UNH men’s basketball (1-0) came out fast against Curry College (0-1) in their opening night matchup. The team took positionless basketball to a different level as each player that took the court showed the ability to run the floor and command the offense.
UNH started quickly as they took an assertive 15-0 lead within the first five minutes of action. 6-foot-5-inch junior guard Sean Sutherlin contributed 6 of those first 15 points. Sutherlin ended the night with 16 points and 10 rebounds. The junior slashed to the hoop and found ways to score within the paint all night.
By the end of the first half the Wildcats held a 45-point lead with a score of 53-8. UNH only allowed three made field goals by Curry, and forced 10 turnovers, including two blocks and four steals in the first half.
UNH ran the floor well in the first 20 minutes and played the transition game to perfection. The ball movement helped find the open man consistently under the hoop, making for easy buckets.
In the second half, the Wildcats seemed to play more on the perimeter as opposed to the inside game they played in the first. The team slowed the game down and attempted to operate in more of a half-court offense which created more jump shots. The team’s field goal percentage dropped from 62 percent to 50 percent from the first half to the second.
While the team was settling for more outside looks, they still managed to dominate the inside all night long against the smaller Curry team. Sophomore forward Jayden Martinez shot six-for-seven and added 15 points to the win.
The biggest night came from sophomore forward Nick Guadarrama. The big man had the most efficient night of anybody on the team with 20 points on seven-of-eight shooting, including two-for-two from downtown. Guadarrama led the way with 18 boards on the night as well. The sophomore gave a lot of credit to his teammates for his monster night.
“My teammates were able to find me when I was open. I try to do as many positive things on the floor as I can when I’m out there and try and put my teammates in the right position.”
While the offense stood out on opening night, head coach Bill Herrion noted how defense was the emphasis heading into the opener.
“We had to become a much tougher basketball team mentally and physically, and a much better defensive team than we were a year ago. The last six weeks of practice has been focused on the defensive end of the floor.”
Herrion touched upon the upcoming matchup against Holy Cross at home on Saturday, November 9 at 1 p.m.
“We’ve got a great opportunity here at home on Saturday against Holy Cross. It’s going to be a very tough game, but we’ve got a great opportunity here at home to get to 2-0.”