Monday, February 6, 2012

Now or never

It's put up or shut up time for UMaine. After a narrow escape at eighth-place UMBC Saturday, the Black Bears' schedule this week is loaded with opportunity – opportunity to join the America East race.

Vermont, winners of six straight, visits The Pit tonight. That game is followed with a date at Boston U. Thursday and visit from Albany Saturday. Three games against three of the top four teams in the America East standings.

If UMaine is to make a serious run at a top four seed for the conference tourney, it'll begin this week.

Tonight's America East schedule

Vermont at Black Bears
Vermont is led by do-everything forward Bryan Voelkel, a rugged player who leads the team in rebounding and assists. The Catamounts have a well-balanced attack with nine players averaging between 12 and 29 minutes per game. They don't make many mistakes and will pound the glass.
Black Bears center Alasdair Fraser injured an ankle late in the win at UMBC. His interior presence will be needed against Vermont.
The pick: Black Bears pick up a much-needed "quality" win.

Boston U. at Albany
Great Danes follow up Saturday's seven-point loss to league front-runner Stony Brook by hosting Boston U. Great Danes can throw themselves into the race for the No. 2 or 3 slot with a victory.
The pick: Albany's Big Three of Gerard Suero, Mike Black and Logan Aronhalt get it done vs. Boston's Big Two, D.J. Irving and Darryl Partin.

Stony Brook at New Hampshire
Seawolves can suffocate an opponent and Wildcats don't have the arsenal to fight it.
The pick: Stony cruises.

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