America East Notebook
by Stephen Murphy
Finally, the Pre-season NIT tournament! I kept reading about the BCS, I thought that stood for the Boston and the Cardinal of Stanford game. The Terriers traveled to California for the first time since 1999. Boston last appeared in the Preseason NIT in 1997, where the Terriers lost to Connecticut, 68-54, in the first round. This is the Cardinal’s third appearance in the Preseason NIT. They lost to Indiana in the second round (1988), in 1998 they lost to UNC in the finals 57-49.
The other night the Cardinal of Stanford and the Terriers tipped off in Palo Alto, as the Terriers began their defense of their America East Conference Crown. Stanford, which had junior All-Americans Casey Jacobsen and Curtis Borchardt declare early for the NBA, was unranked in the initial poll, the first time its missed out in 94 weeks – which was the second longest streak to Duke. Junior forward Billy Johnson led the way with 13 points, guard Kevin Fitzgerald chipped in with 12. A tenacious Terrier defense held the Cardinal scoreless for the first 6:19 of the game. Stanford junior guard Matt Lottich finally sank a three-pointer with 13:41 remaining to make it 8-3.
The Terrier advantage grew to nine points at 12-3 as sophomore forward Rashad Bell hit a pair of free throws. Bell connected on a career-high 9-of-10 from the line. Overall, the Terriers made 16-of-18 free throws, while Stanford hit 15-of-24. After containing the Cardinal to 19 first half points the Terriers lost their grip. Stanford forward Josh Childress would lead all scorers with 22 points, while Matt Lottich (guard) and Justin Davis (forward) would contribute12 apiece. Stanford escaped with a 61-57 victory; they advance to meet the West, David that is. Stanford (1-0) advanced to host Xavier University, an 87-48 winner over St. Peter’s, in the second round at Maples Pavilion.
Overall the Terriers are heading in the right direction, they are favored to win their Conference for the second consecutive year. Redshirt junior Matt Turner is back from injury. With an exhibition victory over One on One, and eight starters returning from last season things are on the up. This is a team produced its fifth America East Championship and sixth NCAA Tournament appearance.
Vermont – “Hurtington in Burlington”
University of Vermont junior T.J. Sorrentine is sidelined for at least three weeks after suffering injuries to both of his wrists last Friday. Sorrentine broke a bone in each wrist after colliding in an intra-squad scrimmage last Friday. We are in hockey territory; someone should inform T.J. that cross-checking is not allowed. The Catamounts played exceptional without their “Veal Sorrentine” on November 17; Taylor Coppenrath led four players in double figures with 34 points.
Coppenrath, along with Grant Anderson, Matt Sheftic and Scotty Jones, led a strong inside game for Vermont, who shot 58% from the floor. Vermont won the battle on the boards 51-32. and outscored the All-Stars 56-24 in the paint. The Catamounts play either Marist, or Colgate in the Pepsi-Marist Classic.
Vin Baker’s Alma mater of Hartford men’s basketball team cruised to a 101-58 win over Unibanka Cesis of Latvia Saturday night at the Chase Family Arena.
The Hawks scored the games first nine points, and never trailed. Latvia got on the board with a pair of free throws at the 13:41 mark. The Hawks steadily increased their lead throughout the first half, taking a 53-29 lead into the break.
Hartford shot 53 percent from the floor in the first half, fared even better in the second stanza. The Hawks connected on 17-of-26 from the field in the second half for a blistering 65 percent. The Hawks held Latvia to 37% shooting. Senior Josh Odugbela finished with 16 points and six rebounds in 23 minutes while classmate Pierre Johnson recorded 13 points and seven rebounds. The Hawks play home in West Hartford Tuesday against Long Island University.
Maine Head coach John Giannini announced the signing of Chris Bruff, a 6’3, 195-pound shooting guard at Northwest Catholic High School in West Hartford, Conn. Bruff was one of the top 40 players at the Eastern Invitational in New Jersey this summer and also played in the Adidas Big Time tournament in Las Vegas. Northwest Catholic is a favorite to win the state title, even after moving up in class from M to L, the second-largest class in Connecticut.
Maine ended their exhibition schedule undefeated with victories over G.T. Express 74-46, and the Connecticut Stars 11-98. Captain, and pre-season first team pick Justin Rowe tallied 17 points, and 12 boards over the Stars. Maine received exceptional play from freshman Kevin Reed who came off the bench to score 19 points against the express. The game had to be called early due to condensation buildup on the court. The Black Bears held an 18-point lead when the decision was made. Giannini’s squad is ready to contend with Rowe, Ricky white, and an excellent bench that could have the Bears in first place in the A-East at season’s end. Maine plays at home Saturday where they host UM-Fort Kent in the Maine Tip-off Tournament.
Binghamton Senior guard Anthony Green scored a game-high 23 points to lead the Bearcats to an 89-70 victory over Upstate AAU in an exhibition game Saturday in West Gym. Green scored 10 of his 23 points in the first 11 minutes. BU opened a 31-8 lead as freshman forward Sebastian Hermenier scored 16 points and senior forward Stanley Ocitti added nine points. Seven-foot sophomore center Nick Billings contributed nine points, nine rebounds and five blocks. The Bearcats play at home Saturday against Lafayette.
University of New Hampshire men’s basketball coach Phil Rowe announced Tuesday the addition of three walk-ons to the 2002-03 roster. Freshmen Jeremy Friel, Peter Zotto and Stephen Salis who earned their spots this preseason I hope they know cross checking is not allowed. The Wildcats are home Saturday against Miami (Florida), then travel Monday to Northwestern. They jump into action without their top guns from last year Chris Brown, and Austin Ganly. Senior Jeff Senulis, and junior Kyle Peterson will lead the way for the cats.
The Stony Brook men’s basketball team fell to Central Connecticut 68-58 in a preseason scrimmage Jarius McCollum, and Mike Konopka scored 15 points apiece, while J.P. Kobryn, and Larry Jenning tallied ten each. It was Stony Brook’s first preseason tune-up of the 2002-03 season.
Five Seawolves scored in double figures as Stony Brook defeated the One-World All-Stars, 71-65, in an exhibition match up Monday night at the Indoor Sports Complex. Jonpaul Kobryn led all Sea wolves’ scorers with 14 points and seven boards. The Seawolves had four players in double figures. The brook shot 50% from the floor, and hope they can continue that Saturday, when they open their regular season at home against Sacred Heart.
Northeastern men’s basketball team defeated the GT Express 88-82 in exhibition action on November 4th at Solomon Court. Javorie Wilson and Adam Drain had 21, and 18 points respectively to lead the way. Jesse Dunn and Jamaar walker also had double digits. This was the exhibition opener for the Huskies; they would go on to lose to BABC on November 12th 91-89. Northeastern would rally in that game, but could not complete the comeback. The bright side was the play of Point guard Jose Juan Barea, who looked solid in his Husky debut. Barea had team high 18 points and 5 assists after missing the first exhibition with an illness. Sylbrin Robinson, who also missed NU’s first preseason game, had 11 points, 13 rebounds, four blocks and three steals. The Huskies bench played well in the loss, and coach Ron Everhart has to feel confident heading into the opener with the performance of Robinson. Northeastern plays Rhode Island at home Friday.
Former Syracuse star Lawrence Moten scored 20 points to pace six players in double figures, as the USDBL all-stars posted a 99-95 exhibition victory over Albany on Tuesday, Nov. 12 at the Recreation and Convocation Center. Albany led by junior E.J. Gallup. (If he can make up his mind to stay, or depart) will play Friday at Siena. There is good news from the capital of New York, coach Will Brown announced that two-student-athletes have signed national letters of intent for 2003-04. Jon Iati, a 5-foot-9, 150-pound guard from York, Pa. (York Catholic H.S.) and Todd Martin, a 6-foot-7, 220-pound forward from Upland, Calif. (Upland H.S.). November 20 is when the early signing period runs out, Albany has three more available scholarships