January 4, 2011

Men's Basketball Battles Boston U. Live on Comcast SportsNet (Jan. 4)

COMPLETE GAME NOTES

DURHAM, N.H. - The University of New Hampshire men's basketball team will look for its first conference win of the season against Boston University on Tuesday, Jan. 4 (7:30 p.m.) at Case Gymnasium. The game will be televised live on Comcast SportsNet and also broadcast live on the Wildcat Sports Radio Network. Links to live audio and live video, as well as live stats, will be available at www.UNHWildcats.com.

The Wildcats and Terriers meet for the 123rd time ever in the history of the two programs, with BU leading the all-time series, 87-35. The Terriers have controlled the series lately, winning 17 of the past 19 meetings. Despite BU having won six straight in the all-time series, UNH has grabbed a pair of wins in the past nine games. At home, the Wildcats have won two of the past five matchups. Playing the role of visitor, however, the Wildcats have dropped 16 straight to the Terriers, grabbing their last win in Boston on Feb. 10, 1994 in a 64-56 triumph. In the most recent meeting Feb. 4, junior Alvin Abreu and freshman Ferg Myrick each tallied 10 points and four rebounds, but the Wildcats dropped a 69-47 decision to Boston U. in the teams' first-ever meeting at Agganis Arena.

The Wildcats fell to 8-12 on the season, including 3-6 in America East play, while the Terriers improved to 12-11 overall and 7-4 in the conference.

Junior Tyrone Conley earned America East Player of the Game honors for UNH with nine points and six boards.

John Holland was named BU's America East Player of the Game as he netted a game-high 23 points.

The Wildcats started the game on a 19-9 run - fueled by a pair of Abreu 3-pointers, five points apiece from senior Radar Onguetou and sophomore Russell Graham, and three free throws from Conley after he was fouled shooting a 3 - through the first 11:20 of the game, but a 10-0 Terrier run tied the game at 19 with 5:59 to play.

A 3-pointer from senior Colbey Santos put UNH back on top 22-19 at 4:59, but a free throw at 3:55 from Valdus Sirutis gave the Terriers the lead for good as they closed the half on a 9-4 run to take a 28-26 lead into the break.

Graham finished with six points, six rebounds and four assists, Santos tallied six points and two rebounds, and Onguetou posted five points and three boards.

Boston U. began the second half on a 7-0 run - highlighted by five points, including a 3-pointer, from Tyler Morris - to go up 35-26 with 17:53 remaining. After three points from Conley, six straight points - capped by a Morris layup - opened the Terriers' lead to 41-29 at 15:34.

A pair of Myrick free throws broke the streak, but another 9-0 BU run, with seven points from O'Brien, made it 50-31 with 9:30 left in the second stanza. Conley stopped the bleeding with 1 of 2 at the line, but Corey Lowe came back with a 3-pointer, and after Abreu knocked down a jumper, Holland's dunk made it 55-34 with 7:40 on the clock.

The teams went back and forth until a Holland layup at 3:48 made it 65-41. A layup from Carlos Strong with 1:44 to go gave BU its largest lead of the game at 69-44, but a 3-pointer from Santos with 36 ticks remaining closed the scoring. The Terriers outscored UNH, 41-21, in the second half, as part of a larger 60-28 run after the Wildcats led 19-9.

BU outshot the Wildcats, 39.6 percent (19-48) to 26.5 percent (13-49), including 52.2 percent (12-23) to 21.7 percent (5-23) in the second half. The Terriers also won the battle on the glass, 42-35, and outscored UNH in the paint, 26-8.

Abreu ended the night just 10 points shy of becoming the 27th Wildcat to join the 1,000-point club.

O'Brien added 15 for the Terriers, while Morris chipped in with 12.

LAST TIME OUT

Senior Tyrone Conley scored 15 points, including the 1,000th of his career, but the Wildcats dropped its America East opener to Albany, 59-44, Jan. 2 at SEFCU Arena.

The Wildcats dropped below .500 for the first time all season at 6-7, including 0-1 in the conference. It marked the longest the 'Cats had stayed at or above .500 to open a season since the 1994-95 campaign when they were never less than one game above .500. The Great Danes improved to 8-8, 1-0.

Conley, the Wildcats' America East Player of the Game, became the 28th member of UNH's 1,000 point club 5:41 into the second half when he stole the ball near midcourt and went in for an uncontested one-handed slam. Conley tied a season high with four 3-pointers and added four rebounds, three assists, two steals and a block in 35 minutes.

Tim Ambrose, Albany's America East Player of the Game, led the Great Danes with 16 points on 7 of 15 shooting, to go along with nine rebounds and five assists.

Albany started the game on a 12-3 run with nine points from Mike Black. UNH then fired back with a 12-2 run of its own, which was sparked by a Conley 3-pointer at the 11:00 mark. Another trey from sophomore Ferg Myrick midway through the half cut the deficit to three. After an Ambrose bucket on the following possession, a three-point play from senior Dane DiLiegro sliced it to a pair before freshman Scott Morris drilled a 3 that gave the Wildcats a 15-14 advantage with 8:12 to play in the opening half.

Myrick followed a John Puk bucket with another 3-pointer that put the Wildcats on top, 18-16, with 6:54 remaining. That was the last lead the 'Cats would have, however, as another Puk basket tied the game and ignited a 12-2 Albany run that made it 28-20 with 2:34 to go. Luke Devlin's trey with 4:32 left gave the Great Danes the lead for good at 21-18. A pair of baskets by junior Brian Benson closed the scoring and cut Albany's lead to 28-24 at the break.

Myrick recorded 12 points and two assists and has now scored in double figures in 12 of 13 games this season. DiLiegro posted five points and 11 boards, while Benson tallied six points, eight rebounds and a block. Morris chipped in with six points and an assist in 11 minutes.

Benson's fifth and sixth straight points on a jumper from the right baseline made it a two-point game to open the second half, but a 10-3 run by Albany widened the gap to 38-29 with 15:15 remaining. After Conley's milestone dunk, four straight points from Ambrose stretched the lead to 11 at 42-31 with 12:57 to play.

A Conley 3-pointer cut it to eight on the next possession before the Great Danes pushed it back to 10 at 44-34 with 10:52 to go. The lead was still 10 (47-37) when a modest 5-1 spurt by Albany ran it to 52-38 at 6:02. Conley followed with another trey, but baskets by Ambrose and Blake Metcalf opened up Albany's largest lead of the game at 56-41 with 3:25 to play. Morris sank his second 3-pointer of the game to cut it to 12 with 3:06 left, but Ambrose answered with his own 3 to close the scoring at the 2:33 mark.

Albany outshot UNH, 51 percent (21-41) to 30 percent (16-53), from the floor, including 50 percent (5-10) to 27 percent (8-30) from behind the arc. The 30 3-point attempts were a season high for the Wildcats, who were forced to take more long-range shots against the Albany zone. The Great Danes also held a slight edge on the glass (34-33) and turned the ball over 13 times, while forcing 14 UNH turnovers.

Conley finished with 1,006 points and moved past Pat Manor (1,000) for 27th on UNH's all-time scoring list.

1,000 POINT CLUB
Senior Tyrone Conley became the 28th member of UNH's 1,000 point club 5:41 into the second half at Albany on Jan. 2 when he stole the ball near midcourt and went in for an uncontested one-handed slam.

.500 CLUB
With their 59-44 loss to Albany on Jan. 2, the Wildcats dropped below .500 for the first time all season. That marks the longest the 'Cats have stayed at or above .500 to open a season since the 1994-95 campaign when they were never fewer than one game above .500.

BENSON IS BOARDING...AND MORE
Junior Brian Benson is having the best season of his career on the glass. Benson is second on the team and eighth in the conference at 6.5 rebounds per game. Over the last seven contests, which included a career-best 11-rebound performance at VCU on Dec. 30, Benson is averaging 7.6 boards per game. Over the last eight games, Benson has shot 18-for-35 (.514) from the field and 5-for-12 (.417) from behind the arc to raise his percentages to .392 and .313, respectively, after starting 2-for-16 (.125) from the floor and 0-for-4 from 3.

CLOSE AND LATE
After going 15-32 from 2005-06 through last season, the Wildcats are a perfect 5-0 this year in games decided by five points or less.

LEADING AT THE HALF
The Wildcats are 5-1 this season when leading at the half. The one loss was a seven-point defeat at seventh-ranked UConn on Nov. 30 after they held a one-point edge at the break.

TREY-MENDOUS STREAK FOR 'CATS
Heading into Tuesday's contest UNH has recorded at least one 3-pointer in 566 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 786 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 points allowed per game (61.5). They are also third in rebounding (36.7) and fourth in both field goal percentage defense (.412) and 3-point field goal percentage defense (.327). Individually, a handful of 'Cats are among the top 10 in a number of categories. Tyrone Conley is fourth in steals per game (1.5) and seventh in 3-point field goals made per game (2.0). Dane DiLiegro is second in rebounding (8.2), sixth in field goal percentage (.494) and seventh in free throw percentage (.761). Chandler Rhoads is fourth in assist-to-turnover ratio (1.2) and 10th in assists per game (2.7). Brian Benson is eighth in rebounding (6.5) and ninth in blocked shots per game (0.9).

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 65. Overall, Herrion sits behind only former Boston University head coach Dennis Wolff (152) and long-time Vermont head man Tom Brennan (147).

UNCONSTITUTIONAL?
The Wildcats are 0-3 this season in games played in the state of Connecticut, while they are 6-4 in the rest of their contests.

LOVEABLE LUNDHOLM
The Wildcats are 15-5 (.750) in their last 20 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.

RINGING IN THE NEW YEAR
The Wildcats went 5-5 before New Year's Day last season, their best record since 1994-95 when they were 6-2 before Jan. 1. The 'Cats have matched that at 6-6 this season and their 68-66 win against Cornell on Dec. 29, gave the program six wins before New Year's Day for the first time since '94-'95.

HOMECOMING
Virginia native Chandler Rhoads had quite the homecoming at the Richmond Marriott Holidays on the Hardwood Classic at VCU's Verizon Wireless Arena at the Stuart C. Siegel Center. Rhoads netted 10 points on 4 of 5 shooting, including 2 of 2 from behind the arc, matched his career high with eight rebounds and handed out five assists in the first game against Cornell on Dec. 29. Then against VCU in the championship game the next night, Rhoads poured in a season-best 15 points to go along with five rebounds and a pair of assists.

OFFENSE + DEFENSE  = WINS
It has been no secret that the Wildcats have hung their hat on defense this season, leading the conference in scoring defense and ranking second in both field goal percentage defense and 3-point field goal percentage defense. The 'Cats mixed in some efficient offense to record a 68-66 win against Cornell on Dec. 29, shooting a season-high 51 percent (24-47) from the field.

HE DID WHAT?!
Sophomore Ferg Myrick, who has scored in double figures in 10 of 11 games this year and 13 of 15 dating back to last season, scored a team-high 14 points against Cornell on Dec. 29 and also dished out a career-high five assists. Myrick's previous best was one assist, which he reached seven times.

NATIONALLY-RANKED (AS OF DEC. 19)
UNH is ranked within the top 100 teams in the country in a handful of categories. The Wildcats are 23rd in scoring defense (58.3 ppg), 57th in turnover margin (+2.9), 70th in field goal percentage defense (.399) and 76th in turnovers per game (12.9). Individually, Dane DiLiegro is 61st in rebounding (8.9 rpg) and 76th in free throw percentage (85.7).

BLOCK PARTY
In addition to matching his career high with nine rebounds at Central Connecticut State on Dec. 22, junior Brian Benson recorded a career-best five blocked shots, which are the most for a Wildcat since Rob Marquardt swatted five attempts Jan. 10, 2001 in an 87-69 victory against Vermont at Lundholm Gymnasium.

BUCKLEY-NG DOWN
Just after playing his best game of the season with a career-best 11 points on 4 of 6 shooting from the field and a perfect 3 of 3 shooting at the line at Rhode Island on Dec. 18, freshman DeAndray Buckley surpassed that performance with 12 points, five rebounds, two assists and two steals in a career-best 28 minutes at Central Connecticut State on Dec. 22.

SATURDAY DAY FEVER
Prior to their 64-52 loss at Rhode Island on Dec. 18, the Wildcats were 4-0 on Saturdays and 3-0 in day games.

DOESN'T ADD UP
Despite holding Rhode Island to the second lowest field goal percentage they have allowed all season at 35.6 percent (21-59), the Wildcats turned the ball over a season-high 17 times, while forcing their fewest turnovers of the season (7).

DOUBLE THE FUN
Senior Dane DiLiegro recorded his third double-double of the season when he posted 10 points and 10 rebounds against Army on Dec. 9. DiLiegro, who also matched his career best with three assists in just 23 minutes due to foul trouble, is inching closer to averaging a double-double for the season with 10.9 points and 8.9 rebounds per game.

RHOAD WORK
Sophomore point guard Chandler Rhoads had one of his better games of the season against Army on Dec. 9. Rhoads, who attended Air Force Prep, netted 10 points and dished out a career-best six assists in a career-high 32 minutes.

300
With the Wildcats' 65-60 win at Colgate on Dec. 4, head coach Bill Herrion recorded his 300th career win. The 20-year bench boss became the 284th college basketball head coach, including the 72nd active head coach, to reach the 300-win plateau. Herrion also reached another milestone earlier in his career against Colgate, winning his 50th career game at UNH in a 63-55 win at Lundholm Gymnasium on Dec. 30, 2009.

PERFECT LINE
In the Wildcats' 65-60 win at Colgate on Dec. 4, senior Dane DiLiegro matched Matt Alosa, Chris Brown and Jermaine Anderson when he tied the school record for most free throws made in a game without a miss after he was a perfect 12-for-12 at the line. A career 54 percent (109-202) free throw shooter entering the season, DiLiegro is hitting at a 86 percent (30-35) clip this year and ranks second in the conference in the category.

NOVEMBER TO REMEMBER
The Wildcats closed out the month of November with a 4-2 record, their first ever four-win November and just their ninth winning November in the last 39 years.

NEARLY SOMETHING SPECIAL
The Wildcats came very close to knocking off the No. 7-ranked team in the country when they took UConn to the wire before falling 62-55 at Gampel Pavilion on Nov. 30. The Wildcats, who never trailed in the first half, led at the 14:08 mark in the second half and trailed by just one with 8:24 to play in the contest. The 62-point output was the smallest for the Huskies to that point in the season.

THIS CLOSE
How epic would the win against UConn have been for the Wildcats? It would have been the program's first win ever against a ranked opponent, but what's more is that entering the contest, UConn was 112-4 against non-conference New England opponents during the Jim Calhoun era, in addition to owning a 134-18 record, including 65-4 against non-conference foes, all-time at Gampel Pavilion.

WALKING THE LINE
Against UConn on Nov. 30, Kemba Walker — the nation's leading scorer coming into the game (30.0 ppg) — netted 30 points, but picked up 14 of them at the charity stripe. While Walker was 7 of 16 from the floor, the rest of his team combined for 32 points on 12 of 34 shooting.

LINING UP
Despite converting three more field goals, including five more 3-pointers, holding a 39-38 edge in the rebounding department, including 18-12 on the offensive glass, and turning the ball over just 13 times, while forcing 12 turnovers, the Wildcats suffered a 62-55 loss at No. 7 UConn on Nov. 30. How? UConn sank 18 more free throws after being sent to the line 20 more times than UNH.

SURPRISE!
Prior to tipping off with UConn on Nov. 30, the Wildcats were shooting 24.8 percent (26-105) from behind then arc. The 'Cats then proceeded to shoot 50 percent (8-16) from deep against the Huskies.

FITTING IN
Sophomore Ferg Myrick looked like he belonged, especially in the second half, when the Wildcats battled seventh-ranked UConn on Nov. 30. Myrick poured in a season-high 19 points, including 16 in the second half on 6 of 9 shooting, against the Big East power. Myrick also set career highs in 3-pointers made (3) and steals (4), while matching his career best with eight rebounds.

WHEN THE LIGHTS GO ON
Senior James Valladares scored a career-high 12 points — all in the first half — in the Wildcats' 62-55 loss at No. 7 UConn on Nov. 30. Valladares made five of his first six shots and netted UNH's final 10 points of the half.

MOVIN' ON UP
Senior Dane DiLiegro grabbed 10 boards at UConn on Nov. 30 to move past Matt Acres, who recorded 680 rebounds from 1994-98, and into sixth place on UNH's all-time list.

ANOTHER DOUBLE-DOUBLE FOR DOUBLE D
In the Wildcats' 70-66 win against Brown on Nov. 27, senior Dane DiLiegro posted his second double-double of the season (10th of his career), as well as his second game-winning basket of 2010-11. DiLiegro reached game and season highs in both points and rebounds with 23 points and 12 boards. DiLiegro, who gave UNH a 55-53 victory at Dartmouth on Nov. 16 with a layup with 1.5 seconds remaining, made the go-ahead bucket with 2.8 seconds on the clock.

STEALING THE SHOW
In the 70-66 win against Brown on Nov. 27, senior Tyrone Conley, who poured in a season-high 19 points, tallied a career-high five steals, including one off a Brown inbounds pass at midcourt with one second remaining that sealed the victory.

HOLDIN' IT DOWN
The Wildcats held their first four opponents of the season under 55 points for the first time since the 1947-48 season when they held their first six opponents under 55.

LATE BLOOMERS
For the second time on the road this year, the Wildcats attempted to erase a 17-point deficit and used a big run to get back into the game at Sacred Heart on Nov. 23. Trailing 36-19 at the half, the 'Cats stormed out of the locker room on a 15-2 run that spanned the first 8:52 of the half. During that stretch, UNH forced 10 turnovers and caused Sacred Heart to shoot 1-for-5 (.200) from the floor. Overall, the Wildcats allowed just two second-half field goals as the Pioneers shot 2-for-14 (.143) and went 12:24 between those two makes.

FIRST THREE
The Wildcats won their first three games of the season for the first time since the 1971-72 campaign. The 'Cats also held all three oponents under 55 points, the first time they started 3-0 and allowed fewer than 55 points in each game since the 1931-32 season.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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 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, $799 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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