November 23, 2010

Men's Basketball Gears Up for First Ever Meeting with Sacred Heart (Nov. 23)

COMPLETE GAME NOTES

DURHAM, N.H. - The University of New Hampshire men's basketball team will meet Sacred Heart for the first time ever when the two teams square off Tuesday, Nov. 23 (7 p.m.) at Pitt Center. Links to live video, as well as live stats, will be available at www.UNHWildcats.com.  

LAST TIME OUT

Senior Tyrone Conley scored 16 points and knocked down the go-ahead 3-pointer with 33 seconds left to lift the Wildcats to a 55-52 victory against Holy Cross on Nov. 20 at Lundholm Gymnasium.

The Wildcats improved to 3-0 for the first time since the 1971-72 season, while the Crusaders dropped to 0-3. The 'Cats also won at home for the 14th time in the last 18 games.

The win was head coach Bill Herrion's 61st while at the helm for UNH and moved him into fourth place on the program's all-time wins list. Herrion passed Bill Olsen, who won 60 games in six seasons from 1960-66, and now trails only Gerry Friel (188), William Cowell (119), and Henry Swasey (108) in the record books.

Conley, the America East Player of the Game, sunk four 3s and filled the box score in 36 minutes with four rebounds, two assists, three steals and a pair of blocks. Sophomore Ferg Myrick added 14 points and six rebounds, while senior Dane DiLiegro narrowly missed his second straight double-double with 11 points and nine boards. DiLiegro was 5 of 11 from the field and tallied two assists and two steals.

Devin Brown led the Crusaders with 16 points.

With Holy Cross leading 52-51 with 40 seconds on the clock, Conley missed a 3 from the left wing, but DiLiegro tracked down the rebound and dove on the ball before calling timeout to give the 'Cats a second chance. They made good on the new opportunity as Conley buried a 3-pointer from the right elbow with 33 seconds to go to put his team up 54-52.

After Brown missed a driving layup with 18 seconds to play and Mike Cavataio missed the follow up shot, Myrick grabbed the rebound and passed the ball off to freshman point guard Jordon Bronner, who was fouled. Bronner made one of two at the line and then pressured the ball up the court and forced Andrew Beinert to miss a fall-away 3-pointer from the top of the key as time expired.

Bronner played well in 20 minutes, recording three points and four assists, in addition to playing tremendous on-the-ball defense.

After Myrick sank a 3 from the left wing to put UNH on top 37-27 just 1:06 into the second half, Holy Cross went on a 10-0 run to knot the game with 13:56 remaining. Conley stopped the bleeding when he stole a pass and streaked down the right side of the court before throwing down a one-handed dunk at 12:31. Brown answered with a 3-pointer that put Holy Cross up by one before Myrick's jumper gave the Wildcats a 41-40 advantage with 9:34 to play.

Jumpers by Cavataio and Dave Dudzinski gave the Crusaders a three-point lead, which they held onto at 48-45 with 4:41 on the clock. Myrick then drained a pair at the line and grabbed a one-handed offensive rebound and put it back to give the Wildcats a one-point edge. DiLiegro's jump hook in the lane with 3:11 remaining made it 51-48. Four straight points from Brown, however, put Holy Cross up by one with 52 seconds left, setting up the heroics of Conley and DiLiegro.

Holy Cross led 8-4 when a pair of Conley treys sandwiched an R.J. Evans basket to tie the game at 10 with 12:17 remaining in the opening half. The Crusaders led by one, 18-17, with 5:45 to play when the Wildcats crafted an 8-0 run with consecutive 3s from senior James Valladares and sophomore Chandler Rhoads, and a layup by DiLiegro that made it 25-18 with 3:57 left. Conley buried a 3 with 46 seconds left that made it 33-25 before a pair of Brown free throws closed the opening-half scoring with UNH leading 33-27.

Rhoads recorded seven points, three rebounds and two assists.

UNH shot 34 percent (20-59) from the field, including 32 percent (8-25) from beyond the arc, while it held Holy Cross to 37 percent (17-47) from the floor and 14 percent (1-7) from deep. The 'Cats also held a 38-34 advantage on the glass.

ROAD WARRIORS

With a win against Sacred Heart on Tuesday, the Wildcats would be 2-0 on the road for the first time since the 1985-86 season.

FAST START

The Wildcats have started 3-0 for the first time since the 1971-72 season. A win against Sacred Heart will give the program its first 4-0 start since the 1953-54 campaign when it won its first five games of the year.

HOLDIN' IT DOWN

The Wildcats have held their first three opponents of the season under 55 points for the first times since the 1947-48 season (first six opponents under 55). The last time the 'Cats held their first three foes under 55 points and won all three games? 1931-32 (started 7-0; all seven opponents under 55 points).

LAST ONE STANDING

At 3-0, the Wildcats ate the lone undefeated team remaining in America East.

HERRION CLIMBING WINS LIST

By defeating Holy Cross, 55-52, Nov. 20, head coach Bill Herrion recorded his 61st victory at UNH and moved into fourth on the school's all-time wins list, passing Bill Olsen, who won 60 games in six seasons from 1960-66. Herrion now trails only Gerry Friel (188), William Cowell (119), and Henry Swasey (108) in the record books.

LOVEABLE LUNDHOLM

The Wildcats are 14-4 (.778) in their last 18 home contests dating back to 2008-09. The 'Cats finished last season 9-4 at home, their best mark since the 1994-95 campaign when they were 8-2 in Durham.

DOUBLING UP

Sophomore Ferg Myrick has scored in double-digits in all three games to start the season. Tyrece Gibbs was the last to do it in 2008-09, while Alvin Abreu netted double figures in five straight contests to start the 2007-08 campaign. Myrick has now netted 10-plus points in four straight and six of seven dating back to last season.

FEAT CONFIRMED

The Wildcats held their opponents to 62.4 ppg last year, the lowest since the 1950-51 season when they limited foes to 60.3 ppg. Records prior to 1960-61 were incomplete at the end of last season.

TREY-MENDOUS STREAK FOR 'CATS

Heading into Tuesday's contest UNH has recorded at least one 3-pointer in 556 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 775 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 (+12.3) and points allowed per game (50.7). They are also second in both rebounds (40.0) and turnovers (12.0) per game. Individually, a handful of 'Cats are among the top 10 in a number of categories. Tyrone Conley is first in steals per game (2.7), Dane DiLiegro is second in rebounding (8.3), Chandler Rhoads is fifth in assist-to-turnover ratio (1.0) and sixth in assists per game (3.0), Brian Benson is eighth in rebounding (6.7), Jordon Bronner is eighth in assists (2.7), DeAndray Buckley, Ferg Myrick and Benson are eighth in blocks (1.0), DiLiegro is ninth in steals (1.3) and Myrick is 10th in scoring (14.0).

TOUGH BREAK

The Wildcats and senior guard Alvin Abreu were struck by some unfortunate luck in theit game at Dartmouth on Nov. 16. Abreu tore the ACL in his right knee during the second half and will miss the rest of the season.

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.

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.

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 the 1950-51 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, $189.00 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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