Vermont, Albany Win #AEHoops MBB Quarterfinal Contests
Brian Voelkel recorded the first-ever triple-double in tournament history to lead top-seeded Vermont to a 77-60 win over eighth-seeded New Hampshire in the opening quarterfinal of the 2014 America East Men's Basketball Championship at SEFCU Arena Saturday afternoon. The Catamounts (22-9) move on to the semifinals taking on fourth-seeded Albany in a rematch of last year's championship game at 5 p.m. (ESPN3).
The regular-season champion Catamounts used a late first-half run and a solid second-half start to hold off the upstart Wildcats, who led the contest much of the first 20 minutes. Vermont advances to the semifinals for the 15th time, its sixth straight and 12th trip in the last 13 seasons.
A two-time member of the America East All-Conference First Team and the league's Defensive Player of the Year, Voelkel was one of five UVM players to score in double figures. He had 10 points, 10 assists and a game-high 14 rebounds for the first America East triple-double since Stony Brook's Tommy Brenton turned the trick against Maine last season.
The two teams traded the lead four times in the early going before UNH hit three-straight three-pointers in an 11-2 run to go ahead 25-15 at the eight minute mark. New Hampshire hit just three of its first 11 shots before knocking down five of its next six. UVM rallied starting with a three-pointer by Candon Rusin (12 in first half) to halt the UNH string and start a 16-0 run of its own, taking a 35-27 lead at the break.
An early second-half trey by New Hampshire's Jordan Bronner stopped the run at 18-0 but Vermont kept up its hot pace hitting six of its next 10 shots. They closed out UNH by shooting 57 percent from the floor in the second stanza while hitting 13-of-19 free throw attempts.
Rusin and Clancy Rugg each paced Vermont, winner of 11 straight games, with 15 points with Rusin scoring 12 in the first half and Rugg tallying 13 in the second. Voelkel's game-high 14 boards led a UVM domination of the glass as it out-rebounded UNH by a 40-19 margin including 16-5 on the offensive end leading to 21 second chance points. Sandro Carissimo and Luke Apfeld both added a dozen for UVM
Patrick Konan led New Hampshire with 19 points, Bronner had 14 in his last college game and Daniel Dion chipped in with 10. The Wildcats (6-24) stayed with UVM most of the way by going 10-for-22 from three-point range (46%) and committed only 10 turnovers.
Peter Hooley tallied a career-best 30 points to lead fourth-seeded Albany to a runaway 86-56 win over fifth-seeded UMBC in the quarterfinal of the 2014 America East Men's Basketball Championship at SEFCU Arena Saturday afternoon.
The defending champion Great Danes advance to the semifinals taking on the top-seeded Vermont in a rematch of last season's title game Sunday at 5 p.m. (ESPN3). Albany (16-14) will be making its third straight trip to the semifinals and its sixth all-time.
In only 20 minutes of playing time, Hooley hit 12-of-16 overall and five-of-six from beyond the arc in posting the first 30 or more outing in the tournament since Binghamton's Greer Wright (31) and Moussa Camara (30) each did it in a first round match in 2011.
Albany jumped out to a fast start against the Retrievers hitting nine of its first 14 field goal attempts to jump out to a 26-8 lead in the first dozen minutes including a 14-0 run capped by a lay-up by Peter Hooley. Sam Rowley made his first five shots as Albany shot 58 percent in the first half to take a 38-17 lead into the locker room.
Hooley scored 20 in the second half going 8-for-11 as Albany widened its lead against the undermanned Retrievers, who dressed just seven players. The Great Danes hit seven three-pointers in 12 tries after halftime and finished the game 11-for-20 (.550) from downtown.
Sam Rowley paced the inside attack with 15 points on six-for-seven from the floor as Albany outscored UMBC, 40-16, in the paint. The Great Danes finished the game going 56 percent from the floor, committed just nine turnovers, and won the battle of the boards, 36-26.
Senior Quentin Jones and freshman Rodney Elliott scored 18 points apiece to lead UMBC (9-21). In recording a career high in his last collegiate game, Jones went six-for-nine from the field including four three-pointers while Elliott added six assists. Will Darley also chipped in with eight points and a team-high seven boards. The Retrievers, who surpassed their previous season win total for the second-straight year, shot 37 percent for the game and hit nine three-pointers in 24 tries (.375).