SCOUTING NEW HAMPSHIRE (3-11, 1-0 AE)
Last time out the Wildcats garnered their first conference win of the season, as they knocked off Maine 51-47 at Lundholm Gymnasium Monday night…Leading the way for the Wildcats were Candace Williams (Norfolk, Mass.) and Amy Simpson (Waterford, Conn.) who tallied 18 and 17 points, respectively, to propel New Hampshire to their third win of the season…In addition to Simpson’s 17 points, she also tallied five rebounds, four blocks and two assists…This season Williams and Simpson are leading the way offensively for the Wildcats as they are averaging 15.1 and 11 points per game, respectively…In addition to her stellar scoring efforts, Williams is also the team leader in rebounds as she has complied 117, which is good for an average of 8.4 boards per game…Abigail LaRosa (Hampton, N.H.) is also providing steady production for the Wildcats as she is averaging 7.8 points per game, 3.4 assists per game and 1.4 steals per game.
SCOUTING UMBC (8-6, 0-1 AE)
The Retrievers , who lead the America East in scoring (73.9 points per game) opened up conference play with an 81-52 loss at Vermont … Erin Brown led the squad in scoring with 13 points and in rebounding with eight in their America East opener ... Carlee Cassidy, who had 10 points in the game, is picking up right where she left off last season as she is leading the way for the Retrievers this year averaging a conference-best 22.1 points per game ... She has led the team in scoring in eight outings this season and has posted in double figures in all 14 games thus far for the Retrievers … In addition to Cassidy, Michelle Kurowski and Katie Brooks are also providing some fire power of their own as they are chipping in with 15.4 and 9.7 points per game, respectively ... The Retrievers are 4-1 at home this season with their lone loss coming on the hands of Loyola, an 80-76 defeat.
Candace Williams (Norfolk, Mass.) tallied four consecutive double-doubles from Dec. 14 to Dec. 30. She is the only player to achieve the feat in almost 30 years, as the last Wildcat player to do so was Karen Bolton, who notched five straight during the 1979-80 season. Williams, who leads the conference in rebounding (8.7 rpg), has posted double-figures in all 13 games to start the season. The last Wildcat to start the season on such a double-digit streak was Maren Matthias, who marked 18 straight 10-plus point performances to open the 2003-04 season. The junior forward is fifth in the America East in points per game (14.8 ppg).
The Wildcats and the Black Bears were the first two America East conference teams to go head-to-head in the 2008-09 season. New Hampshire is 15-10 all-time in conference openers. The Wildcats are now 4-2 in the past five conference openers and each of the four wins have come at home in Lundholm Gymnasium.
With the win against the Black Bears, New Hampshire has now won five straight against the Black Bears at home and have not lost to Maine in Lundholm Gymnasium since Feb. 11, 2004, a 63-50 decision. The Wildcats swept the two games with the Black Bears last season, which included a 70-55 home-win.
RACHEAL REACHS NEW HIGHS
Junior center Racheal Fowler (Glassboro, N.J.) destroyed her previous career high of 10 points by posting 21 against Central Michigan on Dec. 28. She went 5-for-8 from the floor for 10 first-half points, then tallied 11 during the final frame. She finished the game on 9 of 15 shooting in the game.
WILDCAT GLASS CLEANING
Each member of the team pulled down at least one rebound, including a career-high 16 by Candace Williams (Norfolk, Mass.), to total a season-high 50 rebounds in the game against Morehead State (Dec. 29). The tally marked the first time New Hampshire totaled that many boards since Dec. 4, 2004 against Tennessee State.
BLOCK PARTY FOR McDONALD
Sophomore center Jill McDonald (Glassboro, N.J.) has tallied multiple blocks in six of the past seven games. She thwarted the ball away a career-best four times at UMass (Nov. 19), then posted that same mark against Northeastern (Dec. 9). The center is fourth in the conference in blocks per game (1.7 bpg).
TIME TO CELEBRATE
Prior to the Xavier game, the Xavier athletic department honored Tara Boothe, a former women’s basketball standout and current University of New Hampshire assistant coach. Boothe finished her career as the program’s all-time leading scorer with 2,324 points. She is also Xavier’s all-time leading rebounder and finished her career with 1,004 career boards. Her collegiate honors included three All-Atlantic 10 First Team selections (2004, ‘05, ‘06), 2003 Atlantic 10 Rookie of the Year, All-Atlantic 10 Third Team in 2003 and three consecutive seasons on the Atlantic 10 All-Academic Team. Boothe's number (33) was also retired during the ceremony.
Morehead State head coach Mike Bradbury and New Hampshire head coach Kristin Cole, both in their second year at their respective schools, both come from Xavier, where they served five years together (2002-2007) as assistants. During their tenures at Xavier, the Musketeers compiled an overall record of 106-50, made two NCAA Tournament appearances (2007, 2003) and three trips to the WNIT Tournament, including in 2005 when the team advanced to the quarterfinals. As assistants, they mentored current New Hampshire assistant Tara Boothe, who is Xavier’s all-time leading scorer and rebounder.
UNH BREAKS 3-POINT RECORD
The Wildcats shot 60.9 percent (14-23) from beyond the arc at Colgate (Dec. 3) hitting a record-setting 14 trifectas in the game. Junior guard Amy Simpson (Waterford, Conn.) drained six 3-pointers in the game, including five during the opening frame. The Wildcats, who sank nine during the opening stanza, broke the previous record on a 3-pointer by Chrissy Hall (Northbridge, Mass.) halfway through the final frame, marking the 13th trey of the game. With 9:23 reamining, Abigail LaRosa (Hampton, N.H.) hit the record-setting 14th 3-pointer of the game. The previous record, 12, was set last season against Maine (Jan. 30).
Junior guard Amy Simpson (Waterford, Conn.) has recently cracked into the top-five on UNH’s career 3-pointers list. This season, Simpson has hit 22 shots from beyond the arc, including six in the Wildcats’ first win of the season at Colgate (Dec. 5). Last season, Simpson, who led the team in scoring, drained 55 shots from beyond the arc, which was just three shy of the record for 3-pointers in a single season. During her freshman campaign she recorded 45 3-pointers, including six trifectas in the Wildcats’ final regular-season game at Binghamton (March 3, 2007).