First off this is a special edition of the America East roundup on a Monday because we will have plenty of evaluations of league play.However, it is only fitting to begin this week on a somber note: on behalf of everyone at our site we send our condolences to New Hampshire head coach Bill Herrion, who lost his mother on Saturday night.
This week Stony Brook will have a chance to become a better than 4 in 5 favorite to run the table and become the first team since Delaware in 1992 to go undefeated in league play.
Before we start with then numbers that make league play, here’s the current playoff picture.
1 Stony Brook* vs 8 UMBC, 2 Albany* vs 7 Hartford, 3 New Hampshire* vs 6 Binghamton, 4 Vermont vs 5 Maine (*clinched home quarterfinal game; by my math the Catamounts sweep of the Black Bears puts them in prime position to clinch a playoff home game as long as they beat the Bearcats this week)
Now onto the numbers that made the last week:
108 – This has to be the lead number of the week as Albany tied their school record for points in a game in their 108-64 win over Maine on Sunday. The number ties the number set on Jan. 25, 2000 when the Great Danes beat Division III Southern Vermont 108-84 on Jan. 25, 2000. 108 is also the number of points Maine allowed in each of their conference games this week, also to UMass Lowell.
41 – Albany’s made field goals against Maine, which was one shy of their record set also against Southern Vermont. It crushed the record against an in-conference opponent, last set against Stony Brook on Jan. 19, 2003 when the Great Danes made 34 shots and lost to the Seawolves 92-87 in two overtimes.
44% – That’s the current odds of Stony Brook going undefeated, which almost ended happen on Sunday afternoon against New Hampshire, but the Wildcats missed their final opportunities to take the lead. The Seawolves are a 53% favorite going into Wednesday night’s game against Albany.
28.9% – The shooting percentage of the Wildcats not named Tanner Leissner on Sunday. The sophomore carried the Wildcats with a game high 25 points. New Hampshire even managed to keep it close in the first half while missing 14 straight shots.
Shots/Tweets of the Week – There were some great shots this week and each of these teams needed every one of them to pull out wins in these three games.
Also great drama in the shot that didn’t go in…
Quotes of the Week
“We had a shot to win it. We wanted to come in here and battle, they’re the best team in the league for a reason, they have the longest winning streak in the country for a reason. But for us, there’s no trophy handed out today. We’ve got to finish our season the right way. We have four games left and we have to make sure we take care of business and then we’ll look to the (America East) Tournament.” – New Hampshire associate head coach Ken Dempsey, who split head coaching duties with assistant Chris Mohr, said following their loss to Stony Brook
“It was the last sport I tried. I tried baseball, wrestling, football I was bad at all of them, so I felt like I had to be good at basketball or just I’m not going to be an athlete. So just keep on trying at basketball, I always loved it as a kid, just never played it, like organized, a lot.” – Stony Brook senior Jameel Warney on learning to play the game
“This is a heck of a win for us. Really proud of the kids, they didn’t quit, really fought and showed great resiliency. We are very fortunate to beat a very good basketball team.” – New Hampshire head coach Bill Herrion on their 69-68 win over Albany
“We thought we’d be a little further along, but between injuries the last couple of years and a couple of transfers we’re not where we’d hoped we’d be in year four, but the overall construction of the roster I still feel like will put us in a position to be a successful team in this league over the next couple of years.” – Binghamton head coach Tommy Dempsey on his group entering the final stretch of the season
“We love pressure right now. We know we have to be playing our best basketball and the best time and that time is coming. We just want to be in the best position to win the league.” – Stony Brook senior Jameel Warney on their 18th straight win, a 59-58 victory over New Hampshire
“I know our record isn’t great by any stretch, but we feel we’ve been so close in these games that with everybody we can compete. Now we have to get over the hump, but we feel like we’re not out of the hunt because of how well we’ve played, how close we’ve played in these games.” – UMBC head coach Aki Thomas, whose team has lost four games by a margin of seven or fewer
“I think some guys have their own agenda on the team. When adversity hits, you kind of see us fracture and that’s something we’ve never been about.” – Vermont head coach John Becker on his team’s struggles following their loss at UMass Lowell
Game of the Week: Wednesday Feb. 17 Stony Brook at Albany 7pm ESPN3
Ryan Restivo wrote the America East conference preview for the 2015-16 Blue Ribbon College Basketball Yearbook. He covers the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference, the America East conference among others for Big Apple Buckets. You can follow Ryan on Twitter @ryanarestivo or contact Ryan at rrestivo[at]nycbuckets.com.