Sunday, January 18, 2009

New Hampshire (7-8, 2-1) at UMaine (7-11, 2-3)

Monday, Jan. 19, 7 p.m.
Up is down and down is up as the first-place, yes, first-place, University of New Hampshire Wildcats visit Alfond Arena Monday for a clash of longtime rivals. The game will be the 170th meeting, with UMaine holding a 108-61 advantage.

UNH makes the trip up I-95 having won four of its past five games. The lone defeat, however, was a doozy as Boston University blitzed the Wildcats, 68-37, in Boston. In that game, UNH was 2 for 33 on three-point attempts. The Wildcats have a chance to move to 3-1 in America East play for the first time since the 1991-92 season.

For the Black Bears, it's an opportunity to get to .500 in the league and stay in the middle of the standings.

The Wildcats are led by 6-3 senior guard Tyrece Gibbs (13.5 points, 4.1 rebounds). Center Dane DiLiegro (5 points, 7.3 rebounds) posted America East's best single-game rebounding performance to date with 17 against Hartford. DiLiegro, a 6-8 sophomore, and the Black Bears' Sean McNally (8.7 points, 7.3 rebounds) are two of the league's best offensive rebounders.

Guard Alvin Abreu, a 6-2 sophomore, checks in at 12.4 points a game. Guard Tyrone Conley chips in 10 points a game as the Wildcats are third in the league with an average of eight 3-pointers per game. Another guard, Eric Gilchrese averages 9.2 points.

Last season: The teams split the season series with the Black Bears taking a 75-72 overtime verdict in Durham, N.H. The Wildcats returned the favor with an 81-75 win at Orono.


MattT said...

Should they face guard or protect the paint and hope UNH is cold?

Dan King said...

Don't leave it to hope. Bears can play their zone, but they've got to get out on Gibbs, Conley and Gilcrese. Playing a zone doesn't mean you can't extend it to cover the arc. John Cheney did it for years at Temple. Also, Albany spent much of the game Saturday playing a triangle and two against us. Guarding Socoby and McLemore man-to-man and haviing the other three guys play a zone, with the athletic Harris at the top. Abreu will also shoot the 3, but he's at about 27 percent so he's a guy you might take a chance on. But there's nobody in the league other than Vermont's Blakely that scares me inside. Guard the three-ball. McNally is coming on and we need him to hold his own. Tonight he'll have a good battle with DiLiegro.