Mass. College Hoops: Five Games To Watch This Weekend (Feb. 22-24)
It’s Friday, which means its time to unveil five basketball games to watch this weekend. And as usual, we invite you to circle back to our blog throughout the weekend to for recaps, roundups and releases.
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Boston University at UMBC (Saturday, 7:00 p.m.) – The Terriers won’t be dancing in March or April, but as of lately they’ve been on a roll. BU enters the game on a five-game winning streak and will look to earn a season sweep against UMBC.
Last time these two squads tangled, Dom Morris filled the stat sheet with 19 points, eight rebounds, three assists, and one steal, which helped the locals tackle the Maryland institution.
The Retrievers haven’t appeared in the win column since defeating Maine on February 2, so it’ll be interesting to see how this dogfight concludes.
MIT vs. Springfield College (Saturday, 3:00 p.m. @ WPI) – The third time is the charm, right?
The rematch of last year’s NEWMAC (New England Women’s and Men’s Athletic Conference) championship is expected to be an epic battle. The winner of this game will face-off against the winner of Babson College-WPI on Sunday in the conference championship, so strap on your seatbelt and enjoy the ride.
MIT enters the game on an eight-game winning streak, while Springfield College concluded their regular season slate with three consecutive victories.
Springfield’s Alex Berthiaume netted 20 points or more in both meetings, so MIT will need to keep an eye on him. However, the Engineers received some much needed help from Will Tashman in their last meeting, as the senior recorded a double-double with 21 points and 13 rebounds.
Both squads handed the top-seeded Engineers of WPI a loss during the final week of the regular season, and will certainly pose challenges for Chris Bartley’s crew.
Middlebury College vs. Williams College (Saturday, 3:00 p.m. @ Amherst College) – The NESCAC (New England Small College Athletic Conference) will feature two great semifinal matchups on Saturday, but this is certainly a big one.
The Ephs edged the Panthers in their last meeting, 64-63 in Williamstown, thanks to a Daniel Wohl’s layup with 31 ticks remaining. The Ephs won the battle of the boards, but surrendered the ball 13 times, which allowed the Panthers to convert an additional 18 points.
After sustaining their first setback of the season, Middlebury recovered by winning six of their final seven contests. With a win, the Panthers would appear in the conference championship tilt for the fifth consecutive time. Last year, they lost to Amherst College, but defeated Williams the previous year.
Bentley University at Stonehill College (Saturday, 1:30 p.m.) – The first meeting resulted in a win for the Falcons, so can the Skyhawks even the season series with a victory on their court?
Stonehill enters the contest on a four-game winning streak. They’ve averaged 82.5 points in their last four matches, thanks to offensive production from Mary Louise Dixon, Asia Ewing and Tori Faieta.
Bentley recently took over the number one position in the USA Today Sports poll, as well as earned their third consecutive Northeast-10 regular season crown with its 24th consecutive win on Wednesday against Franklin Pierce. Lauren Battista finished with 20 points and 10 rebounds, while Jacqui Brugliera netted 13 points in the win.
Last time these two squads met, the Falcons constructed a 49-11 lead and never looked back. Batista, Courtney Finn and Christiana Bakolas each recorded 10 points or more in the win, while Faieta led the visitors with a game-best 14 points.
Amherst College vs. Bowdoin College (Saturday, 5:30 p.m.) – The Polar Bears shocked New England last weekend by defeating Tufts University in Medford. Can they continue their momentum against the Lord Jeffs?
Bowdoin led Amherst at the break during their first meeting, but couldn’t fend off a second half charge, as the Lord Jeffs’ 44 points secured the win. Amherst’s Marcia Voigt led all scorers with 17 points, while Bowdoin’s Selena Lorrey scored 15 points off the bench. The Polar Bears bench provided 21 points compared to the Lord Jeffs 10, so it’ll be interesting to see if the non-starters can impact this game.
Against the Jumbos, the Polar Bears held their opponent to 22 of 67 from the field, as well as outrebounded them, 38-35.
Bowdoin topped Amherst in the 2009 conference championship, but ever since the Lord Jeffs have won and two victories this weekend will make it a four-peat for the hosts.