The America East regular season is winding down as there is a week remaining until the conference tournament gets underway.
The Stony Brook Seawolves is the top dawg in the league, having their 18-game winning streak snapped by second place Albany Great Danes recently (82-70). The Seawolves (22-5, 13-1 AE) is to games up on the Great Dames and closes the season at Maine on Sunday and at home against Vermont on Feb. 27.
Stony Brook is unbeaten at home (12-0) and has the league’s top scoring defense permitting 62.4 points a game. The Seawolves are also tops the league in rebounding margin at plus-8.3 a game. Jameel Warney is the conference’s and team’s best player.
Warney, the conference’s top pro prospect, leads the league with 18.8 points and 10.3 rebounds as well as 3.1 blocks and is second in field goal percentage at 62.6 percent from the field. Carson Puriefoy (14.4 points, 3.2 rebounds, 3.1 assists), Rayshaun McGrew (11.0 points, 6.0 rebounds) and Ahmed Walker (10.9 points, 7.0 rebounds, 4.1 assists) also average double figures or the Wolves.
Albany (22-7, 11-3) has won two straight and seven-of-eight. Six-of-the-Great Danes seven losses have been by single-digits with their only double-digit setback coming against Kentucky (78-65) in its first game of the season.
The Great Danes rank in the top -four in the conference in several offensive and defensive categories. Evan Singletary (12.9 points), Peter Hooley (12.8 points, 4.3 rebounds), Ray Sanders ( 11.3 points, 4.3 rebounds) and Joe Cremo (10.3 points, 3.6 rebounds) average double-figures. Mike Rowley leads Albany with 6.1 rebounds a game to go along with 8.3 points a contest.
Albany closes the season at UMass-Lowell on Wednesday and at home versus Hartford on Feb. 27.
New Hampshire (17-10, 10-4) and Vermont (17-12, 9-5) are the battling for the third and fourth seed in the conference tournament. UNH has won six-of-seven after defeating Hartford tonight and is the top defensive rebounding team. The Wildcats are led by sophomore forward Tanner Leissner (16.3 points, 6.7 rebounds), junior guard Jaleen Smith (12.6 points, 5.6 rebounds, 3.4 assists) and junior forward Jacoby Armstrong (12.5 points, 5.4 rebounds).
Vermont has won three straight games following their clubbing of UMBC on Saturday night. The Catamounts hosts New Hampshire on Wednesday and travels to Stony Brook on Feb. 27 – Vermont is 9-3 at home this season. Season forward Ethan O’Day is Vermont’s best player, averaging 11.5 points along with 6.5 rebounds and 2.0 blocks.
UMass-Lowell (11-17, 7-8) lost its second consecutive game as the Riverhawks dropped a 81-77 decision to Binghamton today, which means they were swept by the Bearcats this season. UMass-Lowell leads the America East with just over 77 points a game. Sophomore Jahad Thomas, who dropped 14 points against Binghamton, leads the Riverhawks with 14.3 points along with 7.3 rebounds and 3.4 assists.
Maine (8-18, 4-9), Hartford (8-21, 3-11) and Binghamton (7-20, 4-10) along with UMBC (6-23, 2-12) are battling for seeding in the conference tournament. Maine has lost five in a row and UMBC has dropped three consecutive games, the Golden Retrievers will likely finish ninth in the conference.
UMass-Lowell is not eligible for the America East Conference tournament as the Riverhawks are still transitioning to become a full-fledge Division-I member.