Women's Hoop Brings in New Year with Home Matchup Against Rhode Island (Jan. 1)



Saturday's meeting between New Hampshire and Rhode Island marks the 25th meeting all-time between the two programs. The Rams got the best of the Wildcats in their last meeting, claiming a 61-31 victory at home. Prior to that matchup, that 'Cats earned victories in six of the previous seven meetings. Rhode Island notched a 75-61 win in the first meeting between the two squads during the 1976-77 season. After that contest UNH earned wins in nine of the next 12 meetings, including five straight. 


Last time out the University of Rhode Island fell to Seton Hall, 73-69, in double-overtime on the road on Dec. 29 ... Megan Shoniker tallied her 1,000th career point in the loss, finishing with a game-high 21 points ... It was the fifth time she has scored 20-or-more points in a game in her career ... She has led the team in scoring in all but three games this year ... In addition to her scoring, she also led the team in assists, tallying a career-high seven ... Kerry Wallack pulled down a game-high 10 rebounds ... Caitlin Kearns, Lara Gaspar and Ashley Rivera added 11 points apiece for the Rams ... The Pirates scored 27 points off of URI's season-high 31 turnovers ... URI outrebounded Seton Hall 51-36 ... The loss is the Rams' third straight, as they also dropped decisions to St. John's (Dec. 11) and American International (Dec. 19) ... URI tipped off the season winning three of its first four games ... Shoniker leads the team in scoring, averaging 19.2 points per game ... She ranks third in the Atlantic 10 in scoring ... She also leads the team in assists (48) and steals (12) ... Her assist total ranks sixth in the Atlantic 10 ... As a team, Rhode Island ranks fourth in free throw percentage in the conference with a shooting clip of .727 (149-205) ... The Rams also rank fourth in the Atlantic 10 in defensive rebounds, pulling down 27.3 per game ... URI is outrebounding its opponents by 2.3 rebounds per game ... URI finished last season 9-20 and 2-12 in conference play.


Jill McDonald (Middlebury, Vt.) earned All-Tournament Team honors after a stellar performance at the 20th Annual Hawk Classic (Dec. 28-29). In the two-game stretch she averaged an impressive 15.0 points, 7.5 rebounds, 2.0 assists, and 2.0 blocks per game. She kicked off the tournament tying her career-high with 19 points, while also registering four boards, two assists, two blocks and two steals against St. Joseph's University. She capped off the tournament with 11 points, 11 rebounds, two assists and two blocks against Quinnipiac University.


Kelsey Hogan (Nashua, N.H.) tallied a career-best eight assists against St. Joseph's University on Dec. 28 in the first round of the 20th Annual Hawk Classic. She is the first Wildcat to reach this impressive mark since Amy Simpson did so last season against Maine on Feb. 16. She reached her previous career high of seven assists twice this season.


Jill McDonald (Middlebury, Vt.) registered 11 points and 11 rebounds against Quinnipiac University in the second round of the 20th Annual Hawk Classic on Dec. 29. The mark comes as her second double-double of the season and the fourth of her career. She is the just the second Wildcat to notch double figures in multiple categories in a game this season.


Sarah-Marie Frankenberger (Gross Gerau, Germany) tallied a season-best 11 points against Quinnipiac University in the second round of the 20th Annual Hawk Classic on Dec. 29. She reached the mark on on 3-of-5 shooting from the field and 2-of-2 from beyond the arc. It was the second time she has notched double-digit points this season, with her other double-figure outing coming against Brown on Nov. 20 when she finished with 10 points.


Jill McDonald (Middlebury, Vt.) ranks fourth in the America East in field goal percentage, shooting 47.0 (39-83) percent from the floor this season. Over the course of the last two games she is shooting an impressive 54.2 (13-24) percent from the field, scoring in double-digits in each of those contests.


Making her first start of the season, Lauren Wells (West Chester, Pa.) made the most of the opportunity, notching a career-high 18 points and earning America East Player of the Game honors against Quinnipiac (Dec. 22). Her impressive outing came on 7-of-14 shooting from the floor, including 4-of-7 from deep. Her four 3-point field goals were also a career best. She tied her previous career high of 13 points this season against Harvard on Dec. 10, a mark she has reached twice in her career.


New Hampshire hit a season-best 50 percent from beyond the arc against Quinnipiac University on Dec. 22. The Wildcats reached the mark hitting 12 three-point field goals on 24 tries, a total that was also a season high. The impressive total is just two short of the program record, as Lauren Wells (West Chester, Pa; 4), Denise Beliveau (Framingham, Mass.; 3) and Cari Reed (Oswego, N.Y.; 2) all tallied multiple threes in the contest.


Kelsey Hogan (Nashua, N.H.; 3rd), Denise Beliveau (Framingham, Mass.; 5th), and Lauren Wells (West Chester, Pa.; 6th) all rank in the top-10 in three-point field goal percentage in the America East. Hogan leads the way with a .400 (18-45) shooting clip from beyond the arc, ranking third in the conference, while Beliveau (.390; 16-41) and Wells (.378; 14-37) rank fifth and sixth, respectively.


Denise Beliveau (Framingham, Mass.) currently ranks in the top-10 in scoring (8th), rebounding (10th), free throw percentage (4th), and three-point field-goal percentage (5th) in the America East. The junior forward is averaging 11.8 points and 6.8 rebounds per game, while shooting an impressive 82.9 (34-41) percent from the charity stripe and 39.0 (16-41) percent from beyond the arc.


Junior forward Denise Beliveau (Framingham, Mass.) registered a season-best 19 points and pulled in 12 rebounds, earning her second double-double of the season against Quinnipiac (Dec. 22). Her first double-double came against Holy Cross (Nov. 23) when she tallied 16 points and 13 rebounds against the Crusaders. She has notched six double-doubles in her career.


Senior center Jill McDonald (Middlebury, Vt.) has notched two blocks in five of the last six games, tallying 14 blocks on the season. She has registered multiple blocks six times this year.


Denise Beliveau (Framingham, Mass.; 19), Lauren Wells (West Chester, Pa.; 18) and Cari Reed (Oswego, N.Y.; 14) all scored in double-figures against Quinnipiac (Dec. 22); marking the second straight game three Wildcats have reached this milestone. In the previous outing, Kelsey Hogan (Nashua, N.H.; 11), Beliveau (10) and Reed (10) scored in double-digits against CCSU (Dec. 19), marking the first time the 'Cats have achieved this feat on the season.


The Wildcats scored a combined 42 points off the bench in back-to-back efforts against Harvard (Dec. 10) and CCSU (Dec. 19). The stretch marked the best two-game stretch the reserves have had this season. In that span, the 'Cats tallied a season-best 26 points against the Crimson and 16 points against the Blue Devils.


UNH ranks first in the America East in field goal percentage (.399) and three-point field goal percentage (.365) this season.  The 'Cats have knocked down 228-of-571 from the floor and have netted 74-of-203 attempts from beyond the arc.


Sophomore guard Cari Reed (Oswego, N.Y.) drilled a career-high three trifectas against Manhattan College (Dec. 3), going 3-for-5 from downtown, marking just the second time in her career she has achieved that feat. The last time she reached the mark came last season against Albany (Feb. 21) when she posted 11 points, sinking 3-of-6 from beyond the arc. Last season she finished with the second-best 3-point field goal percentage on the team, posting a .358 clip (19-of-53) from deep.


After coming off the bench much of last season, sophomore guard Cari Reed (Oswego, N.Y.) has stepped up in a big way for UNH this year. Starting in nine of 11 games, Reed ranks second on the team in scoring (9.1 ppg) and ranks first among guards in rebounds (3.5 rpg). She has scored in double-digits eight times in her career, including six times this season.


Junior forward Denise Beliveau (Framingham, Mass.) has scored in double-figures in seven of her last eight games, with her most recent double-digit outing coming against St. Joseph's University (Dec. 28) when she tallied 12 points. During the streak she notched a season-high 19 points against Quinnipiac (Dec. 22), while also reaching her previous season high of 16 points against Holy Cross (Nov. 23) and Harvard (Dec. 10).


Jill McDonald (Middlebury, Vt.) and junior center Kelley Flynn (Hopkinton, N.H.) rank third and sixth in the America East in blocked shots with 14 and 11 swats, respectively. As a team, UNH ranks second in the conference in swats, averaging 3.5 per game.


Freshman guard Kelsey Hogan (Nashua, N.H.) currently leads New Hampshire with an average of 4.7 assists per game, ranking first in the America East. In total she has tallied 52 assists on the year, with her most impressive efforts coming against St. Joseph's (Dec. 28) when she posted a career-best eight assists and a pair of seven assist outings against Dartmouth (Nov. 16) and Quinnipiac (Dec. 22).


Sophomore guard Cari Reed (Oswego, N.Y.) matched a career-high with 14 points against Quinnipiac (Dec. 22); marking the second time she has reached that mark this season. She reached the milestone on 5-of-7 shooting from the floor, including 2-of-4 from deep. Her last 14-point outing came against Brown (Nov. 20), when she scored 11 in the second half and was selected as the America East Player of the Game.


Maureen Magarity achieved her first career win as a bench boss against Dartmouth on Nov. 16. In six years as an assistant with Army, Fairfield and Marist, she compiled a 106-73 (.592) record. In her most recent coaching stop at West Point, Magarity helped lead the Knights to a record of 72-48, including a program-best 24-win campaign during the 2006-07 season. In her first three years on the job, Army averaged 20 wins a season, the best three-year span in program history.


Senior center Jill McDonald (Middlebury, Vt.) had a career night against Dartmouth on Nov. 16, posting 15 points and a career-high 13 rebounds. The outing was McDonald's first double-double of the season and the third of her career. McDonald reached her previous career-high of 10 rebounds during the 2009-10 season on two occasions.


Senior center Jill McDonald (Middlebury, Vt.) has tallied 14 blocks this season, giving her 128 career blocks, a mark that currently ranks third all-time in program history. She has notched at least two swats in five of the last six games. Last season she set UNH's single-season block record with 58, while also tying the program's single-game block record with seven. She finished the 2009-10 campaign with an average of 2.0 blocks per game, closing out the year notching a block in 22 of the last 24 games.


The University of New Hampshire women's basketball team shot 51.4 percent (19-37) against then 12th-ranked Notre Dame (Nov. 12) and 51.9 percent (27-52) against Dartmouth (Nov. 16), marking the first time the Wildcats have shot over 50 percent in back-to-back games since 2000. The last time UNH achieved the feat came against Holy Cross (Nov. 21) and Dartmouth (Nov. 25), posting shooting clips of .556 and .550, respectively.


Head coach Maureen Magarity and her staff recently announced that Stephanie Spoto (Pittsford, N.Y.) has signed a National Letter of Intent to join the University of New Hampshire women's basketball program and attend the school next fall.

"We are excited about the addition of Stephanie for next season," said Magarity. "She is a tremendous athlete, a tough defender and a slasher on offense.  She will bring great energy and has significant upside."

Spoto, who is currently a senior at Pittsford Sutherland High School, was recently named to the All-Greater Rochester Second Team after a solid junior campaign for the Knights. She is also coming off a two-year stint in which she played AAU with the Crystal City Stars Girls National Basketball club team.

The 5-foot-11-inch wing ranked just outside of the top-50 in scoring for her division with 132 points during her sophomore year, leading Pittsford Sutherland to a 14-7 record, including a 9-2 mark in league play. She finished the year with 6.3 points, 3.4 assists, 3.3 rebounds, and 1.0 steal per game. As a freshman she was equally productive, posting 4.9 points, 2.2 assists and 1.1 steals per game.


Junior forward Denise Beliveau (Framingham, Mass.) of the University of New Hampshire women's basketball program was recently named to the America East Preseason All-Conference Team by the conference.

Beliveau is coming off her first full season of action since 2007-08 when she tabbed as the America East Rookie of the Year and was named to the conference's All-Rookie team. Playing in 28 of 29 contests, Beliveau averaged 10.0 points and 6.2 rebounds per game, both top marks among the conference's freshmen.

Rebounding from an ACL injury that sidelined the forward the entire 2008-09 season, Beliveau came back strong last year playing in 27 games, including 25 starts. She finished the season averaging 11.2 points and 6.1 rebounds per game, totals that ranked second on the team. She also proved to be deadly from beyond the arc, netting the most 3-pointers on the team, finishing 34-of-110 (.309) for the year.

Her defense didn't lack either, showcasing her skills as one of the team's best defenders, compiling a team-best 44 steals. Tallying multiple steals in 13 games, Beliveau tied her career-high with five steals against Seton Hall (12/3); marking the third time she has reached that mark in her UNH career.


With the game tied at 61-61 in the final moments of the contest, Lailah Pratt knocked down the first of two free throw attempts with two seconds remaining, as the University of New Hampshire women's basketball team fell to Quinnipiac University, 62-61, in the third game of the 20th Annual Hawk Classic at Hagan Gymnasium Wednesday afternoon.

With the loss the Wildcats drop to 2-9 on the season, while the Bobcats improve to 4-8. New Hampshire finishes fourth in the tournament, while Quinnipiac grabs third place. 

Jill McDonald (Middlebury, Vt.) registered 11 points, 11 rebounds, two assists and two blocks, earning All-Tournament Team honors for the Wildcats. The mark comes as her second double-double of the season and the fourth of her career. In UNH's first game of the tournament against St. Joe's she posted a season-high 19 points, four rebounds, two assists, two blocks, and two steals.

The Wildcats and Bobcats would trade blows down the stretch until Lauren Wells (West Chester, Pa.) drained a pair of free throws to tie the score at 61-61 with 57 seconds to play. Stellar defense by the 'Cats kept Quinnipiac from getting a clean look in the final moments of the game, but Pratt was able to get to the charity stripe, sinking the first of two free throw shots with two seconds on the clock to put the game out of reach.

Sarah-Marie Frankenberger (Gross Gerau, Germany) was UNH's only other double-digit scorer, tallying 11 points and pulling down two rebounds. Denise Beliveau (Framingham, Mass.) added eight points, seven boards and four assists.

New Hampshire came out of the gates with a 6-2 run, led off with a 3-pointer by Wells and capped off with another trifecta from Kelsey Hogan (Nashua, N.H.) with 17:43 remaining in the first frame.

The Bobcats responded with a 9-4 scoring stretch, sparked by a Courtney Kaminski jumper, giving Quinnipiac an 11-10 edge with 14:58 remaining in the stanza.

The two teams would remain scoreless for the next 2:15 until Kelley Flynn (Hopkinton, N.H.) sank a baby hook shot in the lane that took back the lead and set off a 9-1 run. Flynn would finish off the stretch with a tough layup in the paint, helping propel UNH to a 19-12 lead with 10:12 left in the frame.

For the next 7:30 the Bobcats would put together a 15-2 run, with Flynn providing UNH's lone basket during the stretch on a layup at 7:38. Despite the scoring drought, Frankenberger would help give the 'Cats life, driving the ball left side and pulling up from the elbow and sinking a jumper that sparked a 7-2 run.

Cari Reed (Oswego, N.Y.) added to the effort, draining a baseline 3-pointer from the left side and then sinking a fast break layup on the next trip up the floor to cut the deficient down to just one, as Quinnipiac held a 29-28 advantage at the break.  

Hogan kept up the tempo at the start of the second frame, taking the ball baseline from the left side and getting to the right block where she layed it off the glass with contact and drained the shot. On the ensuing possession McDonald took the ball hard to the rack and banked a shot off the glass from the right block to set the score at 33-32 at 18:05.

That would be the last time UNH would register a field-goal for nearly six minutes, as the Bobcats outscored the Wildcats 12-5 from the start of the second stanza. However, McDonald would once again blaze the trail, burying a layup to help UNH post seven unanswered points, cutting the deficient down to one.

Frankenberger added a trifecta from the top of the key off a feed from Bridgette McKnight (Norristown, Pa.) and Beliveau knocked down a pull-up 10-foot jumper on the ensuing possession to cap off the run, setting the score at 41-40 with 10:44 to play.

The Bobcats came back with a 9-5 run, sparked by an Ellen Cannon 3-pointer, pushing QU's lead to five, with the score 50-45 with 8:53 remaining.

That would be Quinnipiac's largest advantage the rest of the way, as Frankenberger ignited the 'Cats once again, knocking down a baseline 3-pointer from the left side that set off a 10-5 run by the Wildcats that lasted 4:12.

Wells set up the game tying basket, feeding the ball to Hogan on the right side where she made a drop step move toward the basket and powered it in on the block, evening the score at 55-55 with 4:46 remaining.

The two teams traded baskets the rest of the way, with the Bobcats holding a 7-6 edge in points to close out the action.

Jacinda Dunbar led Quinnipiac with a game-high 26 points, five boards and two steals.
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