After one week’s worth of play in America East, three teams Hartford, Stony Brook, and Albany are undefeated. For the Seawolves, keeping that meant doing something they had not been able to do in their last seven tries, go to Burlington, VT. and win. The 81-77 victory, was, to some who were there to see it, one of the best college basketball games played. The rematch, which is scheduled for later in the conference season at Stony Brook, may be one to circle on the calendar as must viewing. Here is some of what else is going on in the league.
The America East Player of the Week comes from Stony Brook. Elijah Olaniyi had a monster week for the Seawolves. In the 2-0 week just finished, he would record double-doubles in both wins. Against Vermont last Wednesday night, Elijah went for 28 points and 11 rebounds. In Saturday’s win vs the UNH Wildcats, he went for 22 points and 11 boards. For the week just ended, he averaged 25 points, 11 rebounds, and three assists. He is third in league scoring averaging 18.88 a game, This is Olaniyi’s third weekly award of the season and career. The other two were on December 9 and 30.
The Rookie of the Week is Binghamton guard Brenton Mills. The freshman out of Allen, Texas had a solid week for the Bearcats. In a week that saw the team go 1-1, Mills averaged 18 points and five rebounds. In Binghamton’s win over Maryland-Baltimore County, Mills went for a game-high 22 points. He is fifth in the league with 33 minutes played per game. This is Mills’ second weekly award with the other coming back on November 25.
The Hartford Hawks had the weekend off which for them may not have been such a great idea. After defeating UMass Lowell on Jan. 8, the Hawks had won five of their last six games and were 2-0 in conference play for the first time since the 2012-13 season. It pushed their overall record above the .500 mark for the first time since November 21. Grad student, Traci Carter, has made an impact on this team. He leads America East in steals with 2.2 per ballgame and leads the conference in assists with 4.2 a game. His Assists/Turnover Ratio is 1.71 which can be better, but his value to this team is off the charts. Off the bench, the Hawks have been getting a nice return from D.J. Mitchell. The sophomore has scored in double-figures in three of his last seven games. Hartford will need him and the rest of the troops on Wednesday night when they will host Stony Brook in an early-season showdown.
Binghamton guard Sam Sessoms is having a wonderful start for the Bearcats. Head coach Pat Duquette of the River Hawks called him “one of the best players in our league.” He is second in scoring at 19.3 a night, second in assists with 4.4 a game, and is third in steals with 1.6 a contest. Sam is not bad from the foul line either, an 83% free throw shooter (35-of-42). Sam is also third in minutes played at 34 minutes a ballgame.
Maryland-Baltimore County is among the leaders in a couple of different stat lines. First, they lead in Field Goal Percentage at 45% (445-of-985) and also first in Turnover Margin at 1.35. They averaged 13 a game to their opponent’s 14 a game. Maryland-Baltimore County is third in Assists/turnovers Ratio at 1.05. They put up 14 assists a night (239 total) and turn the ball over at 13 a game (228 total). They are also second in Rebounding Defense at 34.5 in 17 games for a total of 587.
Next week, more from the America East Conference.