CAMBRIDGE, Mass.-- University of Vermont 6-foot-1 junior forward Lauren Buschmann (St. Catherines, Ontario/Governor Simcoe) averaged a double-double in three games over the holiday week to claim the America East Player of the Week. Teammate Kayla Burchill (Portland, Maine/Deering) took home Rookie of the Week accolades, giving the Catamounts that award for back-to-back weeks. Vermont is off to a 6-1 start to the 2011-12 season.
Buschmann scored 15.7 points per game while bringing down 11.0 rebounds per game. Buschmann shot 48.5 percent (16-for-33) from the field and hit 15-of-21 free-throw attempts for 71.4 percent. She also added 1.7 assists and 1.3 steals per game for the Catamounts.
Buschmann scored a career-high 28 points and grabbed 11 rebounds against Dartmouth on Tuesday night for her second double-double in three games and only the seventh of her career. She went 10-for-13 from the charity stripe while also picking up four steals and a block. At the Husky Classic in Texas, Buschmann tallied another 13 rebounds, including five of the offensive variety, in a win over Houston Baptist. In just 17 minutes against Texas Southern on Saturday, Buschmann nearly notched another double-double with 14 points and nine rebounds. She went 5-for-5 from the field and 4-for-5 from the foul line. She also added three assists in the game.
Among America East statistical leaders, Buschmann now ranks sixth in scoring (14.1 ppg), tied for third in rebounding (8.6 rpg) and tied for first in field-goal percentage (51.4 percent) for the season.
A six-foot freshman forward, Burchill gives the Catamounts back-to-back Rookies of the Week after teammate Niki Taylor (York, Maine/York) collected the honor last week. Burchill averaged 11.3 points, 5.3 rebounds and 1.7 steals per game in three contests last week while shooting 42.3 percent (11-for-26) from the floor, including 60 percent (9-for-15) from behind the three-point arc.
Burchill came off the bench on Saturday to explode for a career-high 17 points and go 5-for-5 from long-distance to lead Vermont past Texas Southern. She added nine points, all from behind the arc on 3-for-5 shooting from three-point range, in a win at Houston Baptist. The rookie also put up an eight-point, five-rebound, two-assist effort against Dartmouth earlier in the week.
Burchill ranks fourth for Vermont in scoring (9.0 ppg) and rebounding (5.4 rpg) and is second in the conference in three-point shooting (51.6 percent) and three-pointers made per game (2.3 pg).
The conference has started the season with a 28-21 (.571) record through the first 49 games. The Jeff Sagarin/CBN Women's College Basketball Ratings (courtesy of www.rpiratings.com) rank the league 12th of 33 through all of Sunday's action. The top-15 list is shown below with America East's record against in parentheses:
1. Big 12 (0-0) 8. Colonial (1-2)
2. Big East (1-3) 9. Missouri Valley (0-0)
3. Big Ten (0-3) 10. West Coast (0-0)
4. Pac-12 (0-0) 11. Mountain West (1-0)
5. ACC (0-1) 12. America East
6. SEC (0-0) 13. Summit (0-0)
7. Atlantic 10 (5-2) 14. Northeast (6-3)
15. Big Sky (0-0)
Against The Best
Among the league's first 49 games, 15 have been against teams that advanced to a 2011 postseason tournament. America East has a winning record (8-7) against those teams. Four out of the seven losses (Notre Dame, Iowa, Maryland, Ohio State) have come at the hands of NCAA Tournament teams, while Hartford's win over Central Florida on Sat. Nov. 26 marked a win over an NCAA Tournament participant.
The Catamounts have made an instant turnaround this season with a 6-1 start after opening 2010-11 with 15 straight losses. Vermont has already surpassed last season's win total and has captured two in-season tournaments. Vermont won its own annual TD Bank Classic, winning the tournament for the seventh time overall and first time since 2007. Also making a great first impression in 2011-12 are six newcomers who have all made an appearance this season, including starters Niki Taylor and Shanai Heber. The newcomers have accounted for 31.1 points per game, nearly half of Vermont's 66.1 points per game this season.
Boston University put up a three-point show on Tues., Nov. 22 against Northeastern, netting 15 three-point field goals. The 15 treys is the third-highest single-game total for an America East team, and the most since the Terriers hit a school-record 16 during the 2008 America East tournament. Six different Terriers hit three-point shots against the Huskies, including Chantell Alford's five and Alex Young's four, while the team went 15-for-31.
There were several clutch game-winning and game-tying buckets late in games last week. New Hampshire sophomore Kelsey Hogan tipped in a missed three-pointer with one-tenth of a second left on the clock to give the Wildcats a 63-62 win at Cornell on Tues., Nov. 22... Stony Brook junior Dani Klupenger nailed the game-winning three-pointer with 14 seconds left on the clock on Wed., Nov. 23 against Robert Morris. It gave the Seawolves their first win of the season and handed the Colonials their first loss... With 19 seconds left in regulation, Black Bear sophomore Ashleigh Roberts tied the Dead River Company Classic championship game against Brown on Nov. 26 at 56-56 with a layup and forced overtime.
America East teams have been able to put up big numbers on the scoreboard already this season. After only recording four 80+ point games all of last season, including once in a three overtime thriller, squads have posted 80 or more points three times in 2011-12. Albany tallied 81 points on Nov. 13 against LaSalle, while both Binghamton and Vermont reached 80 points in games earlier this season.
Albany junior foward Julie Forster's 26-point, 20-rebound performance against La Salle on Nov. 13 wasn't only a career game, but it was one of the conference's top individual efforts of the decade. It was the first 20+ point, 20+ rebound game since two-time America East Player of the Year Heather Ernest (Maine '04) recorded 21 points and 21 rebounds at New Hampshire on Jan. 14, 2001.
America East teams went 11-3 in the first 14 games of the season for a .785 winning percentage. The league stood at 3-11 (.214) through the first 14 games of the 2010-11 season.
Hartford advanced to the Preseason WNIT semifinals, joining Top-25 foes #1 Baylor, #2 Notre Dame and #22 UCLA as the final four teams. The Hawks fell to the Fighting Irish in South Bend, however junior forward Ruthanne Doherty earned one of just six spots on the all-tournament team. Doherty averaged 15.5 points and 5.3 rebounds in the three games. Baylor defeated Notre Dame to win the Preseason WNIT Championship.
Opening weekend marked the debut of two head coaches at their current institutions. Richard Barron and the Black Bears opened up with a loss at Central Connecticut, but the team gave Coach Barron his first win as Maine head coach with a victory at Rhode Island on Nov. 13. The Nov. 11 season-opener at Fairfield was Beth O'Boyle's first at the helm of the Seawolves. O'Boyle earned her first win as Stony Brook head coach on Nov. 23 at home against Robert Morris.
The 2011-12 season also marks the second season at the helm for three other America East head coaches. Albany's Katie Abrahamson-Henderson, New Hampshire's Maureen Magarity and Vermont's Lori Gear McBride enter their second campaign at their current schools.
On Sun., Nov. 13, Boston U. senior guard Alex Young joined two other active America East players in the 1,000 career-point club with a 12-point effort against UMass. Young has now amassed 1,059 points in her career, joining UMBC's Michelle Kurowski (1,342) and Binghamton's Andrea Holmes (1,166).
Albany (3-3, 0-0 AE) split two non-conference games on the week, falling on the road to Toledo, the 2011 WNIT Champions, before defeating St. Francis (NY) at home on Sunday... Senior Cassandra Callaway (Bayonne, N.J./Bayonne) led the Great Danes, averaging 13.5 points over the two games. She recorded 18 points at Toledo, including three three-pointers, in 39 minutes of action... Junior Ebone Henry (San Diego, Calif./Mater Dei Catholic) scored 11 points and recorded a career-high eight steals in the win over St. Francis. She was also just one rebound shy of recording her first double-double of the season... Freshman Megan Craig (Whangarei, New Zealand/Kamo) made her first appearance for the Great Danes against St. Francis. She scored six points in her 10 minutes of action, while also grabbing one rebound and recording a block... Julie Forster (Huntington, N.Y./Huntington) slowed on her points production, but continued to lead the Great Danes on the boards, averaging 10.5 rebounds in two games... Albany will return to action on Wednesday, visiting Long Island, before taking on cross-town rival Siena at the Times Union Center on Saturday.
Binghamton (3-2, 0-0 AE) faced off against a team receiving votes in the ESPN/USA Today Top 25 Coaches' Poll this past Saturday when it played Syracuse at the Events Center. It marked the sixth time in the program's 10-year NCAA Division I history that the Bearcats have squared off against a team that is either ranked or receiving votes in a national poll... Senior forward Viive Rebane (Tallinn, Estonia/Audentes School), who is currently averaging a career-high 13.0 points and 9.2 rebounds per game, currently ranks 15th all-time in program history with 924 points and fifth all-time with 700 rebounds. Against Syracuse, she passed Jen Gaeta (918 points, 1992-94) and Reagan Stevens (923 points, 1993-97). Rebane needs six more rebounds to tie Melissa DiPaola (1989-93) for fourth place all time with 706 career rebounds... With 17 points and 10 rebounds against Syracuse, Rebane now has three double-doubles this season and 15 for her career. She now ranks second in Binghamton's program history, trailing only Rachel Laws (2002-06), who ended her career with 20 double-doubles... Senior guard Orla O'Reilly (Cork, Ireland/Ursuline School), who was named the America East Player of the Week for Nov. 17-23, is averaging a team-best and career-high 17.0 points per game. She has reached double figures in all five of the team's games.
Boston University (3-2, 0-0 AE) improved to a perfect 3-0 at home this season with a 75-65 victory over Northeastern followed by a 71-44 win against Rhode Island... Junior Chantell Alford (West Haven, Conn./Wilbur Cross) led the way, tallying 21 points with 15 of them coming from beyond the arc against the Huskies... After posting six rebounds in the first game, she came back on Saturday with 15 points, and seven steals, which ties her personal best... Boston U. hit 15 three-pointers, one shy of tying the school record, against the Huskies and took the lead for good with 3:07 left in the first half... Senior Alex Young (Hickory, N.C./St. Stephen's) was also key on the offensive end with 20 points... Competing on NESN against URI, the Terriers led 32-27 at the half before quickly pushing the lead to 14 in the second half... Senior Caroline Stewart (Topsfield, Mass./Masconomet Regional) posted a season-high 13 points and game-high eight rebounds in the victory, while Young and Alford had 18 and 15 points, respectively... The Terriers will remain in town with a quick trip to Harvard on Wednesday (Nov. 30) at 7 p.m. before visiting West Virginia on Saturday (Dec. 3) at 4 p.m... Already owning a win against Providence, Boston U. will face the Big East's Mountaineers for the first time ever.
The Hawks (5-1, 0-0 AE) finished a three game week unbeaten with a home win over CCSU (65-56) and sweeping two games at the 2011 UCF Thanksgiving Classic with a 64-60 win over TCU and a 55-46 win over the host Black Knights... The junior class led the Hawks scorers throughout the three games. Alex Hall (Pembroke, N.H./Pembroke Acad.) had a break out game against the Blue Devils, leading the Hawks with 19 points, going 6-of-12 from the field and 6-of-13 at the free throw line... Daphne Elliott (Fairfield Conn./Fairfield Warde) then topped all players in the Hawks' win over TCU with 21 points, tying her career high... Against the Horned Frogs, the Hawks used a late 12-0 run to seal the victory, including five key free throws from Elliott down the stretch... In the Hawks' win over UCF, Ruthanne Doherty (Richmond, Va./L.C. Bird) would lead the team in scoring, but freshmen Cherelle Moore (Bridgeport, Conn./Kolbe Cathedral) and Amber Bepko (Guilford, Conn./Mercy) would be key in the Hawks victory... Moore and Bepko compiled their first double figure games of the year with 12 and 10 points, respectively. All of Moore's 12 points would come in the first half, while Bepko's 10 points all came in the second half, including six in a 14-0 run to open the half that propelled the Hawks to their fifth victory of the season... The Hawks close out a four-game road stand with two games away from home this week, the first at Marist on Thursday (7 p.m.) and the second at St. John's on Sunday afternoon (1 p.m.).
Maine (2-3, 0-0 AE) hosted the 19th annual Dead River Company Classic over the weekend... The Black Bears won their first round game 66-53 over Troy before falling in overtime in the championship to Brown, 61-59... Ashleigh Roberts (Wilmington, Del.) and Courtney Anderson (Greene, Maine) were each named to the All-Tournament Team... The 13-point victory on Friday evening was Maine's largest margin of victory since it defeated Massachusetts by 16 on Jan. 3, 2010... The opening round win was also Maine's first opening round victory in the Dead River Company Classic since 2006, also the last year the Black Bears won the tournament... Brittany Williams (Rochester, N.Y.) paced Maine in the win over Troy with 15 points, including going 3-for-6 from beyond the arc as the senior captain was also perfect from the free throw line at 6-for-6... Roberts tied things up with a fastbreak layup with just seconds left to send the championship game to overtime. Roberts led Maine in scoring against Brown with 15 points... Samantha Wheeler (Derry, N.H.) made her return from post-concussion symptoms on Friday night against Troy. It was the first time the former All-America East Third Team member had played since last season's Dead River Company Classic on Nov. 27, 2010. Wheeler played 12 minutes in game one and 23 minutes the following night... Maine hosts Maine Maritime Academy on Tuesday before traveling to take part in the Navy Tournament on Dec 2.
UMBC (3-3, 0-0 AE) split a pair of road games against cross-town rivals last week… The Retrievers defeated Loyola, 60-56, on Tuesday… Senior guard Michelle Kurowski (Hicksville, N.Y./Hicksville) scored 19 points… Junior guard Kristin Coles (Charles Town, W.Va./Notre Dame Academy/American) finished one point shy of her first career double-double with nine points and a career-high 12 rebounds and six steals… Senior forward Erin Brown (Bethesda, Md./Walt Whitman) tallied 12 points and seven boards, including her 500th career rebound… The Retrievers made just four of 23 field goal attempts in the second half but connected on 22-of-26 foul shots in the period and 25-of-29 in the game… UMBC fell to Towson 56-45 on Sunday… Brown and senior center Topé Obajolu (Randallstown, Md./Archbishop Carroll) led the Retrievers with 12 points apiece… UMBC shot just 26.8 percent from the floor but again stayed in the game with its foul shooting, draining 14 of 15 from the charity stripe… It is the fourth straight game the Retrievers have shot better than 80 percent from the line, making 67 of 78 free throws in that span… UMBC leads the America East with an .818 free throw percentage on the season… The Retrievers have nearly a week off before opening a three-game homestand on Saturday against mid-major power Princeton.
UNH (2-2, 0-0 AE) split a pair of road games on the week, edging Cornell by a 63-62 decision before falling at Central Connecticut State... The Wildcats beat Cornell at the final buzzer, as sophomore Kelsey Hogan (Nashua, N.H.) corralled the offensive rebound on a missed three-pointer and flipped up the game-winning layup with one-tenth of a second left on the clock, sealing the victory as time expired. Hogan finished with 15 points on 6-of-9 shooting from the field, while senior Denise Beliveau (Framingham, Mass.) led all players with 18 points and 10 rebounds for her second double-double of the season, shooting 7-of-16 from the floor with three steals. Junior Cari Reed (Oswego, N.Y.) added nine points, all on three-pointers. As a team, UNH shot 45 percent from the field and hit a season-high eight three-pointers... Hogan went on to net a team-high 11 points against CCSU, shooting 4-of-8 from the floor. Hogan has been highly efficient on the season as she leads the club with 12.5 points per game, shooting 51 percent from the field and 56 percent on three-pointers... Beliveau is also averaging double-figures with 10.5 points per contest... The Wildcats wrap up their three-game road stretch on Nov. 30 at Dartmouth (7 p.m.) before they play host to Holy Cross on Dec. 3 at 2 p.m.
The Seawolves (1-3, 0-0 AE) split home games against George Mason and Robert Morris before dropping a road contest at #19 Ohio State... The 42-40 victory over Robert Morris was the first of the season for the Seawolves. It was also the first career win for new head coach Beth O'Boyle... Junior Dani Klupenger (Aurora, Ore.) scored 13 points in the win over Robert Morris including a go-ahead three with 14 seconds left... The Seawolves trailed by as many as 14 in the first half and by 13 in the second half... The Seawolves held Robert Morris to 28.3 percent shooting for the game including 21.7 percent in the second half and held the Colonials to just three points over the final 10:42 of the contest... It was the first loss of the season for Robert Morris, who came into the game averaging 68.0 points per game... Klupenger scored a career-high 16 points in the loss to George Mason on Monday... Freshman Kellie Krueger (Wilsonville, Ore.) had eight points against the Patriots.
Vermont (6-1, 0-0 AE) is off to its best start in nine years... The Catamounts improved to 6-1 on the season by winning the Husky Classic hosted by Houston Baptist... Freshman Niki Taylor (York, Maine/York) posted her first career double-double with career-highs of 16 points and 15 rebounds to lead UVM past the hosts, Houston Baptist... Classmate and fellow Maine native Kayla Burchill (Portland, Maine/Deering) came off the bench to pour in a career-high 17 points, behind a 5-for-5 effort from three-point range, to lead Vermont past Texas Southern in the second game of the Husky Classic. Burchill was 9-for-15 (60%) from three-point range on the week... Junior Lauren Buschmann (St. Catherines, Ontario/Governor Simcoe) reached the 500 career-point plateau and posted her third double-double of the season with a career-high 28 points and 11 rebounds in a loss to Dartmouth at the start of the week... The Catamounts have surpassed their win total from last year (5) in the first seven games of this season... UVM scored 50 points in the second half against Texas Southern, nine points shy of the school record for points in a half... After six games in 11 days to start the season, UVM has just one contest on the schedule this week, the Catamounts will travel to Boston to take on Northeastern. The game tips off at 12 p.m.