Mass. College Hoops: WACBA Honor Roll (Week 2)


Worcester, Mass. – The second week of the college basketball season in Worcester came to a close on Sunday, and below is this week’s Worcester Area College Basketball Association (WACBA) Honor Roll, including Players and Rookies of the Week.

Men’s Player of the Week: Bilal Shakir (Jr.) Worcester State (Worcester, Mass.): Averaged 22 points in a 2-1 week for the Lancers. He had a game-high 32 points in the 95-89 victory over Wheaton College on Tuesday night while also adding eight rebounds, three assists, and one steal. He went 11-for-19 from the field, and 7-for-9 from the 3-point line. Shakir then scored a team-high 19 points in the 77-64 win over Suffolk, and posted 14 points and nine rebounds in the 97-79 loss to Amherst College at this weekend’s tournament.

Clyde Niba (Sr.), WPI (Atlanta, GA): Niba averaged 20.5 points and 6.5 rebounds as he helped WPI capture the inaugural Ted Coghlin Memorial Tournament this past weekend.  The senior forward connected on all nine of his first half shots en route to a season-best 32 points in the Engineers’ 66-62 championship game victory over Staten Island. Niba also contributed nine points and a team-high seven rebounds in limited minutes in the opening contest versus Curry. For the weekend, he shot 59.1% (13-22) from the floor and 66.7% (8-12) from 3-point land.

Men’s Rookie of the Week: Marco Echevarria (Fr.), Nichols (Lynn, Mass.): He was named the Commonwealth Coast Conference (CCC) Men’s Basketball Rookie of the Week for the second-consecutive week. Echevarria averaged 20.3 points per game as the Bison won two of their three games last week. He began the week by draining five 3-pointers en route to a 22-point night in a win over Thomas (ME) on Tuesday. He then netted 18 points in a loss at Daniel Webster two nights later. On Saturday, Echevarria scored a game-high 22 points to help Nichols move to 3-1 with a road win at Lasell. Echevarria shot 45.7 percent for the week (16-of-35), including 14-of-32 from behind the arc (43.8 pct.).He also tied his career-high with seven rebounds against the Lasers and averaged 3.0 for the week.

Women’s Player of the Week: Tricia Byrne (Soph.), Holy Cross (Dunmore, Pa.): Byrne started in both contests last week and put together her best two games of her career. She averaged 11.0 points, 6.5 rebounds and 4.0 assists per game. In the loss at Boston College, she totaled 10 points and a career-high seven rebounds in a personal-best 39 minutes of action. At Quinnipiac on Saturday, she posted career-highs of 12 points and seven assists, while also hauling in six rebounds. She drained a pair of three-pointers in each game too. On the season, Byrne is averaging 7.0 points and 3.8 rebounds per game, while she leads Holy Cross and ranks seventh in the Patriot League with 3.0 assists per game. Her 1.7-to-1.0 assist-to-turnover ratio stands fourth in the conference.

Women’s Rookie of the Week: Kaitlyn Berkel (Fr.), Worcester State (Waterford, Conn): Averaged 8.7 points in a 1-2 week for the Lancers. She registered a double-double in the 70-36 win over Mount Holyoke on Wednesday (10 points, 15 rebounds). She then had seven points and eight rebounds in the 51-34 loss to McDaniel, and nine points and 12 rebounds against Newbury College at the York College Coaches vs. Cancer Tournament this past weekend. In the loss to Newbury, Berkel had a game-high six blocks.

Honor Roll:

Allison Stoddard (Jr.), Assumption (East Lyme, Conn.): In a 2-0 week, Stoddard averaged a team-best 17 points per game while adding four assists, 1.5 rebounds and one steal per game. She also shot 50 percent from three, connecting on 8-of-16 attempts. After 18 points and seven assists in a win over No. 9 Stonehill, she posted 21 points that included five three-pointers in a road win at Saint Michael’s.

Kamali Bey (Soph.), Assumption (Springfield, Mass.): In a 1-1 week, Bey averaged a team-high 13.5 points per game to go along with four rebounds and 1.5 assists per contest. He shot 55 percent from the field overall and highlighting his week was a 21-point effort at home vs. Stonehill.

Deja Taitt (Jr.), Anna Maria (Cambia Heights, N.Y.): Taitt led the team in scoring in a 2-1 week, averaging 15.7 points per game on a 54.3 percent shooting effort from the floor. In addition, she dished out 5.3 assists per game as the team’s primary ball handler. She had her best performance in the team’s 83-80 loss to Salem State, in which she finished with a double-double of 18 points and 10 assists.

Corey Pryor (GS), Anna Maria (Whitinsville, Mass.): Pryor scored 28 points on a 66.7 percent shooting effort in Anna Maria’s 95-93 overtime victory against Becker on Wednesday. He hit 12-for-18 from the floor, including 3-of-6 from three-point range. Pryor had a crucial play in the early minutes of overtime–with the AMCATS trailing by three, he finished an old-fashioned three-point play to even the score at 85-85.

Josh Bosworth (Soph.), Fitchburg State (Springfield, Mass.): Averaged 12.6 points and 8.3 rebounds per contest in a 3-0 week for the Falcons. Registered 14 points, 7 boards, 2 assists and two steals in an 84-77 overtime win over Clark on Tuesday, while adding 10 points, five caroms and four steals in a 77-73 win against RIC on Thursday. Bosworth concluded the week, registering 14 points, 13 rebounds, one assist and one steal in a 74-65 triumph over Becker on Saturday.

Ama Biney (Soph.), WPI (Worcester, Mass.): Biney totaled 28 points, 14 rebounds and five steals as the Engineers split a pair of contests last week against Little East conference foes.  The sophomore guard tallied 11 points and eight rebounds in a 57-43 triumph over Rhode Island College after netting a team-best 17 points and six boards in an overtime loss at UMass Dartmouth.

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


WORCESTER, Mass. – The 2015-16 collegiate basketball season commenced last week with Clark University and Worcester State University competing shortly after midnight on Friday, November 13. And with the initial weekend in the books, it is time to unveil the Worcester Area Collegiate Basketball Association (WACBA) Players and Rookies of the Week, and honor roll.

Men’s Player of the Week: Declan Soukup (Jr.), Assumption (Melbourne, Australia):
In a 2-0 weekend, Soukup led the Hounds with 19.5 points per game while shooting 50 percent from the field. He posted 20 points in the win over Georgian Court, highlighted by an 11-for-12 showing at the line in that game. He also chipped in 3.5 rebounds and 2.5 assists per contest as well.

Patrick Bradanese (Sr.), Anna Maria (Billerica, Mass.): Bradanese averaged 21.5 points per game on a 47.2 percent shooting effort in the opening weekend for Anna Maria. He scored a game-high 26 points on 61.1 percent shooting in Anna Maria’s 76-67 win against Bridgewater State before adding another 17 points against No. 10 Babson. Seven of Bradanese’s 17 field goals over the weekend were hit from beyond the three-point arc. He also averaged 4.0 assists per game.

Men’s Rookie of the Week: Marcos Echevarria (Fr.), Nichols College (Peabody, Mass.): Echevarria poured in 33 points in his collegiate debut in a 105-85 win over Becker. Echevarria made 9-of-15 from the field – including 8-of-11 from 3-point range – and also sank 7-of-8 from the charity stripe. Echevarria snared seven rebounds and dished out four assists in 37 minutes of action.

Women’s Player of the Week: Allison Stoddard (Jr.), Assumption (East Lyme, Conn.):
In a 2-0 weekend, Stoddard averaged 14 points per game to go along with four rebounds and 3.5 assists per contest. Highlighting her weekend was a 21-point performance in a win over Dominican as she earned a spot on the Assumption Tip-Off Classic All-Tournament Team.

Women’s Rookie of the Week: Britt Herring (Fr.), Worcester State (W. Brookfield, Mass.): Herring tallied up 36 points in her first collegiate week of basketball at the Worcester City Tournament. She recorded 16 points, seven rebounds, two steals, and three blocks in the Lancers’ 58-56 setback to Clark University on Friday. She then registered a double-double in the 56-36 win over Becker College, scoring 20 points and notching 14 rebounds. She went 57.1 percent from the field and 80 percent from the free-throw line. She also had a game-high five blocks against the Hawks.

Honor Roll (Week One)

Robert Champion (Jr.), Holy Cross (Charlotte, N.C.): Champion led the team in scoring with 16 points in the Crusaders’ victory at Marist. He tied his career-high with 16 points scored, and set a new career-high with eight rebounds. With 6.7 left and Holy Cross up 65-64, Champion hit two free throws to give the Crusaders a three-point lead.

Karl Charles (Fr.), Holy Cross (Piscataway, N.J.): In the first game of his collegiate career, Charles totaled six points and four rebounds in the victory at Marist. Additionally, he posted one assist, one block and one steal.

Christina Gauvin (Jr.), Anna Maria (Dudley, Mass.): Gauvin scored 20 points in the team’s season-opening win against Elms. She shot 35.3 percent from the floor with two three-pointers and hit six-of-seven (85.7 percent) from the free-throw line. She also recorded a career-high eight steals in the victory.

Anthony Muccioli (Sr.), Fitchburg State (Nashua, N.H.): Averaged 14.5 points per game and 3.5 rebound per contest for the Falcons. Posted 14 points, four rebounds and one steal in a 87-76 setback to Springfield College in opening round action of the 2015 Hampton Inn Classic on Friday evening before registering 15 points and three caroms in an 86-82 loss to Mitchell College in the Consolation Round of the 2015 Hampton Inn Classic on Saturday.

Erika Schneider (Sr.), Fitchburg State (Rockland, Mass.): Averaged 12.5 points per game and 5.0 rebounds per contest for the Falcons. Registered a team-best 13 points and three boards in a 95-27 setback to Johnson & Wales University on Saturday before adding 12 points, seven caroms and two steals in a 71-40 setback to Colby-Sawyer on Sunday.

Marquez McKreith-Collins (Jr.), Worcester State (Springfield, Mass.) McKrieth-Collins recorded a double-double in the 83-78 setback to Clark University Friday morning. McKreith-Collins scored 22 points and added in 10 rebounds against the Scarlett and White. In addition, he had two assists, one steal, and shot 63.6 percent from the field.

Alex Santos (Fr.), Worcester State (Lawrence, Mass.): Santos scored 19 points for the Lancers in the 83-78 loss to Clark University on Friday. He had 15 points in the first half, and then added in another four in the second. Santos led the team in assists with four, and added in two rebounds and one steal on the evening. He shot 50 percent from the field, 37.5 from the three-point range, and 80 percent from the free throw line.

Brianna Hackett (Soph.), Worcester State (Hollis, N.H.): Hackett racked up 31 points in a 1-1 week for the Lancers. She totaled 11 points, four rebounds, two assists, and one steal in the 58-56 setback to Clark on Friday, and then had 23 points in the 56-34 win over Becker College.

Aaron Todd (Soph.), WPI (York, Maine): Todd earned Most Valuable Player (MVP) honors as the Engineers moved to 2-0 for the 13th straight season by claiming the Rick Martin Holiday Inn Tournament at Westfield State University. The sophomore opened the season with his first career double-double, scoring 10 points and grabbing 10 rebounds, as the Engineers defeated nationally-ranked Eastern Connecticut 60-50.  In Saturday’s title game, Todd totaled a career-high 13 points and gobbled up nine rebounds as WPI defeated the host Owls 59-50.

 Yasmeen Luna (Sr.), WPI (North Providence, R.I.): Luna was tabbed the Most Vaulable Player of the 35th annual Worcester City Tournament. She anchored the Engineers’ defense, which limited opponents to just 27 points per game in the tournament.

RECAP: Second Half Surge, Strong Defensive Play Carries Harvard Past MIT, 59-39

Harvard Crimson Logo

By Matt Noonan 

CAMBRIDGE, Mass. – Harvard commenced its 2015-16 men’s basketball season with a 59-39 victory over MIT on Friday evening, but the team’s initial win didn’t come easily.

MIT kept pace with its Massachusetts Avenue neighbor, trailing by six-points (25-19) at the break, but Harvard responded with a 25-9 run in the second half to push ahead for good.

Harvard freshman Tommy McCarthy led all scorers with 12 points, netting nine points in the second session, while senior Agunwa Okolie finished with 10 points.

As a team, the Crimson converted 20-of-52 field goals and netted 14-of-21 free throws. Harvard limited MIT to just 14 field goals, while the Engineers converted 3-of-17 trifectas and 8-of-14 free throws.

“I was pleased with our defense,” Harvard head coach Tommy Amaker said. “I think it’s been a calling card of our program – part of our identity and it is so important for us – (but) I feel like we lived up to that defensively (this evening).”

Harvard’s defense certainly helped the hosts limit MIT to numerous one-shot series, while defending freshman Bradley Jomard, who paced the Cardinal and Gray with 10 points.

“He is a good player,” Amaker said of Jomard. “He is very athletic and (he’s) an active kind of player.

“I think the key for us (in this game) was defending (Justin) Pedley, (who) has been a terrific shooter (and) scorer for their team. We really did a nice job (defending him as) he scored just two points from the foul line, so again, I thought it was a good team effort to allow us to hold (MIT) to 39 points.”

Junior Tim Butala concluded the contest with seven points; senior Russell Johnson recorded a team-high eight rebounds, while classmate Ryan Frankel dished out a trio of assists.

Harvard senior Patrick Steeves competed for the first time in his collegiate career, netting just one point at the stripe, but it was an important contribution for the Crimson.

“I am very happy for Patrick because he has been injured and banged-up throughout his career and (I know) how hard it is to come back and spend that time to get healthy with the injuries he had, so I was very happy for him,” said Amaker. “Our team was very happy for him and I think that is a really cool thing.”

Harvard will look to double its win total tomorrow evening when they travel to Providence College for a 7:00 p.m. tip-off. MIT returns to action next Tuesday, November 17 when they host Bridgewater State University at 8:00 p.m.

Mass. College Soccer: NCAA Div. III Tournament Pairings & Schedule


The NCAA Division III men and women’s soccer tournament kicks-off this week as teams from around the country will contend for the national championship.

This afternoon, the men and women’s brackets were released and below is the first round pairings and schedules for the Massachusetts teams.

Men’s Soccer

Amherst College – The Jeffs earned a first round bye, but will compete on Sunday, November 15 at 1:30 p.m. against the winner of Morrisville State-Cabrini.

Brandeis vs. Thomas (Sat., Nov. 14 at 5 p.m. at Brandeis) – Brandeis will host a four-team pod and the winner of this match will compete against Rensselaer and Stevens Institute of Technology on Sunday, November 15.

UMass Boston vs. Scranton (Sat., Nov. 14 at 1:30 p.m. at St. Lawrence Univ.) – Winner will play against St. Lawrence or Sage on Sunday, Nov. 15.

MIT-Bridgewater St. (Sat., Nov. 14 at MIT) – Winner of Engineers-Bears will compete against Plattsburgh State or Bowdoin College on Sunday, Nov. 15.

Babson at Franklin & Marshall (Sat., Nov. 14 at 5 p.m. at Franklin & Marshall) – Winner will play Gordon-Canegie Mellon on Sunday, Nov. 15.

Gordon College vs. Carnegie Mellon (Sat. Nov. 14 at 7:30 p.m. at Franklin & Marshall) – Winner will play Babson-Franklin & Marshall.

Tufts vs. Salisbury (Sat., Nov. 14 at 7:30 p.m. at Montclair State) – The defending national champion Jumbos will take on Salisbury in the opening round with the winner facing Montclair State-Daniel Webster on Sunday, Nov. 15.

Women’s Soccer

Springfield College vs. Montclair State (Sat., Nov. 14 at 1:30 p.m. at Messiah College) – The Pride will look to continue their momentum against Montclair State in the opening round of the tournament. The winner of this match takes on Messiah-Staten Island on Sunday, November 15.

Lasell College at Rowan (Sat., Nov. 14 at 5:00 p.m. at Rowan) – Winner will compete against Babson-Lynchburg in the second round on Sunday, Nov. 15.   

Babson College vs. Lynchburg (Sat., Nov. 14 at 7:30 p.m. at Rowan) – Winner will compete against Lasell-Rowan in the second round on Sunday, Nov. 15.

Lesley University at Stevens (Sat., Nov. 14 at 5:00 p.m. at Stevens) – The Lynx captured their conference crown and will take on the 14th ranked women’s soccer team in the country with an opportunity to extend its season to the second round against the winner of Bowdoin-Johns Hopkins.

Williams College vs. Westfield State (Sat., Nov. 14 at 11:00 a.m. at Williams) – The Ephs will host a first and second round pod this weekend, beginning with a late morning match against the Owls. A win against the MASCAC champions would send Williams to a second round match on Sunday, Nov. 15 against the winner of St. Lawrence-TCNJ.

Amherst College vs. Colby-Sawyer (Sat., Nov. 14 at 11:00 a.m. at Amherst) – Winner will face Brandeis-West Conn. in the second round on Sunday, Nov. 15.  

Brandeis University vs. Western Conn. State University (Sat., Nov. 14 at 1:30 p.m. at Amherst) – Winner will face Amherst or Colby-Sawyer on Sunday, Nov. 15 in the second round.

Mass. College Hockey: Amherst Women’s Hockey Remains No. 1In ‘Noontime Top 5’ Poll (Week 2)

Amherst Logo


For the second straight week, the Amherst College women’s ice hockey team remained in the top spot of the Noontime Sports Top 5 Women’s NCAA Division III Ice Hockey poll, which began last weekend.

The Jeffs, which sat idle during the opening week, kickoff their campaign on Friday, November 20 with a weekend series at Connecticut College.

Williams College and Holy Cross remained second and third, respectively, while Endicott College jumped up to fourth and UMass Boston dipped to fifth.

Noontime Top 5 (Week 2 Poll)

1. Amherst College (0-0): The Lord Jeffs occupied the top spot for the second week despite not starting their season until the middle of the month. Once the Jeffs begin play, they’ll be contending for their first New England Small College Athletic Conference (NESCAC) crown since the 2009-10 season. Amherst also captured the NCAA Division III National Championship that same school year, defeating Norwich University, 7-2.

2. Williams College (0-0): Similar to Amherst, the Ephs sat idle last weekend/this week, but kick-off their 2015-16 season on Friday, Nov. 20 when they host Hamilton College for a two-day/weekend series.

3. Holy Cross (2-0): The Crusader claimed a pair of wins this past weekend, defeating Sacred Heart in a home-and-home series, including a 5-3 opening night win on the road. Holy Cross host a pair of contests this weekend, beginning with a Saturday afternoon tilt against Manhattanville College. Freshman Julie Matthias was tabbed New England Hockey Conference (NEHC) Rookie of the Week after potting a pair of goals – one in each contest.

4. Endicott College (2-0): The Gulls commenced their first season of varsity hockey with back-to-back wins last weekend, defeating Plymouth State and Nichols College in the Puck Drop Classic. This weekend, Endicott will host its first-ever contest on Saturday, November 7 against Johnson & Wales (R.I.) at 4:00 p.m. Prior to their home contest against the Wildcats, Endicott will travel to Rhode Island for a Friday contest against Johnson & Wales. Freshman Lexi Klein leads the Gulls with three points on two goals and one assist. Klein was tabbed the Colonial Hockey Conference (CHC) Rookie of the Week, while classmate Vendela Jonsson earned Goalie of the Week honors.

5. UMass Boston (0-2): The Beacons will look to bounce back from a pair of 4-2 setbacks last weekend when they host New England College on Friday, November 6 at 4:00 p.m. UMass Boston received three points from last weekend’s setbacks to William Smith from sophomore Jane Morrisette on two goals and one assist.