Mass. College Hoops: UMass Boston (WBB) Earns First-Ever Playoff Victory

By NoontimeSports.com 

The UMass Boston Women’s Basketball team won their first-ever playoff game this evening, defeating Western Connecticut State in the Little East Quarterfinals, 56-48.

With the win, the Beacons advance to the conference semifinals on Friday, February 27 where they’ll take on UMass Dartmouth at 1:00 p.m. The game will be played at Eastern Connecticut State University, which is the host of the semifinals and finals.

Below is the release from this evening’s game, courtesy of the UMass Boston Sports Information Department:

BOSTON, Mass.—Behind a huge double-double from senior Kirsten Morrison (North Reading, Mass.), third-seeded UMass Boston women’s basketball (18-8) earned the program’s first-ever Little East Conference playoff victory, with a 56-48 win over sixth-seeded Western Connecticut State (16-10) Tuesday night in the Little East Conference Quarterfinals.

After earning the right to host the program’s second home LEC playoff game in program history, the Beacons used 14 points and 15 rebounds from Morrison to improve to 1-25 all-time in the LEC Tournament.

UMass Boston will be facing a familiar foe in the LEC Semifinals, as they will take on #2 UMass Dartmouth Friday at 1 p.m. at Eastern Connecticut State. The two UMass schools split the season-series (1-1) and will be meeting in the LEC Tournament for the second time in three years. Friday’s game will mark UMass Boston’s first-ever trip to the LEC Semifinals.

Morrison knocked down 6-of-10 of her field goal attempts and pulled down six offensive rebounds, to go along with her three assists. Junior forward Olivia Murphy (Canton, Mass.) added 13 points on 6-of-10 shooting and chipped in five rebounds, four assists, four steals and three blocks.

Freshman guard Jamie Ballou (Foxboro, Mass.) had one of the biggest games of her season, as she recorded eight points and knocked down both of the team’s made 3-pointers. After not playing in the past two games, she played the opening 10 minutes of the second half, with several players in heavy foul trouble.

Taje Burston (Springfield, Mass.) did a fantastic job of handling Western Connecticut State’s press all evening long, as the sophomore point guard played all 40 minutes and finished with four steals and zero turnovers.

The Colonials were led by sophomores Samantha Smith (15 points) and Emily Dobson (14 points). Playing without their leading scorer Caroline Brasa for the third-straight game, the Colonials struggled to get anything going offensively.

Junior captain Kerri Stole ripped down a team-high 10 rebounds, while LEC Rookie of the Week Kaitlyn Labonte finished with six points and a game-high five assists.

Tuesday’s contest was filled with sloppy play, as the two teams combined for 43 turnovers and 16 missed free throws.

After UMass Boston raced out to a 15-1 lead, the Colonials cut the deficit to two at halftime, and the game became a contest of attrition. UMass Boston was able to hold on thanks to a 32-10 edge in points in the paint.

The Beacons finished the contest shooting 45.7 percent (21-of-46) from the field and 2-of-8 (25 percent) from distance. Western Connecticut knocked down 30.9 percent (17-of-55) of their shots and connected on 7-of-25 (28 percent) of their 3-pointers.

It was all Beacons early on, as UMass Boston held the Colonials without a made field goal for the first 7:57. UMass Boston raced out to a 16-1 lead behind 14 combined points from Morrison, Burston and Murphy.

Western immediately found a response, as they used a 10-0 run to get back into the game for good. Dobson knocked down a jump shot at 12:03 to give the team their first field goal and the points followed in quick succession. Smith hit a big three and Dobson followed with another jump shot to cut the deficit to 16-11 with 7:14 to play.

After Ballou and Labonte traded threes, the Colonials ended the half on a 6-3 run to cut the deficit to 22-20.

UMass Boston came out red-hot out of halftime, as they started the half on an 8-0 run to grab a 30-20 lead just 89 seconds into the half. Ballou and Morrison combined for all eight points, as Morrison converted an and-one opportunity and Ballou hit a deep 3-pointer.

Western Connecticut didn’t back down though, as they cut the deficit back to two (34-32) with 14:52 left.

The Beacons defense locked the Colonials down from there though, as Western went scoreless for the next five minutes. Despite their own offensive woes, a Murphy layup and the first four points of the day from Grace Geary (Falmouth, Mass.) helped UMass Boston extend the lead out to 39-32 with 9:33 left.

Dobson broke the 5-0 run with a layup, but that would be as close as the Colonials would get, with UMass Boston extending the lead out to as many as 12 points in the waning moments.

UMass Boston wraps up the home portion of their season 11-3 at home.

Mass. College Hoops: WACBA Honor Roll (Week 13)

By NoontimeSports.com 

WORCESTER, Mass. – With yet another week of college basketball in Worcester County in the books, it is time to dole out this week’s Worcester Area College Basketball Association (WACBA) Honor Roll, including players and rookies of the week.

Men’s Player of the Week: Scott Dulaire (Becker, Jr./Bloomfield, Conn.): Dulaire averaged 25.8 points per game as the Hawks went 4-0 in NECC action this past week. Dulaire also averaged 9.3 boards per game. After scoring a career high 26 points against Wheelock on Monday, Dulaire beat his career high on Thursday with a 32 point performance on Thursday against Daniel Webster. Dulaire match his output on Saturday with yet another 32 point showing against Mitchell College.  Dulaire finished the week with 103 points, shooting 69% percent from the field. Dulaire also had five steals and four blocks.

Tyler Delorey (Anna Maria, Jr./Worcester, Mass.): Delorey had a monster week for the AMCATS, averaging 23.5 points per game on a 54.8 percent effort from the floor. He scored a career-high 34 points in Anna Maria’s seven-point loss to Albertus Magnus on Saturday, shooting 12-for-17 (70.6 percent) from the floor with two three-pointers and a percent eight-for-eight effort from the free-throw line. Additionally, Delorey added 8.5 rebounds on the week.

Women’s Player of the Week: Julie Frankian (Worcester State, Sr./Millbury, MA): Averaged 25.0 points, 6.0 rebounds and 1.5 steals in a 2-0 week for Worcester State including 26 points, six boards and two swipes in a 61-48 win over Fitchburg State before she notched 24 points with six caroms and four trifectas in a 74-50 victory over Framingham State. Hit .485 of her shots for the week (14-29) and went .842 from the line (16-19) helping the Lancers clinch a home game in opening round of the MASCAC Tournament.

Christina Gauvin (Anna Maria, So./ Dudley, Mass.): Gauvin scored a career-high 26 points in Saturday’s 81-68 win against Albertus Magnus, shooting 71.4 percent from the floor (10-for-14) with two three-pointers and four free-throws. On the week, Gauvin averaged 15.5 points per game on a 60.0 percent shooting effort. Gauvin also added 2.0 assists and 2.0 steals per game in the 1-1 week.

Women’s Rookie of the Week: Katie Doherty (Holy Cross, Fr./Holbrook, N.Y.): Doherty had another solid week for the Crusaders in helping them pick up two Patriot League wins. She averaged 9.0 points, 4.5 assists and 3.0 rebounds last week, while connecting on 46.7 percent of her field goals (7-15) and 40.0 percent of her three-pointers (2-5). In the win over Lafayette on Wednesday, she totaled 10 points, three rebounds and a game-high six assists. Against Navy on Saturday, she posted eight points, three boards and three helpers. The only Holy Cross player to start in all 29 games this season; Doherty is averaging 6.5 points, 3.2 rebounds and 2.3 assists per game. She currently ranks ninth in the Patriot League with a .348 three-point percentage and is 14th in three-pointers per game (1.1) and 15th in assists per game.

Honor Roll:

Emily Parker (Holy Cross, Sr./Johnston, Iowa): Parker played a pivotal role in helping the Crusaders pick up two wins last week over Lafayette and Navy. She averaged 11.5 points and 8.5 rebounds per game, while shooting at a 50.0 percent clip from the floor (9-18. In the team’s win over Lafayette on Wednesday, Parker recorded her fifth career double-double and first of the season with 11 points and 10 rebounds. Against Navy on Saturday, she tallied 12 points and seven boards, and received the Rev. George L. O’Brien Award as the game’s most valuable player in the winter homecoming contest. Parker had a crucial assist in the waning minutes against Navy to put Holy Cross ahead 46-41 with 1:59 on the clock, and with the Crusaders on top 46-44 late in the contest, she knocked down a 12-foot jump shot with 20 seconds on the clock to lift the Crusaders to the four-point win over the Mids.

Malcolm Miller (Holy Cross, Sr./ Laytonsville, Md.): Miller led the Crusaders with a career-high 25 points at Lafayette, to go along with eight rebounds, three assists and three steals. He added 11 points, five rebounds and three blocks at Navy. Miller connected on 57.1 percent of his field goals on the week, including 50.0 percent from three-point range.

Kamali Bey (Assumption, So. /Springfield, Mass.): Bey led the Hounds with 19 points per game last week to go along with 6.5 rebounds while shooting 50 percent from the field and a perfect 10-for-10 at the free throw line. Highlighting his week was a 23-point effort at home vs. Saint Anselm.

Jaclyn Storey (Assumption, So./ Cumberland, Maine): In two games, Storey averaged a team-best 16 points to go along with 7.5 rebounds per game in a 1-1 week. Storey was also 8-for-9 at the free throw line for the week and shot 60 percent from the field.

Donovin Ford-Hayes (Becker, Sr./Windsor Lock, Conn.): Ford-Hayes became the 16th men’s basketball player in program history to score his 1,000th career point. He is the 9th player since Becker joined the NCAA in 1998 to reach the 1,000-point mark and six player since Brian Gorman took over the program.

Domenick Mastascusa (WPI, Sr./ North Reading, Mass.): Mastascusa averaged 15 points and eight rebounds as the Engineers won a pair of games last week to secure the second seed in the upcoming NEWMAC Tournament.  The senior tallied 12 points and nine rebounds in a road win at Wheaton before sharing game-high honors with 18 points to go along with seven boards in a triumph over Clark.  Mastascusa drained 60.9% (14-of-23) field goals in the two victories.

Ama Biney (WPI, Fr./ Worcester, Mass.): Biney totaled 20 points, eight rebounds and three steals as WPI split a pair of road games last week to finish the regular season with a 16-9 record.

Nani Perez (Worcester State, Fr./Worcester, MA/Holy Name): Averaged 8.0 points, 5.5 assists and 3.5 rebounds in a 2-0 week for Worcester State which included 11 points and seven helpers in a 74-50 victory over Framingham State.

Charles Gunter (Worcester State, Sr./Boston, MA): Averaged 13.5 points. 4.5 rebounds and 1.5 steals in a 1-1 week for Worcester State which includes a game-best 22 points with six rebounds and two swipes in a 58-56 triumph over Fitchburg State.

Laura Cote (Fitchburg State, Sr./ Ashby, Mass.): Cote averaged 17 points over two games for Fitchburg State during the week, while shooting 44.8% from the field. The senior guard had 12 points in the Falcons setback to Worcester State on Tuesday, while contributing a game-high 22 points on Saturday in the loss to Westfield

Mass. College Lax: Noontime Top 5 (Division 1, Week 1 Poll)

By NoontimeSports.com 

With another week of the Division 1 College Lacrosse in the books, it is time to unveil this week’s poll – our #NoontimeTop5 – highlighting the local squads.

Men’s Division 1

1.) Harvard (1-0) – The Crimson began their 2015 campaign last Saturday, downing the Minutemen in the snow. Harvard travels to Duke on Saturday for what could eventually be a NCAA Tournament clash later this spring.

2.) Holy Cross (2-0) – The Crusaders made some serious “noise” last weekend, defeating Loyola (Md.), 13-12. Holy Cross has won-back-to-back contests by one-goal. This week, they host Navy, which is coming off back-to-back setbacks to Maryland and Bucknell. Can the Crusaders keep on rolling?

3.) Boston University (2-1) – The Terriers look to rebound following their initial of the season against Providence College on Tuesday. This is the second of four road games for the Terriers, and it would be great for BU to capture at least one or two contests before returning to Nickerson Field.

4.) UMass (0-3) – This hasn’t been the ideal start for the Minutemen, who lost by one on Saturday to the Crimson. UMass is desperate for a win, but can they clam their first victory against Brown, which defeated Quinnipiac, 17-6, last weekend?

5.) UMass Lowell (0-2) – After a tough Division 1 debut against Yale, the River Hawks kept pace with Siena before falling, 13-9. They’re close to their program’s initial Division 1 victory and it could come this weekend against Wagner.

Women’s Division 1

1.) Boston College (3-0) – Coach Acacia Walker’s squad is off to another fast start, claiming local wins against UMass Lowell and Vermont, along with a 9-5 season-opening road victory at Johns Hopkins. This week, they open ACC play on the road at Syracuse, which is a big contest.

2.) Harvard (1-0) – The Crimson commenced their 2015 season with a non-conference win against Hofstra, which included 11 stops from goalie Kelly Weis. Harvard will enjoy a short break before taking on Virginia, Columbia and Syracuse in a span of 11 days, starting on March 3.

3.) UMass (3-0) – The “New England” tour continues this week with games against Boston University and Holy Cross. Back-to-back wins would provide UMass with five local victories heading into their next home tilt against Drexel.

4.) Boston University (1-1) – After registering their first win of the season, the Terriers fell to Vanderbilt, 16-9. Can they rebound against UMass later this week?

5.) Holy Cross (0-3) – It hasn’t been an ideal start for the Crusaders, who have dropped three straight, including a tough season-opening game against Bryant, 9-6. Holy Cross will look to snap its skid on Saturday against UMass at home.

Mass. College Hoops: WACBA Honor Roll (Week 12)

By NoontimeSports.com

WORCESTER, Mass. – With yet another week of college basketball in Worcester County in the books, it is time to dole out this week’s Worcester Area College Basketball Association (WACBA) Honor Roll, including players and rookies of the week.

Men’s Player of the WeekAndrew Musler (Clark, Gr./Belmont, Mass.): In a 1-1 week for the Cougars, Musler averaged 21.5 points, 6.5 rebounds, and 3.5 blocks while shooting 61.5 percent from the field (13-for-21) and 85 percent from the free throw line (12-for-14). First, in a 70-55 win over Wheaton, Musler just missed out a double-double, finishing with 18 points, nine rebounds and four blocks on 7-for-12 shooting. Then in a narrow 77-73 overtime loss to No. 8 Babson, Musler played 40 of the possible 45 minutes, totaling a season-best 25 points, to go along with four rebounds and three blocks. He was extremely efficient against the Beavers, going 6-for-9 from the field, including 4-for-6 from the three-point line and 9-for-11 from the charity stripe.

Women’s Co-Player of the WeekLaura Cote (Fitchburg State, Sr./Ashby, Mass.): Cote averaged 15.5 points per game and 7.5 steals per game over two contests for Fitchburg State. The senior guard registered 16 points in a 63-58 victory over Anna Maria, while becoming the 10th member of the program’s exclusive 1,000 point club. In the Falcons 66-62 loss to Bridgewater, Cote tallied 15 points with 11 steals.

Women’s Co-Player of the WeekDani Davis (WPI, Sr./East Granby, Conn.): Davis averaged 18.5 points and five rebounds in a 1-1 week for the Engineers.  The senior became the 17th member of the program’s 1,000 point club during WPI’s 62-57 victory Wednesday over Emerson. Davis,  who reached the milestone with a jumper with 2:32 remaining before halftime, ended the triumph with 12 points. The forward did not slow down from there, pouring in a career-best 25 points Saturday in a loss to Wheaton. Davis drained 9-of-17 attempts from the field, including connecting on 3-of-4 3-point attempts.

Women’s Rookie of the WeekSam O’Gara (Clark, Fr./Worcester, Mass.): In a 2-0 week, the first-year lead guard averaged 10.5 points and 5.0 assists as the Cougars won back-to-back games for the first time this season. In a 41-36 win over Wellesley, she finished with 12 points, two rebounds and two assists helping the Scarlet and White snap a 12-game losing streak. Then the next night in a 72-66 win over Pine Manor, she just missed a double-double with nine points and eight assists.

Honor Roll:

Justin Burrell (Holy Cross, Sr./Dumfries, Va.): Burrell led the Crusaders with a season-high 26 points and five rebounds in the victory at Army and was limited to seven points and four assists in the win over Lehigh. The senior hit 14 of 16 free throws on the week, including seven of eight in the last minute of the Army game, and four of four in the last minute of the Lehigh game.

Jimmy Zenevitch (Assumption, Sr./Methuen, Mass.): Zenevitch averaged 14.5 points and 6.5 rebounds per game last week, highlighted by an 18-point, seven-rebound showing at Stonehill as he was 8-for-10 from the field in that game.

Patrick Bradanese (Anna Maria, Jr./ Billerica, Mass.): Bradanese averaged 17.7 points per game in a 1-2 week for the AMCATS. In the team’s lone win, an 85-84 win against Emmanuel, Bradanese scored a game-high 28 points and hit a team-best six three-pointers. On the week, Bradanese shot at 44.7 percent from the floor (17-38) and 43.5 percent from long-distance (10-23) while adding a 9-10 effort at the free-throw line. The junior guard added five assists and five steals on the week.

Nick DaPrato (Clark, Gr./Marshfield, Mass.): In a 1-1 week for the Cougars, DaPrato averaged 19.0 points, 4.5 rebounds, 2.5 assists and 2.5 steals, while eclipsing the 100 made three-pointers mark for his career. In a 70-55 win over Wheaton, DaPrato totaled 15 points and three rebounds. Then in a narrow overtime loss to No. 8 Babson, he racked up 23 points, six rebounds four assists and four steals, connecting on four three-pointers and he now sits at 101 made triples.

Charles Gunter (Worcester State, Sr./Boston, Mass.): Gunter averaged 18.5 points, 6.0 rebounds, 2.5 assists and connected for 81.3 percent of his free throws (13-16) in an 0-2 week for Worcester State which included 19 points, six boards and three helpers in a 93-82 overtime setback to Bridgewater State and 18 points with six caroms in a 101-81 loss against Westfield State.

Sam Longwell (WPI, Sr./Acton, Mass.): Longwell continued to produce double-doubles notching one in each of WPI’s two victories last week.  The senior registered a team-high 20 points and a game-best 14 rebounds in an important 69-58 home triumph over MIT before tallying 19 points and 10 boards in a 65-47 road win at Coast Guard.  Longwell shot an impressive 58.3 percent from the field and canned 55.6 percent of his 3-point attempts as he averaged 19.5 points, 12 rebounds and three assists while posting his fifth and sixth double-doubles of the season and eighth and ninth of his career.

Allison Stoddard (Assumption, So./East Lyme, Conn.): In two games, Stoddard averaged 16 points, 2.5 rebounds, 2.5 steals and 1.5 assists in a 1-1 week. Highlighting her week was a career-high 21-point effort in the win at Merrimack as she added four rebounds, two steals and two assists in the victory.

Trafficia Warburton (Anna Maria, Sr./ Worcester, Mass.): Warburton averaged 17.0 points, 11.5 rebounds, and 7.0 steals on the week for Anna Maria. in a non-conference game against Fitchburg, she scored a team-high 22 points and added 16 rebounds and six steals. Against Lasell on Saturday, she netted 12 points and eight steals.

Aretha Sullivan (Clark, So./Worcester, Mass.): In a 2-0 week, Sullivan had the best stretch of her sophomore campaign, averaging 11.5 points, 6.5 rebounds and 4.0 assists as the Cougars won back-to-back games for the first time this season. In a 41-36 win over Wellesley, she had eight points and three rebounds, but then in a 72-66 win over Pine Manor, Sullivan was at her best registering 15 points and a game-best 12 rebounds, while handing out five assists. For the week she also went 10-for-10 from the free throw line.

Shannen El-Qasem (Worcester State, Sr./Rutland, Mass.): El-Qasem averaged 10.5 points and 4.0 rebounds and shot 56.3 percent from the floor (9-16) in a 1-1 week for Worcester State which included 12 points and four boards in a 50-44 victory over Bridgewater State.

Ama Biney (WPI, Fr./Worcester, Mass.): Biney continued her strong freshman season by shooting at a 60 percent clip en route to averaging 14 points as WPI split a pair of NEWMAC contests last week.  The rookie netted a team-best 17 points and secured the game with a steal in the waning seconds as the Engineers defeated Emerson 62-57 on Wednesday evening.  Biney came back and tossed 11 points Saturday versus Wheaton and ended the week with 12 rebounds and seven steals.

Noontime Sports (and NoontimeSports.com) will once again be the home to WACBA this winter, and will post the weekly awards every Tuesday morning. Make sure to follow us on Facebook and Twitter (@NoontimeSports and @NoonSportsBlog), while also keeping up with WACBA (@WACBAHoops) for up-to-date news, notes, scores and more.

Mass. College Lax: Recapping The Weekend of Lacrosse (LINKS)

By Matt Noonan

Despite the snow – even additional snow from yesterday – we had some lacrosse games this weekend. Below is a roundup of the various games.

Men’s Lacrosse

BU 13, Canisius 9Trailing 6-4 at the break, the Terriers used a 5-0 run, sparked by a Cal Dearth strike that helped BU go onto claim their second win of the season and first-ever victory at Nickerson Field.

Holy Cross 10, Fairfield 9: Terry McKenna netted the game-winning goal – his only strike of the contest – which lifted the Crusaders to their first win of the season.

Yale 19, UMass Lowell 4: Cory Highfield scored two goals in the River Hawks’ first-ever  Division I era contest.

North Carolina 20, UMass 8: Nick Mariano recorded his seventh career hat trick in the Minutemen’s second setback of the season.

Women’s Lacrosse

BU 13, Siena 9: Mallory Collins and Ally Adams each netted four goals as the Terriers won their first contest of the season in Queensbury, New York.

No. 7/6 BC 9, Johns Hopkins 5Caroline Margolis tied her career-high of three goals, Mikaela Rix netted a pair and the Eagles won their initial contest of the season.

Bryant 9, Holy Cross 6: Kristie Voswinkel recorded a hat trick and one helper to lead the Bulldogs past the Crusaders in their first contest of the season. Laura Ryan registered a hat trick for Holy Cross.

UMass 18, UMass Lowell 4: Hannah Murphy paced UMass with a hat trick, while five players scored twice in their initial win of the season. Taylor Sokol registered two goals for UMass Lowell in their season debut.