick's basket at 2:41 cut it to two. Myrick then sank a pair at the line on UNH's next possession to tie the game at 51.

On the following possession, Conley knocked down a jumper from the right elbow that put the Wildcats on top 53-51 with 52 second left – their first lead since they led 3-2 just 1:42 into the opening half. Rufful then answered with a jumper on the other end 14 seconds later to tie it at 53.

After the Wildcats called timeout to reset themselves with 15 seconds on the clock, they were able to get an attempt off just before the shot clock expired with under three seconds on the game clock. The ball hit the rim, which re-set the shot clock, and DiLiegro alertly grabbed the rebound and put it in the hoop with 1.5 seconds remaining to make it 55-53. Clive Weeden's half-court heave hit the front of the rim as time expired.

Myrick finished with 10 points – all in the second half on 4 of 7 shooting. Abreu tallied eight points and five rebounds, while Bronner chipped in with five points and two assists in 10 minutes. Junior Brian Benson ripped down seven boards and blocked a pair of shots, while sophomore Chandler Rhoads added six rebounds and two assists.

Despite being outshot 43 percent (23-53) to 34 percent (21-62) for the game, the Wildcats shot 44 percent (14-32) from the field in the second half, while holding Dartmouth to just 27 percent (7-26) shooting.

After a Conley trifecta six minutes into the game cut Dartmouth's lead to 10-9, a 9-0 Big Green run pushed the advantage to 10 at 9:47. A Conley jumper at 6:25 cut it to 21-15, but another 9-0 run by Dartmouth gave the Big Green a 15-point lead with 2:53 to go before the break. Dartmouth would maintain that lead, heading into the locker room with a 34-19 edge. The lead climbed to 17 on a 3-pointer by Trotter at 16:33 of the second half before the UNH defense took over and helped the 'Cats back into the game.

Dartmouth outshot UNH, 59 percent (16-27) to 23 percent (7-30), in the first half. The Wildcats won the battle on the glass, 44-33.

Abreu finished the night with 1,172 career points and moved past Matt Acres (1,169) for 13th place on UNH's all-time scoring list.

FAST START

The Wildcats have started 2-0 for the first time since the 2004-05 season. A win against Holy Cross will give the program its first 3-0 start since the 1971-72 campaign.

HERRION CLIMBING WINS LIST

With his next victory, head coach Bill Herrion will move into fourth on the school's all-time wins list, passing Bill Olsen, who won 60 games in six seasons from 1960-66. Herrion will then trail only Gerry Friel (188), William Cowell (119), and Henry Swasey (108) in the record books.

WELL AHEAD OF SCHEDULE

With their 55-53 win at Darmouth on Nov. 16, the Wildcats recorded their first road win of the year in just their second game of the season and first on the road. Last season, the 'Cats were not victorious away from Durham until Jan. 21 at UMBC, which was their 17th game overall and 10th on the road.

COMEBACK KIDS

In their 55-53 win at Dartmouth on Nov. 16, the Wildcats erased a 17-point, second-half deficit to grab the win. It was the team's largest comeback since Jan. 18, 2007 when it demolished a 15-point deficit at Binghamon to record a 75-72 victory. Trailing 40-23 with 15:11 to play in the second half, the Wildcats locked down the Big Green and ripped off a 20-4 run to whittle the deficit to one with 7:19 remaining. During the 8:13 span, which included a 7:13 stretch that featured a 14-0 run, the UNH defense forced Dartmouth to shoot 2-for-12 from the floor and forced four turnovers.

DOUBLE DOWN

Senior Dane DiLiegro posted the ninth double-double of his career and first of 2010-11 with 13 points and 10 rebounds in the Wildcats' 55-53 win at Dartmouth on Nov. 16. DiLiegro also had a put-back basket with 1.5 seconds remaining in regulation to give his team the win.

TREY-MENDOUS STREAK FOR 'CATS

Heading into Saturday's contest UNH has recorded at least one 3-pointer in 555 consecutive games, a streak that spans 20 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 774 games by UNLV, a streak that started Nov. 26, 1986 and is still active.

'CATS AMONG LEAGUE LEADERS

The Wildcats are currently leading the America East conference in scoring margin (+17.0) and points allowed per game (50.0). They are also second in both rebounds (41.0) and turnovers (12.0) per game. Individually, a handful of 'Cats are among the top 10 in a number of categories. Tyrone Conley is second in steals per game (2.5), Dane DiLiegro is fourth in rebounding (8.0), Brian Benson and Ferg Myrick are fourth in blocks per game (1.5), Chandler Rhoads is fifth in assists per game (3.5) and assist-to-turnover ratio (1.4), Alvin Abreu is fifth in free throw percentage (.917) and steals (2.0), Benson is seventh in rebounding (7.5), DiLiegro (.538) and Myrick (.500) are seventh and ninth, respectively, in field goal percentage, and DeAndray Buckley is ninth in blocks (1.0).

HOME, SWEET HOME

With their 79-47 victory against Lesley on Nov. 13, the Wildcats  win their fourth straight home opener and start the season at Lundholm Gymnasium 1-0. The 'Cats finished last season 9-4 at home, their best mark since the 1994-95 campaign when they were 8-2 in Durham and have now been victorious in 13 of their last 17 home contests dating back to 2008-09 (.765).

LOCKDOWN DRILL

The Wildcats, who were second in the league last season with 62.4 points allowed per game - a mark that was the program's lowest since at least the 1960-61 season, once again set the tone for the season on the defensive end of the floor in their opener versus Lesley on Nov. 13. The 'Cats held the Lynx to 37.3 percent (19-51) shooting, including 12.5 percent (1-8) from deep, and forced 25 turnovers. During a 14-0 run early in the second half, UNH caused five turnovers and forced Lesley to shoot 0-for-5 from the field.

BACK IN THE SADDLE AGAIN

Coming off a 2009-10 campaign which saw him earn America East All-Conference Second Team honors after bumping his scoring average to 14.4 ppg, Alvin Abreu kicked off the season with a 20-point performance against Lesley on Nov. 13. Abreu was 5-for-11 from the field, including 2 of 5 from deep, and went a perfect 8-for-8 from the line.

PICKING UP WHERE HE LEFT OFF

After a 2009-10 season in which he earned America East All-Rookie Team honors and led the team in points per minute (0.53) after playing well down the stretch, Ferg Myrick made just his second career start against Lesley on Nov. 13 and dropped 18 points on 8 of 14 shooting to go along with seven rebounds, including five on the offensive end.

FILLIN' IT UP

In his first collegiate game, DeAndray Buckley filled the stat line in a solid 15 minutes. Buckley tallied three points, seven rebounds, two assists, a pair of blocks and a steal.

HERRION VS. WILDCATS' 2010-11 OPPONENTS

Coming into the season, Bill Herrion owns a 112-78 (.589) record against the Wildcats' possible 2010-11 opponents.

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 137 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).

DUSTING OFF THE RECORD BOOKS

After winning 13 games last year, 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 1918-19 to 1926-27.

MORE HOME COOKIN'

With an average of 1,126 fans visiting Lundholm Gymnasium each game last season, it was the largest average attendance since it reached 1,787 during the 1995-96 season. Paired with the 1,002 average attendance of 2008-09, it was the first time the average attendance has reached 1,000 in back-to-back seasons since the 1994-95 and 1995-96 seasons. The 14,642 total fans to attend games at Lundholm last year also marked the largest total attendance since 21,442 came through the doors in 1995-96. With 13,029 in attendance in 2008-09, it was the first time in consecutive years that the total attendance has reached 13,000 since 1994-95 and 1995-96.

HOOPS FOR HOPE

The University of New Hampshire's Wildcat Sports Properties and Holy Rosary Credit Union (HRCU) have teamed up to create a community-inspired basketball promotion to benefit the St. Charles Children's Home with a donation of $1.00 for every point scored by the UNH men's basketball team throughout the season.

"We're proud to partner with UNH's Wildcat Sports to provide support for St. Charles Children's Home in Rochester. Hoops for Hope is our way of showing our commitment to sports, education and the children of the communities we serve," said Brian Hughes, President and CEO of HRCU.

After each game, the points scored will be tallied and recorded on a "Hoops for Hope" banner housed in Lundholm Gymnasium. So far this season, $134.00 has been donated.

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, visit www.CollegeChalkTalk.com/coachesDiary/new_hampshire.

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 $89.95 that provides all the live coverage of UNH home athletic events. Fans can also purchase home events on a per game basis of $7.95.

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 30th year broadcasting UNH men's basketball. Jeannotte will be joined by color analyst Mike Murphy, who enters his 11th season calling Wildcat men's hoop.

WILDCAT BASKETBALL STREAMING LIVE

UNHWildcats.com, via Stretch Internet Broadcast, will carry 10 UNH men's basketball home 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.

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