Mass. College Hoops: Five Games To Watch This Weekend (Feb. 1-2)

By NoontimeSports.com 

It’s Friday, which means it is time to unveil our five basketball games to watch this weekend.

Also, make sure to stay up to date on the various games by visiting our blog for press releases, recaps and roundups, and updates via Twitter (@NoontimeSports or @NoonSportsBlog).

Men’s Basketball:

Drexel at Northeastern University (Saturday, 6:00 p.m.) – The Huskies eight-game winning streak was snapped on Wednesday, as Georgia State defeated Northeastern at historic Matthews Arena. The Black and Red will return to the hardwood on Saturday looking to rebound against a Dragons squad that is 4-2 in their last six contests.

Northeastern ranks 77th in the country in field goal percentage (.453) and 83rd in assists per game (14.4), while Joel Smith remains the leading points per game leader with 16.6.

The Huskies will need to stop Damion Lee, who is averaging 18.8 points per game, and if their defense does the job, expect the offense to produce on the opposite end of the court.

Springfield College at MIT (Saturday, 1:00 p.m.) – Both teams remain tied for the second spot in the NEWMAC (New England Women’s and Men’s Athletic Conference), as well as have 15 overall wins, too.

Springfield defeated the Engineers on their home court a few weeks ago, which marked the first time the Pride defeated their highly touted opponent since February 6, 2008. MIT had won the last 11 meetings, including last season’s conference championship, which took place in Cambridge.

Alex Berthiaume (Springfield) continues to lead the conference with 17.7 points per game, while Mitchell Kates (MIT) is two spots below him with 16.5 points. The Engineers will need to stop Berthiaume, who netted a game-high 21 points in their last meeting, in order to claim an important win. Springfield also recorded 23 points off 17 MIT turnovers; so protecting a ball is also a must for Larry Anderson’s crew.

Women’s Basketball:

Bridgewater State at Westfield State (Saturday, 1:00 p.m.) – Bridgewater defeated Westfield earlier this season, and relied on Elisha Homich and Jenna Williamson to carry the Bears past the Owls. On Saturday, they’ll certainly need both players, as well as their defense to force turnovers, too.

Homich currently ranks fifth in the MASCAC (Massachusetts State Collegiate Athletic Conference) with 284 points, while Westfield State’s Gabby Felix ranks eight with 279. Felix recorded a double-double against the Bears with 11 points and 12 rebounds in their last meeting, and will be someone Bridgewater State will need to stop.

Tufts University at Amherst College (Saturday, 4:00 p.m.) – This could potentially be a preview for the NESCAC (New England Small College Athletic Conference) championship. However, since both these teams only meet once, the winner will certainly have the upper hand in regards to home court for the conference semi-finals and finals.

Amherst is coming off a 46-30 victory against Wesleyan, while Tufts picked up their 21st victory against Rhode Island College. The Lord Jeffs rank first in their conference with points per game (64.7), while the Jumbos are second (62.3).

Megan Robertson (Amherst) ranks first in the conference with 9.1 rebounds per game, while Hanna Foley (Tufts) is ninth in points per game (12.1).

Wheaton College at Babson College (Saturday, 1:00 p.m.) – The Lyons snapped their three-game skid with an important conference win against WPI on Wednesday at Emerson Gymnasium. With the victory, Wheaton advanced to 8-12 overall, 5-8 in the NEWMAC. And with five conference games remaining, every contest is critical for Melissa Hodgdon’s squad.

Babson is coming off a win against Wellesley on Wednesday; as the Beavers overcame a two-point deficit at the break to earn their 18th win of the season and 13th victory against conference foes. Sarah Collins continues to lead the Green and White in points and rebounds, and was named this past week’s NEWMAC and NEWBA (New England Women’s Basketball Association) Player of the Week following two dominant performances against Mount Holyoke and WPI.

Wheaton’s Kiley Shoemaker ranks third in the conference with 149 rebounds (45 offensive, 104 defensive) and will be called upon to limit Babson’s chances on offense.

Babson’s Erin Young is second in the conference in three-point percentage (46.3). Young buried five triples against the Lyons in their last meeting in December, and will certainly be someone Wheaton will have to defend, too.

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