[caption id="attachment_3862989" align="alignright" width="193" caption="Freshman forward Mark Nwakamma (above) spreads his jaw in Hartford's America East Tournament quarterfinal upset victory, for the second year in a row, in West Hartford Saturday night."]
Over 2,500 people were in attendance to see the No. 6 Hartford Hawks pull off a quarterfinal America East Tournament upset, for the second year in a row, over rival No. 1 Boston University Saturday night in the Chase Arena.
The Hawks came out on top 53-49 in front of the biggest student turnout of the year, different from the two times these teams met during the season when the Terriers triumphed by winning their first meeting by 19 and second meeting by nine,
Boston Head Coach Joe Jones in his first year with the Terriers said, “It was a tough and physical game, but this was a pretty hard game to swallow.”
With the win, hartford will face No. 2 Vermont in the semifinals, as Hawks head coach John Gallagher stated “we showed toughness and poise," about the Hawks performance, that featured last minute antics.
After starting the second half down six, Hartford tied the game at 34 with 16:11 to play in the game with both teams then trading made baskets one after each other, until the 6:14 mark when two layups by Dom Morris and a jumper by Darryl Partin got Boston's lead up to five.
The Hawks weren’t going down, as freshman guard Yolonzo Moore II made a 3-pointer, followed by two more three’s by freshman forward, Nate Sikma, tying the game at 47 with 2:09 left in the game.
About his fellow freshman teammates, Andres Torres said, "Its been a great learning experience and I’m proud of these guys.”
Darryl Partin would give the Terriers the lead back with 1:49 left, but Hartford ended the game on a 6-0 run, with fresman forward Mark Nwakama's basket and the foul, senior guard Clayton Brothers' free throwand two free-throws by senior guard Andress Torres.
Hartford’s leading scorers were Sikma with 16 points adding 7 rebounds, Nwakamma with 13 points adding a career-high 16 rebounds and Torres with 12 points.
Darryl Partin led the Terriers in scoring with 17 points while D.J Irving scored 12 points.
The Hartford bench scored no points, but Boston had no fast break baskets and lost the in-the-paint battle, 18-16.
The two times the Hawks faced Vermont, their next opponent, during the regular season, the Catamounts ran away with the win beating Hartford by 13 and and then double that, 26.
Tip-Off between the Hawks and Catamounts will begin on Sunday March 4 at 7:15 p.m. in the Chase Arena.