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The America East is in full swing. Teams are finishing up their non-conference play as everyone looks forward to the beginning of league play in early January.

The hottest team in the league is Stony Brook. They are off to their best-ever start as a division one program. At eight and one after last night’s victory over Manhattan 69-62, Stony Brook can claim the conference’s best early season win over South Carolina of the SEC. The mark is their best overall since 1990-91.

Another team starting to hit their stride is the Vermont Catamounts. At five and three, coming off a road win this past Monday night at George Washington, the Cats have survived a difficult non-conference schedule. It included games against the likes of Kansas and Louisville.

The America East has had its good moments so far in the early going. A win against an SEC team as noted at the start of this column, and three victories over teams from the Atlantic-10 conference. This will help the league, in general, come March.

The UMass Lowell Riverhawks may have a player to keep an eye on this year. He is freshman Guard Alex Rivera. He is a local product for head coach Pat Duquette and his Riverhawks. In just seven games played, Rivera has already scored 100 points. He becomes the second newcomer in the program’s division one history to do this.

Rivera is also getting plenty of playing time in his freshman campaign as he has logged double-digit in minutes and points coming off the bench for the Riverhawks.

There are Co-players of the week in America East. First, senior guard Justin Dunne of Hartford. In their two wins last week, Dunne was a big reason why. He averaged 22 points and knocked down 11 three-pointers. He also had 19 in the win over Bowling Green which included six from deep.

In their earlier win vs Sacred Heart, Dunne went for 25 points. It’s his first award of the year, and second of his career.

One of the reasons Stony Brook is off to a great start could be the play of junior forward Akwas Yeboah. He has averaged 17.5 points and seven and a half rebounds during last week’s action. He had 16 points in 23 minutes of play in their win over Norfolk State.

In the teams win over Quinnipiac, Yeboah went for 19 points and eight boards in Stony Brook’s victory over the Bobcats. This is already Yeboah third honor of the year. It matches his career-high.

The rookie of the year is R-Fr. Cameron Healy of UAlbany. He averaged 23 points and two and a half assists in last week’s play. He had 22 points against the Dartmouth Big Green and he followed that up with 24 points vs LIU-Brooklyn. This is Healy’s first career #AEhoops rookie of the week honor.

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