Top Four Seeds Advance to #AEPlayoffs Semifinals
For the third time in the last four seasons, but just the third time since 1999, the top four seeds advanced to the America East men’s basketball semifinals as each won #AEPlayoffs quarterfinal games on Wednesday. The top three seeds- #1 Vermont, #2 Stony Brook and #3 Albany- all jumped out to early leads and posted convincing victories over #8 Maine, #7 Binghamton and #6 Hartford, respectively, while #4 New Hampshire held off a second-half charge from #5 UMBC.
The top four teams in the league standings, which have combined for 85 wins on the year, will meet in the semifinals Monday with Vermont hosting New Hampshire at 7 p.m. and Albany visiting Stony Brook at 7:30 p.m.
Read more about the quarterfinals below. For full playoff coverage, including box scores, highlights and more, visit #AEPlayoffs Central.
at #1 Vermont 86, #8 Maine 41
- Vermont (27-6) scored 25 of the game’s first 32 points and never looked back in advancing to the semifinals for the 15th time in the last 16 years.
- The Catamounts shot 61 percent from the field and held Maine (7-25) to a 31 percent clip to extend the longest win streak in the country to 19 games.
- Vermont outscored Maine, 60-16, in the paint.
- Anthony Lamb, the league’s Rookie of the Year, led four Catamounts in double figures with 23 points on perfect 10-of-10 shooting.
- Andrew Fleming paced Maine with 16 points.
at #2 Stony Brook 70, #7 Binghamton 60
- Stony Brook (18-12) ran out to a 21-point lead within the game’s first 11 minutes and held off Binghamton (12-20) to reach the semifinals for the eighth-consecutive season.
- The Seawolves’ defense held Binghamton to just 23 first-half points and 31 percent shooting for the game.
- Stony Brook got 37 points from its bench, led by a career-high 21 points from Akwasi Yeboah.
- First-team All-Conference selection Lucas Woodhouse led Stony Brook with 24 points.
- Willie Rodriguez recorded a double-double of 20 points and 14 rebounds for Binghamton.
at #3 Albany 100, #6 Hartford 71
- Albany (20-12) built a 37-10 lead midway through the first half and led by as many as 37 to advance to the semifinals for the fifth time in six years.
- It’s the first time a team has scored 100 points in a playoff game since 2001.
- The Great Danes shot 61 percent from the floor and made 13 three-pointers, the third-most ever in a playoff contest.
- First-team all-leaguer David Nichols scored a career-high 40 points, which is tied for the fourth-most ever in a playoff game.
- Second-teamer Joe Cremo nearly had a triple-double, recording 14 points, eight rebounds and 10 assists.
- Jalen Ross, a third-team All-Conference selection, led Hartford (9-23) with 22 points in his final game as a Hawk.
at #4 New Hampshire 74, #5 UMBC 65
- New Hampshire (20-12) grew a seven-point halftime advantage to 13 early in the second and held off UMBC (18-12) to post their sixth-straight win and move onto the semifinals for the third-straight year.
- The Retrievers used a 12-0 run to cut the deficit to 52-51 with 8:33 left, but a 7-0 spurt by UNH helped thwart the comeback attempt.
- It’s the first time in program history that UNH has reached the semis in three consecutive seasons.
- UNH shot 55 percent from the field and was 9-of-19 from three-point land.
- Second-team All-Conference choices Tanner Leissner and Jaleen Smith each scored 20 points for UNH.
- Jairus Lyles, a second-teamer, had 17 to pace UMBC.