DURHAM, N.H. – The University of New Hampshire men's basketball team seeks its fifth conference win of the season when it travels to take on the University of Hartford on Saturday night (7 p.m.) at Chase Family Arena in Hartford, Conn.
THE MATCHUP: UNH and Hartford meet for the 61st time in the history of these two America East foes, with Hartford holding a 39-21 edge. Last time out, Mark Nwakamma scored a game-high 18 points and Wes Cole added 17 to lead the Hawks to a 60-43 victory at Lundholm Gymnasium. Jacoby Armstrong paced the Wildcats with 13 points and seven rebounds, while Daniel Dion netted nine points and grabbed five boards. Hartford shot 40.0% from the floor (20 of 50) and 37.5% from downtown (9 of 24). The Wildcats mustered a 33.3% shooting clip (15 of 45) and just 27.3% shooting from 3-point range.
LAST TIME OUT: Taylor Dyson and Evan Cooper notched 16 points apiece to lead five Hawks in double-figures on the way to a 91-79 victory over the University of Maine on Wednesday night at Cross Insurance Arena. Mark Nwakamma (15 points), Wes Cole (12 points), and Nate Sikma (10 points) also scored in double-digits for the Hawks, who shot 58.5% (31 of 53) during the game.
PLAYERS TO WATCH: Mark Nwakamma enters the contest ranked fifth in the America East in scoring with 14.9 points per game in conference contests. Nwakamma also ranks sixth in the league in rebounding, averaging 5.8 boards per game. Hartford's Wes Cole has helped lead the Hawks with his hot shooting hand. Cole, who averages 9.8 points per game, ranks in the top ten in field goal percentage (46.0%) and 3-point field goal percentage (44.8%) during conference games this season.
SHARING THE WEALTH: Freshman guard Daniel Dion dished out a career-high nine assists during the Wildcats' loss to Binghamton on Feb. 12. Dion posted five assists in the first, two in the second, and two in the overtime period for UNH. The nine assists replaces his previous career-high of seven, which he recorded in a win against UMass Lowell.
CHASING 1,000: Senior captain Patrick Konan is closing in on 1,000 points in his collegiate career. Konan, who totaled 213 points in his one year with Liberty College, has scored 786 points during his time with UNH, making him one point short of 1,000.
FROM DOWNTOWN: Senior captain Jordon Bronner went 5-for-7 from beyond the arc against Binghamton. The five 3-balls were a career-high for 3-pointers made in a game. Bronner has been hot from distance, hitting on 11 of his last 20 3's.
WINDEX: Senior Scott Morris tied a personal-best when he corralled seven rebounds for the Wildcats against Binghamton. The captain captured four in the first half and three in the second half to tie the career-high that he set earlier this season at Towson.
PUNCHING THE CLOCK: Jordon Bronner, Daniel Dion, and Chris Pelcher all set career-highs in minutes played during the Wildcats' overtime loss to Binghamton. Bronner led the way for UNH in time on the floor, playing in 43 minutes, while Dion and Pelcher logged 40 minutes apiece for UNH.
TOP OF HIS CLASS: Freshman forward Jacoby Armstrong has made a name for himself in the America East this season. The young star is ranked 10th in the league in rebounds per game and ranks first among all freshmen in rebounding, averaging 5.4 boards per contest.
A TEAM EFFORT: The Wildcats used a full team effort in their victory over Stony Brook. Four members of the team scored in double-figures, nine players recorded at least one rebound, and eight members earned at least one assist in the victory. Jordon Bronner led the way with 16 points, one rebound, and three assists.
TAKING CARE OF THE BALL: The Wildcats posted a season-low eight turnovers in their win against Stony Brook. UNH also posted its second highest assist-to-turnover ratio of the year, recording a 2.25 mark. The Wildcats only posted a higher ration in its victory over UMass Lowell (2.56).
MOVING UP THE ALL-TIME LEADERBOARD: Senior center Chris Pelcher has moved into third place on UNH's all-time blocks list. In just two seasons with UNH, Pelcher has registered 71 total blocks. The senior rejected 34 shots in 25 games last season and has recorded 37 swats in just 13 games so far this year. Pelcher is now just 8 blocks shy of second place on the list.
PERFECT 10: Jacoby Armstrong shot a perfect 10-for-10 from the free-throw line on his way to 14 points in UNH's 68-57 loss to UMBC. Armstrong fell just two free throws short of tying a school record for most free throws made without registering a miss.
A FIRST FOR EDWARDS: Freshman forward John Edwards, who returned from an injury that forced him to miss seven games, buried the first 3-pointer of his career in The Wildcats' loss to UMBC. Trailing 62-52 with less than five minutes remaining, Edwards took a pass in the left corner and drained a 3-ball to cut the UMBC lead to seven points. Edwards had been 0-10 from beyond the arc before hitting that trey.
NATIONALLY RANKED: The Wildcats have one of the top ranked defenses in the country. UNH has moved into 38th in scoring defense, holding opponents to just 63.8 points per contest. In America East play the Wildcats hold opponents to just 59.8 points per game.
DION-A-MITE: Freshman guard Daniel Dion has been stellar for the Wildcats in the past five games. Dion is averaging 11 points over that span, including a career-best 20-point effort in the Wildcats 61-32 triumph over UMass Lowell.
PELCHER EARNS SECOND AE WEEKLY HONOR: Wildcats' center Chris Pelcher was named America East Co-Player of the Week, the league announced Monday Jan. 27. Pelcher returned from a leg injury that kept him out 11 games to average 12.0 points, 10.5 rebounds, and 6.0 blocks in two games last week for the Wildcats. The senior started the week with 11 points, seven rebounds, and five blocks during UNH's 60-56 win over Albany on Thursday, before notching 13 points, 14 rebounds, and a career-high seven blocks during the Wildcats' 61-32 triumph over UMass Lowell.
MAKING HISTORY: The Wildcats had a record-setting day in their 61-32 win over UMass Lowell. UNH held the River Hawks to 12.2% shooting (6 of 49) from the floor, the lowest shooting percentage in the history of the NCAA since the shot clock was introduced in 1986.
HE'S A FLIRT: Senior center Chris Pelcher flirted with a triple-double in the Wildcats 61-32 win over UMass Lowell. Pelcher scored 13 points, snagged 14 rebounds, and recorded a career-high seven blocks. Though he missed out on a triple-double by three blocks, the senior captain still collected his fifth double-double of the season in the victory.
DION SETS CAREER-HIGHS: Freshman guard Daniel Dion notched a career-high 20 points and seven rebounds against UMass Lowell. Dion hit 8 of 11 shots, and 4 of 6 from downtown. The guard bested his previous career-high of 14 that he set against Suffolk.
CRUNCH TIME: The UNH defense buckled down over the final seven minutes of its win over Albany. The Wildcats held the Great Danes to six points over the final 7:16 of the game, including a five-minute scoreless span that allowed UNH to take a 51-50 lead.
PELCHER RETURNS: Senior center Chris Pelcher returned to action in the Wildcats' 60-56 victory over Albany. Pelcher, who played in six games before going down with a leg injury, posted 11 points, seven rebounds, and a career-high five blocks for UNH in the victory.
BLOCK PARTY: Freshman forward Williams Gabriel posted a career-high three blocks in the Wildcats' loss to Vermont. Gabriel ranks second on the team with 19 total blocks and a 0.8 blocks per game average. His 0.8 bpg is good for ninth in the America East.
VARIETY PACK: The Wildcats have used 17 different starting lineups over the course of the season. Every member of the team who has played in a game has earned a start. Jordon Bronner is the only player to have started every game.
DROPPING DIMES: Sophomore forward Frank Okeke posted a career-high five assists in the Wildcats loss to Hartford. Okeke bested his previous career-high of three, which he posted in the Wildcats' loss to Stony Brook earlier this season.
CONFERENCE CALL: Junior guard/forward Tommy McDonnell is averaging a career-high 3.9 rebounds during conference games this season. McDonnell opened the conference schedule with one rebound before posting five against Binghamton, a career-high nine against UMBC, five against Hartford, three against Vermont, four against Albany, and five against UMass Lowell.
FOUR SCORE: Four Wildcat players scored in double-figures during the team's 56-42 victory over UMBC. Daniel Dion netted a game-high 13 points, Frank Okeke added 12, and Jaleen Smith and Jordon Bronner notched 10 points each. It marks the first time since Nov. 11, 2013 that the Wildcats had four players hit double-figures.
AE PLAYER OF THE GAME: Sophomore forward Frank Okeke netted his first career double-double in UNH's 56-42 win against UMBC. Okeke scored 12 points and grabbed 11 rebounds on the way to being named America East Player of the Game for the Wildcats.
TENACIOUS D: The Wildcats own the 3rd best defense in the America East. UNH ranks 2nd in opponent points per game, allowing just 63.8 points per contest. The Wildcats also rank first in field goal defense, with opponents shooting just 40.2% from the floor.
SUPER SMITH: Freshman Jaleen Smith registered a career-high 15 points for UNH against Brown. The freshman netted seven points in the first half and eight in the second. Smith went 4 of 10 from the field, 3 of 5 from beyond the arc, and 4 of 4 from the line on the night.
DOUBLE-DOUBLE TROUBLE: Senior Patrick Konan posted his second double-double of the season and the seventh of his career at Brown. Konan scored 14 points and grabbed career-high 13 boards for the Wildcats in the loss.
SECOND CHANCE POINTS: The Wildcats registered 14 offensive rebounds on the way to scoring a season-high 22 second chance points against Brown. UNH topped its previous high of 16 second-chance points, which they recorded at Central Conn. St. and Yale.
CRASHING THE BOARDS: UNH grabbed 42 rebounds in its loss to Brown, the third highest total of the season. Patrick Konan led the Wildcats with 13 boards on the night. UNH only posted more rebounds against Suffolk (50 rebs) and Central Conn. St. (46).
CAROLINA HURRICANE: Freshman forward John Edwards (Charlotte, N.C.) registered a career-high 13 points during the Wildcats' loss to Sacred Heart. Edwards shot 3-7 from the floor and 7-10 from the charity stripe.
IRONMAN: Senior guard Jordon Bronner is averaging a career-best 34.5 minutes per game this season. Bronner has registered 37+ minutes in eight games, including times of 40 against Bryant, Sacred Heart, and UMass Lowell, and 43 minutes against Binghamton.
KONAN THE BARBARIAN: Senior forward Patrick Konan scored a career-high 25 points and snagged eight rebounds in UNH's 72-64 loss to Towson. Konan scored 14 points in the second half and netted a career-best 11 free throws.
12's THE NUMBER: The Wildcats snatched 12 offensive rebounds during their loss to Towson. Patrick Konan led the way for UNH with four offensive boards. The Wildcats outrebounded Towson 36-33 in the game.
OKEKE'S A-OK: Sophomore forward posted a career-day for UNH during the team's loss to Stony Brook. Okeke scored a personal-best 14 points on 6-12 shooting. The forward also snagged four rebounds, dished-out a career-high three assists, and earned a career-high two steals.
McDONNELL MAKES A DIFFERENCE: Junior forward Tommy McDonnell registered a +9 plus/minus for UNH during the second half against Yale. McDonnell scored four points, collected four rebounds, and dished out two assists in 19 second-half minutes for the Wildcats.
GABRIEL'S BIG DAY: Freshman big man Williams Gabriel filled in well in the absence of Chris Pelcher during UNH's loss to CCSU. The Wildcat center scored a career-best seven points on 2-of-4 shooting, snagged a career-high six rebounds, and added two blocks.
TEXAS YOUTH MOVEMENT: The freshmen trio of Jaleen Smith (Freeport, Texas), Daniel Dion (Cedar Park, Texas), and Jacoby Armstrong (Sachse, Texas) all notched carrer-bests in UNH's loss to CCSU. Smith posted career-highs in points (10), rebounds (5), steals (2), free throws (4-4), and minutes (20). Dion posted career-bests in assists (6) and rebounds (5). Armstrong claimed his first career double-double, earning 10 points and a career-high 10 rebounds in the loss.
PELCHER HONORED WITH MONTHLY AWARD: Chris Pelcher was named to the collegehoopsdaily.com's November All-Conference Team. The senior center logged 13.7 points, 11.8 rebounds, and 2.5 blocks over the course of six games in November. Pelcher recorded four double-doubles for the Wildcats during that span.
BE AGGRESSIVE: After shooting just one free throw in the first half of the team's loss to Holy Cross, the Wildcats drew 13 fouls and shot 18 free throws in the second stanza.
OFF THE BENCH: Patrick Konan provided a spark for the Wildcats off the bench in the team's loss to Holy Cross. Konan notched 13 points and six rebounds to lead UNH.
THEY CALL HIM RAMBO: Jacoby Armstrong earned himself another career-day for UNH against Bryant. The freshman netted a career-high 15 points and grabbed six rebounds in the team's, 60-55, loss to Bryant. Armstrong accelerated his game after he performed well in UNH's loss to Marquette. The freshman forward scored, a previous career-high, six points and hauled in a career-high eight rebounds in a 27-minute effort for the Wildcats.
DOUBLE-DOUBLED: Chris Pelcher scored 11 points and hauled in 13 rebounds for his fourth double-double of the season against Bryant. In his first three seasons of college basketball, Pelcher had recorded just two double-doubles.
AIR JORDON: Senior Jordon Bronner is having a career-year for the Wildcats. Bronner is averaging a career-best 9.7 points per game. He is shooting 36.0% from the field and 33.9% from downtown.
KONAN CLAIMS FIRST DOUBLE-DOUBLE: Senior forward Patrick Konan earned his first double-double of the season in the Wildcats' loss to No.25 Marquette. Konan notched 14 points on 4-of-7 shooting and corralled 10 rebounds for his first double-double of the season and the sixth of his career.
PLAYER OF THE WEEK: Chris Pelcher was recognized as the America East Co-Player of The Week, Monday Nov. 18. Pelcher averaged 17 points, 15.5 rebounds, 3.5 blocks, and 1.5 assists during a 1-1 week for the Wildcats. The center tallied a double-double with 14 points and 16 boards in UNH's 84-81 victory over Duquesne before adding a second double-double performance of the week in the Wildcats' loss to NJIT, scoring 20 points and securing 15 rebounds on the night.
GLASS CLEANER: After five games Chris Pelcher was ranked fourth in the nation in rebounds per game with 13. The redshirt senior grabbed 17 rebounds in the Wildcat's opening win over Suffolk, snagged 16 boards in UNH's victory over Duquesne, and secured 15 rebounds in the team's loss to NJIT.
ON POINT: Through the first two games of the season the Wildcats were ranked 18th in the country in field goal percentage, shooting 54.1% from the field. Jaleen Smith (75.0%), Chris Pelcher (64.0%), and Daniel Dion (60.0%) led the Wildcats in the category.
GIVE ME MORRIS: Scott Morris netted a Career High 17 points in the Wildcat's win over Duquesne. Morris scored 11 of his 17 points in the second half. The senior captain shot 5-of-8 from beyond the arc and 2-of-2 from the free throw line in the win.
FOUR SCORE: Chris Pelcher led the Wildcats on offense with 25 points while Patrick Konan dropped 19 points in UNH's 94-70 win over Suffolk. Freshman Daniel Dion drained 14 in his collegiate debut as Jordon Bronner finished the night with 12.
BIG DEBUT: Daniel Dion's 14 points in the Wildcat's season opener against Suffolk was the most by a UNH freshman during their collegiate debut since former Wildcat Chandler Rhoads scored 14 points in his 2009 debut against Suffolk.
CRASHING THE BOARDS: The Wildcats pulled down 51 rebounds against Suffolk in the season opener Saturday, Nov. 9. Senior Chris Pelcher came down with a career high 17 rebounds in the effort, while classmate Patrick Konan recorded seven.
ALL-TIME CONFERENCE WINS LEADER: Head coach Bill Herrion, who enters his ninth year with UNH and 23rd in the America East Conference, currently holds the title of winningest coach in America East Conference history, earning 334 wins in his career.
PRESEASON COACHES' POLL: The Wildcats (31 points) were picked to finish fifth in the America East preseason coaches' poll. Vermont (64), received six first-place votes and were tabbed as preseason favorites to finish first. Stony Brook was picked second with 58 points and took the remaining three first-place votes. Albany was selected third with 49 points while Hartford was fourth with 44 points. After New Hampshire, UMBC was selected sixth with 28 points while Binghamton (24), Maine (20) and UMass Lowell (8) rounded out the field.
A FRESH GROUP OF FRESHMEN: UNH welcomed in a group of five freshmen in the off-season, all of which are poised to make a big impact for the team. Jacoby Armstrong (Sasche, Texas) arrived in Wildcat Country from Wylie High School while Daniel Dion (Cedar Park, Texas) most recently played at Vista Ridge High School. John Edwards (Charlotte, N.C.) is fresh off a career at Brewster Academy as Williams Gabriel (Lagos, Nigeria) came from Huntington Prep. Jaleen Smith (Freeport, Texas), who hails from Brazosport High School, rounds out the group.
A CLASS WITH CLASS: Each of the four members of the 2013-14 senior class have been elected as captains. Jordan Bronner, Patrick Konan, Scott Morris and Chris Pelcher will serve as captains.
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 2013-14 UNH men's and women's basketball seasons on the Wildcat Sports Radio Network. Veteran play-by-play man Jeannotte will return for his 32nd year broadcasting UNH men's basketball, while color analyst Murphy enters his 13th 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 and WEEY in Keene (93.5 FM) and WEEI in Concord (101.5 FM) plus all broadcasts are streamed live and archived via Stretch Internet at www.unhwildcats.com. All game broadcasts begin 30 minutes prior to tipoff.
WILDCATS STREAMING LIVE: The America East Conference and NeuLion have partnered to bring fans complete game coverage of all America East basketball games. The portal, AmericaEast.tv, brings fans exclusive content as well as live events, free of charge.
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.