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NCAAW Preview: America East semifinals feature top four teams

The America East regular-season champion Maine Black Bears play the Albany Great Danes while the Stony Brook Seawolves host the UMass Lowell River Hawks.

UMaine women vs. University of Maryland-Baltimore County
Blanca Millan looks to lead the Maine Black Bears to the America East conference final.
Staff Photo by Gregory Rec/Portland Portland Press Herald via Getty Images

For the third time in the last decade, the America East semifinal round will feature the top four regular season finishers. The Maine Black Bears won the conference regular season championship for the fifth time in seven seasons and will face the Albany Great Danes on Sunday at 1 p.m. ET on ESPN+. The Stony Brook Seawolves won the regular season championship last season and will face the UMass Lowell River Hawks at 3 p.m. ET on ESPN+.

The America East conference’s leading scorer is Maine’s Blanca Millan with 21.7 points. She is also third in the conference with 7.4 rebounds per contest. Millan is the 2021 America East Player of the Year and Defensive Player of the Year. The Black Bears’ point guard, Dor Sarr, averages 9.5 points and a conference-leading 5.1 assists per game while leading the team with a 37.8 shooting percentage from distance. Maine also features two additional players in double figure scoring: Anne Simon (12.8 ppg) and Maeve Carroll (10.5 points).

The Albany Great Danes are back to the America East conference semifinals for the first time since 2019 when they lost to Maine. Sophomore forward Helene Haegerstrand leads the team with 10.8 points, which is up from her freshman finish of 8.8 points. Junior guard Ellen Hahne is second on the team in scoring with 9.6 points and leads the team with 6.9 rebounds per game.

Stony Brook and UMass Lowell split their regular season matchups as both games took place in Lowell, Mass. due to the America East 2020-21 scheduling. Stony Brook features two players in double figures, led by Asiah Dingle with an average of 11.1 points. Second in scoring is Anastasia Warren with 10 points per game. Dingle has reached double figure scoring in eight consecutive games.

UMass Lowell is making its first appearance in the America East Tournament, having joined the conference in 2014. Denise Solis leads the River Hawks with 11.6 points and 5.9 rebounds. Kharis Idom is scoring 10.3 points and is shooting a career-high 33 percent from beyond the arc in her junior season.

Here’s what to expect from the matchup and how to watch:

Game Information

No. 4 Albany Great Danes (7-10, 5-7 America East) vs. No. 1 Maine Black Bears (16-2, 13-2 America East)

When: Sunday, Mar. 8, at 1 p.m. ET

Where: Cross Insurance Center in Orono, ME

How to watch/listen: ESPN+/Radio: 96.1 WGUY-FM

What to watch: The Black Bears won the season series against the Great Danes, winning both games convincingly. Maine makes an average of seven 3-point shots to just four per game for Albany.

No. 3 UMass Lowell River Hawks (12-8, 10-6 America East) vs. No. 2 Stony Brook Seawolves (13-5, 11-3 America East)

When: Sunday, Mar. 8, at 3 p.m. ET

Where: Island Federal Credit Union Arena in Stony Brook, NY

How to watch/listen: ESPN+

What to watch: The Seawolves are the only team in the country allowing less than 50 points, holding their opponents to less than 50 points on eight occasions over the course of the season. Both teams are near the bottom of the conference in terms of 3-point shooting, which means that both teams will need to perform at the free throw line.