November 29, 2011

Men's Basketball Set to Host Intrastate Rival Dartmouth (Nov. 30)

GAME NOTES (PDF)

DURHAM, N.H.
- The University of New Hampshire men's basketball team battles intrastate rival Dartmouth College at Lundholm Gymnasium on Wednesday, Nov. 30 at 7 p.m. The game will be 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.

LAST TIME OUT
Chandler Rhoads (Berryville, Va.) led four players in double figures with 14 points, but the University of New Hampshire men's basketball team was defeated by Loyola University (Md.), 66-60, at Lundholm Gymnasium in non-conference action Sunday afternoon.

The Wildcats fell to 1-2 on the season, while the visiting Greyhounds upped their record to 3-1, earning their third straight victory.

Rhoads, who was named the America East Player of the Game, rounded out his afternoon with a season-best five assists and two rebounds. He shot 5-for-10 from the floor, including 4-for-6 from the charity stripe.

Patrick Konan (Gainesville, Fla.; 12), Alvin Abreu (Lynn, Mass.; 11), and Ferg Myrick (Philadelphia, Pa.; 10) also scored in double-digits for the Wildcats. Brian Benson (Rochester, N.Y.) chipped in with six points, nine boards and two blocks.

After exchanging baskets in the early going, New Hampshire pulled ahead, 12-9, when Myrick drained a 3-pointer at 12:18. The Greyhounds bounced back with an 8-0 run, capped off with a Dylon Cormier layup, giving the visitors their largest lead to that point with a 17-12 edge with 9:54 remaining in the first frame.

Rhoads snapped the run when he sank a midrange jumper, igniting a streak of eight unanswered points by UNH, taking back the lead with a 20-17 advantage with 7:30 on the clock. Both teams traded baskets for the next 6:05, until a pair of Jeron Trotman (Huntsville, Ala.) free throws and a Konan trey at the halftime buzzer gave the home team a 35-31 edge going into the break.

UNH was able to preserve its advantage for the first 8:19 of the second frame, a stretch that featured three ties, as the 'Cats finally surrendered the lead with 11:41 remaining in regulation. The Wildcats posted their largest lead of the stretch after Myrick notched a 3-pointer and a layup in a span of 1:54, putting New Hampshire up 49-46 at 12:39.

The Greyhounds reclaimed the lead after scoring on two straight trips up the floor, kicking off an 11-4 run that extended their advantage to its highest margin of the contest, 60-53, with 6:00 remaining in regulation.

UNH responded when Konan knocked down one-of-two free throw attempts from the stripe and Benson sank a layup on back-to-back possessions, cutting the deficit down to four at 4:09. R.J. Williams interrupted the run with a jumper, but Konan drained a midrange jumper of his own on the ensuing possession, setting the score at 62-58 with 3:29 remaining.

Despite the brief offensive spark, that would be as close as UNH would come to reclaiming the lead the rest of the way, as the Wildcats got outscored 4-2 down the stretch and Loyola was able to hold onto the victory.

THE MATCHUP
The Wildcats and Big Green meet for the 60th time in their intrastate rivalry, with Dartmouth leading the all-time series, 31-28. UNH has recently had the upper hand in the series, winning five of the last six meetings and nine of the last 12, including three straight. The 'Cats have won three of the last four and eight of 10 at Lundholm, and have also been victorious in five of the last six matchups at Leede Arena. In the most recent meeting the Wildcats recorded a 55-53 win on the road on Nov. 16, 2010. 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, 55-53, at Leede Arena. 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 (Philadelphia, Pa.), freshman Jordon Bronner (Sleepy Hollow, N.Y.) 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 (Lynn, Mass.) 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 seconds 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.

SCOUTING DARTMOUTH
Dartmouth comes into Wednesday's matchup against New Hampshire with a 2-4 record, dropping two of its last three games at the Great Alaska Shootout. In their last outing the Big Green fell to Central Michigan, 65-48, earning sixth place at the tournament on Nov. 27. Rufful led the Big Green with 15 points, hitting 6-of-12 from the floor with a pair of three-pointers. Joining Rufful in double figures was freshman John Golden with a season-high 13 points with a trio of 3-pointers. Dartmouth opened the tournament with a 71-69 loss to San Francisco (Nov. 24), but picked up a 64-52 victory over Alaska Anchorage (Nov. 25). Rufful was selected for the Great Alaska Shootout All-Tournament Team after averaging 17.7 points and 4.3 rebounds in the three games — leading the Big Green in scoring in each contest — while shooting 57.6 percent (19-of-33) from the floor and 66.7 percent (10-of-15) from three-point range. R.J. Griffin (13th; 11.5 ppg) and Rufful (16th; 10.8 pgg) both rank in the top 20 among scoring leaders in the Ivy League. Rufful tops the conference rankings in 3-point field goal percentage with a shooting clip of .611 (11-18) from deep. Jabari Trotter leads the Big Green with a 2.6 assist to turnover ratio, ranking first in the Ivy League while also ranking 10th in the conference in assists (3.0 apg).

NEW 'CATS IN TOWN
UNH recently announced that two student-athletes have committed to attend UNH and play for the Wildcat basketball program next fall. Frank Okeke, a 6-foot-6-inch, 220-pound forward from DeSoto, Texas, joins the Wildcats after posting 9.0 points, 9.0 rebounds and 3.0 blocks per game as a junior at DeSoto High School. His production in the frontcourt was key to DeSoto's success in 2010-11, as the Eagles were ranked No. 19 in the county while posting a 34-4 record. Additionally, DeSoto was tabbed 5A Regional II District Champions and McDonald's Invitational Gold Division Champions last season. Okeke, who also played for the highly touted Deron Williams Elite AAU program, was also part of the DeSoto squad that was named a Texas 5A Regional Finalist in 2011. Chris Orozco, a 6-foot-3-inch, 175-pound combo guard from Tenafly, N.J., joins the UNH basketball program after spending the last three years with Tenafly High School. The two-time All-Bergen selection is closing in on becoming just the 11th Bergen boy to reach the 2000-career-point mark after leading the Tigers to 58 wins over the course of the last three seasons. Last year he was tabbed a Second-Team All-Group 3 and First-Team All-Bergen County for The Star-Ledger honoree, registering 21.7 points, 10.1 rebounds and 5.1 assists per game. He capped off his junior campaign leading the Tigers to a 20-4 record while winning the Big North Patriot Division title.

FOUR OF A KIND
Four Wildcats have scored in double-figures in two of the first three games this season, most recently when Chandler Rhoads (Berryville, Va.; 14), Patrick Konan (Gainesville, Fla.; 12), Alvin Abreu (Lynn, Mass.; 11) and Ferg Myrick (Philadelphia, Pa.; 10) achieved the milestone against Loyola (Nov. 20). New Hampshire also reached the mark against Suffolk (Nov. 11), as Rhoads (20), Abreu (19), Brian Benson (Rochester, N.Y.; 17) and Jordon Bronner (Sleepy Hollow, N.Y.; 15) all turned in double-figure scoring efforts. Prior to the outing versus Suffolk, the last time four Wildcats scored in double-digits in the same contest came in a 62-59 overtime victory against Albany (Feb. 2) at Lundholm Gymnasium. It was in that contest that Rhoads (15), Scott Morris (Walkersville, Md.; 14), Dane DiLiegro (12) and Tyrone Conley (10) all registered double-digit points.

STEALING THE SHOW
Senior guard Alvin Abreu (Lynn, Mass.) ranks second in the America East in steals with six, averaging 2.0 per game this season. He posted a season-best four steals against Suffolk (Nov. 11) while also picking up a pair of steals versus Boston College (Nov. 14). Abreu reached his career high in steals against Maine on Feb. 19, 2009 with six.

FROM DOWNTOWN
Senior guard Alvin Abreu (Lynn, Mass.) notched a trey against Loyola (Nov. 20) and currently ranks sixth all-time in career 3-point field goals made with 166. The senior captain recently passed Matt Alosa, who finished his UNH career with 163 trifectas. Abreu ranks second on the squad with five 3-pointers this season, posting a .333 clip from deep. He posted his highest single-season 3-pointer total during the 2007-08 campaign with 32 treys, a mark that ranks 10th all-time in program history.

BOARD GAMES
Senior center Brian Benson (Rochester, N.Y.) ranks first in the America East conference and third in the nation in rebounding, pulling in 12.3 boards per game this season. Last year he ranked second among league leaders in rebounds, compiling 8.3 per game. He has turned in two double-digit rebounding efforts this season, posting a season-best 16 boards against Suffolk (Nov. 11).

BLOCK PARTY
Senior center Brian Benson (Rochester, N.Y.) tallied two blocks versus Loyola (Nov. 20) and currently ranks fourth on the program's all-time blocks list with 59. Benson leads UNH with six blocks (2.0 bpg) this season, ranking second in the America East. He ended last season ranking fifth in the league in shots blocked, notching 1.1 per game.

RHOAD SCHOLAR
Junior guard Chandler Rhoads (Berryville, Va.) matched his career high with 20 points against Boston College (Nov. 14). He rounded out his night shooting 6-of-14 from the floor, including 2-of-6 from 3-point distance, and cashed in on 6-of-10 free throw attempts. He chipped in with five rebounds and an assist in 37 minutes. He currently leads the Wildcats with 17.3 points per game, a mark that ranks fourth among league leaders. The last time Rhoads scored 20 points in a game was against Vermont (Jan. 20, 2011), as he finished the contest 5-for-15 from the field, 4-for-7 from deep and 6-for-6 from the charity stripe. He capped off last season collecting America East All-Defensive Team honors after starting in all 30 games. The versatile guard was equally impressive offensively, leading the team in assists (85) and ranking second in points (273).

CLIMBING THE CHARTS
Senior guard Alvin Abreu (Lynn, Mass.) posted 11 points against Loyola (Nov. 20), passing Billy Pappas (1,228) to rank 10th on the program's all-time scoring list. He has now scored in double-digits in six of the last eight games spanning over the course of the last three seasons, including all three contests this season. In addition, he ranks second on the team and fifth in the league in scoring, posting 15.7 points per game.

DOUBLE-DOUBLE TROUBLE
Senior center Brian Benson (Rochester, N.Y.) notched his third career double-double, tallying 17 points and 16 rebounds against Suffolk (Nov. 11). The captain earned a pair of double-doubles last season, with his most recent coming against Hartford (Feb. 27) when he registered 16 points and 15 boards. He finished the 2010-11 campaign pulling in double-digit rebounds in eight games while scoring in double-figures in three outings.

50/50 CHANCE
The Wildcats shot an impressive 53.2 percent (33-62) from the field and 50 percent (9-18) from deep against Suffolk (Nov. 11). New Hampshire was especially impressive in the first half of the contest, registering 51 points on 64.7 percent (22-34) shooting from the field and 66.7 percent (6-9) shooting from 3-point range. The last time UNH shot above 50 percent in both categories was last season against UMBC (Jan. 23) when the 'Cats earned an 80-60 victory over the Retrievers. New Hampshire finished the contest with a shooting clip of .510 from the field and .519 from beyond the arc.

CAREER NIGHT
Senior center Brian Benson (Rochester, N.Y.) and sophomore guard Jordon Bronner (Sleepy Hollow, N.Y.) both registered career highs in points versus Suffolk (Nov. 11). Benson tallied 17 points in the game, reaching the mark on 7-for-13 shooting. His previous career high (16) came last season against Hartford (Feb. 27). As for Bronner, not only did he reach a career high in points, but he also matched career bests in field goals made (5), free throws made (4), and three-point field goals made (1) in the contest.

O CAPTAIN MY CAPTAIN
Alvin Abreu (Lynn, Mass.), Brian Benson (Rochester, N.Y.), Ryan Herrion (Dover, N.H.) and junior Chandler Rhoads (Berryville, Va.) have been named captains for the upcoming 2011-12 season.

Abreu was a co-captain for the Wildcats last year, but missed the majority of the season due to injury. The year prior, he stepped up his offensive game bumping his average up to 14.4 points per game en route to becoming the 27th Wildcat in program history to reach the 1,000-point plateau. The 2008 All-Rookie Team member was selected to the America East All-Conference Second Team and also took home Player of the Game honors for earning the most America East Player of the Game awards during the 2009-10 campaign. 

Benson is coming off a breakout junior campaign, leading the Wildcats on the glass with 8.3 boards per game, ranking second among league leaders. Additionally, he posted 5.6 points per game and ranked fifth in the conference in blocks with 32. He finished the year garnering America East All-Academic Team honors for the second straight season.

Herrion appeared in 17 games off the bench for the 'Cats in 2010-11, averaging 3.6 minutes per contest. He had his best outing of the season against Central Connecticut State (Dec. 22) when he notched career highs in minutes played (22), assists (3) and rebounds (3).

Rhoads, a 2010-11 America East All-Defensive Team honoree, took a huge step forward offensively last season, registering 9.1 points and 2.8 assists per game. He finished the year strong, scoring in double-digits in nine of the final 10 games of the season. He was also one of just two Wildcats to start in all 30 games, finishing the season ranking first on the team and eighth in the conference in assists (85).

THE POLL IS IN
New Hampshire (39 points) was picked fifth in the America East Preseason Coaches' Poll. The Wildcats were tabbed to finish behind Boston U. (62), Stony Brook (56), Vermont (51) and Albany (42). The Terriers, who have topped the poll each of the last five years, garnered six first-place votes, while Stony Brook claimed the remaining three votes. Maine (32) was tabbed sixth, while Hartford (18), UMBC (18) and Binghamton (11) round out the rest of the poll.

TREY-MENDOUS STREAK FOR 'CATS
Heading into Wednesday's contest UNH has recorded at least one 3-pointer in 586 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 809 games by UNLV, a streak that started Nov. 26, 1986 and is still active.

NEW KIDS ON THE BLOCK
The Wildcats welcome in three newcomers this season. Garrett Jones (Chicago, Ill.) joins the Wildcats after averaging 14 points and five assists per game this year. As a senior, Jones led Evanston Township to an 18-11 record on its way to winning the CSL-South Conference Championship. Additionally, the McDonald's All-American nominee picked up All-Conference honors during his junior and senior years.

Tommy McDonnell (Durham, N.H.) comes to UNH after averaging seven points, four rebounds and two steals per game this year at Bridgton Academy. In the three years prior, McDonnell was a standout at Oyster River High School, posting 18 points and five boards per contest during his senior year. He also collected team MVP and Foster's Daily Democrat All-Dream Team honors, while playing in the New Hampshire versus Vermont all-star game during his senior campaign.

Jeron Trotman (Huntsville, Ala.) comes to UNH after spending the last two years with Centenary College. He finished his sophomore season leading the Gentlemen in blocks with 31, while also ranking second on the squad in points per game (9.0) and rebounds per game (6.2). Additionally, he also led the way in field goal percentage with a .460 shooting clip (86-187) from the floor. In the previous season he saw action in 24 contests, leading the team in field goal percentage once again with a 71 percent (37-52) mark. He also ranked second on the team with 18 swats, while averaging 3.6 points and 2.3 rebounds per game.

HERRION CLIMBING WINS LIST
By defeating Holy Cross, 55-52, Nov. 20, 2010 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. Herrion has compiled 71 wins in stint as bench boss for the Wildcats.

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 athletics for the upcoming 2011-12 season with UNHwildcats.Tv. Wildcat fans are encouraged to buy the "Wildcat All-Access Pass" which is an annual subscription for $99.95 that provides all the live coverage of UNH home athletic events. Fans can also purchase home events on a per game basis of $9.95.

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. These three aforementioned stations – along with WUVR-AM 1490 (Lebanon), WNTK-FM 99.7 (New London) and WCNL-AM 1010 (Newport) – will carry all UNH football and men's hockey broadcasts, a select number of men's and 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 31st year broadcasting UNH men's basketball. Jeannotte will be joined by color analyst Mike Murphy, who enters his 12th season calling Wildcat men's hoop.

WILDCAT BASKETBALL STREAMING LIVE
UNHWildcats.com, via Stretch Internet Broadcast, will carry 14 UNH men's basketball home games, as well as one road contest 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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