Umass Lowell River Hawks


NCAA Division: Division I
Conference: America East
Past Conferences: None

City: Lowell, MA

Stadium: Tsongas Center, Costello Athletic Center

NCAA Tournaments: None


National Championships: None

Conference Titles: None

Team History

On the murky shores of the Merrimack River north of Boston sits the River Hawks’ campus, home to the 1988 Division II national champions. Then known as the University of Lowell, that squad was coached by Dan Doucette, who then passed the reins to Stan Van Gundy, the man that would eventually coach Orlando, Miami, Detroit and New Orleans in the NBA.

The program later had more deep runs in the Division II tournament before leaping to Division I and joining the America East in 2013-14. It opened 3-1 in conference play in its inaugural AEC campaign, including an overtime win over eventual conference champ Albany. 

The River Hawks weren’t eligible for postseason play until 2017-18, when they were ousted in the opening round to finish a 12-18 season under coach Pat Duquette, the only coach they’ve had at the Division I level. They didn’t secure a victory in the America East tournament until 2021, when they pulled off a string of upsets to reach the finals before falling to Hartford.

The UMass-Lowell River Hawks team stats page that season displayed the top 3-point shooting team in the league at 34.6 percent, a trend the team wasn’t able to duplicate in 2021-22, when it finished last at 30.6 percent.

Last season’s team, the fourth straight to finish with exactly seven AEC victories, was much more of a solid interior squad. It led the conference in offensive rebounds, blocks and two-point shots made and attempted. The River Hawks secured a surprising early-season win at Dayton and nearly knocked off AEC champ Vermont on the road late in the campaign.

UMass-Lowell, if anything, has been exceptionally consistent since joining the America East. It has finished with between 10 and 15 total wins and between five and eight conference wins each season. That might not move the needle much in terms of NCAA odds, but at least the foundation is set.

All-Time Records

  • Points Scored
    • Jahad Thomas: 1,864
    • Obadiah Noel: 1,616
    • Christian Lutete: 1,217


  • Rebounds
    • Jahad Thomas: 862
    • Christian Lutete: 469
    • Josh Gantz: 451


  • Assists
    • Jahad Thomas: 384
    • Ryan Jones: 282
    • Josh Gantz: 271


  • Wins
    • Pat Duquette: 110



What Is the Highest Win Total in Program History?

The 2018-19 and 2021-22 teams both won 15 games, the most since the program joined the Division I level. The Division II champs in 1988 went 27-7, winning their final 10 games, and the program won 28 games in back-to-back seasons in the early part of the 21st century while still in Division II.


What Was the Worst Season in Program History?

At the Division I level, the River Hawks’ worst season was a 10-18 finish in 2013-14, its first campaign following the transition. 


Who Is the Greatest Player in Program History?

Jahad Thomas was a first-team selection in the America East two times (as a junior and senior,) a second-teamer as a sophomore and a first-teamer as a freshman. He averaged 20.7 points per game for his career, including 23.3 as a senior.

Thomas is the program’s leader in points, rebounds, assists and steals since it moved to Division I.


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