Maine men’s basketball discontinues season

After not being cleared to practice or play since Jan. 17, the Maine men’s basketball team decided to forego the rest of its season. The Black Bears were in ninth place and had just two wins at time of the suspension.

“Our players’ safety and well-being will always come first,” said Maine head coach Richard Barron. “We simply could not safely put a team on the floor over the next few weeks or safely return players to playing after over six weeks off. Despite the challenges we’ve faced this year, we remain grateful for the opportunities we have here at UMaine and eagerly look forward to representing Black Bear Nation again soon.”

While three AE women’s basketball programs had previously discontinued their seasons, Maine was the first men’s basketball team to make the decision.

UMBC and Vermont to play Thursday night on ESPNU

This Thursday, in the AE’s annual ESPNU showcase, the UMBC Retrievers will host the Vermont Catamounts at 7 p.m. on national television. The two teams are currently tied for the first place and are the last two teams to win AE Championships.

The teams met in the 2018 and 2019 title games, both played in Burlington, Vermont. In 2018, UMBC earned an upset win over the Catamounts on a buzzer beater. The Retrievers followed up their mid-major upset with a shocking NCAA tournament win over No. 1 Virginia. In the 2019 rematch, UVM defended their home court and returned to March Madness.

This season, the Retrievers (13-4, 9-3 AE) are led by senior forward Brandon Horvath, who ranks fifth in the conference in scoring. Vermont (9-3, 9-3 AE) is currently riding a seven-game winning streak.

Maine and Stony Brook women’s basketball split weekend series

The two top teams in the AE women’s basketball standings, Maine and Stony Brook, faced each other over the weekend on Long Island. The series resulted in a split, and Maine remains in first place.

In the first matchup on Saturday, the Seawolves (11-5, 9-3 AE) defeated the Black Bears (15-2, 12-2 AE) by a final score of 59-54. Stony Brook, led by junior guard Asiah Dingle who scored 16 points, ended the Black Bears nine-game winning streak and put the Seawolves within striking distance of Maine’s top spot in the conference.

However, the Black Bears struck back on Sunday and defeated the Seawolves 54-49. After trailing by as many as 16 points in the second quarter, the Black Bears went on a run in the second half to retake the lead and earn a series split.

With the season nearing its close, Maine and Stony Brook are locked into the top two seeds for the playoffs.

AE releases preseason polls for spring and fall sports

After the fall season was postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the spring semester will feature both spring and fall sports in the AE. The annual preseason coaches’ polls were released by the AE last week, including the Bearcats being ranked second out of eight in baseball.

Seven Binghamton sports will be in action this semester, including baseball. Softball was picked fifth, women’s lacrosse team was voted sixth and men’s lacrosse was seventh. In the fall sports, men’s soccer was ranked at last, women’s soccer at sixth and volleyball at sixth.

Stony Brook was placed in the top spot in five out of the seven polls. The Seawolves earned the most votes in women’s lacrosse, men’s lacrosse, women’s soccer, baseball and softball.