D3 New England Notebook: NESCAC Tournament Starts Saturday, Brandeis Baseball Sweeps First Series
By Matt Noonan
The New England Small College Athletic Conference (NESCAC) basketball tournaments commence this Saturday, February 20 with eight games – four men’s and four women’s contests – with the winners advancing to next weekend’s semifinals.
Trinity and Amherst earned the first and second spots, respectively, on the men’s side, while Tufts and Amherst secured the top two positions on the women’s side.
Trinity men’s basketball – the top seed for the second straight season – faces a Colby squad that ranks first in the conference in field goal percentage. Luke Westman leads all scorers in field goal percentage, while placing ninth in assists.
As a team, Colby is third in the league in points per game, while Trinity is sixth. Trinity’s Ed Ogundeko is the top rebounder in the conference, averaging 10.7 caroms per contest.
Trinity finished its conference slate winning nine of 10 league games, while registering an 18-6 overall record. Colby won four conference tilts and recorded a 16-8 overall ledger.
Last season, Trinity edged Colby, 66-63, in the opening round before going onto capture the conference title. Sam Wilson – a current senior on the Colby men’s basketball team – led all scorers with 24 points.
NESCAC Men’s Basketball Tournament Schedule: Trinity-Colby is just one of four games to follow on the men’s side, but below is the entire Saturday quarterfinal lineup:
* Wesleyan at Middlebury, 2 p.m.
* Colby at Trinity, 3 p.m.
* Bowdoin at Amherst, 4 p.m.
* Williams at Tufts, 4 p.m.
Connecticut College hosts first-ever NESCAC Tournament game: As noted in the conference release, tomorrow marks the first-time the Camels will be hosting a NESCAC Tournament contest in program history. The Camels will entertain Colby with tip-off scheduled for 3:00 p.m.
Connecticut earned the fourth seed thanks to a head-to-head tiebreaker against the Mules as they defeated Colby earlier this month, 69-63.
A win for the Camels would send the program to its first-ever semifinal tilt.
Top seed Tufts will entertain Middlebury at 2:00 p.m., Amherst will welcome Bates for a 2:00 p.m. tip-off, while Williams visits Bowdoin for a 3:00 p.m. start.
Emmanuel, Salve Regina kick-off 2016 D3Lax Season in New England: The Division III lacrosse season returns to New England tomorrow as the Saints of Emmanuel College begin its Great Northeast Athletic Conference (GNAC) title defense when they visit Salve Regina – the Seahawks were picked to finish fourth in the Commonwealth Coast Conference (CCC) preseason poll.
Emmanuel was picked to capture their conference crown again, but their road to a GNAC title won’t be easy. The Saints will have to contend with Johnson & Wales, Mount Ida, Lasell and Rivier – four teams that will certainly challenge Brendan McWilliams’ squad.
Face-off is scheduled for 1:00 p.m. in Newport, Rhode Island. This is the first-ever meeting between the Seahawks and Saints.
Brandeis Baseball completes a three-game sweep: An 8-2 win on Friday afternoon secured a three-game sweep of St. Joe’s (Brooklyn) as the Brandeis baseball team commenced its season with three straight victories.
According to the school’s release, the Judges improved to 3-0 for the first time since 2008. This was also the third consecutive win for Derek Carlson, who is in his first season with Brandeis.
Greg Heineman finished Friday’s contest 3-for-4 with a double. He drove in four of the team’s eight runs with a pair of RBI, while crossing the plate twice.
Brandeis returns to the diamond on Sunday, March 6 when they take on Case in the University Athletic Association (UAA) Tournament. Brandeis will host its initial home contest of the season on Tuesday, March 15 when they entertain Bridgewater State with first pitch scheduled for 3:00 p.m.