While Vermont's win was highlighted by some offensive excellence, the Boston U. women are in the spotlight after last night's win because of defense. The Terriers moved to 4-3 by holding Rhode Island to 29 points for the entire game. That is the lowest point total allowed by an America East team since Binghamton held Colgate to 26 points in 2007.
We'll some more hoops action tonight, but first let's continue with our First Impressions series, looking at the women from Hartford, Maine and UMBC.
The Hawks 5-1 start has been fueled by a balanced offense in which four players average between nine and 12 points per game. Leading the way has been senior forward Nikkia Smith with 12 ppg. Smith has been in double figures in five of the six games including a 16 spot against nationally ranked St. John's. The best part about her offense so far has been the efficiency with which she has scored: Smith has converted on 50 percent of her shots and 72.7 percent of her free throws.
Also chipping in has been sophomore Amber Bepko. The guard was named Hartford's Athlete of the Week recently and spoke in an interview about how opposing teams are laying off of her a bit. Unfortunately for the opposition, the guard has made them pay. Bepko is sinking nearly two three pointers per contest and making 35 percent of her tries. Just another weapon for Coach Rizzotti.
Ashleigh Roberts has been a bright spot for a Black Bears' squad that is struggling to hit its stride. The junior is the conference's second leading scorer at 14 per game and is also hauling in five boards and 1.8 steals per contest. Roberts is another guard who rebounds exceptionally well and is in the top 10 in defensive rebounds per game this season.
Freshman guard Sophie Weckstrom is showing promise in Orono, dishing out three assists per game and doing so with an assist to turnover ratio of 2.0, good for fourth in the America East.The Black Bears have had trouble with the turnover early on, so her development thus far is a great sign.
Lauren Chase does all the things you want your point guard to do: she scores (13.6 ppg), she runs the offense (4.4 apg), she gets in the passing lanes (2.1 spg) and she gets to the line (76.3 percent in 38 attempts). The best part for the Retrievers? Chase is just a sophomore. Make sure you get a chance to watch her play when UMBC comes to town.
Joining Chase in the back court is another sophomore that gives UMBC a dangerous tandem for the future. Bria White sat out last season after transferring from Longwood. So far, her presence has been worth the wait. White is seventh in the conference with 13 points per game and 1.7 three-point field goals per contest. Her and Chase are one of the best back court duos in the conference.
Hartford (No. 9) and Boston U. (No. 21) are both ranked in this weeks' women's mid-major poll. Albany is in the receiving votes section.
On the men's side, Albany, Vermont and Stony Brook are all receiving votes.
The Boston U. women's soccer team earned the NSCAA Team Academic Award.
Stony Brook running back Miguel Maysonet was named a finalist for the Walter Payton Award. Maysonet was also mentioned in an article by Mel Kiper and Todd McShay (ESPN Insider required).
Binghamton at Penn, 7 p.m.
Coastal Carolina at Boston U., 7 p.m.
Maine at Northeastern, 7 p.m.
Stony Brook at Cornell, 7 p.m.
New Hampshire at Harvard, 7 p.m.
Stony Brook at Robert Morris, 7 p.m.
NJIT at Albany, 7 p.m.