DURHAM, N.H. – The University of New Hampshire men's basketball team looks to earn its second straight win when it takes on Maine on Wednesday, Jan. 30 at Alfond Arena (7:30 p.m.). Links to live audio and live video, as well as live stats, will be available at www.unhwildcats.com.
UNH (5-14, 1-6 AE)
At Maine (8-12, 3-4 AE)
Wednesday, Jan. 30 | 7:30 p.m. | Alfond Arena | Orono, Maine
THE MATCHUP | The Wildcats and Black Bears meet for the 179th time in their rivalry – UNH's longest with any school – with Maine leading the all-time series, 115-63. The Black Bears have won 16 of the past 20 meetings, and swept the regular-season series each of the last three years after the squads had split the season series in the three years prior. Maine has won seven of eight at Lundholm Gymnasium, as well as four of the last six at Alfond Arena. In the most recent meeting on Feb. 22, 2012, Alvin Abreu posted 15 points, but UNH fell to Maine, 71-58, at Alfond Arena. Abreu collected America East Player of the Game honors for UNH, finishing with four boards, three assists and two steals. Brian Benson added 14 points and seven rebounds. Chandler Rhoads and Ferg Myrick rounded out UNH's double-digit scorers with 13 points apiece. Rhoads chipped with seven boards and five helpers.
SCOUTING THE BLACK BEARS | Maine enters Wednesday's game at 8-12 overall and 3-4 in league play. The Black Bears started conference action with consecutive wins over Boston University and UMBC, but since dropped four of their last five, including a 79-69 loss at Stony Brook on Saturday. Zarko Valjarevic led Maine with seven three-pointers in the game. Valjarevic finished the game 7-12 from behind the arc giving him team high 21 points while adding two rebounds and a steal. Justin Edwards finished the game with 19 points, 13 rebounds and five assists. Maine shot 40 percent from the field and outrebounded the Seawolves, 42-41. Edwards leads the league in scoring with 17.6 points per game and in steals (2.0). Alasdair Fraser ranks second in the league in rebounding (8.7), first in offensive rebounds (3.2), second in blocks (1.7) and eighth in scoring (13.6). As a team, Maine paces the conference in assists (13.8) and offensive rebounds (12.1). The Black Bears score the second most points in the league at 68.1 points per game, but give up the most on the defensive end, allowing 72.0 points per game.
STARTING STRONG | New Hampshire's starting lineup accounted for 55 of the team's 63 points against Binghamton. UNH has used eight different starting rotations this season.
FOUR FOR TWO | Ferg Myrick (16), Chandler Rhoads (15), Patrick Konan (12) and Chris Matagrano (12) all reached double figures at Binghamton, marking the fifth time at least four Wildcats have reached double digits this season.
TAKE TWO || Ferg Myrick and Chris Matagrano both posted double-doubles at Binghamton on Saturday. Myrick recorded 16 points and 10 rebounds for his third double-double of the season, while Matagrano had 12 points and 10 rebounds for his first double-double. It was the first time two Wildcats notched double-doubles in the same game since Nov. 13 at Dartmouth when Myrick (19 pts, 11 rbs) and Patrick Konan (14 pts, 11 rbs) accomplished the feat in the second game of the season.
TAKING ADVANTAGE | UNH scored 17 points off 12 Binghamton miscues on Saturday, marking the most points off opponent turnovers since the start of conference play.
PERIMETER DEFENSE | New Hampshire ranks second nationally in three-point FG percentage defense, holding teams to 25.2 percent shooting from beyond the arc, while Texas leads the nation at 25.1 percent. Most recently, UNH held Binghamton to 0-12 from downtown.
KNOCKING ON THE DOOR | Chandler Rhoads has a chance to reach the 1,000-point mark this season as he enters Saturday's game with 909 career points. He needs to average 10.1 points per game over the final nine contests to hit 1,000 points. Ferg Myrick, who sits at 875 points, needs to average 13.8 points per game down the stretch to hit the same milestone.
DOUBLE-DOUBLE TROUBLE | Patrick Konan posted 11 points and a career-high 13 rebounds against BU to earn his second double-double of the season. He shot 4-of-11 from the field and corralled five offensive rebounds to go along with one assist. Konan, who was named the America East Player of the Game, previously recorded 14 points and 11 rebounds against Dartmouth in the second game of the season.
BREAKOUT PLAYER | Senior Chris Matagrano has enjoyed a string of breakout performances over the past four contests, averaging 12.5 points during the span. The New Jersey native came off the bench and led the Wildcats with a career-high 15 points against Albany. He was highly effective from the floor, shooting 6-of-9 including a 3-pointer to go along with four rebounds. He went on to net 14 points against BU, 10 against Hartford and 12 at Binghamton. Before the four-game span, the last time Matagrano reached double figures was the season-opener against Suffolk (10 pts).
BEFORE AND AFTER | New Hampshire is 5-3 when it is able to lead at halftime, but the Wildcats are 0-11 this season when trailing at intermission.
IRON MAN | Chandler Rhoads has been the backbone of the Wildcats this season as he leads the America East in minutes played (36.1, 686). Rhoads has logged at least 35 minutes in 16 of 19 games this season.
CLEANING THE GLASS | New Hampshire leads the league in offensive rebounds since the start of conference play, averaging 11.9 offensive boards per contest over the seven-game span. The Wildcats snagged a season-high 18 offensive rebounds at UMBC following 13 offensive rebounds at Stony Brook. UNH also snagged 12 offensive boards against Boston University and 11 against Hartford and Binghamton.
KONAN THE BARBARIAN || Patrick Konan scored a season-high 19 points in the team's loss at UMBC. Konan went 6-of-14 from the floor, including a trio of 3-pointers, and 4-of-5 at the free throw line. Konan has reached double digits 12 times this season and is averaging 11.8 points per game over the last six contests.
PHILLY'S FINEST | Ferg Myrick recorded 16 points against Binghamton for his fifth-straight contest in double figures. He shot 7-of-17 from the field and added 10 rebounds in 36 minutes of action. Myrick has reached double digits in all but three games this season and has posted at least 20 points in four contests. He leads the team in scoring with 14.6 points per game.
LEND A HELPING HAND | Chandler Rhoads dished out a career-high nine assists in the loss at Colgate, marking his second 7-plus assist game of the season (CCSU, Dec. 5). Rhoads ranks seventh in the conference with 3.7 assists per game.
STEALING THE SHOW | Chandler Rhoads snagged five steals against Binghamton, marking his second game with at least five steals. He also registered a career-high six steals against Yale and currently ranks second in the league with 1.7 steals per contest. Rhoads needs just three more steals to reach 100 in his career.
BIG ADDITION | Chris Pelcher has been a force down low for the Wildcats this season as he ranks third in the conference in field goal percentage (53.1, 69-130) and blocks (1.4). He also ranks seventh in rebounding (6.8). The junior transfer recorded 16 points and a game-high 12 rebounds against UConn (11/29) for his second double-double of the season.
ON THE OFFENSIVE | New Hampshire scored 84 points in the loss against CCSU, marking the team's highest scoring output since the season-opening win over Suffolk (91-51). The Wildcats set season-highs in field goal percentage (57.1, 28-49), 3-point field goal percentage (48.0, 12-25), 3-pointers made (12) and assists (19). All 10 starters reached double-figures, while the Wildcats had five players hit double-digits for the first time since the season-opener.
ALL-AROUND GAME | Chandler Rhoads posted a strong overall performance against CCSU, leading the team in scoring with 18 points on 8-of-10 shooting from the floor. He also added a career-high seven assists to pair with three steals.
LEGEND KILLER | Ferg Myrick came up big against mighty UConn, registering a game- and season-high 20 points to pair with seven boards. Myrick is averaging 19.5 points per game against the Huskies after a 19-point performance as a sophomore during the 2010-11 season.
RHOADS SCHOLAR || Chandler Rhoads poured in a career-best 21 points in the team's loss at NJIT. Rhoads, who was 8-of-15 from the floor in 39 minutes of action, scored 14 points in the second half including a string of seven-straight for the Wildcats.
PELCHER'S CAREER DAY || Chris Pelcher put up some impressive numbers against NJIT as he posted career-highs of 17 points and 11 rebounds for his first career double-double. He shot 7-of-14 from the floor and was perfect at the charity stripe (3-3). He also registered a career-high four blocks.
TAKE THEM TO SCHOOL || UNH downed its intrastate rival Dartmouth, 72-58, to mark the team's fifth-straight win over the Big Green. Dartmouth still leads the all-time series, 31-30, but the Wildcats have won seven of the last eight meetings and 11 of the last 14.
FIVE GUYS || New Hampshire had five players reach double-figures in the season-opening win over Suffolk. Patrick Konan led the way with a game-high 16 points, followed by Chris Pelcher (14), Ferg Myrick (14), Scott Morris (13) and Chris Matagrano (10). The trio of Myrick, Morris and Matagrano came off the bench to reach the double-figure mark. It was the first time UNH had five players score double-digits in the same contest since Jan. 1, 2012, when the Wildcats fell to UMBC at home in the conference opener.
IMPRESSIVE DEBUT || Chris Pelcher netted then-career highs of 14 points and nine rebounds against Suffolk in his UNH debut. Most impressively, he was highly efficient in the process as he went 7-of-8 from the field (.875) and added three assists. Pelcher played his first two seasons at Iona and sat out the entire 2011-12 season due to NCAA transfer regulations.
CRASHING THE BOARDS || New Hampshire pulled down 51 rebounds against Suffolk, marking the most in a single game since Jan. 15, 2011 when the Wildcats grabbed 54 rebounds in a double-overtime loss at Stony Brook. Chris Pelcher and Ferg Myrick led the way this time around with nine boards apiece, while 11 of 13 Wildcats snagged multiple rebounds.
HERRION CHASING HISTORY || Head coach Bill Herrion, who enters his eighth year at UNH and 22nd in America East, is the league all-time leader in championship wins (21) and ranks second in conference victories (150). Herrion is just two victories behind former Boston U. coach Dennis Wolff for the most in conference history.
DEFENSE, DEFENSE, DEFENSE || The Wildcats ranked in the 80th percentile nationally in scoring defense last season, holding opponents to just 62.8 points per game, which ranked third in America East. Additionally, UNH was the best on the conference defending the 3-pointer last season as it held foes to 29.7 percent from beyond the arc, which ranked 13th nationally. Lastly, senior Chandler Rhoads earned America East Al-Defensive honors for the second straight year.
SIGNING DAY || UNH recently announced that two student-athletes have signed National Letters of Intent to attend UNH and play for the Wildcat basketball program next fall.
John Edwards, a 6-foot-6-inch forward from Charlotte, N.C., joins the Wildcats after playing at Brewster Academy, one of the top prep schools in the country. He averaged 5.0 points per game on a squad that went 33-1 overall en route to the National Prep Championship.
Daniel Jackson, a 6-foot, 170-pound point guard from Cedar Park, Texas, comes to UNH after playing the last three years at Vista Ridge High School. Jackson led the squad with 15.0 points per game and topped the district with 7.0 assists per contest as a junior last season. He was named first-team all-district for his efforts and also earned all-district academic honors.
OH CAPTAIN, MY CAPTAIN || Seniors Chandler Rhoads (Berryville, Va.), Ferg Myrick (Philadelphia, Pa.) and Chris Matagrano (Sayreville, N.J.) have been named captains for the upcoming 2012-13 season.
Rhoads, who also served as a captain last season, returns as one of the premier defenders in the conference after he was named to the America East All-Defensive Team for the second time in as many seasons. Rhoads also proved to be a key component on the offensive end, logging 11.2 points per game and 2.7 assists per games as a junior. Rhoads started every game for the Wildcats last season and ranked first in the league in minutes played (36.6).
Myrick enjoyed a productive junior campaign after he missed most of his sophomore season due to injury. The forward averaged 8.5 points per game and ranked second on the team with 15 blocks during the 2011-12 season. A consistent offensive player, Myrick scored double-digit points 12 times on the season, highlighted by a 19-point outburst in a victory against Towson. Myrick was named to the America East All-Rookie team as a freshman in 2009-10 after averaging 7.6 points per game.
Matagrano appeared in 26 games off the bench for the 'Cats in 2011-12, averaging 11.7 minutes per contest and 2.2 rebounds per game. Matagrano, who ranked third on the team with a .469 shooting percentage, had his best game against Holy Cross (Dec. 3) when he notched career highs in points (11) and rebounds (7).
PRESEASON COACHES' POLL || New Hampshire (34 points) was picked to finish sixth in the America East Preseason Coaches' Poll. The Wildcats were tabbed to finish behind the University of Vermont (60), Stony Brook University (58), Boston University (49), Albany (38), and the University of Maine (35). The Catamounts were predicted to win the league and received five out of eight first-place votes. Stony Brook, last year's runner-up and regular-season champion, collected the remaining four first-place votes. The University of Hartford (26) was selected seventh, followed by UMBC (15) and Binghamton (9) to round out the field.
TRAINING DAY || The Wildcats welcome three freshmen to the roster this season. Frank Okeke (DeSoto, Texas) joins the Wildcats after leading his team to a 5A Regional II District Championship. Okeke played for the Deron Williams Elite AAU program and was named to the First-Team All-District and First-Team All-Academic as a senior.
Chris Orozco (Tenafly, N.J.) was named First-Team All-League in three straight seasons prior to coming to UNH. He was also named to the First-Team All-County squad for his last two seasons at Tenafly High School.
Logan Mortenson (South Jordon, Utah) averaged 15.0 points and 7.0 rebounds per game over his four year career Juan Diego Catholic High School in Draper, Utah. He averaged 14.0 points and 6.0 rebounds per game as a senior and was named a McDonald's All-American Nominee and an All-State Second-Team selection. Most recently, he posted 12.0 points, 5.0 rebounds and 3.0 assists per game last year at St. John's Northwestern Military Academy.
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.
WILDCATS STREAMING LIVE || UNH and Pack Network have once again partnered to provide online video streaming of UNH athletics for the upcoming 2012-13 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 || Wildcat Sports Properties (WSP), a property of Learfield Sports, is pleased to announce that Jim Jeannotte and Mike Murphy will once again serve as the broadcast duo for the 2012-13 UNH men's and women's basketball seasons on the Wildcat Sports Radio Network. Veteran play-by-play man Jeannotte will return for his 31st year broadcasting UNH men's basketball, while color analyst Murphy enters his 12 season calling Wildcat men's hoops.
The Wildcat Sports Radio Network consists of flagship stations WGIR (610-AM) in Manchester, which has been headquarters for UNH play-by-play since 2008, The Wave (WQSO 96.7-FM) in Portsmouth and the Sports Animal (WPKX 930-AM) in Rochester. Affiliates include WNTK (99.7 FM) in New London, WSMN (1590-AM) in Nashua WZEI 101.5 FM in Concord, plus all broadcasts are streamed live and archived via Stretch Internet at www.unhwildcats.com. All game broadcasts begin 30 minutes prior to tipoff.