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America East: Top 5 Mid-Season Round Up

The top five teams in the America East are battling their way through conference season for their only shot at their #Chance2Dance. While not entirely what the preseason polls expected, everyone's in for a good game when it comes down to these teams.

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1. Stony Brook Seawolves (16-7, 8-1)

Stony Brook has had one heck of a season. They are currently at the top of the standings at 8-1 in conference play and 16-7 overall. They were going strong as the undefeated team in the league until a match up against rival SUNY-Albany, when they were given their first loss. With a roster comprised of both aggressively dominant bigs and agile guards, the Seawolves prove dangerous on both ends of the court.

Best Win

Their 67-64 win over Vermont. It’s the closest anyone had come to beating the Seawolves when they were still undefeated, and it was a non-stop battle the whole way through. The Catamounts were determined to keep them at bay, but a missed three in the last seconds scored Stony Brook the win.

Worst Loss

That has to be the 77-67 loss against Albany. With only one loss this conference season, Albany has the claim to fame in the 10 point win over the Seawolves.

2. Vermont Catamounts (14-9, 8-1)

The Catamounts are another team with only one loss in the conference so far. Vermont has the luxury of touting six seniors on their squad, making them one of the most veteran teams in the conference. Their advantage is their height, with the average starter around 6-8. Their bigs are almost as agile as they are tall.

Best Win

So far in the conference season, Hartford is the only team to come anywhere close to a win without actually winning. Vermont has dominated the rest of their opponents by at least 10 points per game, and Hartford came in with just a seven point loss at 67-60.

Worst Loss

Again, with only one loss so far, Stony Brook can flaunt their three point win over Vermont for the rest of the season… Or until someone else steps up.

3. Albany Great Danes (11-11, 5-4)

Albany has their fair share of injuries in the middle conference season. With almost half of their starters on the bench or in the game wrapped up, it has caused some problems for the Great Danes. But when they’re healthy, they can do some great damage in the paint.

Best Win

Stony Brook, by far. There’s nothing better than conference rivalries, and it only gets better when the underdog has a shot. That’s exactly what Albany did. They defended their home court against the America East Champion prospects.

Worst Losses

Albany’s had two games that resulted in a four point loss. One against New Hampshire and the other, an overtime battle against UMass-Lowell. Both teams were predicted to be in the bottom of the America East standings, but Lowell has shown that even (former) DII can be great when given the chance.

Speaking of the Riverhawks…

4. UMass-Lowell Riverhawks (6-14, 5-4)

I never would have guessed that UMass-Lowell would be gracing the top 5 in the America East standings. But their few seniors and determination to prove that they belong in Division I seem to be enough of a motivator to make some a bit wary of having the Riverhawks on their schedule.

Best Win

That would probably have to be coming out with a 70-66 win at home against last year’s America East Champs, Albany. While Albany had quite a few key players on the bench due to injuries, that’s no excuse. UMass fought hard for their win and they definitely deserved it, stretching the game all the way into overtime before taking the win.

Worst Loss

61-32 loss against New Hampshire. I don’t think either team was expecting the 29 point difference at the start of the game, but when you don't make your fourth field goal until there's 13:35 left to play, that's going to happen. Let's hope it's an outlier.

5. Hartford Hawks (10-14, 4-5)

Ah, my beloved Hawks. What makes Hartford such a dangerous team is that almost anyone on the floor can shoot threes. The problem with that is if they’re off their game, they tend to stay that way. If their threes don’t fall, that’s most of their points off the board. But, they do have a few bigs that are heating up on the inside to give them both an inside and perimeter advantage.

Best Win

69-51 win against UMass-Lowell. This game had nothing to do with the final score. It was the record breaking 10 three pointers that their junior guard Wes Cole threw up during the game that made this their best win. That was a prime example of what Hartford can do from the outside when their shots fall.

Worst Loss

This is a close one between their loss against UMBC and more recent loss against Stony Brook, but I'll go with UMBC. The UMBC game was a prime example of Hartford being unable to connect from distance. While they managed to come back to tie the game, a three and two separate layups were missed in the final seconds to let that game slip through their fingers.