Small Conference Game of the Day – February 13

Holy Cross cruised past Navy last night in a game that may end up dooming the Middies to last place in the Patriot League.  Tonight, the SCGD continues its focus on teams that most likely will not be playing any postseason basketball beyond their conference tournament by turning to a battle near the bottom of the America East standings.  While Stony Brook and Vermont appear locked in a battle for the top spot in the AEC, tonight’s game is Maryland-Baltimore County at New Hampshire (7:00 PM Eastern).

UMBC enters tonight game at 6-18 overall, 4-7 in conference.  Their RPI is 314.  New Hampshire is presently 6-16 overall, 2-8 in conference and has an RPI of 294.  The best game either team can vouch for on the season was New Hampshire only losing by 8 at Connecticut back in December.  While Binghamton is sitting at 1-11 in league play and likely headed to the worst seed in the conference tournament, this game could go a ways to determining who is the 6th and 7th seeds.  Luckily, noone will have to play in a dreaded first round 8/9 game this season as Boston University’s ineligibility for the AEC tournament due to their announcement that they are leaving for the Patriot League next year has cut the field size down to only 8 this year.

The UMBC Retrievers are led in scoring by Ryan Cook at 14.7 points per game, but he has been struggling recently, with his current 14.7 ppg being the lowest it has been all season.  However, guard Brian Neller has hit 22 three pointers in his last five games sophomore guard Joey Getz has been coming on strong in recent games.  As for the Wildcats of New Hampshire, they are led by guard Ferg Myrick who is averaging 13.8 points per game.  Patrick Konan scored 19 points when these two teams met earlier this season, though UMBC won that game.  UNH also needs a big turnaround tonight as they are 0-5 at home in AEC play so far this season.

As a final note, while Boston University’s departure will drop the America East down to 8 teams, there have been rumors swirling for several months now that the conference will be expanding back out to 9 very soon.  The team that has been lobbying to replace BU is NJIT, the only current member of the Great West conference without a new conference home for next season.  As of the moment, NJIT is scheduled to be an independent next season — but there is still time for them to find a way into the AEC before next season begins.

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