March 14, 2012

Women’s Basketball Travels to Holy Cross for First Round of WBI

Game Notes (PDF) | WBI Bracket

DURHAM, N.H. – The University of New Hampshire women's basketball team will make its second-ever trip to the postseason and first since 1999 when the Wildcats travel to take on Holy Cross on Thursday, March 15 (7 p.m.) in the first round of the Women's Basketball Invitational at the Hart Center. The Wildcats earned the East No. 5 seed and are one of 16 teams invited to participate in the third annual postseason tournament.

Links to video, audio, as well as live stats, will be available at www.UNHWildcats.com. The game will also be broadcast on the Wildcat Sports Radio Network with Jim Jeannotte on play-by-play and Mike Murphy providing in-game analysis.

Tickets for the 2012 WBI Tournament are $10 for adults, and $6 for youth/seniors. Also, any youth wearing their team basketball jersey will also get in for just $2. Please contact the Holy Cross Ticket Office at 508-793-2573 to purchase tickets in advance.

The New Hampshire-Holy Cross winner will face either top-seeded Robert Morris or No. 8 Manhattan in the quarterfinals on March 17 or 18. The WBI semifinals are scheduled for March 21 and 22, while the championship game will take place on either March 24 or 25. UAB won the WBI title last season and Appalachian State captured the inaugural tournament in 2010.

THE MATCHUP

Thursday's matchup between New Hampshire and Holy Cross will be the 22nd meeting all-time between the two programs in a series that dates back to the 1982-83 season. The Crusaders hold a 14-7 record in the series, with their most recent victory coming earlier season in a 61-50 decision on Dec. 3 at Lundholm Gymnasium. UNH's first matchup against Holy Cross came on Feb. 15, 1983, which resulted in a 69-57 Wildcat victory. In the last eight meetings between the two squads, Holy Cross has a 6-2 record against New Hampshire. However, the Wildcats controlled the series in the first five meetings, posting a 4-1 record, including four straight wins.

SCOUTING HOLY CROSS (18-14, 7-7 AE):

Last time out, fifth-seeded Holy Cross fell to third-seeded Navy, 57-48, in the 2012 Patriot League Championship game… Brisje Malone led the Crusaders with 13 points… Holy Cross shot 34 percent from the floor (17 of 50) while Navy shot 37.3 percent (19 of 51)… Alex Smith finished with 12 points while Amy Lepley added 11… The Mids won the rebounding battle, 40-30 as Lepley led the team with eight boards… On the season, Smith averages 12.6 points per game and was named to the Patriot League First Team, while Lepley was named to the second team and leads the squad in both scoring (13.4) and rebounding (6.4). Freshman Emily Parker earned a spot on the all-rookie team after contributing 10.0 points per contest… Smith ranks first in the Patriot League win both assists (5.6) and 3-point field goals per game (2.4)… The Crusaders led the conference in scoring at 63.1 points per game, field goal percentage (41.5) and assists (17.0).

SCOUTING NEW HAMPSHIRE (16-13, 9-7 AE):

New Hampshire earned the No. 4 seed in the America East Tournament but fell to fifth-seeded UMBC, 59-57, in the quarterfinals… Morgan Frame led the way with 21 points and shot 9-of-13 from the field and added six rebounds, while Kelsey Hogan recorded 12 points on 4-of-6 shooting from the floor… Denise Beliveau posted 11 points and a team-high nine rebounds. As a team, the Wildcats shot 44 percent from the field and outrebounded the Retrievers by a 37-32 margin… UNH finished the regular season with its first winning season since 2005-06 and its most wins since 2001-02… Beliveau, an America East All-Conference First Team and All-Defensive Team selection, leads the Wildcats with 8.6 rebounds per game and ranks second in scoring (13.8)… Frame earned America East Second Team honors and boasts a team-best 16.3 points per game… The Wildcats paced the America East in both free throw percentage (71.1) and 3-point field goal percentage (32.3).

ABOUT THE WBI

New Hampshire is the first team from the America East Conference to participate in the Women's Basketball Invitational. The WBI was established in 2010 and features a mix of mid-major and BCS teams from across the country. The single-elimination tournament fields 16 teams and is divided into an eight-team East region and an eight-team West region. UNH's only other postseason trip came in 1999 when the Wildcats fell to Arkansas State in the first round of the WNIT.

IF UNH WINS…

  • It would be the first men's or women's postseason win in UNH basketball history
  • UNH would hit the 17-win mark for the first time since the 1998-99 campaign (19-8)
  • It would be the UNH's first win at Holy Cross since 1998

TOURNAMENT TESTED

Morgan Frame enjoyed her playoff debut at the 2012 America East Championships tournament as she posted a team-high 21 points in a quarterfinal loss to UMBC. Denise Beliveau has the most playoff experience on the roster with five career games played, all at the conference tournament, and averaged 7.4 points per game and 5.6 rebounds per game in that span.  

WHAT IT MEANS TO BE FROM MAINE

Morgan Frame has been on fire the last five games, averaging 17.0 points per game and shooting 47.8 percent from the floor. Additionally, she has reached double-figures in all five contests, including a 21-point effort against UMBC in the quarterfinals of the America East Tournament and a double-double against Boston University, giving her seven on the season. Frame, who entered the lineup as a mid-year transfer from St. Anselm's College, did not play against Holy Cross earlier this season.

ROAD WARRIORS

New Hampshire will open the WBI on the road at Holy Cross, which should bode well for the Wildcats as they are 9-6 this season when away from the friendly confines of Lundholm Gymnasium. The Wildcats are averaging 58.3 points per game on the road, while Morgan Frame leads the team with 17.2 points per game.  

SAVING THE BEST FOR LAST

Abigail LaRosa saved her best game for the regular season finale as she recorded a season-high 12 points the team's overtime win at Binghamton. LaRosa tied a career-high with four 3-pointers in the contest while her 12 points marked the second game she has recorded double-digit points this season. She previously registered 11 points in a win against NJIT on Dec. 30.

FANTASTIC FOUR WILL SCORE

UNH had four players score in double-figures against Maine, marking the first time the team accomplished the feat since Dec. 30 in a win over NJIT. Denise Beliveau led the attack with a game-high 16 points, followed by Morgan Frame (13), Kelley Flynn (11) and Cari Reed (10).

OH IT'S WORKIN', OVERTIME…

New Hampshire is 4-2 in games decided by five points or less this season and 3-0 in overtime … UNH has outscored the opposition by a 43-29 margin in overtime periods … The Wildcats have shot 57.1 percent (12-21) from the floor in two overtime contests.

RETURN TO FORM

After hitting just six 3-pointers in the previous eight contests, Cari Reed returned to her sharpshooting ways against Stony Brook on Feb. 18 as she went 4-of-7 from beyond the arc. She followed it up with a 3-of-4 performance against Maine for a 7-of-11 (63.6) clip from long range over the two-game span.

A McKNIGHT'S TALE

Bridgette McKnight provided a strong offensive presence off the bench against Stony Brook as she tied season-highs of 10 points and seven rebounds in 20 minutes of action.

HOW SWEEP IT IS

UNH downed Vermont by a 58-48 decision at home on Feb. 11, completing the season sweep over the Catamounts for the first time since the 1998-99 campaign. The Wildcats also swept past Stony Brook and Maine this season.

DOUBLE TROUBLE

Teammates Denise Beliveau and Morgan Frame both posted double-double performances at Albany on Feb. 8 and the duo now led the conference with a combined 17 double-doubles on the season. Beliveau paced the league with 10, followed by Frame tied for second with seven.

CONFERENCE 'CAT

While Denise Beliveau has established herself as one of the top players in the America East over the course of the season, she has stepped up her game since the start of league play. In conference action, Beliveau finished the regular season ranked second in scoring (14.7), third in 3-point percentage (39.1) and fifth in rebounding (8.7).

BELIVEAU NAMED LOWE'S SENIOR CLASS FINALIST

University of New Hampshire senior co-captain Denise Beliveau was recently selected as one of 10 finalists for the 2012 Lowe's Senior CLASS Award for women's basketball.

The finalists were chosen by a media committee from the list of 60 candidates announced in November. Nationwide fan voting begins immediately to determine the winner. Fans are encouraged to vote on either the Lowe's Senior CLASS Award website or the Lowe's Senior CLASS Award Facebook fan page through March 18. Fan votes will be combined with media and Division I men's and women's basketball head coaches' votes to determine the winner.

A former America East Rookie of the Year and All-Conference Second Team selection, Beliveau graduated in 2010 with a degree in Exercise Science and is currently working toward a graduate degree in Leadership and Children's Health and Disabilities. Beliveau has earned America East Honor Roll accolades four years, including Commissioner's Honor Roll two years, and was named to the Dean's List six semesters. Beliveau was also named to the America East All-Academic Team in 2011.

FOLLOW THE 'CATS ON FACEBOOK

Keep up with the UNH women's basketball program through the newly created facebook fan page, available on the team links section of the women's basketball page at unhwildcats.com.

TRIFECTA TRIO

Kelsey Hogan, Denise Beliveau and Cari Reed make up one of the most lethal 3-point shooting combinations in the America East as all three are ranked in the top-10 in 3-point field goal percentage. Hogan leads the America East in the category (43.2), while Reed ranks fifth (35.8) and Beliveau ranks seventh (34.7). As a team, UNH led the league in 3-point field goal percentage, shooting 32.3 percent from behind the arc.

DEEP THREAT

Kelsey Hogan, the most efficient 3-point shooter in the league at 43.2 percent, shot 4-of-6 from beyond the arc against Binghamton. Her four treys tied a season-high as she also netted four 3-pointers in the season-opener at Brown.

MOVIN' ON UP

After posting 11 points against UMBC, Denise Beliveau continues to climb the charts in the school record books as she now ranks sixth all-time in scoring with 1,341 points. She also ranks fourth in rebounds (835), fourth in 3-point field goals made (140) and third in steals (196) all-time in program history.

DOUBLE JEOPARDY

Denise Beliveau posted 14 points and 12 rebounds at Binghamton for her league-best 10th double-double of the season. The senior has notched eight of her double-doubles on the road this season, including one on a neutral site against NJIT. Beliveau is no stranger to the accomplishment as she posted a conference-best 11 double-doubles last season.

PERFECT 10

New Hampshire logged its 10th victory of the season on Jan. 16 in a 63-53 victory over Stony Brook, marking the first time the Wildcats have reached double-digit wins since the 2005-06 campaign (15-13). It was also the earliest UNH has reached the 10-win mark since the 1998-99 season (19-8), when the Wildcats picked up their 10th win on Jan. 11.

BOARD GAMES

New Hampshire posted 55 rebounds at Vermont on Jan. 14, marking the most by any team in the conference this season. Individually, Denise Beliveau grabbed a career-best 17 rebounds, the most by a Wildcat this season. Beliveau ranks third in the America East in rebounding with 8.6 boards per contest and leads the league in defensive rebounds (6.1). As a team, the Wildcats are 11-4 when they pull down more rebounds than the opposition.

DYNAMIC DUO

The tandem of Denise Beliveau and Morgan Frame is one of the top scoring combinations in the conference, averaging 30.5 points per game since Frame entered the lineup as a mid-year transfer from St. Anselm's College, which accounts for more than half the team's points in the span (50.8 %). Additionally, the duo is averaging a combined 15.8 rebounds per game in the 21-game stretch, leading UNH to a 12-9 record.

SWEET CHARITY

New Hampshire went a perfect 13-of-13 at the free throw line against Manhattan. The Wildcats pace the league with a 71.1 percent mark at the free throw line.

ALL-AROUND EFFORT

Denise Beliveau netted 11 points against UMBC, scoring in double-figures in 17 of the last 19 contests. She has scored in double-figures in 24 of 29 games this season. In the America East conference, Beliveau is ranked in the top-10 in eight statistical categories. She is atop the leaderboard in defensive rebound average (6.1) and is fourth in scoring at 13.8 points per game. Her other top rankings include 3-point field goal percentage (seventh, 34.7), rebounding (third, 8.6) and steals (fifth, 2.1).

STARTING STRONG

The UNH starting five accounted for all but two of the team's 79 points in the win over NJIT on Dec. 30. Denise Beliveau led the way with 24 points, while Morgan Frame (20), Kelsey Hogan (13) and Abigail LaRosa (11) also reached double-figures. Cari Reed just missed the mark with nine points and also dished out a career-best seven assists. In all, the team's 79 total points mark the highest scoring output of the season.

FRAMEWORK

Morgan Frame, a junior transfer from St. Anselm's College, erupted for a career-high 35 points and 12 rebounds at Wagner in just her second career game as a Wildcat. 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, earning America East Player of the Week honors for her efforts. 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 notched a double-double in each of her first two games after becoming eligible as a mid-year transfer last season.

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.

CARDIAC 'CATS

New Hampshire has played its best basketball in close games this season, as the team is 4-2 in games decided by five points or less. 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.   

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 tied three others for the second-highest single-game three-point field goals made in America East history.

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 seventh place with 1,341 career tallies.

HOGAN'S HEROES

Kelsey Hogan is in the midst of a great sophomore campaign as she ranks third on the team in scoring with 10.0 points per game, netting double-digit numbers in nine games. A proven player in crunch time situations, Hogan posted 15 points at Cornell, including the game-winning basket with one-tenth of a second left on the clock to secure the, 63-62 victory. In UNH's season-opener at Brown, Hogan erupted for a game-high 17 points, more than she had in any single game last season, shooting 4-of-5 from downtown and also added a career-high nine boards. Hogan went on to best that mark with 10 rebounds against Seton Hall.

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