The America East quarterfinals were a hit. Almost all of the higher seeds managed to move forward to the semifinals. Vermont, UMBC, and Hartford topped their opponents as expected, but Stony Brook took charge against Albany as the only lower seed to win a game.
2 UMBC vs 7 UMass Lowell - 89 - 77
This was a pretty intense game from the start, considering Lowell started the game on a 10-0 run. They actually stayed on top for the entire first half, going into the locker room up 49-38. UMBC was able to come back and run away with the game in the second half. You could tell that Lowell was starting to run out of gas, as they’re not a very deep team. They started running more and more of their plays through Jahad Thomas, and while he is their best player, one person can’t carry a team.
3 Hartford vs 6 New Hampshire 71 - 60
This game was a bit more exciting than the previous. With Tanner Leissner as the MVP of New Hampshire, it seemed that whenever Hartford tried to get ahead, Leissner would find a way to answer back. I’m not saying he single handedly kept UNH in the running, but he did end the game with 21 points, six rebounds, one steal and two blocks. On Hartford’s end, Jason Dunne became the most recent Hawk to hit 1,000 points.
1 Vermont v. 8 Maine 75 - 60
Maine wasn’t going to go down without a fight. Going up against Vermont in a tournament game in Patrick Gymnasium is almost like a death sentence. It’s probably the hardest gym to win a road game at in the conference. Maine started out on top, then leveled out to go back and forth with Vermont for the rest of the first half and a good portion of the second half. As Vermont slowly added points to their score and the difference became larger and larger, there was no coming back for Maine. Anthony Lamb even made an appearance in the game, and Catamount fans were probably very excited to see him on the court, even if it was for only 11 minutes.
5 Stony Brook v. 4 Albany 69 - 60
The 4 vs 5 matchup is always the most exciting game to watch, in my opinion. These two teams are usually so close to being equal in the standings that the game could go either way. Unfortunately for Albany, Stony Brook took control of the game from the very beginning and refused to let go. Once again, it seemed that one player was carrying the team, and with Joe Cremo being the only Great Dane in double figures with 24 points, you can see how hard this junior worked with everything on his shoulders. Stony Brook gets rewarded with a matchup against top-seeded Vermont.
The semifinals for the America East Tournament take place on Tuesday March 6th.
GAME 5: #5 Stony Brook at #1 Vermont, 7:00 PM ET, ESPN 3
GAME 6: #3 Hartford at #2 UMBC, 7:30 PM ET, ESPN 3