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America East Notebook

January 28, 2003 Conference Notes No Comments

America East Conference Notebook

by Adam Reich

The Battle of Boston

Case Gymnasium was rocking Saturday afternoon with Boston University leading cross-town rival Northeastern 46-30 with just over 16 minutes left in the game. But with the Terriers perhaps counting their seventh straight conference win, the Huskies woke up and decided to play a little ball. Sparked by reserve guard Derrel Keys, who before Saturday was averaging less than five minutes per game, the Huskies went on a 7-0 run. An Aaron Davis steal and lay-up brought NU to within six, 56-50, with 9 minutes to play. Coach Dennis Wolff called a timeout to regroup his troops, but the Huskies just kept on rolling. Back to back threes by Javorie Wilson and Sylbrin Robinson tied the game with 7 minutes and change remaining. A pair of free throws by Jose Juan Barea capped a 10-0 run and gave NU its first lead since 5-4, as the usually raucous BU students were made silent by now boisterous Husky fans.

But, the BU student section didn’t remain quiet for long. A monstrous follow-up dunk by Rashad Bell brought the house down, and just like that the momentum swung back in favor of the Terriers. Adding insult to injury, Barea picked up his 4th foul on the next BU possession, thus causing the Huskies to play without their floor leader for valuable minutes down the stretch. Bell was immense for BU in crunch time, scoring on consecutive drives to give BU a 64-63 lead with 1:50 left. A pair of Robinson free throws gave NU a brief lead until Billy Collins knotted the game by hitting one of two with one minute to go. This set the stage for Barea, who had just stepped back on the court with his four fouls. With the shot clock winding down, Barea threw up a 25-footer that hit nothing but net. Matt Turner’s three-point bid to tie the game went in and out, and the Huskies hit four straight from the line to ice the game. The 72-69 victory was only the Huskies second in their last nine meetings with the Terriers.

Jose Juan Barea led the Huskies (9-10, 2-4) with eighteen points, thirteen of which came after the break. Sylbrin Robinson, who notched his seventh double-double of the season, tallied sixteen points and ten boards. Rashad Bell had another monster game for BU (11-7, 6-1), hitting nine-of-twelve field goals and all seven of his free throw attempts for a game-high 24 points. Billy Collins added eighteen points and nine rebounds for the Terriers. Matt Turner, whose game-tying three was off the mark, had a horrid shooting day, hitting only four-of-fifteen. Derrel Keys, who had season highs in points, rebounds and steals in seventeen huge minutes off the bench, shadowed Turner for much of the game.

The best of the rest

Led by Jerrel Parker’s fifteen second-half points, the Hartford Hawks (9-8, 4-2) knocked off the Catamounts in Burlington on Saturday, 63-55. The loss ended Vermont’s school-record 16 game home winning streak. UVM (11-8, 5-2) shot 29% from the floor in the second half, and connected on just two-of-fifteen attempts from beyond the arc. Hartford’s pressing defense confused the Catamounts, forced turnovers and led to easy scores on the other end. A 14-2 run midway through the second half lifted the Hawks into the lead, while clutch shooting down the stretch thwarted all Catamount comeback attempts. Taylor Coppenrath had a game-high 21 points for UVM. Balanced scoring paced the Hawks as four players hit for double figures.

In a non-conference battle Saturday, Albany (5-12, 1-5) outlasted Dartmouth 85-84 in triple overtime. A back in forth game the entire way, the outcome wasn’t decided until super freshman Jamar Wilson calmly netted a pair of free throws to put Albany ahead with under a minute left. Antione Johnson had a season-high 25 points, including eleven in the overtimes. Five Great Danes finished in double figures, while Rhasheed Peterson and Levi Levine each recorded double-doubles in points and rebounds. Five players for the Green Wave also reached double figures led by Charles Harris’ game-high 32 points. The win snapped a three-game losing streak for the Great Danes.

Stony Brook held off a late Maine charge to pull out an 81-79 victory at home on Sunday. The Seawolves (8-9, 3-4) looked golden as they nursed an eleven-point lead with only a minute to go in the game. However, Clayton Brown and the Black Bears refused to die. Brown drilled a pair of treys and had a conventional three-point play before solid free throw shooting from the Seawolves finally secured the win. D.J. Munir had a game-high 25 points for Stony Brook, while Jairus McCollum added sixteen. Brown and Rickey White each had nineteen points for Maine. The Black Bears (8-11, 3-4) held a significant rebounding edge, 42-33, but terrific shooting by the Seawolves (49%) was too much to overcome.

A packed house in West Gym saw host Binghamton cruise past New Hampshire 82-71 Sunday afternoon. The Wildcats (3-15, 1-6) managed only four field goals in the first half, while Anthony Green scored fourteen of his game-high 22 points before the break. The Bearcats didn’t ease up on UNH in the second half either, shooting 59% from the floor, and connecting on seven treys after halftime. Despite being overmatched, four Wildcats were in double figures, led by Shejdie Childs’ twenty points. Binghamton (10-7, 5-2), by far the biggest surprise in the conference, is now tied for second place in the standings.

Player of the week

Jairus McCollum, Stony Brook

In wins over Northeastern and Maine, McCollum averaged fourteen points, six rebounds and three assists per game, and did not commit a single turnover.

Game to watch

Vermont at Binghamton, Sunday at 1 p.m.

Binghamton is the hottest team in the league right now, while Vermont looks to rebound from their first home loss in seventeen games.


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