Doucette’s America East Basketball Notes 2/17/17

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With a little over one week left in the regular season, one team is looking for a perfect season. Another one is finishing up a postseason ban, and the rest are getting ready for conference tournament time. Such is life in America East where one bid is all that is up for grabs.

The Vermont Catamounts are having a season to remember. With their win over UMASS-Lowell on Wednesday night, the Cats become the fourth team in league history to start conference play at 14-0. They are one of only three teams in Division I to have an undefeated league record. Vermont also owns the second-longest active winning streak at 16 in a row.

Speaking about those River Hawks, their season finale is scheduled for Wednesday night February 22. It will end a four-year reclassification period. The period was put in place with the upgrade of the basketball team from division two to division one. Beginning with 2017-18 season the River Hawks will be eligible for post- season play. Junior Guard Jahad Thomas has been filling the stat sheet all season as he leads the team in career 20-point games (21), ten-point games (62), 10 rebound games (18), double-doubles (15) and this year has added two triple double to his impressive resume. He has led the team in scoring 13 times this year while leading in boards 22.

The conference player of the week is Stony Brook Roland Nyama who earned the honor for the first time this season. Nyama average 22.5 points and 4.5 rebounds in the Seawolves 2-0 record last week. The Rookie of the week has become a staple with this award. Vermont Anthony Lamb has received the honor for a league-best sixth time. In the Cats 3-0 week, Lamb averaged 14.7 a game to go along with 5.7 Boards.

America East is trying to beef up their basketball portfolio by scheduling and winning their share of non-conference games. This year the league has 54 such wins, one shy of the best season when the conference won 55 such games back in 2008-09. Four of these wins came VS teams in the top 100 of the RPI. Albany over Penn State, UNH over Temple and Wofford, Stony Brook over Northeastern. The league boasts two wins over Power 5 conference teams, besides Albany win over the Nittany Lions, Hartford defeated Boston College.

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