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America East Notebook

February 11, 2003 Conference Notes No Comments



America East Conference Notebook

by Adam Reich

The America East conference picture became clearer with two big games
in New York this past weekend.

Boston University secured their position atop the America East
conference by traveling up to Vestal, New York and defeating the Black
Bears of Binghamton 85-82 Sunday. Six Terriers were in double figure,
led by Ryan Butt’s team-high eighteen points. BU knocked down thirteen
threes and out-rebounded Binghamton 41-28.

The Terriers (14-7, 9-1) arrived ready to play, opening up a twenty
point lead with just over two minutes remaining in the half. However,
Binghamton managed to slice the BU lead to six, putting together a
14-0 run that overlapped halftime. Billy Collins ended the run with
one of his three treys, as the Terriers increased their lead to
twelve, 76-64, with 2:12 remaining in the game.

BU looked to have the game well in hand until Anthony Green took the
rest of the Bears on his back. Green scored six straight points and
assisted on a Billy Williams three-pointer that cut the lead to three.
A quick Binghamton foul put Chaz Carr at the line with a chance to ice
the game. But Carr missed a pair, and the Bears raced down court for
the tying score. However, the clock ran out before Binghamton could
get put up a game-tying shot.

Butt scored sixteen of his eighteen points in the second half, while
Billy Collins recorded another double-double with ten points and a
game-high eleven rebounds. Center Nick Billings had a stellar game for
Binghamton (11-10, 6-5), as he just missed a triple-double, notching
nineteen points, eight rebounds and a career-high ten blocks. Green
led the Bears with twenty points.

Vermont remained two games behind BU with a 66-60 road win at Stony
Brook Saturday. Taylor Coppenrath scored 23 of his game-high 28 points
in the second half as the Catamounts ended the Seawolves’ six-game
winning streak. Coppenrath, the league’s leading scorer, hit
eight-of-twelve field goals after halftime to bring UVM back from an
early eleven-point deficit.

Stony Brook came out on fire, claiming an 11-0 lead just a few minutes
after the opening tip. The Catamounts managed to cut into the lead
with good defense, but still trailed 28-22 at the break. A 14-5 run
after halftime gave Vermont their first lead of the game, 35-34, with
thirteen minutes to go. The game remained close for a while until UVM
found the mark from long-range. The Catamounts (14-10, 7-3) hit four
straight treys to take a 55-47 advantage with just over four minutes
remaining. Down the stretch, Coppenrath hit five-of-six free throws to
put the Seawolves away and keep Vermont second in the conference
standings.

Reserve guard Corey Sullivan was the only other Catamount in double
figures with ten points, while David Hehn contributed solid play at
the point dishing out a game-high six assists. Corey Spencer led Stony
Brook with a career-high 23 points on nine-of-fourteen shooting. D.J.
Munir added fourteen for the Seawolves (11-10, 5-5).

The rest of the pack

Albany has now lost four straight after suffering an 82-71 loss to
Maine at home Saturday. Earlier in the week, the Great Danes (5-16,
1-9) went to Case Gymnasium and got smoked by the first-place
Terriers, 78-50. Despite two tough losses, Albany continued to get
great play from their two super freshmen, Jamar Wilson and Levi
Levine. Wilson has now scored in double figures in sixteen consecutive
games, while Levine has averaged 15.3 points and 7.8 rebounds per
contest over the team’s last eight games.

Hartford won a big game at home Thursday as they defeated Binghamton
65-51. Junior Ryan Stys had a team-high fifteen points on
seven-of-eleven shooting, while Hartford held Binghamton to just 38
percent shooting. The Hawks (11-10, 6-4), now 8-1 at home this season,
find themselves alone in third place in the conference standings. This
Saturday, Hartford will get a chance to avenge their only home loss, a
59-58 defeat at the hands of BU, as they travel to Boston for a
match-up with the Terriers.

Maine has a three-game winning streak after wins over New Hampshire,
77-72, and Albany, 82-71. For the Black Bears, four players are
averaging double figures, with freshman Kevin Reed leading the way at
13.3 points per contest. Senior center Justin Rowe had five blocks in
the victory over New Hampshire. Rowe now has 202 career rejections,
seven shy of the school record. Maine (11-12, 6-5) shot lights out
(54.7 %) in their two wins this week.

New Hampshire (3-19, 1-10) is now winless in their last seven contests
after falling to Maine and Northeastern last week. Senior Jeff Senulis
had a superb week, recording fourteen points and ten rebounds against
Maine and then posting another double-double with sixteen points and
ten rebounds versus Northeastern. The Wildcat defense continues to be
the problem as opponents are shooting 51 percent against UNH in their
last twelve games.

Northeastern had its four-game conference winning streak snapped at
home to Stony Brook on Wednesday night, 78-60. The first twenty
minutes of the game against Stony Brook was a disaster for NU. The
Huskies shot 21 percent from the floor (6-29), while allowing the
Seawolves to connect on an astounding 65 percent of their first-half
field goals (15-23). Northeastern put the Stony Brook game behind them
as they took down UNH 75-61 on the road Saturday. Freshman point guard
Jose Juan Barea continued his stellar play, posting a career-high 28
points in the victory. The Huskies (12-11, 6-5) have two huge games
this week as they travel to Maine on Wednesday night and then host
Vermont Saturday afternoon.

Player of the week

Rashad Bell, Boston University – Bell averaged 16 points and 8.5 rebounds in wins over Albany and
Binghamton.

Game to watch

Vermont at Northeastern, Saturday at 1:00

This one should be a high-scoring affair with the winner likely
claiming second-place in the conference standings.

     

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