Vermont, Albany Advance to #AEPlayoffs Title Game
For the third year in a row, the No. 1 and No. 3 seeds will meet for the America East men’s basketball title as top-seeded Vermont and third-seeded Albany each won semifinal contests Monday to advance to the conference’s championship game.
Vermont led by as many as 36 and overwhelmed fourth-seeded New Hampshire, 74-41, to advance to their 10th championship game since 2003, while Albany used a 21-6 run bridging the first and second halves to beat second-seeded Stony Brook, 63-56, to reach its sixth title game since 2006.
The Catamounts and Great Danes, who met for the league title in 2006, 2007 and 2013, will decide the 2017 champion on Saturday at 11 a.m. at Vermont’s Patrick Gym. The game will be nationally televised on ESPN2.
#1 Vermont 74, #4 New Hampshire 41
- Vermont (28-5) shot 56 percent from the field and never trailed en route to a convincing win over New Hampshire (20-12) in the semifinals.
- The Catamounts will play in their 11th title game in program history and 10th since 2003.
- Vermont, which extended the nation’s longest win streak to 20 games, are the first America East team ever to win 28 games.
- The Catamounts jumped out to a 12-4 advantage and held New Hampshire to a 1-for-16 shooting mark to start the game.
- Vermont led by 17 at halftime, grew its advantage to 28 by the 13 minute mark of the second half and pushed the margin to as many as 37 late in the frame.
- Overall, Vermont shot 56.3 percent from the floor and hit 10-of-19 three-pointers, while holding New Hampshire to just 28 percent from the field and 1-of-14 from three.
- Anthony Lamb scored a game-high 24 points, added six rebounds and hit a career-high six three-pointers.
- Payton Henson added 14 points and Dre Wills had 12.
- Senior Jaleen Smith paced UNH with 13 points.
#3 Albany 63, #2 Stony Brook 56
- Albany (21-12) used a 21-6 run bridging the two halves and held off a late charge from Stony Brook to move on to the title game.
- The Great Danes will be playing in their sixth championship game, all since 2006, and have never lost in the league final.
- The game featured five ties and eight lead changes, all in the first half.
- First-team All-Conference standout David Nichols’ jumper with 2:13 left in the first half gave Albany a 24-22 lead and it would not trail again.
- That bucket was the second of Albany’s 21-6 run, which was capped by a layup by Greig Stire with 16:42 to go and gave the Great Danes a 41-28 lead.
- Stony Brook (18-13) followed with a 9-0 run of its own and closed to within two at 55-53 with 3:41 to go.
- But, Albany held Stony Brook to just one field goal the rest of the way to advance to its fourth title game in five years.
- The Great Danes held a 34-28 edge on the glass.
- Nichols had 19 points to lead Albany while Devonte Campbell had 16 points and seven rebounds.
- First-team all-leaguer Lucas Woodhouse led Stony Brook with 25 points.