Mass. College Hoops: Five Games To Watch This Weekend (Feb. 14 – 16)

By NoontimeSports.com 

With another weekend quickly approaching, it is time to unveil our five games to watch this weekend. As always, make sure to circle back for updates. You can also follow along with in-game updates on Twitter (@NoontimeSports or @NoonSportsBlog), too.

Men’s Basketball

Harvard @ Columbia (Friday, Feb. 14) – Since falling to archrival Yale last week, the Crimson will look to return to the win column by registering their 19th overall victory and sixth Ivy League win. Their weekend trip begins in New York City against a Lions squad that’s 14-9 overall and 3-3 in Ancient Eight play. Columbia is 1-3 in its last four games, but did manage to earn a win against Princeton.

Harvard, which is 4-1 in its last five outings, has received major contributions from Wesley Saunders, who averaging 14.8 points per game. Siyani Chambers is second on the team in points per game; he’s averaging 10.8, while Kyle Casey is averaging 6.3 rebounds.

Saunders led the Crimson in their last outing against the Bulldogs with 16 points, while Casey pulled down six rebounds.

Bentley @ St. Michael’s (Saturday, Feb. 15) – The Purple Knights’ five-game winning streak concluded earlier this week with an 86-85 setback to St. A’s. They’ll look to return to the win column when they host Bentley tomorrow afternoon, a squad they defeated earlier this season in Waltham.

Since falling to St. Michael’s, Bentley has won nine contests, including six Northeast-10 Conference tilts. They’re currently 2-1 in February and are coming off back-to-back wins against Assumption and Merrimack. Alex Furness secured the team’s 16th win on Wednesday when he sank a go-ahead jumper with two-seconds remaining. The Warriors recorded a turnover on the ensuing possession.

Tyler McFarland is currently fifth in the conference in points per game (19.0). He’s recorded 438 points in 23 games this season.

Women’s Basketball

Lehigh @ Holy Cross (Saturday, Feb. 15) – The Crusaders will look to avenge an 87-82 loss earlier this season when they welcome Lehigh to the Hart Center for a 3 p.m. tip-off. The Crusaders enter the contest 15-9 overall and 7-6 in Patriot League play.

Alex Smith is currently eighth all-time in program history in points (1,546), but is 10 points shy of seventh place. She’s also seven assists away from earning fifth pace in both Holy Cross’ and Patriot League’s assists record book. Also, if she records three more steals, she’ll increase her total to 200, which would be 10th most in program history.

Excluding Smith, Brisje Malone is 25 points away from becoming the program’s 30th player to net 1,000 career points. Also, Molly Hourigan, who ranks seventh in blocked shots with 84, is one swat shy of sixth place and three away from tying teammate Emily Parker, who is fifth all-time with 87 blocks.

No. 6 Washington U. @ Brandeis (Friday, Feb. 14) – The Judges will look to extend their current winning streak to seven when they welcome the UAA’s top squad to Waltham for their first of two weekend contests. Their other weekend matchup will be on Sunday against the Maroons of Chicago.

In their first outing against the Bears, Kasey Dean netted 12 points, while Paris Hodges added eight points, six rebounds and three assists, but it wasn’t enough to defeat Washington University. Yet, since that particular setback, the Judges are 6-1.

Washington University enters the contest 18-2 overall and 8-1 in conference play. Their two losses came to conference foe Rochester and D3Hoops.com’s number one squad, DePauw.

In Brandeis’ last outing against Carnegie Mellon, Dean and Maria Jackson each scored 12 points, while Samantha Mancinelli came off the bench and netted seven points, along with three boards and three assists.

Both games are important for the Judges, who’ll look to keep pace with Washington University and New York University, the UAA’s top two teams.

Wheaton @ Babson (Saturday, Feb. 15) – This is indeed a critical contest for both squads.

Wheaton, which is 19-4 overall and 14-4 in NEWMAC play, will look to extend its current winning streak to six. They currently own the top spot in the conference, but a loss to Babson and a Smith College win against Coast Guard could make things interesting.

Babson has won 10 of 13 contests, including a come-from-behind win on Tuesday against No. 5 Tufts University. Linnett Graber and Giovanna Pickering combined for 32 points and were a major part in the Beavers’ second half effort. Babson outscored Tufts during the final 20 minutes, 45-20.

The last time these two squads met, Babson secured a 37-29 halftime lead and never looked back. Graber paced the Green and White with 16 points, while Erin Young netted nine points in 14 minutes off the bench.

Wheaton’s last victory over Babson occurred during the 2008-09 season when the Lyons defeated the Beavers on their home court, 71-61.

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