Iati, Dickinson Take Home Final Men's Hoops Weekly Honors of 2011-12
After putting together his best two games as a collegian, Iati (York, Pa.) has earned Player of the Week honors on the heels of his 22-point performance at Binghamton Thursday. The effort led his team to a 73-62 win over the Bearcats.
The junior, who eclipsed his career high for the second straight game, connected on 7-of-10 field goal attempts, including 5-of-7 tries from downtown. Iati, who will fore go his last year of eligibility to join the Albany coaching staff, also grabbed four rebounds and had two steals. Prior to his 20-point showing against Rider on Feb. 18, Iati had totaled just 53 points in the first 20 games of the season (2.7 ppg). Forced into the Great Dane lineup because of injuries, Iati has put in 21.0 ppg over his last two games.
Dickinson (Alexandria, Va.) picked up his second Rookie of the Week award of the year after averaging 15.7 points and 5.7 rebounds in three games last week, which included an upset win over then first-place Vermont.
The freshman forward started his week by racking up a double-double of 16 points and 11 rebounds in Binghamton's 57-53 win over the Catamounts. The victory was the Bearcats' first of the year and snapped their 27-game losing streak. Dickinson then scored 21 points on 6-of-9 shooting and added five boards in a loss to Albany. He then wrapped up his week with a 10-point performance in a loss at UNH on Thursday.
Dickinson, who also took home the first Rookie of the Week honor on Nov. 13, ranks 11th among league leaders in scoring (13.0 ppg) and is eighth in rebounding (6.1 rpg).
The Honor Roll
Several other America East players had top performances last week:
• Albany's Mike Black scored 21 points in his lone game of the week, a 74-63 win over Binghamton Thursday. He's averaging 20.0 points per game over his last three games.
• Darryl Partin, America East's second-leading scorer, averaged 19.0 points in two Boston University victories last week.
• Maine's Alasdair Fraser averaged a double-double of 13.0 points and 10.0 rebounds in a pair of games last week.
• Alvin Abreu led New Hampshire to the No. 5 seed for the America East Championship by averaging 16.0 points and 8.0 rebounds. He registered his second double-double of the year (17 pts., 12 rebs.) in Sunday's win over Binghamton.
• Dallis Joyner helped Stony Brook lock up the America East regular-season title by averaging 12.5 points and 6.0 rebounds in two wins last week.
It's Tourney Time
It came down until the final day of the season, but the tournament seeds and matchups for the 2012 America East Men's Basketball Championship were finalized on Sunday. Stony Brook earned the top seed for the upcoming tournament with a 55-48 win over Maine. The 2012 America East Men's and Women's Basketball Championship presented by Newman's Own will be held March 1-4 in West Hartford, Conn. The first round will be played on Thursday, March 1, while four quarterfinal games are scheduled for Saturday, March 3 and two semifinal contests slated for Sunday, March 4. The championship game will take place on Saturday, March 10 at the highest remaining seed. No. 9 Binghamton and No. 8 UMBC will start things off with the first-round contest on Thursday. The winner of that game will play No. 1 Stony Brook on Saturday at 12:05 p.m. Fourth-seeded Albany will take on fifth-seeded New Hampshire at 2:15 p.m. No. 2 Vermont battles No. 7 Maine at 6:05 p.m. while No. 3 Boston U. and No. 6 Hartford close out the quarterfinal contests at 8:15 p.m. The four quarterfinal winners will advance to the semifinal round on Sunday, March 4. The two semifinal winners will then decide the 2012 America East men's basketball champion on Saturday, March 10 on the campus of the highest remaining seed at 11:02 a.m.
Stony Brook Secures Title
Sunday's win gave Stony Brook (20-8, 14-2 AE) its second regular-season title in three years. It also gave the Seawolves the coveted No. 1 seed for the conference tournament and an automatic at-large bid should it not reach the NCAAs. The Seawolves ran off 12 wins in their last 13 games and 15 in their last 17 to reach the 20-win mark for the just the second time in the program's Division I history.
Being First Matters
While the team that wins the conference tournament gets crowned league champion and receives the league's automatic berth, earning one of the top seeds is crucial. 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. Furthermore, the top seed has won 19 of the 32 tournaments while the home team has won 25 of the previous 28 title games played at school site.
Bearcats Upset Things
Heading into the week, Vermont was in position to capture the tournament's No. 1 seed. That was before Binghamton's 57-53 upset win over the Catamounts on Tuesday, which knocked UVM out of first place and ultimately gave it the championship's No. 2 seed. The win snapped Binghamton's 27-game losing skid and was its first of the year.
Albany's Logan Aronhalt was named Capital One Academic All-American by CoSIDA on Thursday. Aronhalt, a second-team selection, has a 3.78 GPA in human biology and ranks fifth in the league scoring 14.2 points per game. Two weeks ago, Aronhalt was named an All-District selection along with Maine's Andrew Rogers, who carries a 3.86 GPA in kinesiology and physical education and ranks sixth in assists (3.5 apg).
Tourney TV Info
Fans who can't make it to Hartford will still be able to catch all the action. The first round and quarterfinal contests will be streamed live in HD on America East All-Access at www.AmericaEast.com for free. Partnering with Pack Network, America East will also provide live video streaming for iPhones. The semifinals will air live on ESPN3, as well as on WatchESPN.com, on smartphones and tablets via the WatchESPN app and through ESPN on Xbox LIVE. ESPN2 will televise the championship game nationally on March 10.
Albany head coach Will Brown received a contract extension on Friday, Feb. 24. The longest tenured head coach in America East, Brown is completing his 11th year at Albany. During that time, he has led his program to 147 wins, two America East titles and as many NCAA appearances. This year, the Great Danes head into the America East Championship as the No. 4 seed, the sixth time in Brown's tenure that they've been fourth or better.
Success in BrackeBusters
With all nine America East teams participating in BracketBusters for the first time, the league went 5-4 in this year's. It's the third time in the last five years that the league has produced a winning BracketBusters record. Albany, Hartford, New Hampshire, Stony Brook and Vermont won its games while Binghamton, Boston U., Maine and UMBC fell. The group went 2-0 against the Colonial Athletic Association, improving the league's record to 7-4 against the CAA this year, 3-3 against the MAAC and 0-1 vs. the Big South.
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 22-3 overall at home this year while the top three teams in the league standings (Stony Brook, Vermont, Boston U.) are a combined 22-2 at home in conference play. The Seawolves, who are a perfect 13-0 at home this year and won 14 straight there overall, and Catamounts both went a perfect 8-0 in home conference games this year.
America East boasts two of nation's top offensive threats in Albany's Gerardo Suero, who has scored 20-plus points 20 times and leads the league and ranks fifth nationally averaging 21.7 ppg. Boston University's Darryl Partin is second in the conference and ranks 19th nationally (19.7 ppg).
Three America East standouts continue to charge up the league's all-time scoring list. Maine's Gerald McLemore is the league's active leading scorer with 1,657 career points, which ranks 27th all-time. UNH's Alvin Abreu ranks 35th all-time with 1,556 points, while Stony Brook's Bryan Dougher falls right behind in 36th place with 1,552 points.
Pair of Coaches Make History
Two America East coaches have made history this season. First, Vermont's John Becker broke a 90-year program mark by winning his 16th game. The Cats added three more to that total, giving Becker 20 so far in his first season in Burlington, establishing a new mark for wins by a first-year head coach. The previous standard of 16 was held by Tom Keady, who won 15 games in the 1921-22 season. UNH coach Bill Herrion also made news increasing his conference win total to 149. That moved him ahead of Tom Brennan (147) and within three of Dennis Wolff (152) for the most in league history all-time.
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 over 60 percent percent of its scoring from freshmen. Additionally, eight of the league's top 20 scorers are freshmen or sophomores, led by UMBC's Chase Plummer, who ranks fourth.
Albany Great Danes (18-13, 9-7 AE)
Albany finished out the regular-season with a win over Binghamton, 74-63 ... The Great Danes locked up the No. 4 seed for the America East Championship and will face the No. 5 seed New Hampshire in the tournament quarterfinals on Saturday, March 3. ... Jacob Iati (York, Pa./ York Catholic) has relished the opportunity of getting more playing time having scored a career-high 22 points versus Binghamton ... Iati in his last two games started has scored 20-plus points for the first time in his career ... In the past three games he has started, the junior guard has hit 14 three-pointers which is one more than he hit all of last season in 29 games played ... Gerardo Suero (Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic/ Our Savior New America) returned to action against Binghamton recorded his second career double-double with 15 points and 11 rebounds, shooting 10-of-12 from the free-throw line ... Mike Black (Chicago, Ill./Oak Park Fenwick), the only starter remaining to have started all 31 games, tallied 21 points and three assists in the win over Binghamton ... The Great Danes finished above .500 (18-13) for the first time in five seasons and are currently riding a two-game winning streak heading into the conference tournament.
Binghamton Bearcats (1-28, 1-15 AE)
Binghamton went 1-2 on the week. The Bearcats snapped their winless streak with an inspired 57-53 win over then league-leading Vermont at the Events Center ... the team shot 45 percent, built a 10-point halftime lead and hung on down the stretch against the Catamounts ... Binghamton then pushed Albany to the closing minutes in an 11-point loss two nights later and closed out the regular season with an 11-point setback at New Hampshire... The team played most of the second half of the Albany game and the entire UNH game without its leading scorer, sophomore guard Robert Mansell (Philadelphia, Pa./Cheltenham), who went down with an injury... Freshman forward Ben Dickinson (Alexandria, Va./Gonzaga) produced a double-double against Vermont and averaged 15.7 points and 5.7 rebounds in the three games... Junior guard Jimmy Gray sealed the win over the Catamounts by making two free throws in the closing seconds... Binghamton will carry the No. 9 seed into the America East tournament and meet No. 8 UMBC for the second straight year. The Bearcats will hope to replicate last year's first-round game when they drilled a tournament record 17 three-pointers en route to a 91-65 win.
Boston U. Terriers (16-15, 12-4 AE)
Defending conference champion Boston University will enter the the upcoming America East tournament as the No. 3 seed on a two-game win streak after earning a 73-52 win at UMBC and 64-55 victory over Hartford ... Senior Darryl Partin (Seattle, Wash./La Salle) led the Terriers in scoring in both contests with 17 points against the Retrievers and a game-high 21 points vs. Hartford ... Leading 23-17 with 6:32 remaining in the first half, Boston U. scored the game's next nine points and went into the locker room ahead, 36-20 ... The Terriers extended the lead to as high as 23 (59-36) before the final outcome ... Game marked the first time they held an opponent under 30 percent shooting this season (.295) ... Senior Patrick Hazel (Jamaica, N.Y./Marquette) finished with 10 points, seven rebounds, one block and one steal ... With the block, he moved into sole possession of second-place all-time at Boston U. in career blocks with 115 ... On Saturday, after honoring the five seniors, the Terriers finished on a 6-0 run over the last 2:47 to sweep the Hawks ... Playing in his final regular season game at Boston U., Matt Griffin (Narberth, Pa./Rider) tallied eight points, five rebounds and five assists ... the Terriers will next face America East tournament host Hartford for the third straight year and fourth time in the last five seasons on Saturday (March 3) at 8:15 p.m. ... Boston U. will try to repeat as league champion for the first time in program history.
Hartford Hawks (8-21, 7-9 AE)
Hartford went 0-2 in the final week of the regular season, first falling to Stony Brook in West Hartford on Tuesday (74-50) before narrowly dropping a 64-55 decision at Boston University on Saturday ... A pair of rookies paced the Hawks in the losses as Yolonzo Moore II (Austin, Texas/Akins) and Mark Nwakamma (Leander, Texas/Leander) averaged 11.0 and 10.5 points per game, respectively ... Hartford was outrebounded by its opponents, 72-37, on the week and combined to shoot just 36.7 percent compared to 54.0 percent by its opponents ... On Tuesday, Hartford trailed by just three at half time but Stony Brook shot a blistering 78.9 percent in the second stanza to charge ahead on Senior Night ... Veteran Genesis Maciel (Los Angeles, Calif./Compton Centennial/Worcester Academy) netted 12 points, all in the first half on three-pointers ... At Boston University, the Hawks cut an 11 point second half deficit to just two points but could not complete the comeback ... Moore finished with 17 points, tying a career-high, while Andres Torres (Guaynabo, Puerto Rico/Colegio Adianez) handed out six assists ... The senior point guard combined for 11 on the week and is now third in Hartford history with 323 ... the Hawks and Terriers will meet again this season in the quarterfinal round of the America East Championships on Saturday evening at 8:15 p.m. at Chase Arena ... The two teams will be meeting in the tournament for the third straight season and fourth in the last five.
Maine Black Bears (12-16, 6-10 AE)
Maine defeated New Hampshire on Senior Day 71-58 before falling at Stony Brook in a hard fought contest 55-48 ... Against the Wildcats, Alasdair Fraser (Falkirk, Scotland/Falkirk Clark Eriksson Fury) has his seventh double-double with 14 points and 10 rebounds ... Gerald McLemore (San Diego, Calif./Worcester Academy) added 16 points while freshman Justin Edwards (Whitby, Ontario/Anderson CVI) had 13 points and three assists ... Against Stony Brook, the Black Bears came back from a 15-point first half deficit to make it a one-point game late in the second half, but could not quite overcome the Seawolves ... Fraser had his eighth double-double of the year with 12 points and 10 rebounds...Edwards added 12 points, three rebounds and three assists ... Should McLemore's maintain his 92.4 percent free throw percentage, he will break Skip Chapelle's program record of 87.4 percent set during the 1961-62 season...Edwards has 23 games of at least 10 points and at least three rebounds and/or three assists this season ... Maine continues play on Saturday against the #2 seed Vermont in the America East Championship.
UMBC Retrievers (5-24, 3-13 AE)
UMBC dropped league contests to Boston U. and at Vermont to conclude the regular season ... Forward Chase Plummer (Plainview, N.J./St. Patrick) has currently scored the second-most points for any sophomore in UMBC's 26-year Division I history with 429 ... Peter Mulligan scored 447 in the 2001-02 campaign ... Plummer also became the fifth player (7th occurance) in 26 seasons to post 400 points and 200 rebounds in a season ... His 113 free throws made are now sixth in UMBC's Division I era ... Plummer's streak of 11 consecutive games in double figures ended when he recorded 8 at Vermont on Feb. 25 ... He did not get to the free throw line as UMBC converted just 3-of-6 in the contest ... Junior guard Brian Neller (Red Bank, N.J./Christian Bros. Academy) hit five 3-pointers vs. the Catamounts, hitting five for the first time since the Jan. 2 league opener at UNH... He currently has 77 treys on the year, the sixth-best single season figure in UMBC's Division I history ... UMBC will meet Binghamton in the first round of the America East Tournament on Thursday ... Despite an opening round loss to Binghamton last season, UMBC has an 8-7 all-time America East Tournament record ... The Retrievers went five consecutive years with at least one victory in postseason play before a quarterfinal defeat at the hands of Vermont in 2010.
New Hampshire Wildcats (13-15, 7-9 AE)
New Hampshire went 1-1 in its final week of regular season action ... the Wildcats have won six of their last eight games ... In its most recent outing UNH took down Binghamton, 58-49, on Sunday afternoon at Lundholm Gymnasium ... Alvin Abreu (Lynn, Mass./Boys to Men Academy) earned his second career double-double registering a team-high 17 points to go along with a career-best 12 rebounds against the Bearcats ... He was tabbed the America East Player of the Game, adding three assists and two steals to his line ... He shot 7-of-14 from the floor and 3-of-4 from deep in the contest ... Brian Benson (Rochester, N.Y./Greece Athena) chipped in with 15 points, eight rebounds and one steal in 37 minutes ... In the outing prior the 'Cats fell to Maine, 71-58, on Wednesday night at Alfond Arena ... Abreu collected America East Player of the Game honors, finishing with 15 points, four boards, three assists and two steals ... Benson added 14 points and seven rebounds ... Chandler Rhoads (Berryville, Va./Air Force Academy) and Ferg Myrick (Philadelphia, Pa./Prep Charter) rounded out UNH's double-digit scorers with 13 points apiece ... Rhoads chipped with seven boards and five helpers ... The fifth-seeded Wildcats return to action Saturday, March 3 at 2:15 p.m. when they take on No. 4 Albany in the quarterfinal round of the America East Championship tournament at Hartford's Chase Arena.
Stony Brook Seawolves (20-11, 14-2 AE)
Stony Brook put a wrap on its most successful regular season in its Div. I history after winning two games to clinch the regular season championship outright ... it is SBU's second regular season title in three seasons ... the team's 14-2 record is the team's best-ever America East record, surpassing the 2009-10 team's 13-3 mark ... Stony Brook has now won 11 of its last 12 games and 17 of its last 19 ... the 20-win regular season is the program's second-ever ... the 2009-10 team won 21 regular season games ... the win at Hartford was Stony Brook's fifth in its last six road games and seventh in its last nine ... the win over Maine kept Stony Brook undefeated at home this season ... the Seawolves have won 14 consecutive home games, a new program Div. I record ... the streak is tied for the 13th longest home winning streak in the nation ... Stony Brook is one of only 13 teams in the nation that is undefeated at home this season ... senior Dallis Joyner (Norfolk, Va.) had an outstanding week by averaging 12.5 points and shooting 67 percent from the field ... he tied a career high with four assists at Hartford ... junior Tommy Brenton (Columbia, Md.) recorded his fourth double-double of the year with 11 points and 12 rebounds at Hartford ... senior Bryan Dougher (Scotch Plains, N.J.) scored a game-high 17 points at Hartford and had nine vs. Maine ... he is only 30 points away from breaking Stony Brook's all-time Div. I scoring record ... Stony Brook will head to the America East Championship as the No. 1 seed and will play either No. 8 UMBC or No. 9 Binghamton in the quarterfinals.
Vermont Catamounts (20-11, 13-3 AE)
Vermont ended the regular season last week by splitting a pair of games … The Cats fell to Binghamton on the road on Tuesday and then bounced back to defeat UMBC 80-49 on Saturday in the regular season finale as part of Senior Day … the loss to the Bearcats snapped a 10-game winning streak for Vermont … On Saturday senior Matt Glass (Underhill Center, Vt./NMH/UMass) scored 18 points to go with eight rebounds to lead UVM over UMBC … The Cats reached 20 wins for the ninth time in the last 11 seasons after not accomplishing the feat in the first 87 years of program history … The Catamount senior class earned its 92nd career victory on Saturday, which are the most in program history and it marks their fourth straight 20-win season … Vermont has now won nine straight at home by an average of 18.6 points per game … Of UVM's 20 wins, 14 have been by double figures … The Cats enter the conference tournament having won 11 of their last 12 overall … Vermont earned the second seed for the conference tournament and will face seventh-seeded Maine in the quarterfinals on Saturday starting at 6:05 p.m. in a game that will be shown on ESPN3 … UVM swept the Black Bears this season, as well as both of its potential semifinal opponents in Boston U and Hartford.