When the week comes to an end, the halfway point of the conference season will be reached by all teams. With five weeks left, it’s all downhill from here on in. On the women’s side of things, the two unbeaten will meet this Wednesday night to settle who will be in first place by themselves to begin the second half of play. Here is what else is going on in America East basketball.
It has been a difficult time for the UMass Lowell River Hawks. They just finished a three-game road trip to Maine, Albany, and Vermont, where they did not play their best basketball at all. The defensive end is where the River Hawks had the most trouble. In those three games, they gave up a combined 297 points. They allowed 100 or more points twice to both Maine and Albany while giving up 92 to Vermont on Saturday night. Something has to happen and quickly before this season becomes a lost one. Hopefully, some home cooking will be just what the doctor ordered as Lowell will host Stony Brook on Wednesday night, then UNH on Saturday.
Speaking of the Great Danes, our America East Player of the Week comes from there. Sophomore guard Chase Healy had himself quite a night vs the River Hawks last Wednesday. He scored a program-record 41 points on 13-of-23 from the floor, 8-of-14 from three-point range, and was a perfect 7-for-7 from the foul line in the victory. He would also add seven rebounds to go along with those points. The 41 points matched the most scored in a conference game since Vermont’s Taylor Coppenrath had 41 vs Northeastern back on January 4, 2004. In his teams’ two games, he averaged 25.5 points and seven boards. Healy leads the league in Free Throw Shooting at 90%, (70-of-77) This is Healy’s first weekly award.
For the third time this season, Binghamton forward George Tinsley was named Rookie of the Week in a week that saw the team split a pair of games. Tinsley averaged 13.5 points, and 6.5 rebounds. He shot 79 percent from the floor at 11-of-14. Tinsley is also the team leader in rebounding and is third in the conference at 7.9 a game. He is fifth in the league in blocked shots at 1.1 per game. He leads in minutes played at 38 a night.
Stony Brook, at the moment, finds themselves in second place in the league a game back of first-place Vermont. The Seawolves have been very good at both ends of the court. On offense, they rank second in scoring behind the River Hawks at 71 points a night, while on defense, Stony Brook allows 65.6 a game. With these numbers, Stony Brook is second in margin at 5.4 behind only Vermont who leads the league with a margin of 11 a game. Stony Brook is the leader in blocked shots at a little over five a game (109 in 21 games) and is second in both offensive and defensive rebounding. On offense, they average 10.9 a ballgame and on defense, they average 28.5 a night.
The best board team in the league is New Hampshire. The Wildcats are first in rebounding offense at 42.9 (815 in 19 games), first in both offensive and defensive rebounding. On the offensive end, they average 11.8 a game. On defense, they pull down 31 a game. And you guessed it, they are number one in margin at 7.9. The Wildcats have the top two men on the glass in Sean Sutherlin at nine boards a game and at number two is his teammate Nick Guadarrama at eight a game.
The UMass Lowell River Hawks, 7-0 in league play and winners of eight in a row will travel to Stony Brook to take on a team that has won 16 in a row and is 19-1 overall. They are the best team on the defensive end giving up 54.7 a game and are number one in margin at 11.1 a game. The River Hawks are number one in steals with 8.65 a game, (173 in 20 games).
Next week we take a look at the second half of the conference season from America East..
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