College Basketball

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New Hampshire (9-19) vs. Vermont (19-10)



The Sports Network

DATE & TIME: Saturday, March 9, 12 p.m. (et)

FACTS & STATS: Site: SEFCU Arena (4,538) -- Albany, New York. Television: ESPN3.com. Home Record: UNH 6-6, Vermont 10-4. Away Record: UNH 3-13, Vermont 9-6. Neutral Record: UNH 0-0, Vermont 0-0. Conference Record: UNH 5-11, Vermont 11-5. Series Record: Vermont leads, 87-49.

GAMES NOTES: Kicking off the 2013 America East Tournament will be a matchup between the No. 7 seed New Hampshire Wildcats and the No. 2 seed Vermont Catamounts at SEFCU Arena on Saturday.

The Wildcats had a bit of success to wrap up the regular season as they won two of their last three games after losing four of five previously. Still the Wildcats were one of the lesser teams in the conference this season finishing 9-19 overall and 5-11 in league action. New Hampshire has also been one of the worst teams in the conference come tournament time with no league titles and a 9-30 record in the annual event.

Vermont on the other hand has been one of the more dominant programs in the America East during its history. The Catamounts own the second most league titles (five) including last season's. The Catamounts were in the hunt at the top of the standings this season with an 11-5 conference record but they lost out on the top seed to Stony Brook.

These two border rivals have met 137 times previously with Vermont dominating in the all-time series with 87 wins. That included a season sweep this year. The winner this time around will face the victor in the first round matchup between UMBC and Hartford.

New Hampshire grabbed a 79-74 win against another New England area rival, Maine, in the regular-season finale. Ferg Myrick edged himself even closer to the 1,000 career point mark with a team-best 27 points in the contest. It was the Wildcats' 3-point shooting that was most important as they outscored the Bears, 27-9, from long range.

Myrick (13.6 ppg, 6.2 rpg) is one of three double-figure scorers on the roster for the Wildcats all of which shoot worse than 40 percent from the field. Patrick Konan (11.7 ppg) and Chandler Rhoads (11.2 ppg, 3.5 apg) are the other two members of that group. Chris Pelcher (9.4 ppg, 6.5 rpg) is the leading rebounder and has thus seen the bulk of his shots come from near the basket, where he connects on 53.4 percent of his shots. As a team the Wildcats were the third worst squad in the conference in terms on points scored (60.8 pg) while shooting less than 40 percent as a unit.

A 3-pointer at the buzzer from Hartford's Nate Sikma sank Vermont in a 61-58 decision in the regular-season finale. The Catamounts were the dominant team inside, outscoring the Hawks, 28-10, in the paint. However they were outscored 36-18 from beyond the arc.

Vermont punches its meal ticket on the defensive end of the floor. The Catamounts own the 23rd best scoring defense in the country (59 pg), while also ranking among the top 60 teams in the nation in opponent field-goal percentage (.403). On offense the Catamounts are a bit more understated as they score just 63.3 points per game, while shooting nearly 44 percent from the field. Clancy Rugg (11.5 ppg, 5.7 rpg) is the leading scorer on the roster with Sandro Carissimo (10.0 ppg) and Luke Apfeld (10.8 ppg) adding scoring depth. Brian Voelkel (6.0 ppg, 8.9 rpg) doesn't score in bunches but is vital on the glass, where he ranks second in the conference.

Vermont has made it a habit of just finding ways to win despite a lack of offensive firepower. The Catamounts' strong showings on defense should continue against a New Hampshire team that doesn't exactly light up the scoreboard.

Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Vermont 69, New Hampshire 59

03/09 10:45:33 ET

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Scoreboard
Local
Final
NOR 1
DUR 2
 
1:05pm Today
NOR
DUR
 
3:30pm Today
MIA
CHA
Final
WAS 3
STL 4
Final
CLE 0
TOR 5
Final
DET 5
ANA 2
Final
BOS 4
BAL 2
Final
KAN 5
MIN 4
Final
CHC 8
CIN 4
Final
OAK 4
HOU 3
Final
PIT 7
MIL 8
Final
NYM 5
ATL 7
Final
TAM 16
NYY 1
Final
MIA 7
SEA 0
Final
TEX 6
CWS 3
Final
LOS 8
ARI 6
Final
COL 3
PHI 1
Final
SDP 3
SFG 1
1:05pm Today
CLE
TOR
 
1:08pm Today
DET
ANA
 
1:10pm Today
NYM
ATL
 
1:10pm Today
MIA
SEA
 
1:35pm Today
PIT
MIL
 
1:35pm Today
WAS
STL
 
1:40pm Today
TAM
NYY
 
2:10pm Today
KAN
MIN
 
2:20pm Today
CHC
CIN
 
3:05pm Today
TEX
CWS
 
4:05pm Today
OAK
HOU
 
4:10pm Today
LOS
ARI
 
4:10pm Today
COL
PHI
 
4:10pm Today
SDP
SFG
 
7:05pm Tonight
BOS
BAL
 
Final
TOR 87
BRK 94
Final
LAC 105
GSW 109
Final
IND 93
ATL 101
4th
OKC 89
MEM 77
 
1:00pm Today
SAN
DAL
3:30pm Today
MIA
CHA
7:00pm Tonight
CHI
WAS
9:30pm Tonight
HOU
POR
Final
STL 4
CHI 3
Final
PIT 3
CLB 4
3rd
COL 3
MIN 1
 
12:00pm Today
NYR
PHI
3:00pm Today
BOS
DET
7:00pm Tonight
MON
TAM
10:00pm Tonight
SJS
LOS
Final
NOR 1
DUR 2
 
1:05pm Today
NOR
DUR