College Basketball: UNH teams looking to bouce back
Maureen Magarity’s women’s team was picked fourth in the pre-season America East coaches poll behind Albany, Hartford and Stony Brook.
America East remains a nine-team league with Massachusetts Lowell moving up from Division II to take the place of Boston University, which has moved on to the Patriot League.
The Wildcats slipped to a 12-18 overall record and 6-10 mark in the league last year after finishing at 16-14 and 9-7 in America East the year before.
Kelsey Hogan, a guard out of Nashua North, lost two seasons with knee injuries early in her career. She’s back for her sixth and final season.
The top two scorers from a year ago — Cari Reed (12.4 points a game) and Morgan Frame (10.8) — are gone. Hogan was next at 9.8 points and junior center Kaylee Kirkpatrick followed her at 7.6.
Magarity’s starting lineup for Saturday night will probably have junior Ariel Gaston and sophomore Elizabeth Belanger joining Hogan at guard and has Kirkpatrick and junior Corinne Coia up front.
“Both Corinne and Kaylee do a real good job of getting up and down the floor,” Magarity said. “For as big as they are, they’re very mobile.”
“It should be an interesting year in the league,” she said. “All the big guns lost some people. I think the league will be up for grabs.
After posting at least a dozen wins in four straight seasons, the Wildcats went 9-20 overall and 5-11 in America East last year.
“We took a real step back a year ago emotionally, competitively and respect-wise and we’ve got to get those things back,” said Bill Herrion, who is entering his ninth year at UNH.
It’s a young team overall, but there are four seniors, led by Chris Pelcher, a 6-foot-10 center, and Patrick Konan, a 6-foot-6 forward.
Konan averaged 11.8 points and 6.2 rebounds and Pelcher was at 9.1 and 6.3 last year.
Guards Jordon Bronner and Scott Morris are the other seniors.
The fifth starter is apt to come from a group that includes Tommy McDonnell, a junior guard from Durham, and freshmen John Edwards and Daniel Dion.