DURHAM, N.H. – The University of New Hampshire women's basketball team wraps up 2011 with a trip to Ames, Iowa this week for the Iowa State Cyclone Challenge. The Wildcats open against host Iowa State on Dec. 29 at 7:30 p.m. (CST), and will play either NJIT or Buffalo on Dec. 30 (TBA). Links to live stats and live video will be available at www.unhwildcats.com.
THE MATCHUP (IOWA STATE)
Thursday's matchup will be just the third meeting all-time between New Hampshire and Iowa State in a series that dates back to the 1991-92 season. Both previous contests were on neutral sites as UNH notched a 57-53 victory in the first meeting between the two programs on Dec. 29, 1991 at the Lady Gator Tournament in Gainesville, Fla. In the most recent matchup, Iowa State evened the all-time series with a 62-53 win on Jan. 3, 1994 at the UNC-Greensboro Tournament in Greensboro, N.C.
SCOUTING IOWA STATE (7-2, 0-0 Big-12):
The Iowa State women's basketball team cruised past Northern Iowa, 84-57, last Tuesday night to improve to 7-2 heading into the Cyclone Challenge … The Cyclones, members of the Big-12 Conference, are a perfect 5-0 at home this season … Junior Chelsea Poppens scored 20 points and grabbed 14 rebounds as the Cyclones led the Panthers by 16 at halftime … The win gave Iowa State a sweep over its instate opponents this season … Iowa State dominated on the boards, winning the rebound battle 48-20 …ISU extended its NCAA-record three-point streak to 526 consecutive games … The Cyclones shot 8-of-18 from three … Nikki Moody tallied 15 points, as the Cyclones outscored Northern Iowa 44-12 in the paint … Iowa State leads the Big-12 in rebounding defense (32.4) … Individually, Poppens leads the conference in rebounding (11.6) and ranks 11th in scoring (14.4).
SCOUTING NEW HAMPSHIRE (6-4, 0-0 AE):
The University of New Hampshire women's basketball team downed Wagner, 73-72, in overtime last Wednesday night … UNH has won three straight games and now stands at 6-4 overall and 5-1 on the road … Senior Denise Beliveau hit the game-winning jumper with three seconds left in overtime, while junior Cari Reed hit a late 3-pointer in regulation to send the contest into extra time … Junior transfer Morgan Frame scored 35 points and grabbed 12 rebounds for her second double-double in as many games … Frame shot 15-of-26 from the floor and added three steals in 41 minutes off the bench … Reed finished with 21 points and sophomore Kelsey Hogan added 13 points … As a team, the Wildcats shot 40.6 percent from the floor, including 54.5 percent in overtime … UNH leads the America East in 3-point field goal percentage (32.1) and rebounding defense (34.6) … Beliveau tops the America East in free throw percentage (92.9), ranks fourth in rebounding (8.6) and 12th in scoring (11.7) … Hogan and Reed rank second and third, respectively, in 3-point field goal percentage at 42.9 and 42.6 percent.
SCOUTING NJIT (5-6, 0-0 GREAT WEST):
The New Jersey Institute of Technology women's basketball team fell to Minnesota, 71-47, last Friday … The Highlanders now stand at 5-6 overall and 1-2 on the road … Junior guard Rayven Johnson paced NJIT with 11 points and five rebounds, while freshman guard Sarah Olson added 10 points … Freshman Denisa Domiterova came off the bench for the Highlanders and posted eight points – six from behind the arc … Sophomore forward Uju Nwankwo combined for eight points on 4-of-8 shooting from the field and pulled down a team-high six rebounds, with a game-high three blocks … The defensive-minded NJIT leads the Great West in scoring defense (61.0), field goal percentage defense (35.7) and blocked shots (6.2) … The Highlanders also top the league in 3-pointers made (4.8
SCOUTING BUFFALO (4-8, 0-0 MAC):
The University at Buffalo women's basketball team knocked off Oakland, 69-65, in overtime last Thursday … Buffalo enters the Cyclone Challenge at 4-8 overall and 1-5 on the road … Senior Brittany Hedderson netted a school-record 39 points, marking the second time this season she went over the 30-point mark … Hedderson completed the day with a career-high 11 rebounds for her second career double-double … She also had two blocked shots and two steals … Nytor Longar recorded her first career double-double as she finished the day with 12 points and career-high 12 rebounds … Hedderson ranks second in the Mid-America Conference and leads the team with 19.2 points per game.
Morgan Frame, a junior transfer just two games into her UNH career, erupted for a career-high 35 points and 12 rebounds in an overtime win at Wagner last Wednesday night. Frame shot 15-for-26 from the floor to pace the Wildcats and fell just one point shy of matching the school record for points in a game. She also collected three steals in 41 minutes off the bench. Frame was instrumental throughout the contest as she scored nearly half of UNH's points in the first stanza (13-of-27) to keep the Wildcats within reach at halftime. She went on to net 18 in the second half and four points in overtime to seal the victory. Frame has notched a double-double in each of her first two games since becoming eligible as a mid-year transfer last season as she scored 15 points in her UNH debut at Rhode Island. She is averaging 25 points and 11 rebounds in the two games this season and was named the America East Player of the Week on Dec. 26 for her efforts.
New Hampshire is off to a 5-1 start in road games this season, picking up victories over a trio of Ivy Leaguers in Brown, Cornell and Dartmouth, as well as Rhode Island and Wagner. The Wildcats are averaging 58.7 points per game when away from the friendly confines of Lundholm Gymnasium.
LEADING THE LEAGUE
Only two players have netted 30-point performances in the America East this season, and both belong to New Hampshire. Morgan Frame owns the highest single-game effort in the league with a 35-point outing at Wagner, while Cari Reed represents the other member of the club with a 32-point showing against Harvard. Additionally, Frame's 15 field goals and Reed's eight 3-pointers are also single-game league-best efforts this season.
New Hampshire has played its best basketball in close games this season as the club is a perfect 4-0 in games decided by five points or less. Most recently, UNH downed Wagner, 73-72, in overtime, thanks to a last-second jumper by Denise Beliveau in extra time. Earlier in the season, Kelsey Hogan tipped in a game-winning buzzer-beater to help UNH beat Cornell. In both those contests, Cari Reed kept the Wildcats in the game with a late 3-pointer, including a timely distance shot at Wagner to send the game into overtime.
CRASHING THE BOARDS
Denise Beliveau grabbed a season-best 14 rebounds against Manhattan, marking the most by a Wildcat this season. Beliveau ranks fourth in the America East in rebounding with 8.6 boards per contest and leads the league in defensive rebounds (6.2). As a team, the Wildcats are 6-0 when they pull down more rebounds than the opposition and currently lead the conference in defensive boards (34.6).
CARI THE LOAD
Junior Cari Reed erupted for 32 points, including a school-record eight 3-pointers, in UNH's home loss to Harvard. The previous school record was six 3-pointers, a mark shared by eight different Wildcats including Reed, while her 32 points are the most in the America East this season and the most by a Wildcat since Maren Matthias dropped 30 points on Dec. 13, 2002. Reed's eight treys rank second all-time in America East play and helped boost her numbers across the board this season. She ranks third in the conference in 3-point field goals made (2.2) and 3-point field goal percentage (42.6, 20-47) and fifth in field goal percentage (45.1, 37-82).
BELIVEAU NETS 1,000 POINTS
Denise Beliveau scored a team-high 15 points against Holy Cross, becoming the 16th player in program history to record 1,000 career points. She entered the contest at 999 and achieved the feat with her first basket of the game on a layup at the 18:18 mark of the first half. On that same basket, Beliveau also passed Heidi Plencner on the all-time scoring list and now sits alone in 14th place with 1,059 career tallies.
Sophomore Kelsey Hogan and junior Cari Reed both rank inside the top-five in the America East for 3-point field goal percentage. Hogan ranks second the league at 42.9 percent shooting from beyond the arc, while Reed ranks third in the conference at 42.6 percent. As a team, UNH owns the best 3-point field goal percentage in the conference, shooting 32.1 percent from behind the arc.
FANTASTIC FOUR WILL SCORE
The Wildcats boast four players averaging double-digits is scoring through 10 games this season. Morgan Frame leads the lineup with 25.0 points per game, while Denise Beliveau, Kelsey Hogan and Cari Reed clock in at 11.7, 11.2 and 10.9, respectively.
Denise Beliveau tops the conference in free throw shooting percentage this season with a near perfect 26-of-28 (92.9) at the charity stripe. As a team, the Wildcats rank third in the league at 68.1 percent, trailing only UMBC (75.2) and Stony Brook (68.6).
Denise Beliveau netted 15 points at Rhode Island, scoring in double-figures for the fifth time in a row. She now has scored in double-figures in seven out of 10 games this season. Beliveau ranks near the top of the America East in several statistical categories, including first in defensive rebounds (6.2), fourth in rebounding (8.6) and 12th in scoring (11.7).