Mass. College Hoops: Friday Evening Roundup

Temi Fagbenle registered a double-double with 14 points and 12 rebounds against Columbia! (Photo Credit: The Harvard Crimson)

Temi Fagbenle registered a double-double with 14 points and 12 rebounds against Columbia! (Photo Credit: The Harvard Crimson)

By Matt Noonan 

Another evening of college basketball is in the books and below are the local game summaries.

Men’s Basketball: 

Harvard 56, Columbia 51 – Siyani Chambers tallied a game-best 16 points, Wesley Saunders netted 15 points as the Crimson defeated the Lions and improved to 18-9 overall and 10-3 in the Ivy League. Harvard is now one-half game behind Princeton University in the Ancient Eight standings.

Women’s Basketball: 

Harvard 61, Columbia 44 – Temi Fagbenle finished with 14 points and 12 rebounds, Victoria Lippert recorded a team-best 15 points as the Crimson topped the Lions and improved to 18-8 overall and 9-3 in Ivy League play.

Amherst College 47, Tufts University 42 – Hayley Kanner‘s game-best 12 points wasn’t enough to help the Jumbos as the Lord Jeffs defeated their NESCAC rival in third round of the NCAA Division III tournament and earned a spot in tomorrow’s quarterfinals against Widener. Bridget Crowley led Amherst with 10 points, while Marcia Voigt filled the stat sheet with 10 boards, seven assists, four steals and four points. Amherst led Tufts at the break, 25-17.

Williams College 64, Ithaca College 60 (OT) – Jennie Harding scored five of her 19 points in overtime, while Claire Baecher finished with 19 points and 10 rebounds as the Ephs defeated the Bombers in the third round of the tournament. Ithaca College received game-high 22 points from Kathryn Campbell, but that wasn’t enough to beat Williams. The Ephs will return to the hardwood tomorrow when they host Whitman in the quarterfinals.   

Mass. College Hoops: Five Games To Watch This Weekend (Feb. 15-17)

By NoontimeSports.com 

It’s Friday, which means it is officially time to unveil our five college basketball games to watch this weekend. And as noted on this week’s hockey game post, make sure to check back throughout the weekend for recaps and roundups.

Also, make sure to follow us on Twitter (@NoontimeSports or @NoonSportsBlog) and Facebook (Facebook.com/NoonSports).

Men’s Basketball:

Princeton at Harvard (Saturday, 7:00 p.m.) – After last week’s shocker against Columbia, Harvard now has one blemish on their conference mark. However, they can certainly turn the page with back-to-back wins against Penn on Friday and Princeton on Saturday.

Princeton remains a half game behind Harvard for first in the Ivy League, and enters the weekend having won one of their last three games.

Harvard ranks 11th in the country in field goal percentage (.487%) and 94th in assists per game (14.2). Wesley Saunders has tallied 10 points or more in every game this season, as well as registered a season-high 27 points against Columbia.

WPI at Clark University (Saturday, 3:00 p.m.) – After earning two back-to-back losses to MIT and Springfield College, the Engineers will look to conclude their regular season with a victory against the Cougars, a squad that’s dropped two straight.

WPI was ranked second in the country last week, but their loss to Springfield dropped them three spots. The Engineers, though, are most likely not worried about their spot in the recent D3Hoops.com rankings, but instead, capping their successful campaign with a win.

Keep your eyes on Clark’s Brian Vayda (16.9 points per game) and WPI’s Marco Coppola (15.8), as both players will be the players to watch in tomorrow’s contest.

Mount Ida College at Anna Maria College (Saturday, 3:00 p.m.) The AMCATs enter the final weekend of the regular season with a 14 game winning streak. Coach Shawn Conrad told Noontime Sports that their game against Mount Ida College earlier this season was a turning point. And ever since their 72-62 victory against the Mustangs in Newton, the AMCATs have been unstoppable.

Anna Maria’s Anthony Clink ranks second in the GNAC (Great Northeast Athletic Conference) in points per game (19.5), while Mount Ida’s Kenny Jean ranks fourth in field goal percentage (55.4%).

Women’s Basketball:

Harvard at Princeton (Saturday, 6:00 p.m.) - Similar to the men’s game, this particular clash is very important too.

Harvard’s won three straight, while Princeton is on a seven-game winning streak. The Crimson’s only blemish in Ivy League play came against Dartmouth College on January 26.

Princeton ranks first in scoring, while Harvard ranks second with 68.6 points per game. The Tigers are first in scoring defense and have limited their opponents to roughly 54 points per game.

Excluding team statistics, this game will feature the league’s two best scorers – Princeton’s Niveen Rasheed (321 points) and Harvard’s Christine Clark (316 points).

Adelphi at Assumption College (Saturday, 1:30 p.m.) – This particular tilt is an important one for the Hounds, who’re currently tied for third place in the Northeast-10 Conference with UMass Lowell.

Last time Adelphi and Assumption met; the Panthers defeated the Hounds, 66-58. Assumption finished the contest 23 of 65 from the field, while Adelphia managed to connect on 23 of 52 shots.

Assumption will certainly lean on Gabrielle Gibson, who is third in the conference in points per game (16.8). Adelphi will counter with Jessica Kitrys, whose second in the conference in points per game (17.8). 

Mass. College Hoops: Harvard Tops Yale, Improves To 3-0 In Ivy League (VIDEO)

By Matt Noonan

The Harvard University men’s basketball team earned its third win in the Ivy League on Friday evening, as the Crimson defeated the visiting Yale Bulldogs, 67-64. Wesley Saunders recorded his first collegiate double-double in the win with 15 points and a career-high 11 assists, while Laurent Rivard netted 15 points.

Harvard led Yale at the break, 40-27, but the Bulldogs outscored the Crimson during the second session, 37-27. Armani Cotton paced the Bulldogs with a team-high 14 points, while Austin Morgan tallied nine points.

The Crimson finished the game 23 of 42 from the field, 8 of 13 from beyond the arc, 13 of 22 at the stripe and 24 rebounds. Below is a highlight package from the Harvard’s YouTube channel.

Mass. College Hoops: News And Notes From Saturday’s Slate

By Matt Noonan 

There were some interesting outcomes on Saturday in the college basketball world, and below are a few thoughts on the various games.

* I want to congratulate the Bentley University women’s basketball team for earning their 30th consecutive win against an East Region opponent, as Barbara Stevens guided the Falcons to 75-66 win against New Haven. Courtney Finn registered her second straight double-double, while Tyler Parker Kimball recorded a career-best 15 rebounds in 20 minutes. The Falcons are now 17-0 and 13-0 in Northeast-10 Conference play.

* Against UMBC, Boston University’s men’s team had six players record double figures in the Terriers 11th win of the season. Dom Morris, Malik Thomas, Maurice Watson Jr., John Papale, D.J. Irving and Nathan Dieudonne each tallied 10 points or more. The Terriers hadn’t had six scorers record double figures in a game since 2003.

* Kelly Greenberg picked up her 250th win as a head coach, as the BU women’s basketball team rebounded from their loss to Albany with a win against UMBC. The Terriers are now 17-4 overall and 7-1 in America East play.

* Harvard’s men’s basketball team overcame a seven-point deficit with 1:10 remaining and went onto defeat the visiting Dartmouth Big Green in overtime, 82-77. Tommy Amaker’s squad is now 10-6 overall and 2-0 in the Ivy League.

* Anna Maria’s men’s basketball team has been a rather quiet story this year. However, their most recent win a few days ago against Albertus Magnus certainly created a ripple across the region. Yesterday, they earned their eighth consecutive win by defeating Johnson & Wales, 76-68. Anthony Clink led the AMCATS with 22 points, while also recording eight rebounds, two assists, two blocks and two steals.

* Daniel Wohl upped his status to Big Man On Campus following his go-ahead layup with 31 seconds remaining, as Williams College handed Middlebury College their first setback of the season in Williamstown. The Ephs are now 17-2 overall and 6-0 in the New England Small College Athletic Conference (NESCAC).

* Amherst College’s men’s basketball team is on a roll and has now won 11 straight contests. The Lord Jeffs haven’t dropped a game since falling to Babson College on December 6. On Saturday, they defeated Trinity College to earn their sixth conference win, along with their 17th of the season.

* Tufts University’s women’s basketball team earned its 20th consecutive win of the season by defeating Bates College, 55-34. Since the Jumbos started playing basketball in 1972, the Powder Blue and White have tallied 20 wins or more in four seasons. The most wins the Jumbos have recorded were 26, which occurred during the 2007-08 season.

* Amherst’s women’s basketball team picked up its 19th consecutive win of the season, as the Lord Jeffs defeated Trinity College, 67-47. Marcia Voigt and Savannah Holness each tallied a game-high 13 points.  

* The New England Collegiate Conference (NECC) got off to a slow start, but as of recently, it is a two-horse race for the number one spot. Elms College and Newbury College are both 8-1 in the conference and 10-8 overall. Becker College is also 10-8, but 6-3 against conference foes. Newbury defeated Elms earlier this season, but will tangle with them once again on Saturday, February 16.

* Babson College and Smith College each picked up important road wins and remain neck and neck in the New England Women’s and Men’s Athletic Conference (NEWMAC).

* Framingham State’s women’s basketball team shocked Worcester State yesterday, as the Rams handed the Lancers their first setback in the Massachusetts State Collegiate Athletic Conference (MASCAC). Kristen Hoffman, Madeleine Park and Kia Minor each tallied 11 points or more in their team’s 11th victory.  

Delaney-Smith Recaps Harvard Women’s Hoops 11-12 Season

By NoontimeSports.com 

Courtesy of Harvard Athletics YouTube page — Crimson women’s basketball head coach Kathy Delaney-Smith talks about the 2011-12 season, their WNIT win, (Harvard became the first Ivy League team to win one game in the tournament), and three players who were elected to the All-Ivy League team.

March Madness Rapid Reaction: Vanderbilt 79, Harvard 70

The 2011-12 Harvard University basketball season came to an end on Thursday, as the Crimson lost their opening-round matchup against Vanderbilt University, 79-70. (Photo Credit: WBUR.org)

By Matt Noonan 

Harvard University’s men’s basketball team will have to wait another year to attain NCAA glory, as Vanderbilt University defeated the Crimson on Thursday in the first-round of the 2012 March Madness tournament, 79-70.

The Commodores earned a 33-22 advantage at the break, and then netted an additional 46 points in the second frame to secure the win, as well as a second round matchup against Wisconsin.

The Crimson kept things close following the opening tap, but senior Jeffery Taylor‘s layup at 4:06 in the first half provided the necessary spark for the Commodores to finish the opening session on an 11-3 run. Vanderbilt then extended its lead to 15 midway through the second frame, which provided them a lead they never relinquished for the remainder of the game.

Harvard was led by sophomore Laurent Rivard, who registered 20 points, while junior John Jenkins paced Vanderbilt with a game-high 27 points.

Daily Noontime – March 7, 2012

Paul Pierce paced the Celtics with 30 points on Tuesday! (Photo Credit: Lawrence.com)

By NoontimeSports.com 

Happy Hump Day to everyone, and welcome into yet another edition of the Daily Noontime. Let’s kick-start the rest of your morning!

* The Boston Celtics extended their current winning streak to five games on Tuesday evening, as they defeated the Houston Rockets, 97-92 in overtime. Paul Pierce paced the Green and White with 30 points, while Rajon Rondo tallied 12 points. Boston will return to the hardwood on Wednesday when they travel to Philadelphia for a 7:00pm tip-off.

* The Boston Bruins earned an important road win, as they defeated the Maple Leafs in Toronto, 5-4. The win snaps a two-game skid, too. The Black and Gold will return to the TD Garden on Thursday when they host the Buffalo Sabres.

* According to numerous reports – Indianapolis Colts quarterbackPeyton Manning will become an unrestricted free agent. However, where will he end up? We’ll find out soon!

* For the first time since 1946, Harvard University’s men’s basketball team will be headed to the “big dance,” as the Crimson earned an automatic bid on Tuesday when Princeton defeated Penn, 62-52. The March Madness brackets will be released on Sunday, Mar. 11.

Quick Hits From Saturday’s College Hoop Tournaments

By Brian Willwerth

* The Harvard men’s basketball team wrapped up its most successful season ever last night. Is a trip to the Big Dance next?

* The Crimson held on to beat Cornell University, 67-63. Harvard finished the regular season with a 26-4 record, 12-2 in the Ivy League. They’ve clinched at least a share of the league title. And now, they’ll be rooting for Princeton to beat Penn on Tuesday night. If that happens, Harvard will punch its ticket to the NCAA tournament. If the Quakers beat the Tigers, then there will be a one-game playoff to determine who represents the Ivy League in the Big Dance.

* Northeastern’s season came to an end on Saturday, as the Huskies lost to VCU in the CAA quarterfinals, 75-65. The teams were tied at the half before the Rams pulled away in the second 20 minutes. NU ends the season with a 14-17 record.

* And finally, Boston University can forget about a return trip to the Dance. The Terriers were upset by Hartford last night in the quarterfinals of the American East tournament, 53-49. BU had beaten Hartford twice this past season, but that doesn’t matter anymore. The Terriers, who were the preseason pick to pick to win the conference finished with a 16-16 record.

Catching Up With BU, Harvard and Northeastern Men’s Hoops

Penn's Zack Rosen helped the Quakers earn a must-win this past weekend against Harvard! (Photo Credit: Philly.com)

By Brian Willwerth 

It’s time for our weekly look at the men’s basketball programs at Harvard, Boston University and Northeastern.

If you’re Harvard, what must be going through your mind right now? You’ve had the best season in school history with a record 24 wins. You’ve been in-and-out of the Top 25. And yet, with two games remaining, the Ivy League title is still uncertain. That’s because the Crimson were stunned by Penn on Saturday night at Lavietes Pavilion, ending Harvard’s 28-game home winning streak. More importantly, the Crimson and Quakers are now even in the loss column, (Penn has three games remaining to Harvard’s two). Harvard finishes the regular season with road games against Columbia and Cornell. If the Crimson wins both of those games, they’ll most likely clinch at least a share of the league title. Even so, if Penn also wins out, there could be a tie, which would force a one-game playoff.

For Boston University and Northeastern, the next step is the conference tournament. With Saturday’s victory over Hartford, the Terriers went 12-4 in the America East for the second year in a row. Last year, they were the No. 2 seed in the tournament, but this year, they’re No. 3, behind Stony Brook and Vermont.  And in the America East quarterfinals, BU will face the same Hawks they defeated in the season finale. BU is capable of making another run to an NCAA berth, even with SBU and UVM standing in their way. Stay tuned.

The Huskies are getting ready for the CAA tournament, where they’ll be the No. 7 seed and will face 10th-seeded William & Mary on Friday night. NU finished the regular season 9-9 in the conference. They’ve been a tough team to figure out.  Their last five games have gone: L, W, L, W, L. The last win was in their final home game against one of the league’s powerhouses, George Mason. Can Northeastern play like it did in that game the rest of the way, or will the Huskies continue to be inconsistent? Either way, one thing is certain: they need to win the conference tournament in order to go to the Big Dance.

Mass College Hoops Recap: Harvard 67, Princeton 64

By Matt Noonan

CAMBRIDGE, MA – Consider this one of those “check the box” type of weekends for the Harvard University’s men’s basketball team, who’s currently on par to wrap up the Ancient Eight.

On Friday, they completed their first task, as they defeated a rather impressive Princeton University squad, 67-64.

“What a tremendous win by our kids, and our program,” said Harvard head coach Tommy Amaker. “Princeton has been an absolute sensational team and program in this conference forever, and we have the utmost respect of what they’ve accomplished, and how tough they’ve been against us.”

“There’s no doubt about it that we’ve always [been] looking up at [them] in some ways to try and figure out how to get out of a game against them,” added Amaker. “I just thought our defense, and our will to win [on Friday] was outstanding.”

Harvard mounted a small 7-0 lead during the first few minutes thanks to junior Kyle Casey, who led all scorers with 20 points, before Princeton’s sophomore T.J. Bray drew a foul and registered one point from the charity stripe. Bray’s stroke somehow electrified the Tigers offense, as seniors Douglas Davis and Patrick Saunders combined for four triples at 8:50, which helped Princeton pull ahead, 21-20.

Princeton then went on a 12-3 run, which was halted by freshman Steve Moundou-Missi, who’s layup at 3:38 rejuvenated Harvard’s offensive unit to end the half on a 7-0 run.

“We locked down and [defended],” said Casey of his team’s first half rally. “Against their offense, you’ve got to defend for 35-seconds, and you know, you breathe, they score, so we had to really lock down, stay discipline, and just defend, and make them take tough shots and finish the possession with a rebound.”

Davis, Bray and junior Brendan Connolly helped Princeton’s offense earn a 50-43 lead halfway through the second frame, which was eventually erased by Moundou-Missi, junior Brandyn Curry and senior Keith Wright, who helped Harvard regain the lead at 9:29.

Both teams then swapped a few baskets until Curry sank a critical trifecta at 6:54, which gave Harvard a 57-55 advantage. Curry then recorded a jump shot in the paint literally two minutes later before Bray connected from beyond the arc to make it 59-56 with 2:02 remaining.

“We have confidence in [Brandyn],” said Amaker. “He’s a confident player, and he’s been able to kind of lead us in these last couple games. [The] Yale ballgame, he was outstanding, and certainly [on Friday] in so many different ways.”

Bray then provided his team with an additional bucket in the paint before he fouled Casey, who marched to the free throw line and connected on both shots from the stripe.

Princeton then called a timeout, and penciled a play for junior Ian Hummer, who’s shot in the paint hit iron instead of nylon, which forced the forward to foul senior Oliver McNally, who wound up recording six consecutive free throws on three separate trips to the line to secure the victory, as well as a season split.

“I wasn’t always a great free throw shooter, [but] I worked really hard at it, and every time I get to the line, I tell myself, you’re a senior, you’re a captain [and] you have to make those,” said McNally. “I would have taken this type of game over a 30-point blowout because we’ve been in that situation so many times against Princeton in my four years.”

Harvard’s next task will occur on Saturday, when they welcome University of Pennsylvania to Cambridge for yet another critical matchup. The Quakers defeated Dartmouth College on Friday, 57-54, and have won four of their last five matchups, as well as remain in second place in the conference standings.

“It’s a quick turnaround, so it’s all about getting your rest, and coming back with a mental mindset to fight the next night,” said Casey, when asked about-facing Penn.  “This league is won on Saturday nights, so [I’m expecting] a real, gutsy battle for both teams.”