Mass. College Hoops: Five Games To Watch This Weekend (Jan. 25-27)
It’s Friday, which means it is time to unveil our five basketball games to watch this weekend. As usual, make sure to check back throughout the weekend for recaps and roundups.
Also don’t forget to follow us on Twitter (@NoontimeSports or @NoonSportsBlog) for news, notes and scores throughout the weekend.
George Mason at Northeastern University (Sunday, 8:00 p.m.) – This is probably one of the more anticipated games of the weekend, as the Huskies look to preserve their perfect conference mark when they welcome the Patriots to historic Matthews Arena.
Northeastern has won seven consecutive contests and hasn’t dropped a decision since falling to the Blazers of UAB in December. Their most recent win came against William & Mary on Wednesday, as the Huskies defeated their opponent in double-overtime. Joel Smith netted 16 of his 29 points in the extra sessions, which helped the Huskies remain undefeated in the Colonial Athletic Conference. Smith has recorded double digits in five of his team’s last six contests and leads in the squad in points per game (16.7).
Assumption College at UMass Lowell (Saturday, 4:00 p.m.) – The Hounds are coming off a disappointing setback to Franklin Pierce, which snapped their five-game winning streak. However, Matt Mahar’s crew can hop back in the win column with a victory against a talented River Hawks squad, which is coming off a victory against Le Moyne College.
Ronson Quick has netted 239 points this season for the Hounds and is averaging 14.9 per game. Quick scored a team-high 14 points against the Ravens last weekend, while knocking down 4 of 8 trifectas.
Akeem Williams and Antonio Bivins combined for 42 points last week in UMass Lowell’s 11th win of the season, while James McDonnell pulled down nine boards.
A victory for the Hounds would be huge, especially with Franklin Pierce right behind them in the standings. Assumption has won 10 of 12 Northeast-10 Conference games this season, while UMass Lowell has won 7 of 12.
Middlebury College at Williams College (Saturday, 2:00 p.m.) – After losing to their historic rival Amherst College, the Ephs look to rebound with a win against the undefeated Panthers. Middlebury is 16-0 overall, 5-0 in the NESCAC (New England Small College Athletic Conference).
Against the Lord Jeffs, Williams allowed their opponent to push ahead late in the opening half on a 15-0 run, which provided Amherst with all the momentum heading into half. The Ephs recorded 29 points in the second half, which wasn’t enough, so against the Panthers they’ll certainly need a solid effort in both halves to compete with one of the top teams in the country.
Taylor Epley leads the Ephs with 19.8 points per game, while Michael Mayer is right behind with 17.1. Williams’ ranks second in points scored this season (82.6), while Middlebury is third with 80.7 per game.
Assumption College at UMass Lowell (Saturday, 2:00 p.m.) – If you’re headed to Lowell tomorrow, you’re in for a treat. Not only do you get the men’s game, but this contest, too. Both squads are 8-3 in the conference and right on the heels of Bentley University and Stonehill College, so a win for either team will keep them in contention to possibly host a NE-10 playoff game. However, let’s not get ahead of ourselves.
If the Hounds are going to be successful, they’ll have to stop this week’s NE-10 Player of the Week Bianca Simmons, who averaged 32.5 points, 10.0 rebounds, 6.5 assists and 4.5 steals during the River Hawks 2-0 week. Although, Assumption could counter with Gabrielle Gibson, who was mentioned on the Week 10 Honor Roll for averaging 16 points, five rebounds, two assists, and 1.5 steals in a 1-1 week.
Endicott College at Roger Williams (Saturday, 1:00 p.m.) – Endicott and Roger Williams are two of three teams behind University of New England in the conference standings. A win for either team will boost their chances of catching the Nor’easters in a very competitive Commonwealth Coast Conference.
The Gulls are 5-5 in their last 10 games and enter this particular tilt coming off a brutal loss to Salve Regina. Endicott defeated Roger Williams earlier this year thanks to a great performance by Jennifer White, who recorded 25 points and sank all 11 of her free throws. Can White do it again? We’ll have to wait and see, but expect Endicott to lean on Samantha Crough and Kelsey Cuddy.