The first month of conference play is almost in the books. The two teams most had fighting it out for the top spot are doing just that. Stony Brook and Vermont are one and two in the league standings to know one’s surprise. What might be is the team currently sitting in third place, and that is the UMass Lowell Riverhawks. With that said, here is a look back at the last seven days in America East.
The game of the week in league play will take place this Saturday when the top two teams collide on Long Island. The Vermont Catamounts (15-4, 5-0) will travel down to Long Island to take on the Stony Brook Seawolves (16-3, 4-0). Vermont has won six in a row and twelve of its last thirteen games. They are led by Junior forward Anthony Lamb and the Cats have won a conference-record twenty-one straight league games on the road. Stony Brook comes into this game on a bit of a roll themselves having won six straight games and posting impressive non-conference wins over South Carolina and Northern Iowa.
Picked to finish dead last in the pre-season poll, the Riverhawks are slowly starting to prove those people wrong. They are above .500 at 11-9 overall and 3-2 in America East on MLK day for the first time since becoming a division one school. They have won three straight and five of its last seven games. On Wednesday night, the Riverhawks will look to keep things going on the road at Binghamton.
UAlbany head coach, Will Brown, had an idea that this could be a bit of a rough go for his Great Danes. After all, due to graduation and transferring players, it has left the roster somewhat depleted. Of the current fifteen man roster that coach Brown has to work with, nine of them are freshman including four first-year starters. After a recent loss to the Riverhawks, Brown was asked if the weakness of this team now could become its strength later on. His reply was “that is the plan”.
The #AEHoops player of the week is Riverhawks forward Christian Lutete. In a week that saw his team go 2-0, Lutete was a big reason why. He averaged 24.3 points and nine and a half rebounds. Christian shot 61 percent from the field (14-for-23) and scored a career-high 35 points to go along with eight rebounds in Lowell’s win at Hartford last Saturday. Before that performance, Lutete recorded his seventh double-double of the season and his second in America East play when he went for 13 points and 11 rebounds in a home win vs the Great Danes. He is second in scoring in the league at 18.1 a night, while still leading in rebounds with eight a game. He also leads in field goal percentage at .549 (128-for-233).
The rookie of the week is UMBC guard Jose Placer. He average 14.,5 points, and four and a half assists in a 2-0 week for his team. He shot (11-for-16), .690 from the field. He scored a career-high 22 points on eight of eleven shooting and had four assists in a victory over UAlbany. He came into last week averaging five and a half points per game and just under two assists a ball game.