WOMEN'S BASKETBALL SET TO TAKE ON LOUISVILLE ON DEC. 22
Tuesday's matchup between New Hampshire and Louisville will mark the second meeting all-time between both teams, with the last matchup coming on Dec. 30, 2008. In that game, the then 10th ranked Cardinals got the best of the Wildcats, earning an 82-40 victory in the final game of the Downtown Marriott Cardinal Classic at Louisville's Freedom Hall.
SCOUTING LOUISVILLE (6-5):
Louisville is coming off a 101-67 loss to the University of Kentucky on Sunday afternoon at Memorial Coliseum ... With the loss, Louisville fell to 6-5 on the season, while Kentucky improved to 10-0 ... Becky Burke led the way for the Cardinals with 21 points, while Monique Reid chipped in recording her third double-double of the season with 17 points and 10 rebounds ... Freshman Ashley Rainey also recorded her third double-double of the year with 10 points and 10 rebounds ... Kentucky had four players score in double-figures, led by Victoria Dunlap with 27 points ... The Cardinals turned the ball over a season- and school-record 38 times in the contest, leading to 39 points ... Louisville also committed 35 fouls, leading to 52 Kentucky free throw attempts, marking a season-high for the Cardinals ... The loss is Louisville's third in the last four games, while also falling to Middle Tennessee State and Tennessee during the stretch ... The Cardinals kicked off the season earning wins in four of their first five games of the year ... The Cardinals have struggled on the road this season, posting a 1-4 record away from Freedom Hall ... On the season, Burke leads the Cardinals with 16.7 points and 3.4 rebounds per game ... Reid adds 14.3 points and 7.9 rebounds per game ... Reid leads the team in double-doubles with four on the season ... In addition to leading the team in scoring, Burke ranks second on the team in 3-point field goal percentage with a .443 shooting clip from downtown ... Rainey has provided solid production for the Cardinals, ranking third on the squad with 9.0 points per game, while also ranking second on the team in rebounding with 7.7 boards per game.
SCOUTING NEW HAMPSHIRE (4-5):
Last time out the University of New Hampshire women's basketball team earned a 80-72 victory over Holy Cross on Sunday afternoon at Lundholm Gymnasium ... The 80-point output by the ‘Cats is the largest point total posted by New Hampshire since it notched 85 points against UMBC on Jan. 10, 2009 ... UNH outscored Holy Cross 47 to 35 in the second stanza, posting an impressive .615 percent shooting clip from the floor during the frame ... Amy Simpson (Waterford, Conn.) recorded 10 points, a career-high 11 assists, along with two blocks and two steals ... Including Simpson, five Wildcats finished in double-figure scoring ... Denise Beliveau (Framingham, Mass.) led all scorers with 20 points and was followed by Jill McDonald (Middlebury, Vt.; 18 points, six rebounds), Candace Williams (Norfolk, Mass.; 15 points, nine rebounds) and Racheal Fowler (Glassboro, N.J.; 10 points) ... The Wildcats currently have three players averaging in double figure scoring, with Beliveau leading the way with 13.2 points per game, while Williams and McDonald are averaging 12.2 and 11.0 points per game ... In addition to Beliveau's 20 points, she also tallied three steals in the contest, making it the seventh time this season she has compiled multiple steals in a game ... She has also scored in double-figures in six of the last seven games ... Simpson notched a pair of 3-pointers Sunday afternoon against Holy Cross, giving her 172 3-point field goals for her career, which is just seven away from UNH's all-time career mark of 179 ... Williams' 15 points against Holy Cross gives her 989 for her career, pushing her that much closer to reaching the 1,000-point plateau for her career. If she does reach the mark, she will become just the 14th Wildcat in program history to achieve the feat ... In UNH's previous outing, the University of New Hampshire women's basketball team fell to Central Connecticut State University, 60-48, on Dec. 10 at Lundholm Gymnasium ... McDonald scored 12 points, tallied six rebounds, two assists and two blocks, earning America East Player of the Game honors for UNH ... The two squads tipped off the action trading baskets, until UNH strung off a 6-0 run, sparked by a McDonald jumper at 11:57 that gave the Wildcats the early 11-10 lead ... New Hampshire capped off the stretch with a pair of jumpers by Williams and McDonald, pushing its lead to five, with the score 15-10 at 10:15 ... CCSU would fire back with a 6-0 run of its own, holding a 16-15 advantage over the ‘Cats ... Emily Rose hit the go-ahead bucket for CCSU on a jumper at the 9-minute mark, giving the Blue Devils their first lead in nearly three minutes ... Kelley Flynn (Hopinkton, N.H.) and Diamon Beckford (Philadelphia, Pa.) answered the call for the Wildcats, scoring back-to-back baskets pushing the score to 20-16 with 6:28 remaining ... The Blue Devils were once again quick to respond, as Alexzandria Dowdy rebuttaled with a 3-pointer of her own on the ensuing possession, sparking a 6-1 run, giving CCSU a 24-22 lead with 3:08 remaining ... However, UNH would enter the half up 33-29 after Beliveau nailed a trifecta at the buzzer to close out the stanza ... The Blue Devils kicked off the second half with back-to-back 3-pointers on ensuing possessions, giving the visitors the 35-33 advantage with 18:46 remaining ... The quick start would be a tale of things to come for CCSU, as they closed out the game with a 17-6 run that built its lead up to 12 and proved to be too much of a burden for New Hampshire to overcome ... Beliveau added six points, seven boards, three assists and two steals in the loss ... Lauren Wells (West Chester, Pa.) chipped in with five points, five assists and four rebounds.
PLAYER OF THE WEEK
Amy Simpson (Waterford, Conn.) a senior guard on the University of New Hampshire women's basketball team, was honored as Player of the Week by the America East Conference on Monday afternoon.
Simpson recorded 10 points and a career-high 11 assists to propel the Wildcats to an 80-72 victory Sunday afternoon against Holy Cross at Lundholm Gymnasium. Simpson also recorded two steals, two blocks, two rebounds and was one of five Wildcats in double digit scoring in the contest.
After trailing 37-33 at the half, Simpson ignited the ‘Cats with 15:37 remaining, sparking a 10-0 run by setting up Jill McDonald (Middlebury, Vt.) with a layup and scoring a basket of her own on ensuing possessions in a span of 2:37 to take a 49-39 lead. She then helped UNH build its largest lead of the game with a steal and a long outlet pass to Racheal Fowler (Glassboro, N.J.) for a layup, capped off with a 3-pointer by Simpson on the next possession to push the score to 71-56 in favor of the home team.
Scoring all of her 10 points in the second frame, Simpson helped the Wildcats outscore the Crusaders 47 to 35 in the stanza, as the team posted an impressive .615 percent shooting clip from the floor. Not to mention, the 80-point output by the ‘Cats is the largest point total posted by New Hampshire since it notched 85 points against UMBC on Jan. 10, 2009.
TORCHING THE NETS
The Wildcats scored 80 points against Holy Cross on Dec. 20, marking the largest point total posted by New Hampshire since it notched 85 points against UMBC on Jan. 10, 2009. The 80-point output not only comes as a season-high in scoring, but it also marks the first time UNH has shot over 50 percent (54.4; 31-57) from the floor since the 'Cats did so against Iona on Dec. 12, 2007, when they finished with a .500 percent (30-60) shooting clip.
Five Wildcats finished in double-figure scoring in Sunday's 80-72 win against Holy Cross College. Denise Beliveau (Framingham, Mass.) led all scorers with 20 points and was followed by Jill McDonald (Middlebury, Vt.; 18 points, six rebounds), Candace Williams (Norfolk, Mass.; 15 points, nine rebounds), Amy Simpson (Waterford, Conn.; 10 points, 11 assists) and Racheal Fowler (Glassboro, N.J.; 10 points). The last time five Wildcats scored in double-figures was against Colgate on Dec. 5, 2008, when Simpson (24), Abigial LaRosa (Hampton, N.H.) (19), Williams (13), Chrissy Hall (Northbridge, Mass.) (13) and Fowler (10) all scored in double-figures.
After starting the season 3-1, the Wildcats have continued their hot start at Lundholm Gymnasium, notching their fourth home win against Holy Cross College on Dec. 20. The 4-1 record is the best start the 'Cats have had in Durham since the 1993-94 campaign, when UNH won its first six home games on its way to finishing the season 17-11. Last season, the 'Cats won two games in non-conference action, however, finished the season with a 6-10 record in conference play, rounding out the year with an 8-23 record.
Kelley Flynn (Hopkinton, N.H.) has pulled in 11 rebounds in 14 minutes of action in her last two games for the 'Cats. In her most recent outing, she ripped down five boards, scored four points and tallied a block and a steal against Central Connecticut State on Dec. 10. She was just as effective in the game prior against St. Peter's, pulling down a season-high six rebounds against the Peahens. On the season, she is averaging 1.9 points and 2.5 rebounds per game.
SPREADING THE FLOOR
The Wildcats currently have three players averaging in double-figure scoring, with Denise Beliveau (Framingham, Mass.) leading the way with 13.2 points per game, while Candace Williams (Norfolk, Mass.) and Jill McDonald (Middlebury, Vt.) are averaging 12.2 and 11.0 points per game. The last time at least three Wildcats ended the season averaging double-figures in scoring was the 2007-08 campaign, when Amy Simpson (Waterford, Conn.) averaged 11.3 points, Ashley Cerniglia averaged 10.8 points, Williams averaged 10.5 points and Beliveau averaged 10.0 points per game.
STEALING THE SHOW
Denise Beliveau (Framingham, Mass.) tied her career-high with five steals against Seton Hall on Dec. 3, marking the third time she has reached the mark in her UNH career. It was also the first time a Wildcat compiled five steals in a game since Candace Williams (Norfolk, Mass.) did so on Dec. 5, 2008 against Colgate. On the season, Beliveau has tallied multiple steals in a game seven times for the Wildcats. She currently leads the team with 21 steals and ranks third in the conference with an average of 2.3 steals per game.
SHE'S HEATING UP
Denise Beliveau (Framingham, Mass.) finished with 20 points, four rebounds, three steals and two assists to lead the University of New Hampshire women's basketball team to an 80-72 victory over Holy Cross College on Dec. 20 at Lundholm Gymnasium. Beliveau has scored in double-figures in six of the last seven games and has compiled at least six rebounds in five of the last six games. On the season, the sophomore forward is averaging 13.2 points, 7.0 rebounds, 2.3 steals and 1.3 assists per game.
Amy Simpson (Waterford, Conn.) knocked down a pair of 3-pointers in Sunday's game against Holy Cross, giving her 172 3-point field goals for her career. The impressive total ranks second all-time in program history, seven field goals shy of Heidi Plencner's all-time mark of 179. This season, Simpson has drilled 11 trifectas, averaging 5.7 points per game. Last year, she notched 62 3-pointers, which was the best single-season mark in program history.
Jill McDonald (Middlebury, Vt.) notched one block versus Holy Cross on Sunday, giving her a block in each of the last five games. On the season she has 12 blocks, giving her the fifth-best block total in the conference, with an average of 1.3 per game. The quick start is nothing new for the junior, as she is picking up right where she left off last season, when she tallied the second best single-season block total in program history with 47. For her career, she ranks sixth all-time in blocks with 68.
RIGHT ON POINT
Amy Simpson (Waterford, Conn.) scored 10 points last time out against Holy Cross, giving her 51 on the young the season. She now has 925 points for her career, which ranks 15th all-time in program history. Her two best offensive outbursts came against No. 21 Maryland and Holy Cross, when she tallied a season-high 11 and 10 points, respectively. The point guard came up in the clutch for the Wildcats against Harvard as she drained the first of two free throws to send the game into overtime tied at 58-58. Simpson led the charge in the overtime period as the Wildcats outscored the Crimson 20-7 to earn the 78-65 victory. Last season she notched a career-high 357 points, averaging 11.5 points per game. In the season prior, she finished with 315 points, with an average of 11.3 points per game.
After tallying 15 points and pulling down nine rebounds against Holy Cross on Dec. 20, Candace Williams (Norfolk, Mass.) set herself up to join some elite company. With 989 points and 544 rebounds in her UNH career, Williams is on pace to become just the eleventh Wildcat to score over 1,000 points and compile 500 rebounds in program history. The last 'Cat to achieve the feat was Danielle Clark in 2007, who scored 1,331 points and tallied 579 rebounds during the course of her career. Kris Kinney tops the list, finishing her UNH career with 2,231 points and 897 rebounds after a four-year stint with the 'Cats from 1985-89.
Amy Simpson (Waterford, Conn.) tallied two steals against Holy Cross on Dec. 20, giving her 106 steals for her Wildcat career. The impressive total ranks 23rd all-time in program history. The last Wildcat to break into the 100-steal club was Whitney Edwards, who played for the 'Cats from 2003-07 and compiled 229 for her career, which ranks second all-time in program history. On the season, Simpson ranks second on team with 13 steals, averaging 1.4 per game.
So far this season the Wildcats have been playing stellar defense against some impressive company. They have held opponents to a conference-best .336 shooting percentage from the floor this year, while shooting an impressive .385 clip themselves. The fresh start comes against an A-10 (St. Joseph's, UMass), an ACC (Maryland) and a Big East (Seton Hall) program, following a season in which opponents shot .404 from the field against the ‘Cats. Against Quinnipiac on Nov. 29, New Hampshire held the Bobcats to just 29.5 percent shooting. In the game prior versus Harvard, the Wildcats kicked off the game playing stingy defense against the Crimson, holding them scoreless for the first 5:16 of the action and not allowing a field goal until the 8:44 mark. In UNH's 58-57 win over UMass on Nov. 20, the Wildcats compiled a season-high 13 steals and forced a season-best 27 turnovers. In UNH's matchup against No. 21 Maryland on Nov. 16, the ‘Cats pestered the Terps into shooting just .278 from the field, holding their offense to just 63 points, which was Maryland's second lowest point total in the last 29 games dating back to last season. The only team to hold the Terps to an even lower point total was Louisville, who defeated Maryland 77-60 in the NCAA Elite Eight on March 30, 2009. Against St. Joe's, the ‘Cats were just as impressive, holding the Hawks to just .277 shooting and a total of 56 points.
DOING THE DISHES
Amy Simpson (Waterford, Conn.) has stepped up in her new role as point guard this season, notching the third-best assist total in the conference with 49 through the first nine games this year. In her most recent action she tied a career-high with 11 assists against Holy Cross College on Sunday. The last time she reached the 11-assist mark came against UMBC on Feb. 2, 2008. Against Harvard on Nov. 24, she tallied her second best assist total of the season, dishing out eight assists against the Crimson. For her career, Simpson has tallied 255 assists, ranking her 12th all-time in program history. To break into the top-10 all-time, Simpson needs just 34 assists, which at her current pace should be attained in seven games. Simpson has been stellar across the board for the 'Cats this year, averaging 5.7 points, 5.4 assists, 3.1 rebounds and 1.4 steals per game.
DIAMON IN THE ROUGH
Diamon Beckford (Philadelphia, Pa.) scored a career-high eight points and pulled down five rebounds against Harvard on Nov. 24. The solid production has been nothing new this season for the freshman sensation, as she notched three points, six rebounds and two steals against St. Peter's College on Saturday. Against UMass on Nov. 20, she tallied six points, five boards and two steals. In the game prior, she notched seven points, seven boards and one block against No. 21 Maryland on Nov. 16. In that contest she helped the Wildcats respond to a 20-9 Terrapin run that started the game, as she knocked down a jumper at 7:44 to set off an 11-3 scoring stretch, which cut the home team's lead down to just three points, with the score set at 23-20 at 4:21. Including the jumper, she totaled five points on the run. This season Beckford has posted 4.0 points and 3.6 rebounds per game.
Candace Williams (Norfolk, Mass.) netted 15 points against Holy Cross College on Dec. 20, making it the 12th time in the last 15 games dating back to last year she has scored in double-figures. Her most stellar outings this season have came when she posted a season-high 18 points in back-to-back efforts against Quinnipiac (Nov. 29) and Harvard (Nov. 24). During the 15 game span, she has tallied 22 points on two occasions, the latest coming in a 66-62 win over Albany at the SEFCU Arena on Feb. 28, 2009. Her other 22-point outburst came against defending conference champion Vermont on Feb. 22, 2009. Last year she posted double-figures in all 23 games to start the season, including back-to-back 25-plus point games. She had a career-high 27-point performance at Boston University (Jan. 17, 2009), then posted 26 at Stony Brook (Jan. 21, 2009). In 1998-99, Orsi Farkas posted double figures in all 31 games for the Wildcats.
IN THE CLUTCH
With UNH's 78-65 overtime victory over Harvard University on Nov. 24, the Wildcats have now won their last six decisions in overtime dating back to March 1, 2003, when UNH defeated Stony Brook 70-67 in the extra frame. Tuesday's win marks the largest margin of victory in overtime in program history. It is also UNH's first win against Harvard since Dec. 29, 1999, when the Wildcats defeated the Crimson 70-58 at Lundholm Gymnasium.
Denise Beliveau (Framingham, Mass.) notched her first double-double of the season on Nov. 24 against Harvard with 14 points and 14 rebounds. For the forward, it was her third career double-double as she also notched double digit efforts against Northeastern (22 pts, 10 rbs) on Dec. 15, 2007 and Binghamton (18 pts, 11 rbs) on Jan. 19, 2008. Including Tuesday's game against Harvard, Beliveau has scored in double figures in three games this season, as she tallied 21 points against St. Joseph's and 15 points against UMass.
In UNH's 78-65 overtime victory over Harvard on Nov. 24, three Wildcats scored in double-figures for the third time in a four game stretch. Most recently Candace Williams (18), Jill McDonald (17), Denise Beliveau (14) helped achieve the feat. The trio was at it once again versus UMass as Williams (17), Beliveau (15), and McDonald (10) all scored in double-digits. UNH first accomplished the plateau this season against St. Joseph's, as Beliveau led the way with 21 points, while Williams and Lauren Wells tallied 15 and 12 points, respectively, leading the 'Cats to a 64-56 victory at Lundholm Gymnasium.
Jill McDonald (Middlebury, Vt.) poured in a career-high 18 points and tallied six boards against Holy Cross College on Dec. 20. She also netted 17 points on two separate occasions, first against Harvard on Nov. 24 and then once again versus Seton Hall on Dec. 3. Against Harvard the center lead the ‘Cats to a 78-65 overtime victory, notching 17 points, seven boards and a career-high three assists. Against UMass on Nov. 20, McDonald knocked down a pair of free throws with just 0:12 remaining to propel UNH to a 58-57 victory at Lundholm Gymnasium. For her efforts, the center was named the America East Player of the Game, notching 10 points, nine rebounds, two blocks and two steals in the contest. In the last six games, McDonald is averaging 13.2 points, 4.0 rebounds and 1.5 blocks per game. She has also tallied block in each of the last five games. On the season, she ranks second in the conference in field goal percentage with a .548 shooting clip.
UNH's 58-57 win over UMass on Nov. 20 marked the first time the Wildcats knocked off two Atlantic-10 teams in the same season since the 1989-90 campaign. The 'Cats earned their first victory over an Atlantic-10 opponent this season on Nov. 13, when they defeated St. Joseph's University 64-56 at Lundholm Gymnasium. During the 1989-90 season, the Wildcats defeated Rhode Island 67-56 on Nov. 28 and earned a 66-60 win against UMass on Dec. 9 to complete the A-10 sweep in non-conference play.
In addition to her 21 points and nine rebounds in UNH's 64-56 win over St. Joseph's University on Nov. 13, Denise Beliveau (Framingham, Mass.) tied her career high in free throws made, knocking down 10-of-10 shots from the charity stripe. Included in that total are four tallies which came in the last two minutes of play to seal the victory for the 'Cats. It was the first time a Wildcat shot 100 percent from the foul line since Danielle Clark (12-12) did so on Nov. 26, 2006 against Iona. The last time Beliveau knocked down 10 free throws in a game came against Northeastern on Dec. 15, 2007. She finished that night with 22 points, 10 rebounds, three assists and two steals.
LAST TIME OUT
Amy Simpson (Waterford, Conn.) recorded 10 points and a career-high 11 assists to propel the University of New Hampshire women's basketball team to Sunday afternoon's 80-72 victory against the College of the Holy Cross in non-conference action at Lundholm Gymnasium.
UNH improves to 4-5 overall and is 4-1 at Lundholm Gymnasium. Holy Cross is 3-8.
Simpson, who also recorded two steals and two blocks, was one of five Wildcats to score in double digits. Denise Beliveau (Framingham, Mass.) led all scorers with 20 points and was followed by Jill McDonald (Middlebury, Vt.; 18 points, six rebounds), Candace Williams (Norfolk, Mass.; 15 points, nine rebounds) and Racheal Fowler (Glassboro, N.J.; 10 points).
Holy Cross was led offensively by Bethany O'Dell, who made six of the team's 11 3-pointers and finished with 20 points. Whitney Fremeau (16 points), Amy Lepley (12) and Briana McFadden (12) also scored in double figures.
The Wildcats trailed 37-33 at halftime and faced their largest deficit of the game, 47-39, with 15:37 remaining in the game when they went on a 10-0 run in a span of 2:37 to take a 49-39 lead. Simpson ignited the spurt by setting up a basket by McDonald and then driving the left baseline for a layup. Beliveau continued the momentum swing by intercepting the ball in the passing lane and driving down the court for a layup. Another UNH layup, this time by Williams, evened the score, 47-47, at 13:59 and the ‘Cats went in front on Simpson's jumper at 13:00.
The teams exchanged scores to move the score to 51-51, then McDonald hit a pair of free throws at 11:09 to give New Hampshire a lead it would not relinquish as Williams followed her own miss for a layup and duplicated that effort on UNH's next possession to give the ‘Cats a 57-51 advantage with 9:28 remaining.
UNH pushed its lead to eight points, 63-55, at 6:00 on a layup by Chrissy Hall (Northbridge, Mass.), who contributed four points, four rebounds and four assists, and took a double-digit advantage of 66-56 on a Williams free throw with 5:02 to play.
Simpson then helped the ‘Cats build a 71-56 lead with a steal and long outlet pass to Fowler for a layup, and on the next possession she made a 3-pointer.
Holy Cross faced a 74-61 deficit with 52 seconds on the clock, but then Lepley hit a 3-point shot and stole the inbounds pass to set up Alyssa May's 3-pointer that pulled the visitors within 74-67 with 32 seconds to play.
McDonald was fouled and made both ends of the 1-and-1 at the foul line to give UNH a 76-67 cushion and then hit two more free throws with 21 seconds remaining to push the advantage to 11 points and secure the victory.
In the opening five minutes of the game, UNH opened up a 10-4 lead behind four baskets in the paint by McDonald. Holy Cross' O'Dell responded with consecutive 3-pointers to level the score at 10, then a Tayana Carper jumper gave the visitors a 12-10 lead and O'Dell hit another shot from beyond the arc at 12:00 to extend the advantage to five points.
Beliveau answered with a 3-pointer on UNH's next possession to end Holy Cross' 11-point run, but O'Dell once again connected from 3-point range to move the score to 18-13. The ‘Cats trailed 22-18 when Fowler and McDonald made back-to-back layups to even the score, 22-22.
The Crusaders quickly regained the lead on Fremeau's layup and then Lepley's layup gave them a 26-22 advantage with 4:38 remaining in the first half. The teams traded scores to move the score to 32-28, at which point a layup by McFadden gave Holy Cross its largest lead of the half at 34-28.
Beliveau's 3-pointer was answered by O'Dell at the other end of the court, but UNH took some momentum into the locker room on Fowler's offensive putback in the waning seconds that pulled the ‘Cats within four points.
Williams' 15 points in the contest gives her 989 for her career, pushing her that much closer to reaching the 1,000-point plateau for her career. If she does reach the mark, she will become just the 14th Wildcat in program history to achieve the feat.
WILDCATS PICKED FOURTH IN PRESEASON POLL
The University of New Hampshire women's basketball team received 38 points to place fourth in the America East preseason poll that was released this afternoon by the conference.
The Wildcats finished last season in fifth place in the conference with an 8-23 record, including a 6-10 mark against America East opponents, after being picked seventh in last year's preseason poll. New Hampshire's 38-point total tied with Boston University, who is coming off an undefeated conference regular season and its first appearance in the postseason WNIT. UMBC finished followed closely behind UNH and BU, with 35 points in the sixth place spot.
Vermont, last year's conference champion, is predicted to once again capture the title, receiving five first place votes and tallying 61 points. Hartford is selected to finish second with 60 points, garnering four first place votes in the poll. Binghamton is predicted to finish third, with 45 points.
Stony Brook University is slated to finish seventh (23 points), while the University of Maine (13) and the University at Albany (11 points) round out the final three spots in the poll.