Hartford (17-15) vs. Stony Brook (22-9)
The Sports Network
DATE & TIME: Sunday, March 9, 7:30 p.m. (ET)
FACTS & STATS: Site: SEFCU Arena (4,538) -- Guilderland, New York. Television: ESPN3.com. Home Record: Hartford 9-3, Stony Brook 12-2. Away Record: Hartford 7-9, Stony Brook 8-5. Neutral Record: Hartford 1-4, Stony Brook 2-2. Conference Record: Hartford 10-6, Stony Brook 13-3. Series Record: Stony Brook leads, 15-14.
GAME NOTES: The second America East Conference Tournament semifinal matchup of the day will feature the fourth-seeded Hartford Hawks taking on the second- seeded Stony Brook Seawolves at SEFCU Arena.
The winner here will take on either Vermont or Albany for the tournament crown and automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament.
Hartford easily defeated Binghamton in the America East quarters on Saturday, 69-42, to advance to the semifinals. The Hawks have won three straight games stretching back to the regular season.
Stony Brook also had no issues making it to the semifinal round, as the Seawolves torched the Maine Black Bears, 80-54, on Saturday in the quarters. Stony Brook has won two games in a row and five of its last six altogether.
The Seawolves own a very slight 15-14 advantage over Hartford in the all-time series. The two teams were knotted, 14-14, going into their head-to-head clash on Feb. 1, which Stony Brook won, 56-52. The Seawolves swept the season series with the Hawks.
Hartford jumped ahead of Binghamton at the end of the first half, 31-20, thanks to 54.6 percent shooting from the floor. But the Hawks weren't satisfied, as they piled on an additional 16 points to their already double- digit lead in the second frame, easily downing the Bearcats to earn a semifinals berth. Mark Nwakamma and Taylor Dyson each scored 19 points to pace the Hawks, while Nwakamma grabbed five rebounds and blocked a team-high six shots. Evan Cooper came off the bench to chip in 12 points for Hartford, which shot 52.2 percent from the floor in the win.
Nwakamma leads the Hawks this season in scoring with a 15.1 ppg average, chipping in a team-best 5.9 rpg and 17 blocked shots on the year. Yolonzo Moore II checks in behind Nwakamma with 10.1 ppg, and adds a 2.8 apg mark with 40 steals to his resume. The Hawks this season are scoring 65.5 ppg through 31 games played, and are giving up 66.6 ppg to their opponents.
Stony Brook may have racked up 80 points on Maine in the quarterfinal round of the America East Tournament Saturday, but the Seawolves were all about defense in the first half of their victory. Stony Brook held the Black Bears to 25.9 percent shooting from the floor in the opening stanza, and went into the intermission with a 49-25 advantage. The Seawolves were on cruise control through the second period, eventually earning the 26-point win. Jameel Warney scored 15 points to pace the Seawolves, while Carson Puriefoy added 14 and Dave Coley chipped in with 13 points.
Warney has proven to be the go-to scorer for the Seawolves this season, netting a team-high 14.7 ppg through 31 games played, and adding a team-best 7.9 rpg average and 35 blocked shots to his season stat line. Puriefoy is second on Stony Brook's roster in scoring, averaging 12.8 ppg with a team- leading 80 assists. Anthony Jackson (12.6 ppg) and Coley (10.8 ppg) round out the double-digit scorers for the Seawolves, who are netting 72.3 ppg as a unit.
Stony Brook has both the offensive and defensive prowess to continue to make waves in the America East Tournament. It seems, at least on paper, that the Seawolves and Vermont Catamounts are on a collision course for the championship game, but Hartford certainly won't go down without a fight. In the end, the Hawks' scoring offense just won't be able to match that of Stony Brooks'.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Stony Brook 79, Hartford 68
03/09 10:19:07 ET