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America East Semifinals: Vermont and UMBC are heading to the title game

If anyone thought that Vermont wouldn’t make it to the tournament championship, they were mistaken.

Vermont v Purdue Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

Vermont 70, Stony Brook 51

Stony Brook never stood a chance. While the Seawolves may have started out fine, scoring the first points and keeping a good pace with their Catamount foes, Vermont did what it does best: take control and not let up. It took the Catamounts a while to get going, especially with Anthony Lamb back on the court, but they just kept adding points that Stony Brook couldn’t answer.

Drew Urquhart led all scorers with 19 points, while Lamb, still working his way back to game shape, played eight minutes and scored four points. Akwasi Yeboah had 15 to lead the Seawolves.

Things looked reasonable for Stony Brook until the second half. Once Vermont had a double-digit lead, it was all over as the lead eventually ballooned to 19. The win puts Vermont back in the conference championship game for the third year in a row.

UMBC 75, Hartford 60

This game was probably far more interesting to watch for fans, at least in the first half. After all, it was between two teams who haven’t made the championship game in 10 years, when they faced off against each other. Both had a lot to prove.

The never-ending thorn in Hartford’s side was K.J. Maura. He was, simply, impossible to stop. He can do it all, shooting from all over the court, driving the ball, assisting, picking up steals, and more. After a quiet first half, he exploded in the second, scoring 10 points in about 90 seconds. That was the breaking point for Hartford as he finished with 18 points and five assists.

The Hawks, plagued by foul trouble all night, were led by 15 each from Jason Dunne and John Carroll. And with UMBC raining threes like no tomorrow, it was able to cruise to the championship game

America East Championship Game

UMBC at Vermont, Saturday, 11 a.m., ESPN2