By Matt Noonan
The second half of the Div. III college basketball season officially kicked off last night. Some commenced 2013 with a win, while others suffered a setback.
Here are few notes and reactions from last night’s slate:
WPI Remains Undefeated: For the 12th time this season, No. 14 WPI earned a win, as they defeated St. Joe’s (Maine), 58-45. I’ll be seeing the Engineers for the first time on Saturday when they open NEWMAC (New England Women’s and Men’s Athletic Conference) play against Babson College.
The Engineers probably have the inside track for the conference crown because MIT is dealing with a few injuries. However, anything is possible, especially in this particular conference, so don’t count your chickens before they hatch.
Williams Leapfrogs Amherst: According to the most recent men’s D3Hoops.com poll, the Ephs leapfrogged the Lord Jeffs to No. 21. The Ephs will be on the road this weekend and can distance themselves from their rival with wins against Bates and Tufts.
Tufts Women’s Hoops Is Still Perfect: The Jumbos continue to be the favorite in my mind as we begin the second half of the season. However, it’ll be interesting to see how they fare this weekend against NESCAC (New England Small Athletic Conference) foes Middlebury and Williams at home. Hannah Foley, who hails from Acton, currently leads the Powder Blue and White with 135 points.
Suffolk Remains Perfect In The GNAC: The Rams men’s basketball team has been somewhat of a surprise this season. They’re currently one of three teams with a perfect record in the GNAC (Great Northeast Athletic Conference). They’ll face Emmanuel College on Saturday, a team that’s struggled, so it’ll be interesting if their crosstown foe can provide them with their first conference loss of the season.
Emmanuel Women’s Looks To Avenge December Losses: Unfortunately the Saints ended 2012 with two back-to-back losses in the California Lutheran University Tournament. Yet, they also dropped a game to Amherst in December, too. The Saints will have a few extra days to work things out before they begin the second half of their season on Monday against Bowdoin College at home.
Smith College Should Win The NEWMAC: The Pioneers have earned some impressive wins thus far and will get a crack at the conference’s defending champions next weekend when they travel to Babson. Smith does have to play Williams, though, while Babson will only face conference opponents for the remainder of the season. If the Pioneers can keep their winning streak intact and defend Sarah Collins in both contests, then they’re probably the best bet to win the NEWMAC.
Do you agree or disagree with these second half thoughts? Let us know what you think by sending us an email (NoontimeSports@gmail.com) or interacting with us on Twitter (@NoontimeSports or @NoonSportsBlog).