The Stony Brook Seawolves and Albany Great Danes battle Monday night in the America East semifinals.
- Stony Brook Seawolves (18-12)
- Albany Great Danes (20-12)
- America East Semifinals, Mar. 6, 7:30 p.m. ET, ESPN 3
- Island FCU Arena, Stony Brook, New York
The Seawolves qualified for their first-ever NCAA tournament last March and separated themselves as the conference’s second-best team. They’ve defeated the third-ranked Great Danes twice this season, although neither team was at peak form.
“It’s a semifinal rivalry game. There’s nothing better,” head coach Jeff Boals said. “I told our guys, you’ve earned the right to host this game … but that doesn’t guarantee you a win.”
The Danes and ‘Wolves are SUNY (State University of New York) rivals, which has led to intense competition in sports like men’s basketball and lacrosse. When the two schools compete, they usually do so in front of sold-out crowds. SBU notched three consecutive postseason victories against UA from 2010-2012, before Albany defeated Long Island’s team in ’13 and ’14.
Alex Kirshner of SB Nation has penned that the top-ranked Vermont Catamounts are a dangerous team, but lack any big stars. He believes that Stony Brook, with their sound defense and smart point guards, pose the biggest threat. The winner of the America East receives an automatic bid for the NCAA Tournament.
- Senior Lucas Woodhouse is three assists shy of the Seawolves’ single-season record (158). He notched 24 points in the quarterfinals, and has scored double-digits in 13 of his last 16 games (he’s also fifteenth in the nation in free throw percentage). Earlier in the season, SBU completed the sweep of Albany behind Woodhouse’s 23 points.
- Woodhouse also earned All-America East First Team honors. Junior Tyrell Sturdivant was named to the third-team (he averaged 11.1 points and 5.3 rebounds per game in league play).
- Vermont and New Hampshire battle in the ‘other’ America East semi-final game; the league championship game will take place on Saturday, March 11 on ESPN2.