Two weeks into the league schedule and a familiar name is leading the pack. The Vermont Catamounts are starting to show why year in and year out the road to the conference title goes through them. In general, it was a good week for the league as games were played as scheduled. On the virus front, the count is now ten games that need to be made up. America East is committed to making these games up and giving every team a full slate of conference games this season. Here is some of what else is going on in America East.
The Catamounts sit atop the league standings with a 3-0 league record and are 11-5 overall. They have won five games in a row, including wins last week over Stony Brook and UMBC. Both victories were led by an offensive barrage that neither of their opponents could handle. In the win over the Seawolves, it was the 3-point shot that got the job done. They would hit 19 of them to set both a conference record and a new program standard. Against the Retrievers, Vermont would put up 86 points in the win. They placed five guys in double-figures and knocked down 13 more shots from behind the arc. They had 19 assists on 32 made baskets while committing only nine turnovers. The win streak has also improved their NCAA NET Rank as Vermont has jumped up 31 spots to 65 in the country trailing only Iona in the region.
Another team that is starting to sneak up on people is Binghamton. The Bearcats are 3-1 in the league and 6-7 overall. While the overall record is nothing to brag about, Binghamton has won three of their last four games. On Sunday at Maine, the Bearcats were beasts on the glass outrebounding the Black Bears by a 42-28 margin in getting the 73-65 victory. Binghamton placed three starters in double-figures and got 38 points in the paint as they crashed the boards all game long. The Bearcats are second in offensive rebounding at 10.5 a game.
Albany has turned things around a bit after getting off to a 0-2 start in the league. The Great Danes put back-to-back good games together that resulted in wins against UMass Lowell and NJIT. Defense was the key in both wins as Albany was able to hold both teams to just under 51 points in those contests. The Great Danes have been putting fans in the stands so far this season leading the league in attendance averaging 2,100 a game.
For the Hartford Hawks, it has been a season to forget, so far. They are the only team in the league that is yet to play a conference game. The virus has become a real problem for the program. One does wonder just how much longer the Hawks will try to play basketball this year. They are scheduled to play twice this week. A home game vs UNH on Wednesday night, then a road game at Vermont on Saturday. Hopefully, these contests can be played. If not, the program may be forced to make a difficult decision about the rest of the season.
The Player of the Week in America East is Finn Sullivan. He averaged 19.5 points in the two wins last week for Vermont. He was very effective from behind the arc in those two games shooting 59% from 3-point range (10-of-27). In the win over Stony Brook, Sullivan went for 19 points on 6-of-8 shooting. Then against UMBC, Finn had himself a 20-point game in helping his team get another win. Sullivan is averaging 1.7 three’s a game.
The Rookie of the Week is once again Maine’s Sam Ihekwoaba. This is the fourth time overall, and the third straight week he has won the award. In the loss to the Bearcats last Saturday, Sam had 13 points on 6-of-10 shooting and 1-of-3 from deep in 28 minutes off the Black Bears bench. He would play the third-most minutes of any player for Maine in that game, and the most off the bench.
Next week we will have more from the America East Conference.
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