We’ve made it through the first full week of America East basketball and quite a few games were nerve-wracking, frustrating, or just plain exciting.
A look back at the week that was:
Stony Brook Runs with the Big Dogs
Stony Brook started their week off by taking UConn to the wire. The Seawolves actually led from 3:30 left in the first half to 2:32 left in the second half. Their three-point shooting got them going and kept them ahead for much of the game. Bryan Sekunda was a huge help, going 3-4 from beyond the arc.
While only Tyrell Sturdivent ended the game in double digits with 11, the rest of the team put up decent numbers. Everyone who put in double-digit minutes added at least six points.
UConn’s comeback started with back-to-back layups from Jalen Adams to take the Huskies from behind by one point to ahead by three. Stony Brook only scored two more points the rest of the game while UConn added seven more to solidify its win.
Vermont started a three-game weekend in the Bahamas against Bradley. It was definitely a back-and-forth battle for most of the game, but Vermont managed to pull away and seemed destined to win until an unfortunate foul by Trae Bell-Haynes with 13 seconds left.
Darrell Brown sunk his two free throws to tie the game at 64. With the potential for overtime looming, Vermont called a timeout to set up a play. While they didn’t get to the basket, they did draw a foul and Bell-Haynes redeemed himself with the winning free throw.
Their second game came against Coastal Carolina, where it was an evening of trading baskets. Four Catamounts ended the game in double digits, with Ernie Duncan leading the way with 19 points on 3-7 shooting from beyond the arc.
That left Northern Kentucky in the title game. The Norse came in undefeated at 4-0 and left the arena 4-1. Once again, Bell-Haynes was the one to issue the winning blow. His jumper with three seconds left lifted Vermont to the 66-64 win.\
One theme of the week: Close games. Other than the ones Vermont played in the Bahamas, several could have gone either way. The highlights:
Evansville 66, Binghamton 61
No. 8 Florida 70, New Hampshire 63
Sacred Heart 69, Maine 68
Colgate 93, UMBC 88
LIU Brooklyn 86, Hartford 84
The most impressive of these close games is New Hampshire and Florida. While it’s the largest of the deficits, it’s also against a nationally ranked team. It’s the third time this season that an America East school nearly knocked off a high major (Stony Brook vs. UConn and Vermont vs. Kentucky).
This Week’s Games to Watch
(all times Eastern)
Tuesday: New Hampshire vs. American, 7 p.m., ESPN 3
Wednesday: Stony Brook vs. Brown, 6 p.m., ESPN 3
Wednesday: UMass Lowell vs. LIU Brooklyn, 3 p.m., ESPN 3
Friday: Hartford vs. Bryant, 3 p.m., ESPN 3
Friday: New Hampshire vs. Furman, 1 p.m.