Binghamton’s Richard Forbes (Far Rockaway, N.Y./Far Rockaway/Howard JC) led the Bearcats to a pair of wins on the week, including a road victory over the ACC’s Miami, en route to being named America East Player of the Week for the first time in his career. Vermont's Joe Trapani (Madison, Conn./Daniel Hand) becomes the third league freshmen to repeat as America East Rookie of the Week this season. The awards were announced on Tuesday (December 26).
Forbes, a 6-0 junior college transfer, scored a game-high 27 points on 9-of-13 shooting (4-of-6 from three) and added four assists and three steals as the Bearcats recorded the biggest victory in program history with their 79-74 win at Miami. Forbes netted back-to-back baskets in the final three minutes to fend off a Hurricane rally. In Binghamton’s win over North Florida earlier in the week, he scored 15 of his 21 points in the second half to league the Bearcats to another non-conference road win.
Trapani continued to lead the Catamounts last week, as Vermont picked up a pair of victories. The freshman scored a team-high 19 points and added six boards in a win over Dartmouth and then went off for a game- and career-high 25 in a 101-87 victory at Quinnipiac. Trapani added six boards, a block and two steals against the Bobcats. He hit 17-for-25 (68 percent) from the floor and 6-for-12 (50 percent) from three.
Bearcats Survive Hurricanes
Binghamton recorded the biggest victory of their five-year Division I history as they knocked off the ACC’s Hurricanes, 79-74, on December 20. Richard Forbes (Far Rockaway, N.Y./Far Rockaway/Howard JC) netted a career-high 27 points to lead Binghamton to victory as Steve Proctor (Largo, Md./Paul VI/Pensacola JC) and Lazar Trifunovic (Belgrade, Serbia/Secondary Railway Tech) also netted double-digits for the Bearcats with 20 and 13 points, respectively. Binghamton shot 56.6 percent (30-for-53) from the field, 80.0 percent (12-for-15) from the line and 41.2 percent (7-for-17) from beyond the arc. America East is now 2-2 versus the ACC as Vermont knocked off then-#14 Boston College earlier this season.
With at least 18 regular-season non-conference games remaining, America East squads have already sailed past last year's non-conference win total. America East teams are currently 44-51 (.463) in 2006-07, compared to just 33-69 (.324) a season ago. The conference is on pace to register 52 regular-season non-conference victories this campaign, which would be the most since the league recorded 52 in 1994-95 when there were also nine teams in the league.
Four league teams are currently .500 or better on the 2006-07 season, with two squads just one game below the break-even point as well. Last season, only Albany (8-8) posted a non-conference mark of .500 or better.
The biggest component to America East's non-conference success this season has been the ability of league teams to win on the road. Conference teams have combined to win 27 road games in 2006-07, compared to just nine a season ago. As a conference, America East ranks fourth in the country in road win percentage as the league teams are combined to win 63.4 percent of their road outings. Only the Southwestern Athletic Conference (74.1 percent), Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference (67.7) and Southern Conference (65.9) boast better non-conference road winning percentages than America East. The most notable road victory to date was Vermont's victory at #14 Boston College, but the overall road successes of the league could loom large when the league's automatic qualifier is seeded for the NCAA Tournament and for other postseason candidates as well.
The Collegiate Basketball News RPI (Ratings Percentage Index) Report was release on Monday (Dec. 25) and America East moved up on spot to the 23rd-ranked league in the nation. By virtue of Binghamton's non-conference victory over the ACC's Miami, the Bearcats moved up a conference-best 47 spots to 230. Defending Champion Albany also jumped 23 spots to pace the league as the 128th-ranked team in the nation.
• As a conference, the league ranks 24th in the country, which is four spots higher than last season's final RPI of 27, and 12th among other mid-major leagues. Most notably, America East ranks ahead of the MAAC (27th overall/16th among mid-majors) and the Ohio Valley (26th/15th).
• Six of the nine America East members currently boast higher RPIs than they finished with a season ago.
• Four America East members have made significant jumps in the RPI when compared to the 2005-06 campaign. See the list below that compares last year's final RPI with this year's current RPI and the number of spots each school has moved up.
School 2005-06 2006-07 Increase
UMBC 297 181 +116
Stony Brook 310 299 +110
Hartford 268 172 +96
Vermont 212 145 +67
America East Opening Night
The league portion of the 2006-07 slate gets underway on Wednesday, January 3 with America East Opening Night. Four conference tilts and one in-state showdown highlight an evening that will feature t-shirt and 2007 America East Championship ticket giveaways on five campuses around the league.
America East Opening Night Schedule
*Hartford at Maine, 7 p.m.
*UMBC at Binghamton, 7 p.m.
*Stony Brook at Vermont, 7 p.m.
Holy Cross at Boston U., 7 p.m. (CN8)
*UNH at Albany, 7:30 p.m. (AETV: NESN/TW3)
*America East Conference game
Holiday Reporting Schedule
With the holiday season upon us, the weekly reporting schedule has been slightly altered. The next weekly report will be produced and distributed on Tuesday, January 2.
Lights, Camera, Action
America East announced its most comprehensive television schedule in history with more than 50 men’s and women’s basketball games slated for broadcast in 2006-07 (see following page for complete schedule). Included in the package is the America East Men’s Basketball Championship, which will air live on ESPN2 on March 10 at 12 noon. It marks the 19th-consecutive year that the championship game will appear on ESPN/ESPN2.
America East and ESPN Regional Television will team up to produce and distribute games throughout the America East geographic footprint, which includes several of the nation’s top 25 media markets including New York (No. 1), Boston (No. 5), Washington, D.C. (No. 8), Baltimore and Hartford. In addition, no fewer than 12 games will be included in the ESPN Full Court package, the subscription service provided by ESPN. The games will also be available on-line via video streaming at AmericaEast.com.
Championship Tickets On Sale now
Tickets for the 2007 America East Men's Basketball Championship on March 2-4 at Boston University's Agganis Arena are on sale now. To purchase tickets visit www.AmericaEast.com.
Championship returns to Boston
The America East Men’s Basketball Championship returns to Boston in 2007 as Boston University hosts the nine-team tournament on March 2-4 at Agganis Arena. The first round game will take place on Friday, March 2, followed by the quarterfinals on Saturday, March 3 and the semifinals on Sunday, March 4.
Tournament ticket packages are $30 for youth/students and $60 for adults. To purchase tickets call 617-353-GoBU or online at www.AmericaEast.com. To request media credentials for the conference’s premier event, email K.J. Cardinal (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Albany Great Danes
Albany (6-4, 0-0 America East) is above the .500 mark after 10 games for the first time as a Division I program... The Great Danes extended their winning streak to four straight with a 78-75 victory at Cornell on Dec. 22... UAlbany shot a season-best 53.8 percent from the field and tied a season-low with 11 turnovers... The contest featured 15 lead changes and 10 ties... UAlbany registered back-to-back non-conference road wins for the first time since the beginning of the 2004-05 campaign... The Great Danes defeated all three Ivy League opponents on this year’s schedule after having beaten Brown and Harvard earlier this month... Jamar Wilson (Bronx, N.Y./Our Savior New American School) scored 10 of his 17 points over the final six minutes of play... Wilson, who scored in double figures for the 86th time as a collegian, moved into a tie for fourth place on the school’s career assists chart with 386... Brian Lillis (Urbandale, Iowa/West Des Moines Dowling) equaled a career-high with 14 points, including eight in the final six minutes... Lillis, who had six rebounds, three blocks and two assists, also scored 14 against Cornell last year... Brent Wilson (Cedar Rapids, Iowa/Prairie) netted 19 points on 8-of-9 shooting from the floor... Wilson has scored in twin figures in four-consecutive games, and is averaging 16.8 ppg and shooting 74.3 percent from the field (26-of-35) in that span... Jimmie Covington (Chicago, Ill./Morgan Park) posted career-highs in points (7) and rebounds (7) off the bench... Jon Iati (York, Pa./York Catholic) climbed into a tie for fifth in career three-point field goals with 132... Jason Siggers (Dallas, Texas/Skyline) had his six-game, double-digit scoring streak halted at Cornell... Siggers, who had nine points and four assists, played despite spraining his left ankle 48 hours prior to the game in practice... The Great Danes return to the Beehive State to take on Utah (Dec. 28) and Utah Valley State (Dec. 30)... In Dec. 2000, UAlbany played in the Utah State Tournament.
Binghamton (6-4, 0-0 America East) is riding a three-game win streak, capped by a stunning 79-74 upset of University of Miami on December 20 - the biggest win in program history... The Bearcats have now alternated three-game streaks over the last nine games - winning three, losing three, and now winning three in a row... At Miami, Binghamton shot a remarkable 71 percent in the second half to take down the ACC member Hurricanes... Senior guard Richard Forbes (Far Rockaway, N.Y./Far Rockaway/Howard JC) scored a game-high 27 points on 9-of-13 shooting (4-of-6 three-pointers) and added four assists and four three steals... Senior guard Steve Proctor (Largo, Md./Paul VI/Pensacola JC) added 20 points on 8-of-12 marksmanship... Proctor converted a pair of free throws with 20 seconds left to help seal the victory... Freshman Lazar Trifunovic (Belgrade, Serbia/Secondary Railway Technical School) scored 13 points on 5-of-7 accuracy... During the team’s win streak, Binghamton is shooting 52 percent from the field and 80 percent from the line... Forbes is averaging 22.3 points per game on 73 percent shooting during the three-game stretch ... Proctor is averaging 21.0 on 56 percent shooting during the same period ... Binghamton’s six non-conference victories are the most in its Division I tenure.
Boston University Terriers
Boston University’s (3-6, 0-0 America East) comeback attempt fell short as the Terriers dropped a 65-51 decision to the Rhode Island Rams Friday, Dec. 22 at the Ryan Center... Redshirt freshman Tyler Morris’ (Indianapolis, Ind./Lawrence North) 25 points were a game high... He also had a career-best five steals and went 7-for-7 from the free throw line... Senior Omari Peterkin (St. Thomas, Virgin Islands/Univ. of Notre Dame), in his first start of the season, totaled 10 points and eight rebounds... Boston U. got off to a slow start, with URI taking a 13-2 lead six minutes into the game... The Terriers fought back to within one, 22-21 at 5:15, but the Rams went on a 10-4 run to end the first half. Boston U. was down just eight points, 57-49 with 4:27 left in the game, after a pair of Morris free throws, but URI went on an 8-2 run to close out the win... The Terriers break for the holidays before traveling south to New York City to make their first ever appearance in Madison Square Garden in the Aeropostale Holiday Festival.
Hartford (6-5, 0-0 America East) lost at Brown in its only game on the week... The Hawks had their three-game win streak snapped as they suffered their first loss to an Ivy League foe in four outings... The Bears were lights out shooting the ball as they connected on 62.2 percent (23-for-37) from the field, 57.1 percent (16-for-28) from three-point land and 91.7 percent (33-for36) from the charity stripe... Hartford was led by Bo Taylor’s 19 points... Joe Zeglinski (18 points), Jaret Von Rosenberg (16) and Michael Turner (12) also netted double figures for the Hawks.
Maine Black Bears
Maine (5-6, 0-0 America East) fell to Penn State 75-42 on Saturday afternoon in State College, Pa... Maine was led by Jon Sheets (Grass Valley, Pa./Nevada Union/Yuba City CC) who had 10 points, seven rebounds, three steals, two assists and one block... The seven rebounds tied his career high, as he also pulled down seven rebounds against Vermont last season... It was the fifth time in the last six games that Sheets has scored 10 or more points in a game... The Penn State game featured the debut of Brian Andre (Bingham, Maine/Valley/Univ. of Buffalo) who was eligible following the first semester after transferring from the University of Buffalo... Andre finished the game with seven points and three rebounds... He tied for second on the team with 29 minutes played... Kevin Reed (Yarmouth, Mass./Dennis-Yarmouth/St. Thomas More) played his 100th-career game on Saturday at Penn State... Reed had a game-high five steals... He has 192 career steals which ranks fourth on Maine’s all-time steals list... Maine had 13 steals in the game against the Nittany Lions... The Black Bears return to action on Thursday, December 28 when they travel to Reno, Nevada to face the Wolf Pack... Nevada is ranked 20th in the nation in the latest USA Today/ESPN coaches’ poll.
Host William and Mary hit 14 of 21 field goal attempts in the first half went on to a 70-58 win over UMBC (4-8, 0-0 America East) on Friday, Dec. 22... Junior guard Brian Hodges (Upper Marlboro, Md./Bishop McNamara) led UMBC with 16 points, while sophomore wing Thomas Young (Philadelphia, Pa./Plymouth-Whitemarsh) added 14 and senior guard Chris Pugh (Clinton, Md./Oxon Hill) tallied 13... Sophomore guard Jay Greene (Whitehall, Pa./Whitehall) returned to the lineup after missing the last game with a sprained knee ligament, but was held to two points and zero assists in 25 minutes... Greene entered the game as the nation’s 18th-leading assist-man with 5.9 per game, but UMBC recorded only six assists on 21-of-45 field goals... Freshman post Justin Fry (New Bloomfield, Pa./West Perry), averaging 10.2 ppg in his last three starts, was held scoreless in 20 minutes... The Retrievers have dropped three straight for the first time this season... The two teams combined to hit 34-of-37 free throw attempts in the game... UMBC returns to the RAC Arena for the first time since Dec. 3 when they entertain Central Connecticut on Dec. 30... It will be UMBC’s first game versus a member of the Northeast Conference since the Retrievers joined the America East four seasons ago... UMBC was a +25 in assists/turnovers in its 3-3 stretch, but are a -31 in its recent 0-3 slide... The Retrievers have hit just 25 of their last 95 (26.3 percent) from three-point range in its last six games... After hitting 19 three-point field goals (of 43, 44.2 percent) in his first six games, Greene has made just 5-of-25 (20 percent) in his last five outings and is 0-for-9 in his last two appearances.
New Hampshire Wildcats
New Hampshire (2-8, 0-0 America East) registered a 1-1 record for the week... UNH fell to a scrappy Northeastern squad, 51-41, at Solomon Court on December 18 as senior co-captain Blagoj Janev (Sydney, Australia/Australia Institute of Sport) posted 16 points and eight rebounds, while junior forward Mike Christensen (Reston, Va./Flint Hill) chipped in seven points and six rebounds... UNH snapped a four game losing streak on Friday when they defeated defending Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference (MAAC) champion Iona College by an impressive 67-52 margin... UNH tallied four scorers in double digits as seniors Jermaine Anderson (Beverly, Mass./Phillips Exeter) and Janev combined for 24 points and nine rebounds, while Christensen notched a team-high 15 points... For the game, UNH shot a season best 14-of-19 from the charity stripe (73.7 percent) and the defense caused 16 Iona turnovers... The Wildcats connected on 9-of-23 (39.1 percent) from beyond the arc as they halt a four-game losing streak and record their second road win of the season... The Wildcats return to action on Friday (Dec. 29) when they travel to participate in the Kent State Tournament... UNH will play Elon in the first round with the tip-off scheduled to start at 4:30 p.m.
Stony Brook Seawolves
Stony Brook (5-6, 0-0 America East) played three games in six days this past week, going 2-1, enroute to eclipsing its total win output from last season... In a 65-61 win at NJIT, the Seawolves topped the Highlanders behind four double-digit scorers... Junior Ricky Lucas (Herndon, Va./Herndon/George Washington) led the way with 17 points and nine rebounds, while senior Andre Vanterpool (Manhasset, N.Y./Manhasset/M.C.C.) added 15 points and five boards... The Seawolves struggled versus Dartmouth on Thursday evening, falling to the Big Green, 71-50... Ten Seawolves scored in the game, but none reached double-digits as Stony Brook shot just 33 percent in the game and made only five field goals in the first half... The Seawolves managed to go just under 12 minutes without a field goal in the first half... Stony Brook convincingly defeated Fairleigh Dickinson, 82-58, for its first home win of the season... Mike Popoko (Baltimore, Md./McDonough School) was named the America East Player of the Game as he netted a game-high 21 points, including 17 in the first half... Lucas and Vanterpool once again made major contributions in the victory, as Lucas scored 18 and Vanterpool went for 15... The Seawolves defense was the difference in the game, holding FDU to 29 percent shooting and 26 percent from downtown... The Seawolves have plenty of rest, as they don’t play their next contest until Dec. 30 when they travel to Notre Dame to take on the Fighting Irish in a game that will be televised on MSG.
Vermont (7-5, 0-0 America East) went 2-0 on the week with wins over Dartmouth and Quinnipiac... The Catamounts defeated the Big Green in Burlington 73-62 on Thursday night behind 19 points
from freshman Joe Trapani (Madison, Conn./Daniel Hand) and 14 from sophomore Mike Trimboli (Norwalk, Conn./St. Luke’s)... On Saturday Trapani and Trimboli combined for 49 as the Catamounts downed Quinnipiac 101-87 on the road... The 101 points are the most for the Catamounts since they netted 111 versus Middlebury in 2003 and most against a Division I opponent since putting up 101 against Sacred Heart in 2002... Trapani ended with a career-high 25 and added six boards on 10-of-15 shooting while Trimboli was one shy of a career-high with 24 and seven assists... Four Catamount starters reached double figures for the second time this season, as Vermont is now 2-0 when that takes place... Saturday was the first meeting between the two teams in men’s basketball... The last time that the Catamounts played on NESN they defeated then 14th-ranked Boston College 77-63 on November 13... 10 different Catamounts recorded at least one assist in the game... Vermont is now 20-7 when Martin Klimes comes off the bench... The Catamounts have won 18 of their last 26 against teams from the state of Connecticut... Vermont has now recorded season-low turnover totals in its last two games with 12 on Saturday... Vermont has now out-rebounded 10 of its 12 opponents this season and Chris Holm (Henderson, Nev./Green Valley) has had double digit rebounding totals nine times.