The summertime can be a rather quiet period, especially in the college sports world. However, thanks to our friends from the various D3Sports websites, we’ve decided to compile a few links of press releases and news from the past week, which you may have missed.
Here are some links pertaining toward the various New England Div. III conferences:
In case you haven’t heard, the Fitchburg State University women’s basketball team is on a roll.
They’re sporting a 10-0 record, and a major reason for their success this season is sophomore Amy Fahey, who leads the team with 265 points, and 13 blocks.
“She’s just flourished from one year to the next immensely, but there’s a lot of areas in the game where she can get better, and she knows that and we’ve talked about that extensively, and she needs to work on those things,” said Falcons head coach Walter Paschal, when asked to describe Fahey’s play this season.
Besides Fahey, the Falcons have also received help from sophomore Meaghan Secino, who has recorded 125 points, 20 assists, and 22 rebounds, and senior Rebecca Goreham, who leads the team with 140 rebounds.
Fitchburg State has earned impressive wins against non-conference foes, such as University of Massachusetts (Boston), Emerson College, Lasell, and Western New England, but will kick-off their 2012 slate with Anna Maria College before facing their first MASCAC, (Massachusetts State Collegiate Athletic Conference) foe, Bridgewater State on Saturday, Jan. 7.
Catching up on some of the latest Division III college basketball news and notes from the state of Massachusetts…
* D3Hoops.com released their most recent rankings on Sunday, Dec. 11, and according to their Top-25 poll, Amherst College’s women’s team, who’s [7-0] continues to be the top squad across the country, while Babson College remains locked at No. 16. Fitchburg State University is currently receiving one vote in the category, “others receiving votes.”
* In the men’s poll, MIT is currently ranked No. 4, Amherst College is No. 6, and WPI is No. 20.
The Falcons currently sit atop the MASCAC, (Massachusetts State Collegiate Athletic Conference) with a 10-0 record, and will look to keep their winning ways going when they return to the hardwood after winter break on Tuesday, Jan. 3, when they travel to Anna Maria College.
Noontime Sports caught up with head coach Walter Paschal on Wednesday to talk about the season thus far. Here’s our conversation, enjoy.
On starting the season 10-0: “It’s the best start we’ve ever had. We’ve been [9-1] before, but never [10-0]. So that’s never a landmark trying to get to 10 wins right away. [I] never really thought about it until I told the kids about it after Saturday’s win [against Western New England College], and it’s something where you put this feather in your cap, and we’ve had some success in the past with a few teams [we’ve played], and I think it’s a pretty good benchmark to get to [10-0] for the first time in school history.”
On facing non-conference foes: “We always played U-Mass Boston, Nichols, [Western New England College], and teams like that for the last eight-nine years, and each year, some teams drop us [due to] schedule changes, so there’s a couple new ones here and there. [For instance, Tuesday was the first time we played] Mount Ida. We’re young, and we have 14 kids on the team and we play 10 [of them], and seven of them have no college basketball experience, so it’s really helped us to get acclimated to the college game, [and] they learn how to win. Our first game was at home and then we played six on the road. Winning all six of them was a great test. No matter what team you are, but for a team that we play, six-seven kids [that have] never played college basketball before, [so] I thought it was an eye opener to me. [We] then came home, and took care of business at home with three home games, and now we just have to get better. League play starts as soon as we get back [from winter break], and that’s going to be a real test.”
On keeping the momentum from the first half of the season: “I don’t know about momentum, [but] we just have to get better… We were picked last [in our conference, but] now, they’re [10-0], so they got the leagues attention, [and] we just have to get better because we’re not going to hit anybody by surprise like we did I think first semester, so it’s not so much momentum, we just have to get better in all areas of the game.”
On winning close games against teams like U-Mass Boston, Emerson College, Lasell and Mount Ida: “We’ve won close ones, we won a couple blowouts, we’ve won coming from behind, [such as] 10 points against Emerson, [and] we’ve won [games on the road]. The kids are just resilient. It doesn’t really matter what the score is at the time, they just have figured out a way to get back into the ballgame. Lasell, [who’s] better than their record [indicates], we were down four with [roughly three minutes] to go, [but] we got a three-point play, missed a free throw, got the basket and all of a sudden in one possession we tied it up, and I think that was huge and the kids are just finding a way to seek out wins, and I think what it does is it builds trust between them and they know down the line that anyone on the floor can score, and it’s [going to make our team] really hard to defend come January and February.”
On the play of sophomore forward Amy Fahey: “I always felt that she was going to be one of the best players in New England at one time, [but] I didn’t know it would come this early. We had six seniors on the team last year, and she kind of just waited her turn, and she had some breakout games where she had 18 [points] against Worcester State, and she showed glimpses of it, but she kind of just sat back and waited her turn, but we wanted her to do a little bit more last year. This year with only two seniors on the team, her role has changed dramatically and she’s just taken it upon herself. When she gets that ball, she puts it in the basket. She’s helped out with the rebounding, [and] she’s just flourished from one year to the next immensely, but there’s a lot of areas in the game where she can get better, and she knows that and we’ve talked about that extensively, and she needs to work on those things.”
On three goals for the remainder of the season: “One is we just have to get better every day, and if we can do that then we’ll [most likely] make the conference tournament. Six out of the seven teams make it in our conference, and right now, I wouldn’t be able to pick one team that [won’t] make it because I think it’s going to be a dogfight looking at all the scores, and knowing all the teams and their coaches, [so] I think there’s going to be one team left out, which that’s going to be a shame. And then, third, once we get [into the tournament], our goal is to win it, so that’s our three goals — to get better, make the tournament, and once we’re in, win it. I think they can all be accomplished if we catch some breaks.”
It’s Tuesday, which means it’s officially time to unveil our weekly Division III Massachusetts hoops poll. There really wasn’t too much change from last week, except for the records.
1.) Amherst College 6-0 (Last Week/ No. 1) – Big wins against Springfield College and Westfield State University this past weekend helped the Lord Jeffs remain atop our poll yet again. This week, they’ll travel east to face Babson College in what could be a pre-tournament matchup later in March.
2.) MIT 8-0 (Last Week/ No. 2) – The Engineers are on a roll, but could boost their rating with three back-to-back-to-back wins against University of Massachusetts (Boston) on Tuesday and Salem State on Thursday and Tufts University on Saturday. Also, senior guard Jamie Karraker leads the squad with 111 points, while junior Will Tashman has recorded a team-high 87 rebounds.
3.) Williams College 6-1 (Last Week/ No. 3) – The Ephs brought up the Hockenbury Classic crown on Sunday after defeating Purchase State and Worcester State. Next up, Williams will host Keene State and Springfield College, two critical games for the Ephs.
4.) Babson College 7-2 (Last Week/No. 4) – After ending their first month of play with a perfect record, the Beavers have fallen somewhat off the tracks – winning only one-of-three contests within the past week. Losses against Tufts University and Brandies could prove costly down the stretch, but currently, the men dressed in green and white seem to be focused on one thing – their game against Amherst College on Thursday. A win would snap their two-game losing streak, while a loss would add to their current losing woes.
5.) WPI 6-0 (Last Week/ No. 5) – The Engineers are one of the more fascinating stories of the early season. The play of freshman guard Marco Coppola has been impressive, but so has the play of senior Matt Carr, who leads the team with 52 rebounds, (15 offense, 37 defense).
1.) Amherst College 5-0 (Last Week/No. 1) – The Lord Jeffs will look to end their three-game home stand with a win against Emmanuel on Tuesday before hitting the road for a two-game stop at Eastern Connecticut State University and Springfield College.
2.) Williams College 6-0 (Last Week/No. 2) – The Ephs keep on winning, and recently scored big against Bridgewater State University and Daemen, but can they keep the winning ways going against Skidmore and Wesleyan this week? We shall see!
3.) Babson College 5-1 (Last Week/No. 3) – After stumbling against Williams College in November, the Beavers have rebounded quite well with two back-to-back victories against conference foes WPI and Mount Holyoke. Babson can earn an undefeated record in the conference until play resumes in January with two victories against Wellesley College on Tuesday and Wheaton College on Friday.
4.) Smith College 6-0 (Last Week/No. 4) – The Pioneers picked up an important win this past weekend in Norton against Wheaton College, and can certainly take the next step with a victory against Springfield College, United States Coast Guard Trinity College and Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts. Smith College might be flying under the radar, but wins against the Pride and Bears in conference will help them keep pace with the Beavers.
5.) Fitchburg State 7-0 (Last Week/No. 5) – The Falcons return home on Tuesday for a three-game home stand against Lasell, Western New England and Mount Ida, which are three winnable contests. Fitchburg State has only won one home game this season, but has excelled quite well on the road, (5-0).
The second week of college football in Massachusetts kicked-off with a bang, as two teams earned their first win of the year, while Worcester State advanced to [2-0] in conference play. Here’s our Friday Night scoreboard, enjoy.
Worcester State 21 – WPI 14: Lancers quarterback Tony Tokarz finished the game with eight completions for 103 yards and one touchdown, while running backs Marcus Price and Kenny Russell combined 161 yards on the ground and two touchdowns. WPI’s Pat McAuley recorded his first touchdown pass of the season, as well as threw two interceptions and was sacked once.
Curry College 49 – Fitchburg State 14: Colonels quarterback Mark Gilson completed 8-of-12 passes, as well as tossed three touchdowns while linebacker Jason Genece recorded six tackles and one sack in Curry College’s first win of the season. Bruce Vieira caught two touchdowns, as well as rushed for one too. As for the Falcons, wide receiver Brian Wallace caught one touchdown and linebacker Joseph Sasso led his squad with 10 tackles.
Framingham State 54 – Nichols College 13: The Rams earned their first win of the season, as they clobbered the Bison at Bowditch Field in Framingham. With the win, Framingham State remains tied in second place in New England Football Conference (NEFC), while Nichols College remains the only team with no wins and two losses.