CAMBRIDGE, Mass. - Binghamton University's D.J. Rivera (Philadelphia, Pa./Nuemann-Goretti/St. Joseph's) and Stony Brook University's Bryan Dougher (Scotch Plains, N.J./Scotch-Plains Fanwood) were key cogs in extending their teams respective win streaks and have been named the league's Player and Rookie and of the Week for the first full week of December.
A 6-foot-4 forward, Rivera averaged 20 points in two road wins last week and played a pivotal role in the Bearcats' first-ever win against a Big East opponent to earn the honor. He began his week by notching a game-high tying 17 points in a road win at Quinnipiac on Monday. Rivera's layup early in the second half gave the Bearcats a lead they would not relinquish and sparked a 28-12 run, which Rivera capped with a pair of free throws that gave Binghamton their largest lead of the game at 15.
Rivera, a transfer from St. Joseph's, then scored 16 of his game-high 23 points in the second half and converted six key free throws down the stretch to lead the Bearcats to a 66-56 win over Rutgers on Saturday. The win was the Bearcats' first against a Big East school since moving to Division I prior to the 2001-02 season. Rivera's output came in just 26 minutes, as he came off the bench for the first time this season.
Rivera ranks second in America East in scoring (20.2 ppg), just one of two players (Corey Lowe) who is averaging at least 20 per game. Rivera is also one of just three America East players (John Holland, Darryl Proctor) to have scored in double figures in every game this season.
Dougher, a freshman point guard, averaged 16.3 points and 4.0 rebounds to lead his team to three wins last week in being named Rookie of the Week for the first time. He notched a career-high 24 points, the most for any Stony Brook freshman in the program's 10 seasons in Division I. Dougher hit 5-of-6 three-point attempts, the most for any Stony Brook freshman since the 2002-03 campaign. Dougher followed that performance with 13 points and eight rebounds in his team's 71-50 win over Lehigh Friday and finished his week with 12 points, four rebounds and four steals against Mount Ida.
Dougher is one of just two freshmen ranked in the league's Top 20 in scoring (11.4 ppg) and is among the leaders in steals (1.50 pg) and 3-point percentage (.396).
The Rest of the Best
Albany's Anthony Raffa tallied 17 points and posted career-highs in rebounds (6) and assists (5) in the Great Danes' 57-47 win over Bryant on Monday... Boston University's Corey Lowe hit seven 3-pointers and poured in a career-high 36 points against Marshall on Sunday... Hartford's Michael Turner and Joe Zegliski each had 26 points and six rebounds in a 97-82 win over Lafayette Thursday... Troy Barnies (16 points, 20 rebounds), Junior Bernal (16, 10), Sean McNally (12, 11) and Svetoslav Chetinov (10, 15) all recorded double-doubles for Maine in a win over UMPI on Thursday... UMBC's Chauncey Gilliam tied his career-high with 17 points against Towson Wednesday... Tyrece Gibbs led New Hampshire to two wins with 19 points in each contest... Vermont's Marqus Blakely had a monster week, averaging 23.0 points, 12.5 assists, 4.0 assists, 3.5 blocks and 2.5 steals, hitting for 27 points against Darmouth Tuesday and contributing all around with 18 points, 14 rebounds, five assists, five blocks and four steals against No. 3 Pittsburgh Saturday.
Rising up the RPI
America East is ranked 14th of 31 conferences in the first RPI of 2008-09, which was released by Collegiate Basketball News on Monday. The ranking is fifth among Non-Football Bowl Subdivision conferences and ahead of regional peers Colonial Athletic Association (16), Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference (19), Northeast Conference (23) and Patriot League (24). The 14th postion is a 13-spot improvement from last season, when the league finished 27th and just one spot lower than the league's best-ever ranking of 13, which came in 1997.
You Play to Win the Game
America East teams have posted a combined .545 winning percentage in non-league games (36-30) to date this season, compared to a .376 mark (44-73) a year ago. The conference is 31-30 (.508) in games against Division I opponents, one of just 12 conferences to have a winning record in such games. Of the 12 (Atlantic Coast, Atlantic 10, Big East, Big Ten, Big XII, Conference USA, Mountain West, Missouri Valley, Pac 10, Southeastern, Western Athletic) only the America East, A10 and Missourit Valley are nonFBS conferences. Furthermore, the nine teams are an impressive 31-13 in Division I games against non-BCS conferences, including the Atlantic 10, with wins over two of the top teams in the Colonial Athletic Association (Delaware, Northeastern) and a perfect 2-0 mark against the Mid-American Conference.
December to Remember
America East teams are 12-5 in the month of Decmber and actually started the month 9-1 before dropping four of six contests on Saturday. Binghamton and Stony Brook are perfect in the month and riding win streaks of three and four games, respectivley.
Big (East) Time Win For Bearcats
Binghamton's 66-56 win at Rutgers on Saturday was the program's first win in seven tries against a Big East Conference. The victory was also the first for any America East school against the powerhouse conference since Vermont's memorable win over Syracuse in the 2005 NCAA tournament.
Stony Brook went a perfect 3-0 last week with wins over New Jersey Tech, Lehigh and Mount Ida. The Seawolves are riding a four-game win streak, their longest since a six-game run form Januay 25-February 5 of 2003.
Corey's Career Day
Boston University's Corey Lowe, the league's leading scorer at 20.3 points per game, poured in a career-high 36 points against Marshall on Sunday. The second-team all-conference performer shot a blistering 70 percent (7-of-10) from 3-point land.
Albany (5-3,) extended its winning streak to five straight with a 57-47 victory over Bryant on Dec. 1... The Great Danes were off to their best since the 1997-98 campaign... UAlbany saw its streak come to an end in a 71-64 defeat at crosstown-rival Siena on Dec. 6... The schools’ annual rivalry game produced a crowd of 13,251, the 10th largest to see the Great Danes play at the Division I level... freshman guard Anthony Raffa (Strathmere, N.J. / Wildwood Catholic) scored 17 points and recorded career-highs in rebounds (6) and assists (5) against Bryant... The Great Danes, who defeated Division I newcomer Bryant for the second time this season, won when scoring less than 60 points for the first time since March 4, 2007... Brian Connelly (Audubon, N.J. / Camden Catholic) had 12 of his season-high 13 points in the first half, as his team held the visitors to 32.7-percent shooting, the second-lowest figure by an opponent this season... Connelly has scored in twin figures in five straight contests and totaled 10 or more points 28 times as a collegian... Jimmie Covington (Chicago, Ill. / Morgan Park) played in his 100th game against Bryant... Tim Ambrose (Brentwood, N.Y. / Our Savior New American) extended his double-figure scoring streak to six in a row against Siena... Ambrose, who is shooting 55.6 percent during that span, netted 15 points and tied a career-high with nine rebounds in his last outing... Will Harris (Corona, N.Y. / Brewster Academy) rebounded from his first scoreless effort in a UAlbany uniform with a 12-point, 7-rebound performance at Siena... Scotty McRae (Rosedale, N.Y. / Benjamin Cardozo) pulled down a career-best eight rebounds against both Bryant and Siena... Billy Allen (Hamilton, Ohio / Hamilton) tied a career-high with six points at Siena and grabbed a career-best seven rebounds vs. Bryant... the redshirt freshman missed all of last season following back surgery...
Boston University (4-3) for the second-straight week split its two games, first defeating Harvard, 75-59, on Wednesday and then dropping an 84-80 decision to Marshall at Agganis Arena on Saturday ... Junior Corey Lowe averaged a team-leading 28.0 points in both games after posting a career-high 36 against the Thundering Herd ... Tied a personal best in made 3FGs with seven in the game ... Now has 978 points, just 22 shy of the 1,000 point benchmark ... Currently tied with Chaz Carr (2001-05) in BU’s career made 3FGs category with 177, just 25 behind No. 1 Mark Daly (1988-92) ... Head coach Dennis Wolff improved his record to 14-1 against the Crimson ... Terriers have won the last eight games in the series ... Freshman Jake O’Brien (Weymouth, Mass./Boston College H.S.) and sophomore John Holland (Bronx, N.Y./St. Benedict’s (N.J.)) combined for 35 points and 15 rebounds at Harvard ... Holland also scored 14 against Marshall, keeping alive his seven-game streak this season of recording double-figures in points ... The loss against the Herd marked BU’s first loss of the year when leading (70-66) with five minutes remaining in regulation ... Only dropped one game in similar fashion last season ... Marshall hit 27-of-32 free throws against BU’s 16-of-22 to earn the win ... Next host Yale on Wednesday at 7 p.m. at The Roof ... Then travel to South Bend., Ind., on Saturday to confront the first nationally-ranked team of the season in Notre Dame.
Binghamton (4-2) stretched its win streak to three with a pair of double-digit road wins during the week. The Bearcats rallied past Quinnipiac with a strong second half and then led virtually the entire game in the win at Rutgers. That victory was the program’s first-ever against a BIG EAST foe after losing six straight... Junior forward D.J. Rivera (Philadelphia, Pa./Neumann-Goretti HS/St. Joseph’s Univ.) continued his scoring spree with 40 points in the two games. Rivera, the America East scoring leader (20.2 ppg.) netted 17 at Quinnipiac and a game-high 23 to spark the Rutgers win. Rivera now has scored 20 or more points in four of Binghamton’s first six games... Senior forward Dwayne Jackson (Akron, Ohio/Walsh Jesuit) averaged 14.5 points in the two games. He keyed the comeback at Quinnipiac with 15 second-half points and then added 12 points, six rebounds and two drawn charges at Rutgers... Junior guard Malik Alvin (Philadelphia, Pa./Simon Gratz HS/Chipola College) averaged 14.0 points in the two games. With Alvin in the lineup, Binghamton is 3-0. At Rutgers, he played the entire 40 minutes and tallied 17 points, six assists and three steals. Alvin sank five free throws in the final 1:59 to keep the hosts at bay... Senior forward Reggie Fuller (Missouri City, Texas/Hightower HS/Angelina College) chipped in 9.0 points and 7.0 rebounds per game... The Bearcats defense was in high gear on the road. The team forced nearly 20 turnovers per game, held the host schools to 38% shooting and kept both opponents under 60 points.
Hartford (3-6) split a pair of home games last week. The Hawks defeated Lafayette by a 97-82 final before dropping a 70-64 decision to La Salle... Hartford shot a season-high 55 percent against Lafayette and went 11-of-20 from behind the arc. Senior Michael Turner (Novato, Calif./Marin Catholic/West Valley) and junior Joe Zeglinski (Philadelphia, Pa./Archbishop Ryan) each netted 26 points in the win. The 26 points marked a career high for Turner, who scored 20 points in the first half on 6-of-6 shooting. Senior Jaret von Rosenberg (Mission, Texas/Sharyland/Collin County) also added 15 points and six rebounds while sophomore Morgan Sabia (San Anselmo, Calif./Sir Francis Drake) chipped in with 14 points and four boards... Sabia led the Hawks with 17 points against La Salle. Von Rosenberg added 16 points, five rebounds and a team-high five assists... Hartford kicks off a four-game stretch of road games at Brown University on Tuesday, December 9 at 7 p.m. Former longtime Vermont assistant Jesse Agel is in his first season as head coach for the Brown Bears. The Hawks wrap up the week at Sacred Heart on Sunday, December 14 at 4 p.m.
Maine (4-4) defeated UMPI by the score of 126-50...Maine had eight players in double-figures and four players record double-doubles...Maine scored the first 11 points and never looked back...Maine made a school-record 52 field goals en route to shooting 50.5 percent from the field...Troy Barnies (Auburn, Maine/Edward Little) had a huge game with 16 points and 20 rebounds...Sean McNally (Gardiner, Maine/Gardiner) had 12 points and 11 rebounds...Andrew Rogers (Philadelphia, Pa.) had 10 assists to go with seven points...Gerald McLemore (San Diego, Calif./Scripps Ranch/Worcester Academy) had 16 points that included going 4-for-9 from three-point range...Ryan Martin (Wayne, Maine/Maranacook) had 20 points on 7-of-11 shooting and five assists...Junior Bernal (Manhattan, N.Y./Hyde/MCI) had 16 points and 10 rebounds...Kaimondre Owes (Brooklyn, N.Y./St. Peter’s) had 19 points and five rebounds...Freshman Svetoslav Chetinov (Plovidv, Bulgaria/MCI) had 10 points and 15 boards...Maine had 47 points off turnovers...The Black Bears dished out five assists while only turning the ball over five times...The 126 points were one shy of the school record of 127 set against Vermont on Feb. 19, 1994...Maine plays Colgate on Monday before traveling to take on the highest-ranked opponent a Maine team has ever faced in #6 Oklahoma.
UMBC (4-3) saw its nine-game home winning streak come to an abrupt halt, as a hot-shooting Towson squad defeated the Retrievers, 82-65 before 3,087 fans at the RAC Arena on Dec. 3... Freshman wing Chauncey Gilliam (Columbia, Md./Brewster Academy) led UMBC with 17 points, hitting eight of 13 shots from the floor... Gilliam tied his season high with that scoring effort in a season-best 30 minutes... He leads the team with a 62.2% mark from the floor and has been at 50 percent or better in six of seven games to date... But the rest of the Retriever squad made only 13 of 52 shots (25 percent) from the floor and three of 16 from behind the arc (18.5 percent)... Towson set a school record by hitting 14 (of 25 attempts) three-point field goals... Senior guard Jay Greene (Whitehall, Pa./Whitehall) gave UMBC its largest lead at 13-9 on his second and final three-point field goal of the game at the 13:19 mark... Towson would convert on 10 of its first 13 attempts from long range, but UMBC hung tough and trailed just, 44-37 at intermission...But the Retrievers came out of the locker room stone cold, missing 12 of its first 13 attempts from the floor in the first 9:18 of the half and falling behind, 65-45 midway through the stanza...UMBC outrebounded its first Division I foe this season, 41-33, and managed 23 offensive caroms... Senior forward Darryl Proctor (District Heights, Md./Paul IV/Coppin State) posted his second double-double of the season and 31st of his career with 15 points and 11 rebounds... Sophomore forward Rich Flemming (Chester, Pa./Chester) tied his season and career-bests with 13 points and nine rebounds... The Retrievers will try to get back to its winning ways at the RAC Arena with a Wednesday date vs. Central Connecticut State...However, the Blue Devils have won six straight games in the series and have overtaken UMBC to grab a 15-14 advantage... UMBC will face Central Connecticut for the 30th time at the NCAA Division I level, just one less than the Retrievers’ most frequent foe, which is Towson... Both squads went to Division I in the 1986-87 year and were a part of two conferences together...(East Coast Conference, 1990-92 and Northeast Conference (1999-2003)... The Retrievers complete the week by playing at current No. 3 Pittsburgh; it will be the highest ranked team (Associated Press poll) that UMBC has ever faced, surpassing the Retrievers’ 1989-90 meeting with then-No. 4 Kansas (86-67 loss).
New Hampshire (3-3) went 2-0 last week, scoring come-from-behind wins at Colgate (57-54) and against a big, physical Brown team (64-61) ... senior guard Tyrece Gibbs (Brockton, Mass./Thayer Academy) was huge last week, leading UNH to both of its wins with a pair of 19-point efforts ... with his team down four with 2:04 to play at Colgate, Gibbs used back-to-back treys to give his squad the lead for good ... then, tied at 54 with just under five minutes to play versus Brown, UNH took its first lead since 23 seconds into the contest – a lead it would never give up – thanks to a Gibbs 3 ... Gibbs also handed out two big assists down the stretch that ended up playing crucial roles in the game ... Offensively, the games were near mirror images of each other ... Gibbs was 6-for-11 from the field, including 5 of 7 from behind the arc against Colgate and then was 7 of 12 from the floor and 5 of 7 from long range against Brown ... the co-captain added five rebounds, an assist and a steal versus Colgate and filled the stat line with two rebounds, five assists, two blocks and a steal against Brown ... sophomore guard Tyrone Conley (Burlington, Vt./Burlington) scored 16 points and added five rebounds and two assists against Brown ... Conley also tallied 11 points, four rebounds, an assist, a block and a steal at Colgate ... sophomore guard Alvin Abreu (Lynn, Mass./Boys to Men Academy) also poured in 16 points against Brown, while tallying four boards, two assists and two steals ... Abreu notched 10 points, two rebounds and two assists at Colgate ... junior forward Radar Onguetou (Yaounde, Cameroon/New Hampton School) played his best game of the year against Brown with nine points, eight boards and three assists ... Onguetou hit a pair of treys in the game, matching a career high he set the game before against Colgate when he tallied six points, three boards and two assists ... sophomore center Dane DiLiegro (Lexington, Mass./Lexington) scored seven points and pulled down eight boards against Colgate.
Stony Brook (5-0) went 3-0 on the week and are off to their best start since the 2002-03 squad also started 5-3 ... The four game winning streak is also the Seawolves longest winning streak since 2002-03 team won six in a row ... SBU started off the week with a 60-39 win at New Jersey Tech on Tuesday night ... Freshman Bryan Dougher scored a career-high 24 points against the Highlanders, going 5-for-6 from three-point range ... the 24 points was were the most by a Seawolves freshman since SBU joined Division I in the 1999-2000 season ... the five three-pointers were the most by an SBU freshman since Bobby Santiago also knocked down five on December 2, 2002 against Rhode Island ... the 39 points allowed against NJIT was the fewest points allowed by the Seawolves since giving up 39 in a victory over UMBC on Feb. 3, 2007 ... the Seawolves then came back to defeat Lehigh, 71-50, on Friday night at Pritchard Gymnasium ... Sophomore Chris Martin scored a career-high 19 points for the Seawolves who closed the game on a 39-10 run ... in just his second game with the Seawolves, junior center Desmond Adedeji posted 11 points, nine rebounds and three blocks against the Mountain Hawks ... SBU closed the week with a 95-40 win over Mount Ida on Sunday afternoon ... junior Muhammad El-Amin scored a career-high 22 points for Stony Brook.
Vermont (4-3) went 1-1 on the week, as the Cats topped Dartmouth 88-71 at home on Tuesday and then fell on the road to #3 Pittsburgh, 80-51 ... Against the Big Green Marqus Blakely (Metuchen, N.J./Metuchen), Mike Trimboli (Norwalk, Conn./St. Luke’s) and Garvey Young (Washington, D.C./Georgetown Prep) combined for 69 points on 26-for-35 shooting from the floor ... Young went for a career-high 19 on 6-for-8 shooting off the bench, while both Blakely (27) and Trimboli (23) added season-highs ... The Catamounts shot 59.3 percent from the floor for the game as they earn their third straight win ... Junior Nick Vier (Franklin Lakes, N.J./Bergen Catholic) recorded his fifth straight game with at least four assists, as he handed out six ... Blakely led the Cats with 19 points, 14 rebounds, five assists, five blocks and four steals at Pitt ... Pittsburgh took control right from the start as it opened the game scoring the first 13 points, while Vermont missed its first seven attempts from the floor ... Sophomore Joey Accaoui (Lincoln, R.I./St. Andrew’s) was the only other Catamount in double figures with 10 off the bench, matching a season-high, on 4-for-7 shooting ... Vermont is back in action on Sunday, December 14 at home when the Catamounts host UNC-Wilmington starting at 1 p.m.