Mass. College Hoops Notebook: Recapping The Past Month

By Matt Noonan 

One month of college basketball is in the books. So, let’s recap and get you caught up on the latest news and notes.

* We’ll begin in Division 1 with the UMass Minutemen, who’ve returned to the AP Top 25 and USA Today Coaches Poll. Massachusetts checked in as the 21st best team in the country on this week’s AP poll and 22nd on the USA Today poll. UMass, which is 6-0, earned its sixth straight win last night against Eastern Michigan.

They’ll look to keep their momentum going on Saturday when they host Brigham Young for a 1:30 p.m. tip-off.

* Harvard, a squad Sports Illustrated pegged as one of their preseason teams to watch, is currently receiving votes in the AP poll.

The Crimson, who have won three straight, return to the hardwood this evening when they travel across the river to face Northeastern University, tip-off is scheduled for 7 p.m.

* Let’s travel down the road to Waltham, where Bentley University’s women’s basketball team will look to keep their perfect record intact when they host Merrimack College this evening. The Falcons are the number one team in this week’s USA Today Sports/WBCA Division II poll, as well as earned 29 of 31 first-place votes. They’ve held the top spot for three straight weeks.

Senior All-America forward Lauren Battista and All-Northeast-10 grad student Courtney Finn lead the Falcons in scoring with Bautista averaging 16.1 points and Finn 15.6. As noted in yesterday’s press release, both players rank second and third on the team in both rebounds and assists.

* Below Bentley in the Northeast Division is Stonehill College, a squad that’s currently 5-2 and has won four of its last six contests. The Skyhawks host Assumption College this evening, their fourth conference match of the season. Stonehill is 2-1 thus far against NE-10 opponents and 1-1 in Easton.

As of today, Mary Louise Dixon and Amy Pelletier lead the squad in scoring as both players are averaging 16.0 points, while Tori Faieta ranks first on the team in rebounds 7.7.

* Switching gears to Division 3, Amherst College’s men’s team, last year’s national champion, is currently the top squad in this week’s men’s Top-25 poll. The Lord Jeffs are currently 4-0 and will look to earn their fifth straight win this evening when they host Anna Maria; tip is scheduled for 7 p.m.

* Also on the men’s Top-25 poll is Williams, who sits six spots below their rival and WPI, which checked in as the 14th best team in the country. The Engineers picked up an impressive non-conference win over Tufts last night in Worcester, their 20th straight home court victory.

Through six games, Ryan Kolb leads WPI with 105 points (17.5 per game), while Sam Longwell ranks second with 92 (15.3).

* According to this week’s women’s Top-25 poll, Amherst remains the fourth best team in the country, while Tufts checked in the eighth spot and Williams the 13th.

* Finally, Wheaton College’s women’s basketball team earned an impressive win against Smith College last week, which pushed its overall mark to 5-0, their best start since 1994-95. Abbie Brickley leads the team in points (78), while Kiley Shoemaker ranks first on the squad in rebounds (47).

The Lyons will look to extend their winning streak to six this evening when they entertain Emerson College at 7 p.m. in Norton.

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