The men’s basketball team travels Northeast to take on the University of New Hampshire Thursday in the second-leg of a home-and-home series.
The Wildcats are 1-0 this season as they opened up their 2016-2017 campaign with a 73-59 win against Schreiner University on Friday.
UNH comes into its game against the Wildcats having played two games already, winners of both. Its first came against Lesley University with a 80-65 score and its second was a close 57-52 win over Temple.
“We traveled about 7 hours by bus for a scrimmage a couple weeks ago,” said sophomore forward Hayden Howell. “I think that provides some preparation for this. We’ll have plenty of time to get acclimated through practice before the game on Thursday. I think everyone has been looking forward to the game. We got a lot of respect for them and want to play this one pretty bad.”
Heading into the game against New Hampshire, sophomore guard/forward Jaren Lewis is the leading score, after he put up 14 points against Schreiner.
Lewis, Howell, and sophomore center Jalone Friday lead the team with seven rebounds each, while senior guard Jovan Crnic leads the team with four assists.
“We are all excited about this game because it’s something we have been waiting for as a team since we lost to them on our home court last year,” said Friday. “We are prepared and hungry for the win because this will be a true test for our team as New Hampshire just beat Temple last night.”
For New Hampshire, senior guards Jaleen Smith and Daniel Dion lead the team in scoring averaging 13.5 points after their two games.
Smith put up an impressive 20 points against Lesley and seven points in their win over Temple. Dion had 15 in the Lesley game and put up 12 against Temple.
Smith also leads the team in assists with 12, and is tied in the team lead for rebounds with junior forward Tanner Leissner at 20 a piece.
“We are confident but we are also aware that we will have to play twice as hard since winning on the road always takes an extra step,” said Friday. “Big opportunity for us and we’ll see our team’s identity after this one.”
The game is set to tip off at 7 P.M. in New Hampshire and 6 P.M. Central time. The radio broadcast will also air locally on KTLT 98.1. Last year when UNH visited Abilene, the Wildcats fell late 86-75.