Mass. College Sports: Highlights And Notes From The Weekend

By Matt Noonan 

There were a variety of local teams competing this past weekend in baseball, softball and lacrosse NCAA tournaments, and below are a few highlights and notes.

* Endicott College’s run toward the NCAA Division III World Series ended with a 9-0 setback to Southern Maine on Sunday. The Gulls set a program record with 35 wins this season, as well as won their first Commonwealth Coast Conference (CCC) title since 2006.

* Endicott won three of their first New England Regional games against Saint Joseph’s (ME), Wheaton College and Southern Maine.

* Colin Sitarz and Tyler Hitchcock (Abington, MA) each represented Endicott on the All-Tournament team.

* Amherst College saw its season conclude, too, as the Lord Jeffs, who set a program record for wins, fell to Cortland in the New York Regional.

* Tufts University’s softball team will play for the Division III championship this afternoon against the winner of Cortland-Salisbury. The Jumbos haven’t lost a game in the championship bracket as they’ve defeated Texas-Tyler, Montclair State and Cortland. Tufts have only surrendered one run in all three contests, too.

* Finally, Westford’s David Lawson netted a game-best five goals, including the game-winner for Duke against Notre Dame in NCAA Division I men’s lacrosse tournament. Lawson now has 32 goals and 15 assists for the Blue Devils this season.

Mass. College Lax: 10 Saturday Games To Watch

By NoontimeSports.com 

Happy Saturday to everyone! In honor of another gorgeous day in Massachusetts, we’ve decided to provide a list of great lacrosse games to attend this afternoon.

Make sure to circle back later this evening for recaps, roundups and releases.

Men’s Lacrosse: 

* No. 2 Cornell at Harvard, 1 p.m. – This is a big game for the Crimson, who almost defeated Duke last weekend. Cornell will provide challenges for Harvard’s defense as the attacks and midfielders for the Big Red can dodge and slide quite well. Harvard will need to stop Rob Pannell, who is the nation’s third leading scorer (5.4 points per game).

* UMass at Towson, 1 p.m. – The Minutemen’s offense has been suspect this season, but in an important conference match it’ll be important for them to locate the back of the net.

* Williams at No. 4 Tufts, 1 p.m. – The Jumbos enter today’s tilt on a six-game winning streak, while the Ephs are coming off a tough quadruple overtime setback to Bowdoin.

* Middlebury at Amherst, 2 p.m. – This is a big one for the Lord Jeffs, who snapped their three-game skid last weekend with a victory against Hamilton. The Panthers, who’re 7-1, started the current month with a 16-8 victory against New England College.

Women’s Lacrosse: 

* Navy at Holy Cross, 12 p.m. – The Crusaders have done quite well in Patriot League play. Yet, can they improve their mark to 3-1 against Navy?

* No. 9 Stonehill at No. 7 Le Moyne, 12 p.m. – The Skyhawks picked up their seventh win on Wednesday and will attempt to conclude their three-game road trip with a win against the Dolphins.

* So. Conn. State at No. 12 Bentley, 12 p.m. – The Falcons defeated AIC on Wednesday, 16-2, which snapped a two-game skid. Can they carry that momentum into this afternoon’s contest against the Owls?

* BU at Vermont, 1 p.m. – The Terriers haven’t won a game away from Nickerson Field this season, so a victory against their America East foe would be huge.

* Duke at BC, 1 p.m. — This is another big game for the Eagles, who defeated Virginia last weekend, 10-7. Duke enters the contest on a one-game losing streak as the Blue Devils lost to North Carolina last Thursday in overtime.

* No. 10 Amherst at No. 3 Middlebury, 1:30 p.m. – Could the Lord Jeffs pull an upset against the third best team in the land? Amherst is 1-1 against Middlebury in the past two seasons, but the Panthers defeated the Lord Jeffs last season, 8-5.

Mass. College Hoops: Sunday Afternoon/Evening Roundup

By NoontimeSports.com 

Due to the Blizzard of 2013, numerous college basketball games were postponed to Sunday afternoon and evening. And below is a quick roundup from the various conference tilts.

Men’s Basketball:

Columbia 78, Harvard 63 – The Crimson saw their four-game winning streak conclude, as the Lions outscored the visitors, 40-29 during the second stanza, which earned them their first win against Harvard in their last eight meetings. Harvard’s Wesley Saunders netted a career-best 27 points in the setback.

Duke 62, Boston College 61Despite being tied at 27 after one session, the Blue Devils managed to tally an additional point in the second, which lifted them past the Eagles in Chestnut Hill. BC’s Olivier Hanlan tallied a game-high 20 points in the win, while Ryan Anderson finished with 17 points, six rebounds, two assists and two steals.

Southern New Hampshire 85, UMass Lowell 73The River Hawks were no match for their opponent; as the Penmen outscored the hosts, 51-33 during the final stanza to secure their 13th overall win of the season. Akeem Williams, who finished the contest with a game-high 24 points, paced UMass Lowell in the setback.

Amherst College 65, Williams College 48 – Allen Williamson recorded 16 points, Aaron Toomey netted 14 points and Willy Workman added 13 points, as the visiting Lord Jeffs topped the Ephs for the second time this season. Williams’ Michael Mayer led all scorers with a game-high 17 points.

Case Western Reserve 56, Brandeis University 46 – The Judges couldn’t overcome an eight-point deficit at the break, as the Spartans handed their conference foe their sixth loss of the season. Brandeis’ Youri Dascy led all players with 16 points, while Gabriel Moton recorded 12 points.

Women’s Basketball:

Harvard 69, Cornell 60 (OT) – Victoria Lippert tallied 19 points, Christine Clark chipped in 15 points, and Temi Fagbenle finished with 12 points, as the Crimson defeated the visiting Big Red in overtime and earned their 13th win of the season.

Bentley University 61, St. Anselm 21The Falcons picked up their 21st win of the season, as well as held the Hawks to just eight points in the second half. Courtney Finn led all scorers with 13 points, while Jacqui Brugliera and Kelsey Roberson each netted 11 points.

Stonehill College 67, Merrimack College 55The Skyhawks snapped their one-game skid by earning their 18th overall win of the season. Stonehill’s Tori Faieta led all scorers with 17 points, while Asia Ewing and Mary Louise Dixon tallied 16 points, respectively. Shelby Secor, who registered 11 points, led Merrimack.   

Williams College 71, Amherst College 51 – Claire Baecher filled the stat sheet with 30 points, eight rebounds, two blocks, as well as one assist and one steal, which helped the Ephs defeat the Lord Jeffs in Williamstown.

Babson College 73, Smith College 52 – The Beavers sank 30 of 50 shots from the field and received 22 points and 15 rebounds from Sarah Collins, as Babson defeated Smith College for the second time this season. Paulina Solis led the Pioneers with 17 points off the bench.

Framingham State 74, MCLA 63 – Madeleine Park reached the 1,000-point plateau on a three-pointer at the beginning of the game, as well as finished with 17 points, which helped the Rams get past the Trailblazers. Samantha Irvine led Framingham State with 18 points and 11 boards.

Daily Noontime – February 9, 2012

Neither Tim Thomas or Tuukka Rask could stop Buffalo's offense on Wednesday! (Photo Credit: Zimbio.com)

By NoontimeSports.com 

Happy Thursday to everyone, and welcome into yet another grand edition of the Daily Noontime. Here are some headlines and news to kick-start the day!

* The Buffalo Sabres walloped the Boston Bruins on Wednesday evening, 6-0 in upstate New York. Both Tuukka Rask and Tim Thomas surrendered three goals, as well as combined for 23 saves, while Boston’s offense tallied 36 shots on Buffalo goaltender Ryan Miller. Also, this was the second time in February that the Bruins have finished the game with a “goose egg” on the scoreboard. Boston will look to rebound on Saturday when they host Nashville for a 1:00pm face-off.

* Boston College’s men’s basketball team stunned No. 17 Florida State on Wednesday in Chestnut Hill, as they overcame a slow start to defeat the Seminoles, 64-60. Freshman Jordan Daniels led the Eagles with 21 points, as well as provided four trifectas and five assists. The Eagles are now 8-16 overall, and 3-7 in ACC play.

* The Boston Celtics will look to continue their winning ways on Thursday when they host the Los Angles Lakers for an 8:00pm tip-off. The Green and White are currently riding a five-game winning streak, while the Lakers have lost two of their last three contests.

* Doc Rivers was one happy father on Wednesday evening, as he watched Austin Rivers sink the game-winning three-pointer for Duke, which lifted the Blue Devils past the North Carolina Tar Heels, 85-84.

Daily Noontime — November 16, 2011

Coach K. has officially surpassed Bobby Knight as the winningest basketball coach in Division I NCAA Basketball!

Alright, it’s “hump day,” which means … the weekend is almost here, and the week is almost over, wahoo! Here’s some headlines, news and more, enjoy! 

Headlines: 

* Duke University’s Mike Krzyzewski officially became the winningest head coach in college basketball on Tuesday, as the Blue Devils beat Michigan State, 74-69.

* Houston Texans quarterback Matt Schaub recently admitted that he’s quite “bummed” about ending his season.

* With Schaub injured, could the Texans consider acquiring Brett Favre to their roster?

* Justin Verlander added some hardware to his collection on Tuesday, as he was named the American League Cy Young Award winner.

* The Boston Bruins stretched their winning streak to six games on Tuesday, as the Black and Gold defeated the New Jersey Devils, 4-3.

Games to Watch: 

* Carolina at Montreal (NHL) – 7:00pm eastern 

* New Jersey at Buffalo (NHL) – 7:30pm eastern 

* Chicago at Vancouver (NHL) – 10:00pm eastern 

Video of the Day: 

This is called breaking a world record – riding a 90 foot wave! 

Kilpatrick: Butler or VCU, Who wants it More?

The Rams have made it this far, so why exactly would their journey end Saturday against Butler?

By Stacey Kilpatrick

It’s the angry Butler Bulldogs and the ferocious Virginia Commonwealth Rams vying for a spot in the NCAA Championship finals. No one suspected an 8-seed and an 11-seed to be playing for the coveted chance. Not a person. Maybe those teams who were a 4 or 5 seed, but an 8 and 11 in the Horizon and the Colonial Conferences? No way!

No Atlantic 10, no ACC, no Big 12, no PAC 10, no Big Ten; the Horizon and the CAA. It’s a “Cinderella” run as many call it, but should #8 Butler and #11 VCU even have the opportunity to play for this title?

With this being the first EVER run where an 8-or-higher-seed is in the final four, it’s certainly grabbed a lot of attention. And since Butler fell to Duke last year in the Championship, with then-Bulldog Gordon Hayward narrowly missing the half court last-second shot, I’m sure the competition will be even heavier on April 2 at extreme ends; those crossing their foam fingers for the deprived to reign, and those shaking their heads and running their mouths, wanting the Bulldogs to fall once more.

Both teams have had exciting tournaments so far, but how do they stack up statistically?

Butler finished [27-9] overall and [13-5] in the Horizon. They held their breaths in the final seconds of two games. On March 17, Butler beat #9 Old Dominion, 60-58, after Matt Howard tipped in the game-winner at the buzzer. Two nights later, Howard’s free throw with 0:01 remaining put the team up, 71-70 over top-seeded Pittsburgh, ultimately knocking the Panthers out. In the Sweet 16 the Bulldogs beat #4 Wisconsin 61-54 and during Elite Eight play they booted the #2 Florida Gators 74-71 in overtime.

The Rams went [28-11] overall and [12-6] in the Colonial. In third round play, they upset #3 Purdue 94-76, securing their first visit to the Sweet 16. Bradford Burgess put VCU up, 72-71 with 6-seconds left in overtime against #10 Florida State, and when Chris Singleton couldn’t put down two points for the Seminoles with 0:02 remaining, the Rams won.

But the most shocking was when, I’ll say it again, #11 VCU upset #1 Kansas 71-61 on March 27. The Rams were up, 41-27 at the half and during the game they shot 48.0% from beyond the arc compared to the Jayhawks’ uncharacteristic and embarrassing 9.5%.

VCU is a team that, in contrast ranks 99th overall in points per game to Kansas’ 5th, 301st in rebounds to Kansas’ 19th, 83rd in assists to Kansas’ 2nd and 180th in field goal percentage to Kansas’…1st.

How, how, how did the Rams beat the Jayhawks and make it to the Final Four? They must have ridden in a pumpkin instead of a team bus and substituted fairy godmother dust over Gatorade.

With VCU’s push, it seems as if they can outlast Butler. But Butler did pull upsets of their own and they’re back again dribbling for victory that was so closely in their sweaty, calloused hands last year.

Noonan: March Madness Bracket is Busted

Sadly, Duke fell short to Arizona, which most likely "busted" March Madness brackets!

By Matt Noonan

Take a look at your March Madness bracket, how does it look? Do you have a lot of teams, such as Duke, BYU and maybe San Diego State crossed off?

How about all those who picked Rick Pitino to lead Louisville to the “Sweet Sixteen” or “Final Four,” how do you feel today?

Also, I do need to spark some controversy, so how is everyone doing in Kentucky on this wonderful Friday morning? Are you excited for the Wildcats to take on Ohio State on Friday? Will John Calipari lead his group of young men onto the elite eight?

Well, allow me to be the first to admit that once again, my bracket is officially busted, again. I had Duke repeating their exciting run from last year, but now, my favorite piece of paper from the past few days has gone out with the kitchen trash and I have officially begun the countdown for the MLB season, yet, how much baseball can I endure during the first week?

What makes March Madness so enjoyable is that every year, millions of people, no matter whether they are college basketball die-hards, co-workers or friends and family, take just a few minutes or possibly, hours, to fill out a bracket.

Even President Barack Obama has continuously shown his support for the tournament, both the men’s and women’s might I add, by filling out a bracket and allowing ESPN an all-access pass into the white house to hear what the chief and commander of America has to say about the tournament.

People like myself, Obama and even, Snoop Dogg, may not always enjoy watching our picks or predictions slip away, but what we do enjoy the most is a great game of basketball. So far, a majority of the games have been enthralling.

Who doesn’t enjoy a late three-pointer to win the game? Aren’t you a fan of a Matt Howard rebound and layup for Butler? Don’t you want to see free throws down the stretch win games?

Besides, we all know that sports fans, especially college basketball followers live for these exciting and exuberant moments.

All in all, while my bracket is indeed busted, there is always hope that one-day, I, along with all of those who picked the various games wrong, will be able to stand up and cheer after the championship is complete and say, “My bracket didn’t get busted!”

Until that day comes, I might as well sit back, relax and enjoy the rest of this college tournament.

Also, since Duke has officially been eliminated, I’ll be rooting for Jim Calhoun’s bunch, the University of Connecticut Huskies to win another NCAA Division I championship.

Daily Noontime – March 25, 2011

Nothing like a friendly Baltimore-Boston rivalry!

Happy Friday to everyone and welcome to yet another weekend, as well as another day in paradise! While we anxiously await the weekend to begin, just sit back, relax and enjoy today’s Daily Noontime!

Headlines:

* Boston Red Sox general manager Theo Epstein received a little “too much hate” from the Baltimore Orioles skipper, Buck Showalter.

* Apparently the NFL lockout is aggravating some football fans that one by the name of Ken Lanci has decided to sue the Cleveland Browns, which is quite interesting.

* Yes, the Duke Blue Devils have been eliminated for this years March Madness tournament, but did the team get jinxed by a halftime interview with head coach Mike Krzyzewski? As Duke fans know, an interview with Coach K never ever happens!

* Sadly, San Diego State’s exciting run came to an end, due to UConn’s Kemba Walker‘s 36 points.

* The Minnesota Timberwolves are not going to make the playoffs, but one thing is for sure, shutting down Kevin Love maybe a good option.

* The New York Yankees have signed a new pitcher, welcome Kevin Millwood to the Bronx Bombers.

Games to Watch:

* Philadelphia at Miami (NBA) – 7:30pm eastern

* Vancouver at Atlanta (NHL) – 7:30pm eastern

* New Orleans at Phoenix (NBA) – 10:00pm eastern

Video of the Day:

Remember when Cleveland loved LeBron James?


NCAA March Madness Day Four Wrap Up

Coach K led his Blue Devils by Michigan State, but are they ready for more March Madness?

By Stacey Kilpatrick

At this time in the NCAA March Madness tourney there are going to be very rough losses; that’s just the way this works. Sunday brought nothing short of holding-your-breath-while-falling-off-your-couch-cushion-moments with defining wins and losses. Day four, in my opinion, proved that seeds don’t really matter. It’s simply about talent and if a team wants to win they’ll push themselves towards victory regardless of being an 11 or 3 seed, where two upsets were seen today.

I’ll classify this as the game of the day, but I’m sure many people beg to differ and consider it the upset. And I admit, seeing the first-seeded Blue Devils crumble against the #8 Michigan Wolverines would have equally put a smile on my face that their winning 73-71 did.

So Duke, last year’s NCAA champions, pushed away from a one, two possession lead here and there over the Wolverines to a 15-point lead at 10:51 in the second after a Kyle Singler free-throw. But Michigan pressured and performed until Duke’s Nolan Smith ran away with the final defensive rebound securing a spot for the Blue Devils in the Sweet 16 and another chance to take it all.

Nine seconds remained. Michigan’s Darius Morris received a pass down court from Zack Novak who managed the defensive rebound after Smith – an 81.7% free-throw shooter on the season — nailed one. Morris ran in the paint for a straight shot in front of the basket with 3.4 left, but he put too much ark in his throw and the ball didn’t sink.

With 1:26, Wolverine Tim Hardaway Jr. made it a one-point game, 70-69, with a 3-pointer.

Duke was then holding the ball, taking their time, and with less than 40 seconds Kyrie Irving made a field goal causing Michigan to take a full timeout.

19.3 remained and honestly it was anyone’s game.

Morris nailed a jumper with 10 seconds, making it a 72-71 game and the Wolves used their final timeout. With 8.7 to go, Morris fouled Smith and from then on it went Duke’s way.

Smith put down 24 points, nabbed four rebounds and made two assists. He went 8/13 in field goals, 2/4 with 3-pointers and 6/7 in free-throws. Singler scored 13, grabbed eight rebounds and made four assists. He was 5/12 on the court, 1/5 with 3-point shots and 2/5 at the line. Irving and Ryan Kelly both made 11 points off the bench.

For Michigan, Morris scored 16 with six assists, three rebounds and two steals, going 7/14 in field goals. Hardaway Jr. netted 15 points and made three rebounds and two assists and steals apiece. He went 5/12 on the court, 1/6 in 3’s and was 4/4 from the line. Evan Smotrycz, who fouled out at 6:25 in the second, made 13, Novak had 12 and five rebounds and Jordan Morgan put up 10.

Duke was 72% in free-throws to Michigan’s 90.9%, 51% in field goals to Michigan’s 50.9% and 25% in 3-point shooting to the Wolves’ 33.3%.

The upset of the day was a hard decision since there were a few contenders. #3 Purdue lost 94-76 to #11 VCU, who enters the Sweet 16 for the first time, and #4 Texas fell 70-69 to #5 Arizona in what some could have said was a missed foul call at the end. But, having to choose just one, I called #3 Syracuse.

The play that lost it for the Orange was when Dion Waiters’ foot passed into the backcourt as he attempted to catch a poorly thrown inbound pass at a 59-all game. #11 Marquette’s Darius Johnson-Odom then made a huge 3 with 25.1, putting the Golden Eagles up, 62-59. With 16.1 left, Junior Cadougan added two for Marquette after being fouled by ‘Cuse’s Scoop Jardine. 10.1 remained and Syracuse added a basket, closing the gap to 64-61. But Jae Crowder added two free-throws for Marquette. With 5.2 remaining at a 66-62 game, Jardine only made one of his two free-throws and Golden Eagle Dwight Buycks made the defensive rebound, securing Marquette’s 66-62 win and overall, it was a good win for Marquette. It wouldn’t be an interesting March Madness without upsets.

Statistic of the Day: Senior Buckeye David Lighty went heavy,  (Ha. Ha. Ha.) on a handful of stats in his 30 minutes on the court during #1 overall seed Ohio State’s 98-66 crushing win over #8 George Mason. Lighty threw down 25 points (nine above GM’s top-scorer Cam Long with 16), four rebounds, three assists, one turnover, one offensive rebound, was 9/10 in field goals, 7/7 in 3-pointers and only 0/2 at the line. He averaged 11.7 points per game during the 2010-2011 season and only reached 20-something points 4/35 games.

Looking ahead to Thursday: The Sweet 16 has arrived. Three of the four number one seeds have survived (Duke, Kansas and Ohio State. Pitt fell 71-70 to #8 Butler). Will we be in for another #1 knock-off surprise? Don’t let yourself blink; you’ll want to stare at your television sets and computer screens — while the boss isn’t glaring — with open eyes. Okay, enough of those rhymes.

#2 SDSU, first-timers to the Sweet 16, play #3 UConn. Will the Aztecs have enough to beat the Huskies in Anaheim? I’m not sure. Haven’t seen much of San Diego State to be honest, so maybe they will come with a shock. Another solid two-three game will take place in New Orleans. #2 Florida fights for a spot in the Elite 8 against #3 BYU. BYU won last year in the first round. Can they repeat a victory and sink the Gators?