Massachusetts College Basketball — Division III Hoops Poll (12/6/11)

By NoontimeSports.com 

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.

Men’s Basketball: 

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).

Women’s Basketball:  

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).

Andover hangs on to beat New Bedford, 54-46

Andover celebrates on Friday after winning the MIAA Division I North Finals

By Matt Noonan

BOSTON, MA – Andover seemed determined to keep their winning ways going against a physical New Bedford team, as the Warriors prevailed against the Whalers with a 54-46 victory on Monday at the TD Garden and are now headed to Worcester’s DCU Center for the MIAA Division I state finals.

“Winning a state title was the main thing and now we’re back there in the same position and hopefully we can capitalize on that,” said Andover junior guard Nicole Boudreau.

Andover was indeed impressive from the start, but so was their offense too, which didn’t just feature the Gatorade Player of the Year, Boudreau, but instead, sophomore forward Devon Caveney who finished the game with 13 points and senior guard Natalie Gomez-Martinez who ended the game with only five points.

However, every member of the Warriors offense played tremendously well and clearly, their head coach seemed happy after the game, especially with the teams performance.

“We’re a team of streaks,” said Andover head coach James Tildsley. “They played hard, give credit to New Bedford they’re a team similar to us. They like to [play] pressure defense, they like to run, [but] it was kind of fun to play that game. They were tough and they gave us all we could handle and just glad we came out on top.”

As for New Bedford, the team that easily took down Braintree and then snuck by Mansfield for the MIAA Division I South title, seemed completely out of sync and didn’t have the opportunity for more than one shot on various offensive series. In fact, it almost seemed that they knew when they had the ball that their shot selection had to be perfect in order to play a game of “horse” with Andover.

“I just thought we were a little careless with the basketball on two or three occasions, which led to easy baskets,” said New Bedford head coach Michael Gonsalves. “It didn’t allow our defense to set [up] and when it comes down to it, it could have been a difference in the game.”

The Whalers didn’t seem too powerful for the entire 32-minutes, as well as seemed clueless when trying to stop the Warriors on transition or offense.

New Bedford tallied less than 15 points each quarter and combined for 26 points in the second and third quarter. A majority of their offense completely was shut down and clearly credit is owed to Tildsley and his coaching staff that designed a rather tough defense to score on.

Some of New Bedford’s main players were incredibly quiet during the fourth quarter, such as senior forward Arielle Gomes senior guard Alyssa Roach both finished with only one basket a piece.

Although now with their final win at the TD Garden under their belt there is only one question that remains for Andover, can they win the championship and end their season a high note?