Hartford Unsure if Mark Nwakamma will play Saturday

Hartford head coach John Gallagher said on Tuesday that he is not sure if junior Mark Nwakamma and sophomore Evan Cooper will play against Albany when they resume America East play on Saturday.

Nwakamma, who is third in the conference in scoring with 14.9 points per game, suffered a bone bruise in his right knee minutes prior to the Hawks game against Vermont last Wednesday. Without him the Hawks have dropped two games to the top two teams in the conference, Vermont and Stony Brook, but held leads as large as seven points against each.

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Hartford head coach John Gallagher said he is not sure if junior Mark Nwakamma will play Saturday against Albany.

“I think it’s just day to day, week to week,” Gallagher said of Nwakamma’s status. “I think the best thing I can say is it’s getting better. It’s not the same, so whether he goes Saturday or not that’s to be determined.”

The touted junior is not the only Hawk to have experienced injuries over the course of the season. Gallagher said that Cooper sprained his right ankle against New Hampshire on January 18 and has not been the same since.

“At the end of the Stony Brook game, I wasn’t comfortable putting Evan in because of his ankle,” Gallagher said of Saturday’s 56-52 road loss to the Seawolves. Cooper contributed six points off the bench in the second half in seven minutes, totaling 18 minutes played for the game. He has appeared in the last two games for fewer than 20 minutes off the bench. He missed the previous three games due to his ankle injury.

Junior Nate Sikma is battling injuries as well, but Gallagher said he thinks “Nate is a go” for Saturday’s game against Albany. Sikma averages 6.4 points per game, but missed four straight games before appearing in the last two games against Vermont and Stony Brook. He played in just two of the team’s eight games in November this season.

The Hawks begin the stretch run of conference play on Saturday and host four of their final seven games to close out the regular season.

Ryan Restivo covers the America East conference, the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference and Hofstra for Big Apple Buckets. You can follow Ryan on Twitter @ryanarestivo or contact Ryan at rrestivo[at]nycbuckets.com

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