January 1, 2012

Men's Basketball tips off Conference Slate versus UMBC (Jan. 2)

GAME NOTES (PDF)

DURHAM, N.H.
- The University of New Hampshire men's basketball team will open up conference play against the University of Maryland Baltimore County on Monday, Jan. 2 (7 p.m.) at Lundholm Gymnasium. 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.

THE MATCHUP
The Wildcats and Retrievers meet for the 18th time in their short conference rivalry, with UNH leading the all-time series, 10-7. The 'Cats have won five of the last seven 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 in the building until UNH was victorious there in each of the last two seasons. In the most recent meeting between the two squads, New Hampshire posted a commanding 39-10 lead at halftime on its way to earning a 63-46 victory at RAC Arena. Tyrone Conley scored a game-high 25 points and Dane DiLiegro posted his sixth double-double of the season with 21 points and 12 rebounds to propel the 'Cats to victory. With the win UNH swept the regular-season series from UMBC – by a margin of 18.5 ppg – for the first time since the 2005-06 campaign. The 46 points were the fewest the Wildcats had allowed in a game against a Division I opponent since they held UMBC to 45 at RAC Arena on Jan. 25, 2007. Conley, UNH's America East Player of the Game, was 9-for-18 from the floor, 3-for-8 from behind the arc and 4-for-5 at the line to go along with three steals and an assist in 38 minutes. DiLiegro was 7 of 12 from the field and 7 of 9 at the charity stripe in 37 minutes. Chandler Rhoads (Berryville, Va.) netted 10 points on 3 of 5 shooting overall and 4 of 7 at the line to go along with six assists, which matched a career best, three steals and two rebounds in 37 minutes. Chase Plummer led UMBC with 13 points – all coming in the second half – and seven rebounds to earn America East Player of the Game honors.

SCOUTING UMBC
UMBC (1-11, 0-0 AE) enters league play trying to halt a four-game losing streak after a 92-75 setback at Niagara (Dec. 28). The Retrievers snapped out of a shooting funk, hitting 48 percent from the floor versus the Purple Eagles and reaching the 70-point mark for the second time this season. Junior guards Ryan Cook and Brian Neller scored 26 and 16 points respectively against NU, but UMBC was victimized by 13 treys by their hosts. Cook now leads the Retrievers with 13.1 points per game as Chase Plummer's (12.8 ppg, 8.3 rpg) streak of seven straight games in double figures was halted. UMBC allowed 78.5 points per game in 2010-11, its poorest defensive average since permitting 79.7 points per game in the 1993-94 season. UMBC currently sits in ninth place in the America East, allowing 76.9 points per game. The Retrievers rank first in the league in rebounding, pulling in 38.5 boards per game, outrebounding their opponents by a margin of 1.8. Plummer has paved the way on the glass for UMBC, corralling 8.3 boards per game, a mark that ranks second in the America East. Plummer has also been the offensive catalyst for the Retrievers, posting 12.8 points per game while shooting 41 percent (57-139) from the floor. He also leads the squad with 1.3 steals per game.

AIR JORDON
Sophomore Jordon Bronner (Sleepy Hollow, N.Y.) propelled the Wildcats to a 71-64 victory over Colgate (Dec. 31), setting career highs in points (24), free throws made (8), field goals (7) and 3-point field goals (2). The point guard was tabbed the America East Player of the Game, finishing the afternoon with three boards and a pair of steals. He shot a solid 7-of-11 from the floor and 2-of-3 from deep while knocking down 8-of-9 shots from the stripe.

NO PLACE LIKE HOME
After taking down Colgate (Dec. 31), New Hampshire rounded out its non-conference slate with a record of 4-2 at Lundholm Gymnasium. The Wildcats are an impressive 13-3 on their home floor in non-conference action over the course of the last three seasons. Including conference play, the 'Cats own a 20-11 record at Lundholm Gymnasium since the start of the 2009-10 campaign.

TAKING THE HIGH RHOAD
Junior Chandler Rhoads (Berryville, Va.) scored 12 of his team-leading 16 points in the second half of play against Sacred Heart (Dec. 29), achieving the mark on the back of 9-of-12 shooting from the charity stripe, matching a career high in free throws made. The last time he knocked down nine shots at the line came last season against Albany (Feb. 2) when he led UNH to a 62-59 victory at Lundholm Gymnasium after posting 15 points against the Great Danes.

FIELD MARKSMANSHIP
Senior guard Alvin Abreu (Lynn, Mass.) recently moved into 10th place all-time in program history in field goals made (450). He currently leads the Wildcats with 57 field goals this season, shooting 41 percent (57-139) from the floor. Abreu notched a career-high 141 field goals during the 2009-10 campaign, finishing the season with a .358 shooting clip (141-394).

IRON MAN
Senior guard Alvin Abreu (Lynn, Mass.) recently moved into ninth place all-time in program history in career minutes played (3,229). This season he ranks third in the league in minutes played (386), averaging 35.1 minutes per game. He logged his most time on the hardwood during the 2009-10 campaign, registering 1000 minutes while averaging 33.3 minutes per contest.

DEEP THREAT
Sophomore forward Patrick Konan (Gainesville, Fla.) ranks fifth in the America East in 3-point field goal percentage this season with a .385 (15-39) shooting clip from beyond the arc. He has been especially impressive over the course of the last six games, shooting 43.5 percent (10-23) from deep.

SHUT IT DOWN
New Hampshire has emerged as one of the top defensive teams in the America East to start the season, ranking second in the league in scoring defense (62.5 ppg) and defensive 3-point field goal percentage (.326; 45-138), and third in defensive field goal percentage (.429; 246-573). The 'Cats had their most impressive defensive effort against Marist, holding the Red Foxes to opponent season lows in field goal percentage (.327; 18-55) and 3-point field goal percentage (.111; 1-9).

PLAYING THE PERCENTAGES
Senior Brian Benson (Rochester, N.Y.) ranks sixth in the America East in field goal percentage with a shooting clip of .493 (35-71). Over the course of the last six games he is shooting 51.7 percent (15-29) from the floor and has shot over 50 percent in all but four contests this season. Last season the center shot 39.4 percent (63-160) from the field, including a .404 mark in conference play.
 
NOW BOARDING
New Hampshire ranks third in the conference in rebounding, pulling in 37 boards per game, as the Wildcats are outrebounding their opponents by a margin of 2.1 rebounds per game. Brian Benson (Rochester, N.Y.) and Patrick Konan (Gainesville, Fla.) both rank among the league leaders in rebounds, collecting 9.4 (1st) and 6.4 (6th) boards per game, respectively.

FOUR OF A KIND
Four Wildcats have scored in double-figures in three games this season, most recently when Alvin Abreu (Lynn, Mass.; 18), Chandler Rhoads (Berryville, Va.; 16), Patrick Konan (Gainesville, Fla.; 11) and Ferg Myrick (Philadelphia, Pa.; 10) achieved the milestone against Brown (Nov. 7). Prior to that outing the last time UNH reached the mark was against Loyola (Nov. 20), as Rhoads (14), Konan (12), Abreu (11) and Myrick (10) finished in double-digits.

KONAN THE BARBARIAN
Sophomore forward Patrick Konan (Gainesville, Fla.) posted a season-high 13 points and a career-best 11 rebounds, earning his first career double-double versus Holy Cross (Dec. 3). Konan, who was tabbed the America East Player of the Game for New Hampshire, finished the contest 4-for-10 from the field, including 2-for-5 from deep and 3-for-3 from the charity stripe in the contest.

 

TRIPLE TROUBLE
Jordon Bronner (Sleepy Hollow, N.Y.; 24), Alvin Abreu (Lynn, Mass.; 14), and Chandler Rhoads (Berryville, Va.; 10) all tallied double-digits against Colgate (Dec. 31). The last time three 'Cats scored in double-figures was against Marist (Dec. 17) when Abreu (18), Rhoads (17) and Ferg Myrick (Philadelphia, Pa.; 12) all scored in double-digits.

DOUBLE-DIGIT DANDY
Senior guard Alvin Abreu (Lynn, Mass.) registered a season-best 21 points versus Dartmouth (Nov. 30), leading the Wildcats to a 53-50 victory at Lundholm Gymnasium. It was the highest single-game scoring total posted by any Wildcat this season, as he was tabbed the America East Player of the Game, finishing the contest 7-for-13 from the floor and 2-for-3 from beyond the arc. He also pulled in three boards, dished out two assists and collected a steal. The last time Abreu scored 20-plus points came against Lesley University (Nov. 13, 2010) when he poured in exactly 20 points in the season-opener at Lundholm Gymnasium.

THE TIMES THEY ARE A-CHANGIN
UNH claimed its fourth straight victory versus the Big Green earning a 53-50 victory at Lundholm Gymnasium on Nov. 30. Despite Dartmouth's 31-29 advantage in the all-time series, New Hampshire has been victorious in six of the last seven and 10 of the last 13 meetings in the annual rivalry matchup of the Granite State's two Division I basketball programs. The last time Dartmouth defeated New Hampshire was on Jan. 15, 2008 in a 65-60 overtime decision at Lundholm Gymnasium.

FROM DOWNTOWN
Senior guard Alvin Abreu (Lynn, Mass.) notched three treys against Colgate (Dec. 31) and currently ranks fifth all-time in career 3-point field goals made with 178. The senior captain recently passed Blagoi Janev, who finished his UNH career with 172 trifectas. Abreu leads the squad with 17 3-pointers this season, posting a .340 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 in rebounding, pulling in 9.4 boards per game this season. Last year he ranked second among league leaders in rebounds, compiling 8.3 per game. He has turned in three 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 Colgate (Dec. 31) and currently ranks second on the program's all-time blocks list with 65. Benson leads UNH with 12 blocks (1.1 bpg) this season, ranking third 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. 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 14 points against Colgate (Dec. 31), passing Tyrece Gibbs (1,329) to rank fifth on the program's all-time scoring list with 1,337 points. He has scored in double-digits in 11 of the last 16 games spanning over the course of the last three seasons, including eight of 11 contests this season. In addition, he ranks first on the team and sixth in the league in scoring, posting 13.5 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.

TREY-MENDOUS STREAK FOR 'CATS
Heading into Monday's contest UNH has recorded at least one 3-pointer in 594 consecutive games, a streak that spans 21 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 819 games by UNLV, a streak that started Nov. 26, 1986 and is still active.

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.

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.

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 75 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 http://collegechalktalk.com/coachesDiary/new_hampshire/2011-12/index.
 
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.

LAST TIME OUT
Sophomore guard Jordon Bronner (Sleepy Hollow, N.Y.) scored a career-high 24 points and dished out five assists to lead the University of New Hampshire men's basketball team to Saturday afternoon's 71-64 non-conference victory against Colgate University at Lundholm Gymnasium.

The Wildcats upped their record to 5-6 on the season, while the Raiders fell to 5-8 on the year.

Bronner was tabbed the America East Player of the Game, finishing the afternoon with three boards and a pair of steals. He shot a solid 7-of-11 from the floor and 2-of-3 from deep while knocking down a career-best 8-of-9 shots from the stripe.

Alvin Abreu (Lynn, Mass.) notched 14 points on 5-of-8 shooting, including a perfect 3-for-3 mark from beyond the arc. Chandler Rhoads (Berryville, Va.) chipped in with 10 points, five boards and an assist.

Mike Venezia led Colgate with 15 points and two rebounds. Mitch Rolls and Sterling Melville added 14 and 10 points, respectively.

Both squads exchanged baskets with one another for the first 14 minutes of play until Pat Moore and Venezia each drained 3-pointers, sparking a string of 10 unanswered points by the Raiders. Rolls and John Bradenburg polished off the stretch with layups to give the visitors their largest lead of the contest, 17-11, at 9:41.

The Wildcats stormed back with a 13-6 scoring run to reclaim the lead for good, as an Abreu trey set the score at 24-23 with 3:18 remaining in the stanza. From there a Bronner trifecta kept the offensive spurt alive, as UNH outscored Colgate 7-2 the rest of the way to complete a 20-10 run that lasted 9:06.

UNH shot 52 percent (12 of 23) in the first half to take a 31-27 lead to the locker room. Abreu shot a perfect 5-for-5 in the half for 13 points.

New Hampshire opened the second frame with a 7-2 run, extending its advantage to nine on a Bronner layup at 16:54. The Raiders quickly answered back with six unanswered, capped off with jumpers from Nick Pascale and Venezia on back-to-back possessions, cutting the score to 38-35 with 14:38 on the clock.

The run was halted when Rhoads took the ball hard to the basket and scored on a layup, setting off a streak of seven unanswered by the home team to claim its first double-digit lead of the contest, 45-35, at the 12-minute mark. Rhoads led UNH with five points on run.

Colgate would respond outscoring the Wildcats 8-4 over the course of the next 3:09, trimming the lead down to six after Venezia sank a trey with 8:36 remaining in regulation.

Scott Morris (Walkersville, Md.) stopped the bleeding, sinking 3-pointers on back-to-back trips up the floor, pushing the lead to double-digits once again, 55-43, at 6:46. Colgate stepped up down the stretch, outscoring New Hampshire 20-14 the rest of the way, but the Wildcats were able to hold onto the lead and preserve the victory.

 

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