Bearcats' Trifunovic and Hawks' Estes Earn Weekly Accolades
CAMBRIDGE, Mass.- Binghamton's Lazar Trifunovic (Belgrade, Serbia/Secondary Railway Tech) received America East Player of the Week honors after averaging 19.5 points and 9.5 rebounds in a pair of games last week. Hartford's Kevin Estes (Richmond, Va./Benedictine) took home Rookie of the Week accolades for the week ending January 1. Click here for complete Weekly Release in PDF format.
A 6-foot-8 sophomore, Trifunovic recorded his fifth double-double of the season with 16 points and 10 rebounds against Fordham on December 28. He followed that performance with 23 points and nine rebounds in the Bearcats' win over St. Bonaventure on Saturday. Trifunovic, who has averaged 21.3 points and 9.0 rebounds in his last four games, leads the league with 8.8 rebounds per contest. He also ranks sixth with 14.3 points per game and a 53.6 percent shooting percentage.
Estes garnered rookie honors after scoring a career-high 12 points and tying his career-best with four rebound in his Virginia homecoming. A 6-foot-7 freshman, Estes hit 5-of-6 shots from the floor, and also had two steals and an assist, as the Hawks were edged by Virginia, 78-70 on Saturday. Estes, who has appeared in all 14 games this season, including six starts, is averaging 4.4 points per game.
Lighting It Up
Vermont shot 62.7 percent (37-59) from the field in a 83-64 victory over Central Connecticut State on Saturday. Junior Mike Trimboli (Norwalk, Conn./St. Luke's School)shot 10-of-15 from the field and led the Catamounts with 23 points. The clip is the best in the conference since the Catamounts shot 64.4 percent against Dartmouth on Dec. 21, 2005.
UMBC set a program record with 17 three-pointers against Ohio State on Saturday. The output bests the previous record of 13, which the Retrievers hit against Goucher on December 8. They also hit 13 treys on December 30, 1994 at LSU. Senior Ray Barbosa (Allentown, Pa./William Allen/James Madison) also set a school record with eight three's of his own. It's the most in America East since Boston University's Carlos Strong canned eight against Binghamton on Feb. 8 last season.
Albany's Brent Wilson became the third player in America East to score his 1,000th point this season, when he reached the milestone against Iowa State on Sunday. Wilson currently ranks third among active conference leaders with 1,003 career points. Vermont's Mike Trimboli surpassed the milestone on November 20 and has 1,184 career points. Stony Brook's Mitchell Beauford scored his 1,000th career point on November 12, while UMBC's Brian Hodges hit the mark on February 15, 2007 and is the league's active scoring leader with 1,298 career points.
With just a handful of non-conference games remaining this season, UMBC is atop several key offensive categories. The Retrievers average 76.8 points per game, best in the conference. UMBC is also tops in three-point field goal percentage (.408), free throw percentage (.762) and assists per game (15.46). Individually, four Retrievers rank in the top 11 in scoring and are pouring in at least 13.7 points per game. Jay Greene leads the league and ranks among NCAA leaders in assists (7.23 apg) and assist-to-turnover ratio (3.48). Vermont is America East's best shooting team overall, hitting 46.4 percent of its shots. Mike Trimboli leads the league in scoring (21.3), while teammate Marqus Blakely is second (18.5). Defensively, Stony Brook is holding teams to just 66 points per game, while Maine is limiting opponents to 41.2 percent shooting and averaging 9.33 steals per contest.
Conference play begins on Thursday with three games. Two-time defending champion Albany opens its title defense at New Hampshire. UMBC, which compiled the league's best non-conference record (8-5) travels to Stony Brook. In a battle of two of the conference's hottest teams, Binghamton travels to Burlington to take on Vermont. The Bearcats have won three of their last four, while the Catamounts have won two straight. Boston University and Maine open its conference slates on Sunday, while Hartford begins league play next week.
Albany (5-7, America East 0-0) ended non-conference play with a 76-64 loss at Iowa State on Dec. 30 ... The game was a homecoming for Brent Wilson (Cedar Rapids, Iowa/Prairie) and Brian Lillis (Urbandale, Iowa/West Des Moines Dowling) ... Both players were Class 4A all-state selections on the high school level ... Wilson became the 28th player in team history to reach the 1,000-point mark before a large contingent of UAlbany fans when he canned a three-point field goal with 12:20 remaining ... Wilson, a 6-foot-8 senior who has 1,003 career points, accounted for 12 points and eight rebounds against Iowa State ... Lillis, whose sister was an All-Big Ten performer at the University of Iowa, scored a team-high 13 points and grabbed six rebounds in his return to the Hawkeye state ... Lillis, a 6-foot-5 senior, has reached double figures in 11 of 12 starts this season ... The Great Danes played before 13,330 fans at Hilton Coliseum, the eighth-largest crowd in the UAlbany’s program’s history ... The Great Danes, who were playing their first-ever Big 12 Conference opponent, have dropped six of seven road games this season ... UAlbany has been plagued by turnovers throughout the opening 12 games, including 15 or more miscues against seven opponents ... Jon Iati (York, Pa./York Catholic) needs 30 points to reach the 1,000-career mark ... Wilson (192) and Iati (191) rank fourth and fifth, respectively, in career 3-point field goals made ... Tim Ambrose (Brentwood, N.Y./Our Savior New American) netted 10 points, all in the second half, versus Iowa State ... Ambrose has scored in twin figures in three of his last four outings off the bench ... Al Turley (Houston, Texas/Westfield) is beginning to see increased minutes ... The 6-foot-7 freshman is averaging 4.0 points and 3.5 rebounds over his last four contests ... Albany starts America East play against New Hampshire on Jan. 3 ... The Great Danes are 3-3 in conference openers.
Binghamton (4-8, America East 0-0) went 1-1 for the week, nearly rallying from 17 points down against Fordham before leading St. Bonaventure from start to finish in another home win ... The Bearcats have won three consecutive games at the Events Center, where the team is averaging 3,350 fans this season ... Sophomore forward Lazar Trifunovic (Belgrade, Serbia/Secondary Railway Tech) averaged 19.5 points and 9.5 rebounds in the two games and ranks among the America East leaders in both categories. Trifunovic posted his fifth double-double of the season with 16 points and 10 rebounds at Fordham. He then poured in a game-high 23 points in the win over the Bonnies. Trifunovic has put up 20 or more points in three of his last four games ... Junior forward Reggie Fuller (Missouri City, Texas/Hightower/Angelina College) grabbed a season-high 10 rebounds to go with five blocks and eight points against the Bonnies. Fuller is averaging 8.0 points, 7.4 rebounds and 2.0 blocks in his last five games ... Freshman guard Chretien Lukusa (Toronto, Ontario/Eastern Commerce) hit 4-of-4 free throws in the final 30 seconds to seal the win over St. Bonaventure. Lukusa has started four straight games and Binghamton is 3-1 in that span.
Boston University (3-8, America East 0-0) fell short in a comeback bid at UMass on Saturday, Dec. 29 in Amherst, Mass. ... The Terriers began the game by not making a field goal for the first seven minutes as UMass ran out an 11-1 lead ... The Minutemen extended that lead to as many as 23 before Boston U. mounted a comeback in the second half, fueled by sophomore guard Carlos Strong’s (Portland, Maine/Deering) 14 second-half points ... Strong ended the game with a team-best 17 points ... His layup at 1:35 trimmed UMass’s lead to three points, 62-59, but Minuteman Chris Lowe made a basket and a pair of free throws to put the game out of Boston U’s reach ... Sophomore guard Corey Lowe (Newton, Mass./Newton North) was second on the team with 13 points ... Sophomore forward Scott Brittain (Oakville, Ont./Iroquois Ridge) added nine points and a season-high 10 rebounds ... Boston University’s 16 assists were its second-highest tally of the season ... The Terriers out-scored UMass in the paint (34-28) and on second-chance baskets (17-6) ... Boston U. returns to action on Wednesday, Jan. 2 at Holy Cross at 7 p.m.
Hartford (5-9, America East 0-0) played its final non-conference road game last week, a 78-70 loss at the University of Virginia. The Hawks hung with the Cavaliers for the entire game but could never get closer than four in the second half. The difference in the contest was at the free throw line, where Virginia made 20-of-33 attempts (61 percent) while Hartford made 10-of-21 (48 percent) ... Junior Jaret Von Rosenberg (Mission, Texas/Sharyland/Collin County) and sophomore Joe Zeglinski (Philadelphia, Pa./Archbishop Ryan) each scored 15 points to lead the Hawks ... Freshman Kevin Estes (Richmond, Va./Benedictine) added a career-high 12 in his Virginia homecoming ... Hartford dropped to 0-8 all-time against ACC opponents and 0-3 against Virginia ... Zeglinski leads the team in scoring at 14.6 points per game while junior Warren McLendon (Dublin, Ga./West Laurens/The Citadel) leads the team in rebounding at 5.6 boards per game ... With the next game he plays in, senior Brian Glowiak (New Britain, Conn./New Britain) will become the 23rd player in Hartford's Division I history to play in 100 career games. He also currently ranks 11th all-time in career three-pointers with 102 makes and needs just seven more to crack the top 10 ... Hartford wraps up non-conference play this weekend at home against Yale University. Tip-off is scheduled for 7 p.m. at Chase Arena at Reich Family Pavilion.
Maine’s (4-8, America East 0-0) game against Colgate is the second game of its four straight road games ... With 10 points versus Canisius, Junior Bernal (Manhattan, N.Y./MCI) now has nine games of double-digit scoring, and four in his last five games...Phil Tchekane Bofia (Yaounde, Cameroon/Redemption Christian) had his second 12 point, six rebound game in three games versus Colgate...Kaimondre Owes’ (Brooklyn, N.Y./Cardinal Hayes) 21 points against Canisius is the fourth-highest point total for a Black Bears this year, and the first time a player who attended high school outside the state of Maine has led the team in scoring...Maine shot the ball well from three-point range against Canisius, shooting 40 % which well above its season average...By the time the Black Bears return home to face Vermont on Jan. 16, they will not have played a regular season home game in over a month.
UMBC (8-5, America East 0-0) senior guard Ray Barbosa (Allentown, Pa./William Allen/James Madison) tied a UMBC school record with eight three-point field goals in a 32-point effort, but a game effort by the Retrievers fell just short, as fell, 92-83 to the Ohio State Buckeyes on Saturday ... UMBC ends the non-conference season at 8-5, while the last year’s national finalists improved to 9-2... The Retrievers smashed the school record by hitting 17 (of 35) three-point field goals, as Barbosa tied the school mark by converting on eight (of 14)... Barbosa tied UMBC Hall of Fame guard Terence Ward (1997-2001) who hit eight from behind the arc on two occasions. .. He hit nine of 14 shots in the second half, including six of nine from behind the arc, as he amassed 24 points in the final 20 minutes... UMBC whittled a 17-point deficit with 7:19 remaining to just six points at 83-77 on a Barbosa three-pointer with 1:33 remaining... After OSU’s David Lighty missed the front end of a one-and-one opportunity, Barbosa’s three-pointer from the top of the key was short and Buckeye guard Jamar Butler made four consecutive free throws to restore a more comfortable 10-point advantage with 33 seconds to play... UMBC, which first joined a Division I conference in 1990-91, has recorded its most non-conference wins (eight) prior to entering league play... Earlier this season vs. Goucher, the Retrievers had tied a 13-year old school record by hitting 13 from behind the arc... The 35 attempts from behind the arc also ties a school record... Barbosa led four Retrievers in double figures, as junior forward Darryl Proctor (District Heights, Md./Paul IV/Coppin State) recorded his third double-double of the season with 11 points and a team-high 10 rebounds, junior guard Jay Greene (Whitehall, Pa./Whitehall) posted 14 points and nine assists, and senior guard Brian Hodges (Upper Marlboro,Md./Bishop McNamara) added 13 points... Sophomore forward Justin Fry (New Bloomfield, Pa./West Perry) remained sidelined with a sprained ankle, so six Retrievers played 199 of 200 minutes... Ohio State was allowing 58.1 points per game, before UMBC scored an opponent season high of 83 vs. the Buckeyes... The Retrievers were sixth in the nation in turnovers per game (now 10.7 per game) and lowered that number with a season-low five at Ohio State... UMBC has the most hectic league schedule to start America East play, as they are the only conference team to play seven games in the first 20 days (Jan. 3-Jan. 22) of competition... The Retrievers start AEC play at Stony Brook (5-5 all-time) on Thursday, then head north again to face UNH (3-6) on Sunday.
New Hampshire (3-8, America East 0-0) went 0-1 last week, falling to Colgate, 49-46, Dec. 30 ... Junior guard Eric Gilchrese (Springfield, Ill./Lewis & Clark) was the leading scorer for the Wildcats with 14 points and also added four rebounds and three assists ... Freshman guard Alvin Abreu (Lynn, Mass./Boys to Men) backed up Gilchrese’s effort by scoring 13 points ... Junior guard Tyrece Gibbs (Brockton, Mass./Thayer Academy) chipped in with seven points and seven rebounds, while senior forward Mike Christensen (Reston, Va./Flint Hill) and freshman forward Dane DiLiegro (Lexington, Mass./Lexington) each added five points and five rebounds ... The ‘Cats return to action Thursday, Jan. 3 when they play host to Albany to kick off conference play.
Stony Brook (3-9, America East 0-0) began a four-game home-stand on Saturday against Cornell after a two-week break ... Junior Michael Tyree (Somerset, N.J./Franklin/Seward CC) scored a team-high 17 points but the Big Red shot 59.1 percent in the second half including seven of 12 from three-point range on its way to a 66-50 victory on Saturday. The Seawolves took the lead at 26-25 with 18:46 remaining on a lay-up from junior Demetrius Young (Sacramento, Calif./Sacramento/Yuba College) that capped a 16-2 run bridging the end of the first half and the beginning of the second ... But a Ryan Wittman three kick started a 10-0 Cornell run that gave the Big Red a 35-26 advantage with 14:57 to go. Stony Brook battled back though with a 10-3 spurt that sliced the Cornell lead to two at 38-36 with 12:23 left in the game. The teams then traded hoops over the next few minutes but with the score 44-40 the Big Red ran off eight straight points capped by a Adam Gore three-pointer and the Seawolves got no closer than 12 the rest of the way ... Young grabbed 11 boards for the Seawolves, his second straight game in double-figures. The junior forward is now third in the conference in rebounds (99) and leads the America East in field goal percentage (.638) ... The Seawolves are first in the conference in scoring defense, allowing just 66.1 points per game.
Vermont (5-7, America East 0-0) won its only game of the week 84-63 at home over Central Connecticut State on Sunday ... The Catamounts shot a blistering 62.7 percent from the floor (37-59) for the game and 50.0 percent (9-18) from three ... Junior Mike Trimboli (Norwalk, Conn./St. Luke’s) led Vermont with 23 points and seven assists on 10-of-15 shooting from the floor ... Vermont shot 65.5 percent (19-29) and used a 20-9 edge on the boards in the second half ... The Catamounts also turned 15 Blue Devil miscues into a 25-0 edge in points off turnovers for the game ... Sophomore Marqus Blakely (Metuchen, N.J./Metuchen) added 15, while senior Kyle Cieplicki (Shelburne, Vt./Rice) chipped in with 14 ... Sophomore Nick Vier (Franklin Lakes, N.J./Bergen Catholic) tied a career-high with seven assists ... The Catamounts have now won 11 straight games over teams from the Northeast Conference and are 27-12 all-time against the league ... UVM has won 24 of its last 33 against teams from the state of Connecticut ... The 21-point margin of victory was the largest for the Cats since they beat Maine 79-48 on February 15, 2006 ... Vermont held a 22-4 edge in bench scoring and posted a 24-to-6 assist/turnover ratio ... The Cats wrap up 2007 by going 22-10 during the calendar year ... UVM opens America East play on Thursday when it hosts Binghamton (7 p.m.) and then travels to Albany on Sunday in a game that will be televised on Fox Sports New York and Comcast Sports Net New England.