Saturday, December 6, 2008

Around the League: 12.06.08

Saturday's games:
New Hampshire 64, Brown 61
In what has become a trend for the Wildcats so far this season, New Hampshire juxtaposed promising skill and maddening inconsistency. Unlike earlier in the season, however, UNH (3-3) had enough left in the tank to erase its mistakes. Brown, coached by former Vermont assistant Jesse Agel, led by 14 when the Wildcats took the ball up court with 12:25 left, but things changed in a hurry. Tyrone Conley hit a three, and when Brian Benson stole the ball at the other end, Conley quickly hit another to jump-start the 23-8 run that put the Wildcats ahead for good. Tyrece Gibbs led all scorers with 19 points fueled by 5-of-7 shooting from beyond the arc. The Bears are 2-5.

Binghamton 66, Rutgers 56
For all the controversy surrounding Malik Alvin off the court, the Bearcats have benefitted greatly from his presence on the court. Binghamton (4-2) recorded its first-ever win against a Big East foe as well as the conference's first victory over a power-conference opponent this season, and Alvin (17 points, 6 assists, 3 steals) was a huge part of it. D.J. Rivera added a game-high 23 points punctuated by an alley-oop from Tiki Mayben with one second left, as the host Scarlet Knights (5-3) trailed for the final 30 minutes of the contest. The team stats were a mirror image of the Bearcats' 71-57 loss to George Washington to open the D-I slate: Rutgers outrebounded Binghamton by 13 but turned the ball over 23 times compared to the Bearcats' 12
La Salle 70, Hartford 64
The recipe for winning at home generally involves not shooting yourself in the foot. Given that Hartford (3-6) turned the ball over just eight times and made all of its free throws, what could go wrong? Apparently everything else, as the Hawks fell by six today and now have two more losses than any other team in America East. La Salle (4-3) followed the blueprint established by other Hawks opponents, dominating Hartford on the boards and shooting more than 50 percent from the field. Hartford's interior difficulties were as evident as ever -- the visiting Explorers had 26 free throw attempts to the Hawks' six.
Pittsburgh 80, Vermont 51
Asking the Catamounts to give the #3 Panthers (9-0) a run for their money on the road proved to be too much to ask for. Mike Lonergan called a 30-second timeout at 16:02 of the first half because Pittsburgh had jumped out to a 13-0 lead. While Vermont players may have remembered the early 16-7 lead Maryland enjoyed against the Catamounts (4-3) two weeks ago, that game and this one were in no other way similar. One positive for Vermont -- if one can be salvaged from a 29-point defeat -- was the free-throw shooting performance from charity stripe-challenged Marqus Blakely, who supplemented his totals with 9-of-11 shooting from the line.
Siena 71, Albany 64
The Battle for the Capital offered a chance for the young Great Danes to test themselves against their crosstown rivals, and while Albany (5-3) offered a fight, it wasn't enough to topple the class of the MAAC. Edwin Ubiles scored 23 points on just 14 shots and filled up the stat sheet -- six rebounds, three assists, two steals and a block -- as Siena defeated Albany for the fourth consecutive year. The Great Danes grabbed an impressive 20 offensive rebounds but failed to stop the Saints on the other end. Siena shot 50 percent from the field en route to a successful defense of the Albany Cup.
Sunday's games:
Mount Ida vs. Stony Brook, 2:00 p.m.

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