The start of the America East tournament was defined by a major stunner in Albany as the Hartford Hawks dethroned the three-time tournament champion Great Danes. Continue reading
WEST HARTFORD, Conn. – If you walked into Chase Family Arena with five minutes left in Wednesday’s game between UMass Lowell and Hartford, you’d be excused for thinking you’d stumbled upon a high school game.
With George Blagojevic and Jack Hobbs already fouled out, Hartford coach John Gallagher called upon sophomore walk-on Mark Plousis. At 6’5”, Plousis probably played plenty of post at Cardinal O’Hara in Philadelphia (the same high school Gallagher attended), but when he was the tallest player on the floor in a Division I basketball player for either team in crunch time, it was more than a little strange.
WEST HARTFORD, Conn. – Bill Carmody and turnovers don’t get along much. So much so that Carmody’s Northwestern teams – even against Big 10 competition – did a remarkable job of not giving the ball away without at least getting up a shot. How good? Here are the national turnover rate ranks for Northwestern from 2006-07 to 2012-13: 17th, 20th, 34th, 30th, 5th, 7th, 37th. That’s pretty damn good, no matter what the competition.
(Some irony in the fact that turnovers were not the reason Milan Brown was canned after last season. Holy Cross finished 14-16 and 8-10 in the Patriot League, but were 50th in offensive turnover rate.)
WEST HARTFORD, Conn. – The ball moved quickly, everyone seemed to touch it, extra passes were made, and – most importantly – shots were falling as Quinnipiac was rolling Tuesday night at intrastate rival Hartford.
At one point, the Bobcats were 8-12 and then 10-16 from three-point range, and after Gio McLean drove with ease to the hoop and scored, Quinnipiac led 60-47 with 10:30 left and appeared to be cruising to its second straight victory, even without its best post player, Chaise Daniels.
But the cruise hit the proverbial iceberg at that point. Possessions that didn’t end in turnovers finished wih rushed shots at the end of the shot clock. Hartford alowly started to gain momentum and scored 14 points the rest of the way. Quinnipiac showed a lot of guts and Gio McLean hit an eventual game-winning shot with 1:16 left to give it a 68-66 road win despite scoring just eight points in the final quarter of the contest, and – coupled with a win at Canisius Saturday – may tell us plenty about the mental makeup of the Bobcats going forward (certainly about McLean, more on him later).