The semi-final match-ups are all set for this Tuesday night in America East playoffs. The lone upset of the quarterfinals took place at Stony Brook as Binghamton upset the Seawolves 78-72 to advance. The remaining four teams are now re-seeded to gives us the matchups for Tuesday night. It will be Hartford (18-14) heading down to UMBC (20-12) and Vermont (25-6) hosting Binghamton (10-21). Both games have seven o’clock starts.
For the top-seeded Catamounts, this will be their 17th semifinal appearance in the last 18 years. They are led by two first-team All-Conference members in forward, Anthony Lamb, and guard Ernie Duncan. Vermont is poised to make another trip to the conference finals. Their opponent, Binghamton, won their first tournament game since 2012, and it will be their first semifinal appearances since 2009. They are led by Rookie Of The Year, guard Sam Sessoms, who ranks third in scoring (18.1 PPG) and is fifth in assists (3.5 per game). An uphill fight for sure for Binghamton, but one where they have nothing to lose.
The other semifinal pits Hartford on the road against UMBC. The Hawks are coming off a tough win at home vs UMass Lowell in which their seniors stepped up when it mattered the most. Hartford has won five of their last six games and is seeded in the top four for the first time in five seasons. UMBC is a top three seed for the second year in a row. It’s the first time in program history they have accomplished this. They are the defending America East Champions and come into this matchup having won eleven of its last 14 games. They are led by first-team selection Joe Sherburne, who ranks in the top eleven in both scoring (14.3 a game) and rebounding (5.4 a night). Maryland-Baltimore County lost the two regular-season meeting between the two teams.
Stony Brook’s loss to Binghamton snapped a streak of nine straight years of making the semifinals. Their 24-win season is an 11-win improvement over last year. The consecutive years of making the semifinals tied Vermont for the longest streak in the conference.
UMass Lowell’s red-shirt junior Christian Lutete was named second team all-conference selection as well as to the All-Academic team. He is just the second River Hawk to be named to the second team since the program moved to Division One. Lutete is also the third All-Academic selection for the program. He boasts a 3.76 GPA as an Economics Major and was named to the Google-Cloud Academic All-District honoree last month.
Senior guard, J.R. Lynch of Hartford, will graduate as the only player to record one thousand points, three hundred assists, and one hundred and fifty steals for his career. He ranks second in assists, third in steals, and eighth in scoring in program history.
Hartford now has a new member of the one thousand point club. Senior center George Blagojevic became the newest to join the group in Saturday’s win over Lowell. He needed only a point to reach the milestone which he did in the first half. Blagojevic becomes the sixteenth member of the club.