UNH Men’s Basketball: The Wildcats Dominate In Their First Game of the Season

Joey Rizzi, Sports Writer

DURHAM, N.H. – College hoops are back in full swing as the University of New Hampshire (UNH) Wildcats (1-0, 0-0) defeated division 3 foe, the Brandeis Judges (0-0, 0-0) on Monday night by a score of 79-47. 

While this wasn’t division 1 competition, the Wildcats were very happy with this performance and felt they controlled much of the game as they’d hoped. Junior forward Clarence Daniels led the team with a double-double, tallying 18 points, 10 rebounds, and four assists. Nine Wildcats saw double-digit minutes in this one with Graduate guard Matt Herasme leading the way with 31 minutes played. 

The Wildcats were strong from the three-point line, finishing 13-28 as a team from distance. Daniels rattled in two three-pointers of his own and was very impressed with how his team played in their first regular season game. 

“I thought tonight we came out with intensity, and we stuck to the script and played intense defense,” said Daniels. “That’s what we relied on at first and then we got going offensively”. 

Holding Brandeis to only 22 in the second half was certainly impressive, but the offensive efficiency in the second half compared to the first was very notable. UNH shot 56% from the field in the second half while firing at a 58.33% clip from three. 

The Wildcats showed hustle throughout as well. They scored 21 points off turnovers and generated 15 second-chance points. Head coach Bill Herrion was proud of the effort from his team and expects it to continue. 

“We’ve always been a team and a program that kind of hangs our hat on playing really hard,” said the head coach. “Really competing, trying to be physical, and being very good defensively.”

UNH inherited 10 new players this season and Herrion noted that this has been one of the trickiest off-seasons in recent history. 

“Trying to change habits with older college players is really really difficult,” said Herrion. “What I’m really encouraged with, though, is how quickly these guys have bought into the defensive end of the floor. In our two close scrimmages, we were really good defensively [as well].”

Brandeis shot 34% from the field and only 15.8% from the three-point line. The size and athleticism of UNH overpowered the Judges and resulted in a physical game on that side of the court. 

Among the most impactful players for UNH was Junior guard Kyree Brown. Brown scored 18 points on a whopping 70% shooting from the field. He added five assists and was very complimentary to Clarence Daniels in the 28 minutes he played. 

The Wildcats were pleased with this one as they look ahead to their next contest at home against the Fairfield University Stags (0-1, 0-0) on Friday. Lundholm Gymnasium will be packed for a matchup not seen since 2018 when the Stags beat the Wildcats by six.