CAMBRIDGE, Mass. -- Strong all-around performances earned a trio of America East men's basketball standouts weekly honors for the week ending Feb. 5. Maine's Alasdair Fraser and New Hampshire's Alvin Abreu each recorded double-doubles in their lone game of the week are Co-Players of the Week, while the Black Bears' Justin Edwards had his fifth game of at least 14 points, five rebounds and five assists to earn his seventh Rookie of the Week honor of the year.
Fraser (Falkirk, Scotland) tallied his league-best sixth double-double of the season and led Maine to its third straight win en route to earning Player of the Week honors for the second time this season.
The sophomore, who ranks 11th among the league's scoring leaders (13.2 ppg) and fourth in rebounding (7.8 rpg), scored 21 points, including 11 after halftime, and grabbed 12 rebounds in a 77-76 overtime win at UMBC Saturday. Fraser, who also earned Player of the Week recognition on Dec. 26, shot 10-of-14 from the floor and added a career-high four assists and three blocks.
Abreu (Lynn, Mass.) earned his second career Player of the Week accolade after fueling New Hampshire's win over Hartford Wednesday.
The senior scored 20 of the Wildcats' 52 points and hit a three-pointer with just 27 seconds left and the game tied at 49 to lift them to the win. Abreu, who ranks 10th among league leaders in scoring (13.3 ppg), added 10 rebounds for his first career double-double and also had four assists and a pair of steals. The former second-team all-conference selection previously earned Player of the Week honors on Jan. 5, 2009.
Edwards (Whitby, Ontario) put forth a solid all-around effort in Maine's win at UMBC Saturday and earned his seventh Rookie of the Week award as a result. The seven honors ties him with Jon Iati (Albany) and Reggie Lewis (Northeastern) for the second-most honors in a season.
The freshman guard racked up 16 points, seven rebounds, six assists and three steals in the Black Bears' 77-76 overtime win over the Retrievers. Edwards, who also earned Rookie of the Week honors on Nov. 21, 28, Dec. 5, Dec. 26, Jan. 16 and 30, ranks fourth among league leaders in scoring (15.3 ppg), sixth in rebounding (6.4 rpg), seventh in assists (3.4 apg) and third in steals (1.7 spg).
The Honor Roll
Several other America East players had top performances last week:
• Albany's Gerardo Suero averaged 26.5 points over two games last week, including a 32-point performance against UMBC Thursday.
• UMBC's Ryan Cook averaged 24.5 points in two games last week, scoring a career-high 28 at Albany Wednesday and adding 21 against Maine on Saturday.
• Stony Brook's Dave Coley scored 17 points on nearly perfect shooting (8-of-9) in Stony Brook's win at Albany Saturday. For the week, he averaged 13.5 points and 2.5 rebounds.
• Vermont's leading scorer, Four McGlynn, averaged 12.5 points and shot 53 percent from the floor (10-of-19) in two Vermont wins last week.
League Standings Reset
The conference schedule hits the three-quarter pole for most teams on Monday and Stony Brook looks to stay on top of the league standings with a three-game week ahead. The Seawolves (10-1), who have won six in a row, beat Binghamton Wednesday and Albany Saturday to hold onto sole possession of first place. Vermont (9-2) kept pace by extending its win streak to six with wins over Boston U. and Hartford. Those two teams meet on Sunday in Burlington. Boston U. (8-3) rebounded from its last to the Cats with a winat Binghamton and sit all alone in third place. Albany (7-4) can tie the Terriers for third with a win tonight. Maine (5-5) has won three straight to put a hold on fifth place. Hartford (4-7), UNH (3-7), UMBC (2-8) and Binghamton (0-9) round out the league standings.
Conference Position Crucial
While the team that wins the conference tournament gets crowned league champion and received the league's automatic birth, where teams finish in the regular season goes a long way in determining the league champions. Only twice in America East's 32 year history has a team finished outside the top two and gone on to win the league title. In addition, with the conference championship game being played at the highest remaining seed, hosting that game is crucial as the home team has won 25 of the previous 28 matchups played at school site.
Home Sweet Home
Taking care of business at home has been a consistent theme for America East's top teams. Stony Brook and Albany are a combined 20-1 overall at home this year while the top four teams in the league standings (Stony Brook, Vermont, Boston U., Albany) are a combined 21-2 at home in conference play. The Seawolves, who are 11-0 at home this year, have won 12 straight at Pritchard Gym dating back to last season. The Great Danes are 8-1 at SEFCU Arena this year and had their 11 game home-court win streak snapped by the Seawolves Saturday. The Terriers' lone conference loss came to Vermont on Wednesday. The Catamounts are 5-0 at Patrick Gym in league play.
Seawolves Streaking With D
Stony Brook has won six straight and 12 of its last 13 games on the heels of its top-ranked defense. The Seawolves, who lead America East and rank 20th nationally allowing just 59.2 points per game, have allowed just 55.1 points per game in conference play. Stony Brook also ranks in the top 20 nationally (14th) in rebound margin, hauling in 7.1 more boards per game than its opponent, The Seawolves have also improved their offensive efficiency during this stretch and are up to third in the league averaging 68.0 points per game.
Vermont has reeled off six straight wins and eight in its last nine games to move into sole possession of second place in the league standings. The Catamounts, who have won those seven games by an average margin of 15.3 points, have excelled offensively in wins this season, averaging 74.1 points per game in its 14 wins against just 58.1 points per game in its 10 losses. UVM's defense has been consistent all season and ranks second in America East, allowing just 62.6 points per game.
America East boasts two of nation's top offensive threats in Albany's Gerardo Suero, who has scored 20-plus points 18 times and leads the league and ranks sixth nationally averaging 21.6 ppg. Boston University's Darryl Partin is second in the conference and ranks 21st nationally (19.6 ppg).
Youth is Served
There is a youth movement in America East. No teams regularly start more than two seniors while Albany and Binghamton are two of nine Division I programs without a senior on its roster and Hartford gets 61% percent of its scoring from freshmen. Additionally, eight of the league's top 20 scorers are freshmen or sophomores, led by Maine's Justin Edwards, who ranks fifth.
A few America East standouts are approaching or have recently passed significant milestones:
- Stony Brook's Bryan Dougher is five points shy of becoming the conference's 42nd 1,500 point scorer. He also moved into third place all-time on the league's made three-pointers list and currently has 316 for his career. He trails only Hartford's Joe Zeglinski (393) and Vermont's T.J. Sorrentine (354).
- While Boston University's Darryl Partin surpassed the 1000-point mark earlier this year and is nine more points shy of joining the conference's 1,000-point club. The transfer, who scored 174 career points at La Salle, has racked up 991 points in 60 career games (16.5 ppg).
- Vermont's Brian Voekel grabbed his 500th career rebound against Hartford Saturday in just his 57th career game.
Albany's Logan Aronhalt and Maine's Andrew Rogers both earned Academic All-District honors form CoSIDA last week. Aronhalt, a repeat choice, has a 3.78 GPA in human biology and ranks fourth in the league scoring 15.3 points per game. Rogers carries a 3.86 GPA in kinesiology and physical education and ranks fourth in assists (3.9 apg).
All Nine in BracketBuster Games
For the first time in league history, all nine teams will play a game as part of the ESPN Sears BracketBusters pool on Feb. 18 or 19. America East teams have appeared on national television as part of the event in five of the last seven years, but did not receive a TV game this season.
America East Sears BracketBusters Pairings
Albany – vs. Rider
Binghamton – at Radford
Boston – at Loyola
Hartford – at St. Peter’s
Maine – vs. Marist
UMBC – at Canisius
UNH – vs. Towson
SB – at Northeastern
UVM – vs. Niagara
Albany Great Danes (15-10, 7-4 AE)
Albany split two games at home this past week with a win over UMBC, 87-76, on Wednesday then losing its first game at home to Stony Brook, 75-69, on Saturday ... The Great Danes currently sit in fourth place in the standings and three games back of first place Stony Brook ... The 15th annual Big Purple Growl was held on Saturday against Stony Brook, which was sold out for the fifth time in its history ... For the second time this season Stony Brook halted UAlbany's longest potential winning streak of four ...Gerardo Suero (Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic) had a career game scoring 32 points against UMBC, going a perfect 10-of-10 from the free-throw line ... Suero continues to find the free-throw line as he is the nation's leader in both free throws made (171) and attempted (207) ... Logan Aronhalt (Zanesville, Ohio/ Zanesville) continues to climb the UAlbany all-time scoring list, scoring 37 points last week pushing him up to 25th all-time at 1,074 career points ... Mike Black (Chicago, Ill./Oak Park Fenwick) is climbing UAlbany's all-time assist's list as he tallied nine assists last week to give him 260 career assists for 16th all-time ... the Great Danes have a quick turnaround to play three games next week with Boston U. on Monday at home then a three-day road trip with two games, one versus New Hampshire on Thursday then Maine on Saturday to cap it off.
Binghamton Bearcats (0-23, 0-11 AE)
Binghamton dropped two games during the week as the team's two opponents shot 53 percent from the field, 50 percent from three-point range and 79 percent from the free throw line. the Bearcats stumbled on the road at league-leading Stony Brook, falling behind by 35 points at the half and losing by 34. Back home three nights later, the Bearcats lost by 15 to visiting Boston University ... Sophomore guard Robert Mansell (Philadelphia, Pa./Cheltenham) averaged a team-best 11.5 points in the two games. In conference play, Mansell is scoring 16.1 points per game... Freshman forward Ben Dickinson (Alexandria, Va./Gonzaga) averaged 11.0 points ... Binghamton drew 3,232 fans to the Events Center for the game against the Terriers, raising the team's America East-best attendance average to 2,771. That figure is more than 1,100 higher than the league average and puts the Bearcats in good position to claim the program's ninth straight attendance crown ... Binghamton has six games remaining in the regular season.
Boston U. Terriers (12-13, 8-3 AE)
Boston University sits in third place in the America East standings after splitting its two games last week, recording a 68-67 home loss to Vermont followed by a 68-53 win at Binghamton ... the Terriers trailed by 16 with 3:28 remaining to the Catamounts but rallied back to pull within one with 20 seconds remaining ... After a UVM layup, Boston U. missed two game-tying 3-pointers before hitting a layup at the buzzer ... The loss snapped the Terriers' 15-game home win streak against America East competition and a 12-game win streak in the month of February dating back to 2010 ... Senior Darryl Partin (Seattle, Wash./La Salle) tallied a game-high 19 points and followed with a team-high 13 at Binghamton ... He now has 991 points in 60 games as a Terrier and is just nine away from becoming the sixth-ever Terrier to score at least 1,000 in his final two seasons ... On Saturday, Boston U. led Binghamton, 44-35, with 11:56 remainaing and went on a 17-6 run to pull away for the victory ... Senior Matt Griffin (Narberth, Pa./Rider) hit four 3-pointers on six attempts to finish with a season-high 13 points ... The Terriers held a league opponent below 60 points for the seventh time to claim sole possession of third place in the league standings ... Boston U. will next visit Albany on Monday night and then host Maine on Thursday (Feb. 9) ... Both games will start at 7 p.m.
Hartford Hawks (4-19, 4-7 AE)
Hartford dropped a pair of decisions on the road in its most recent week of action, falling at New Hampshire (Feb. 1) and at Vermont (Feb. 4) ... A pair of rookies notched career-high performances last week as Mark Nwakamma (Leander, Texas/Leander) scored 18 at New Hampshire and Yolonzo Moore II (Austin, Texas/Akins) tallied 17 on 6-of-9 shooting from the floor ... At New Hampshire, Hartford used an 8-0 run out of the half to pull ahead but the Wildcats heated up and battled back with a 14-0 run, including four three-pointers ... The score see-sawed back and forth down the stretch, but after the Hawks hit a three to go up three with 1:47 left, the Wildcats put the game away with back-to-back three pointers to score the 52-51 victory ... At Vermont, Hartford could not recover from a 25-0 first half run by the Catamounts and fell, 82-56 ... Nwakamma recorded three blocks in the outing ... The Catamounts' 82 points marks the most points scored by an opponent since a double overtime, 89-86 setback at Marist (Dec. 21) ... Prior to the start of league play, Hartford committed 19.3 turnovers per game ... Since league play, the Hawks have lowered that number to 12.6-per-outing ... The Hawks will play two this week, first traveling to UMBC on Tuesday (Feb. 7) before returning home for the first time this month to play host to Binghamton on Sunday (Feb. 12).
Maine Black Bears (11-10, 5-5 AE)
Maine won its third-straight contest with a 77-76 overtime win at UMBC Saturday ... Alasdair Fraser (Falkirk, Scotland/Falkirk Clark Eriksson Fury) had his sixth double-double of the season with 21 points and 12 rebounds ... He also gave out four assists, blocked three shots and had a steal ... Freshman Justin Edwards (Whitby, Ontario/Anderson CVI) added 16 points, seven rebounds, six assists and three steals...It was his 14th game this season with at least 14 points and five rebounds ... He has given out at least three assists in 12 games this season...Gerald McLemore (San Diego, Calif./Worcester Academy) had 20 points, including a key tip-in in overtime...He now has nine 20-points games this season and 1,560 career points, 41 shy Kevin Reed for third on the all-time list at Maine...He also has 303 career three-pointers, eight shy of Reed for the school record ... Raheem Singleton (Boston, Mass./Monroe Community College) made the deciding free throws with under seven seconds left in overtime...He finished with 10 points and seven rebounds ... Senior guard Andrew Rogers (Philadelphia, Pa./Archbishop Ryan) was named the male recipient of the 'M' Club Dean Smith Award, given to top male and female student-athlete at UMaine ... the Black Bears continue play Monday at home against Vermont.
UMBC Retrievers (3-19, 2-8 AE)
Despite a pair of losses this week, junior guard Ryan Cook (Laurel, Md./Pallotti) had outstanding back-to-back games vs. Albany and Maine... The walk-on transfer scored a team season-best 28 points at Albany and added a team-best eight rebounds ... Scored 15 of his 21 points in the final 25 minutes in the overtime loss vs. Maine, sparking UMBC's rally from 10 a 62-52 deficit in the final 5:35 to force the extra period ... Hit all 13 free throws in the two games and has moved into the top 20 nationally at 89.6 percent (60/67) ... Cook also corralled eight caroms in each game... Freshman forward Chandler Thomas (Indianapolis, Ind./Cathedral) started in place of the injured Chase Plummer (concussion) at Albany and had his most productive America East game to date, scoring 19 points and adding 7 rebounds... He played a season-high 33 minutes in that game and came back with 29 minutes off the bench in overtime loss vs. Maine, scoring 7 points and adding 6 rebounds... Plummer returned to the lineup after missing his first career game at Albany and responded with 24 points and 9 rebounds vs. the Black Bears... Plummer tied a school record with 18 free throw attempts (14-for-18) ... the mark is now held by five players, but had not been reached previously since 1991 ... The 14 free throws made is tied for third-best made in a single game... UMBC will meet Canisius in Buffalo in the Sears BracketBuster game on Feb. 18 ... It will be the first meeting between the two schools ... The Retrievers have three games in six days this week, as the host Hartford and UNH on Tuesday and Sunday and travel to face first-place Stony Brook in-between on Thursday.
New Hampshire Wildcats (8-13, 3-7 AE)
New Hampshire snapped a two-game losing streak with a 52-51 victory over Hartford on Wednesday evening at Lundholm Gymnasium ... Senior guard Alvin Abreu (Lynn, Mass./Boys to Men Academy) scored 14 of his game-high 20 points in the second half, including the go-ahead 3-pointer that lifted the Wildcats to victory ... Abreu, who shot 7-of-14 from the field, grabbed a career-high 10 rebounds and handed out four assists ... With his four 3-point baskets, the senior co-captain moved into fourth place on UNH's all-time list with 198 treys ... Abreu was named the named America East Player of the Game for UNH, earning his first career double-double ... Chandler Rhoads (Berryville, Va./Air Force Academy) was the only other 'Cat that scored in double-digits, posting 14 points to go along with four assists and two rebounds ... New Hampshire has maintained its reputation as one of the top defensive programs in the league this season, ranking first in defensive 3-point field goal percentage (.325; 87-268) and third in scoring defense (64 ppg) ... The Wildcats also rank fifth in the conference in defensive field goal percentage, holding opponents to a .434 shooting clip (476-1096) from the floor ... New Hampshire has shot over 40 percent in six of the last seven outings; most recently posting a shooting clip of .426 (20-47) against Hartford (Feb. 1) ... Over the seven-game span the ‘Cats shot over 40 percent in four straight games, representing their longest streak of the season ... UNH returns to action Monday, Feb. 6, at 7 p.m. against America East-leading Stony Brook at Lundholm Gymnasium.
Stony Brook Seawolves (15-7, 10-1 AE)
Stony Brook extended its winning streak to six games with victories over SUNY rivals Binghamton and Albany, maintaining its first-place position in the conference...the Seawolves have won 12 of their last 13 games, which is their best 13-game stretch in Div. I history...the win over Binghamton was the team's 12th consecutive home victory, one shy of matching the team's Div. I record of 13...Stony Brook is 10-1 in America East for the first time ever...sophomore Dave Coley (Brooklyn, N.Y.) set a program Div. I record for single-game shooting percentage after going 8-for-9 from the field in a 17-point night at Albany...he scored his 17 in only 20 minutes of action after getting into foul trouble...he averaged 13 points on the week...senior Bryan Dougher (Scotch Plains, N.J.) averaged 13.5 points last week and shot 53% from the field and knocked down six three-pointers...he is only five points away from 1,500 for his career...senior Al Rapier (Chicago, Ill.) posted his second career double-double with 10 points and 12 rebounds at Albany...the 12 rebounds matched a career high...the Stony Brook bench scored a season-high 45 points vs. Binghamton, led by sophomore Anthony Jackson (Columbus, Ohio) and his 14 points...Jackson was 7-for-11 from three-point range last week, including 3-for-3 at Albany...he leads America East in 3-point shooting at 50%...Stony Brook plays three games this week - at New Hampshire Monday, home vs. UMBC Thursday and at Vermont Sunday.
Vermont Catamounts (15-10, 9-2 AE)
Vermont went 2-0 last week and claimed sole possession of second place in the America East standings … The Catamounts opened the week with a 68-67 victory at Boston U in a battle of a pair of 7-2 teams … Sophomore Luke Apfeld (Wolfeboro, N.H./Brewster Academy) let the Cats with 16 points … The Catamounts led by as many as 19 in the second half and had to hold off a furious BU rally down the stretch … UVM has won the last seven games it has played at Agganis Arena … Vermont then returned home on Saturday and earned an 82-56 win over Hartford … Sophomore Sandro Carissimo (Sleepy Hollow, N.Y./Iona Prep) paced the Cats with 16 points and a career-high eight rebounds … Vermont led by as many as 32 in the first half to earn its sixth straight and ninth win in its last 10 games … Eight different Cats scored six points or more … Saturday marked Vermont's sixth straight win at home … With the win Vermont head coach John Becker tied Thomas Keady (1921-22) for the most wins by a first year head coach in UVM history … Vermont has only trailed for a total of 3:29 over its last 93:02 played … The Catamounts return to action on Monday when they travel to face Maine (7 p.m.) and then host Stony Brook on Sunday (12 p.m.) in a game that will be televised on the CBS Sports Network.