New England D3 Notebook: NCAA Tournament Basketball, Hockey Weekend Roundup

Johnny McCarthy and the Amherst College men's basketball team advanced to the semifinals following a sectional final victory over Tufts. (Photo Credit: Amherst College Athletics)

Johnny McCarthy and the Amherst College men’s basketball team advanced to the semifinals following a sectional final victory over Tufts. (Photo Credit: Amherst College Athletics)

By Matt Noonan 

Amherst College’s Connor Green netted a game-high 25 points to lift the Purple and White past Tufts University in last night’s Sectional Final in Medford, Massachusetts.

With the win, the Purple and White advance to its third NCAA Final Four appearance in four seasons, and seventh appearance in program history. Amherst will face Benedictine University on Friday, March 18 at the Salem Civic Center in Salem, Virginia.

David George and Johnny McCarthy combined for 26 points and 15 rebounds, while Michael Riopel came off the bench and netted 12 points.

Tom Palleschi and Stephen Haladyna paced Tufts, netting 20 points, respectively. Ryan Spadaford registered 11 rebounds, while pouring in seven points.

Amherst led by five points (40-35) at the break before outscoring the host Jumbos, 46-38, during the final 20 minutes.

George hit one of two free throws late in the second session to provide the visitors with the lead before Green converted a three-point play (layup and free throw) with 2:41 remaining to push Amherst ahead for good.

Tufts ended its season at 23-7 following a trio of NCAA Tournament victories, which all occurred in Cousen’s Gymnasium.

Amherst, Tufts advance to Women’s Semifinals: The New England Small College Athletic Conference (NESCAC) will have a pair of teams vying for the national championship. Both Amherst and Tufts captured their respective sectional finals yesterday with the Purple and White defeating Rochester (78-50) while the Jumbos beat Scranton (57-48).

Amherst will now face Thomas More, while Tufts takes on Wartburg with both contests scheduled for Saturday, March 19.

Michela North highlighted the Jumbos’ effort, recording a double-double of 13 points and 10 rebounds in the win, while Melissa Baptista netted a team-high 23 points.

All five starters netted double-figures for Amherst with Meredith Doswell pouring in 24 points, including six trifectas. She also recorded six rebounds, three blocks and one assist.

NCAA Division III Hockey Tournament: Williams College and UMass Boston extended its respective seasons, winning first round contests yesterday. The Ephs defeated Salem State, 7-1, while the Beacons dislodged the defending champion Bantams by a score of 4-0.

Both teams will compete in this upcoming weekend’s quarterfinals with Williams taking on SUNY Geneseo, while UMass Boston will head to Hobart for a 7:30 p.m. puck drop.

SUNY Geneseo advanced to the quarterfinals following a 7-1 win over Salve Regina.

The Middlebury College women’s ice hockey team advanced to the semifinals after defeating UMass Boston in the quarterfinal round by a score of 4-0. The Panthers will face Plattsburgh State, which blanked Amherst College, 5-0.

The semifinals are scheduled for Friday, March 18 with the championship taking place on Saturday, March 19.

Mass. College Hoops: Amherst, Tufts To Meet In NCAA D3 Sectional Final

Stephen Haladyna poured in a team-high 30 points as Tufts defeated Johnson & Wales in Friday's NCAA Division III Sectional Semifinals. (Photo Credit: Tufts Athletics)

Stephen Haladyna poured in a team-high 30 points as Tufts defeated Johnson & Wales in Friday’s NCAA Division III Sectional Semifinals. (Photo Credit: Tufts Athletics)

By Matt Noonan 

Tufts University men’s basketball head coach Bob Sheldon secretly wanted to play Amherst College in the Sectional Final.

His wish was granted on Friday evening following 101-85 victory over Johnson & Wales University at Cousen’s Gymnasium.

Tufts and Amherst will square off in Saturday’s Sectional Finals with tip-off scheduled for 7:00 p.m.

“(The) Rubber-match tomorrow (with) the ‘elite eight’ on the line,” said Sheldon. “We’re excited.

“I think deep down inside I wanted to play Amherst to be honest with you. I wanted to have the rubber-match; I want to go at (them) tomorrow.

“They’re a great team. They shoot the ball well, they run, (so) I think it is going to be another game in the 80’s-90’s. We’re excited to play them – it is an Amherst-Tufts thing, and what is going to happen is a NESCAC team is going to be in the final four.”

Stephen Haladyna highlighted the Jumbos’ effort, netting a team-high 30 points, while Tarik Smith scored 25 points. As a team, the Jumbos collaborated for an impressive 29-of-36 from the charity stripe.

Senior Tom Garrick paced the visiting Wildcats with 30 points, while classmate Quarry Greenaway finished with a double-double of 19 points and 11 rebounds.

Tufts led 47-43 at the break before outscoring the visitors, 54-42 in the second session.

Johnson & Wales – this year’s GNAC champions – concludes its season 28-3 overall. The Wildcats earned a trip to Medford following first and second round victories against Trinity (Conn.) and Fitchburg State.

“(My team) gave everything they had,” said Johnson & Wales head coach Jamie Benton, “great year.”

Five members of the Amherst men’s basketball team registered double figures, as the Purple and White defeated Babson College, 88-76, prior to Tufts-Johnson & Wales.

Jayden Dawson poured in a game-high 19 points, Johnny McCarthy netted 15 points, including a trio of trifectas, while David George tallied 13 points and seven caroms.

Amherst trailed Babson, 39-37, at the break, but outscored the Beavers, 51-37, in the second session.

“We tried to execute a little bit better,” Amherst head coach David Hixon said of his team’s second half effort. “We started the second half by going right inside to David George – that always helps your percentage so 52 percent is a great percentage inside.”

A trio of Babson players netted double-figures, including Bradley Jacks, who paced the Green and White with 15 points. Joey Flannery and Isaiah Nelesen each recorded 14 points, respectively.

“I feel very blessed to go 23-6,” said Babson head coach Stephen Brennan, who guided the Beavers to back-to-back New England Women’s and Men’s Athletic Conference (NEWMAC) Tournament championships.

New England D3Lax Notebook: Extra Sessions Provide Early Season Confidence For UMass Boston

Calvin Lee and the UMass Boston men's lacrosse team have won three overtime contests this season. (Photo Credit: UMass Boston)

Calvin Lee and the UMass Boston men’s lacrosse team have won three overtime contests this season. (Photo Credit: UMass Boston)

By Matt Noonan 

Tyler Low had never been apart of a five-overtime contest, but that was the way his UMass Boston men’s lacrosse team commenced its 2016 season.

Against Rivier, the Beacons needed five extra sessions before Calvin Lee deposited the game-winner, which provided UMass Boston with its initial win of the season.

“That was definitely the longest game I have ever been apart of in any sport,” said Low, who is in his sixth season with the Beacons.

Since their dramatic win against the Raiders, UMass Boston has won four straight, including a pair of overtime victories against Wentworth (10-9) and Nichols (9-8).

UMass Boston’s five consecutive wins matched the program’s start from the 2005 season.

“The theme all preseason was to compete for as long as it took to win,” said Low. “Whether it is 60 minutes or 90 minutes, my team puts in the work at practice.”

In addition to a fast start, the Beacons have received 33 points from Lee thus far on 17 goals and 16 assists. Low believes the senior from Hopkinton, Massachusetts inspires his teammates to elevate their game.

“Calvin is a special player,” said Low. “I believe his toughness on the field is what sets him apart and helps (jumpstart our attack). His poise and ability to make the next play regardless of any in-game adversity we may face is a testament to the type of player and leader he is.”

Sophomores Matthew Duggan and Conor Smith have highlighted the team’s offensive output, combining for 20 goals and 12 assists. First-year Michael Lund is fourth on the team with seven points on five goals and two assists.

UMass Boston will look to keep its momentum going tomorrow when they visit Emerson College for a 1:00 p.m. face-off. Following their visit with the Lions, the Beacons will compete against a trio of non-conference squads before opening Little East Conference (LEC) play against the Owls of Keene State on Saturday, April 2.

Low is optimistic about this year’s non-conference slate – he believes every team his squad has or will face will prepare the unit for a conference title run.

“Our goal with our non-conference play is to give our team as much experience as possible in different game situations,” said Low. “The hope is (our non-conference games) will be experiences our team can fall back on later in the season.”

News and Notes from around New England: The Clark University men’s lacrosse team is off to its best start in program history, winning four straight contests. Will Mandracchia highlighted his team’s last outing against Cazenovia, registering eight points on four goals and four assists. Next up for the Cougars is a Wednesday evening contest against Salve Regina … An 8-1 run during the opening session of Wednesday’s contest against Babson College helped the Bates College women’s lacrosse team go onto capture a 12-7 victory. The Bobcats – winners of four straight – matched the program’s start from 2003. Moriah Greenstein led the Bobcats with four goals … Babson’s Spencer Low matched his career high with six goals, while registering his 100th marker of his career as the Beavers rolled past Gordon, 22-3 … The Salve Regina University men’s lacrosse team is one win away from matching the program’s 7-0 start from 2014. The Seahawks recently claimed a 13-6 victory over Johnson & Wales. This weekend they commence Commonwealth Coast Conference (CCC) play with a 12 p.m. face-off against Endicott College … Speaking of overtime, the Norwich University women’s lacrosse team needed triple-overtime to get past Thomas as the Cadets claimed a 9-8 victory on Wednesday afternoon at Sabine Field. Teresa Segreti netted the game-winner at 5:07 in the third extra session … Kasondra Moniz helped the New England College women’s lacrosse team capture its second straight victory by recording five points on three goals and two assists in a 16-0 victory over Bay Path. Moniz has recorded a pair of goals in four games this season.

New England D3 Hoops: Sectional Semifinal Live Stats/Video (LINKS)

NCAA-Basketball

By NoontimeSports.com 

The second weekend of the NCAA Division III basketball tournament is set to begin later today. There are currently eight New England teams remaining – five men’s and three women’s – and below are links to each contest’s live stats and video.

Make sure to check-in on Twitter (@NoontimeSports and @MattNoonan11) this afternoon and evening for updates, scores and yes, a blog post, too!

Sectional Semifinals – Men’s Games

No. 15 Amherst vs. No. 16 Babson  (@ Tufts) – 5 p.m.

LIVE STATS | VIDEO

No. 12 Johnson & Wales vs. No. 20 Tufts  (@ Tufts)- 7:30 p.m. 

LIVE STATS | VIDEO

Keene State vs. No. 4 Christopher Newport (@ Oswego St.) – 5:30 p.m.

LIVE STATS | VIDEO

Sectional Semifinals – Women’s Games

No. 16 Rochester vs. Bowdoin (@ Amherst) – 5 p.m.

LIVE STATS | VIDEO

Stevens at No. 4 Amherst (@ Amherst) – 7 p.m. 

LIVE STATS | VIDEO

No. 7 Tufts vs. No. 9 Albright (@ Scranton) – 5 p.m.

LIVE STATS | VIDEO

Mass. College Lax: Wheelock Makes History, Wins First Game In Program History

The Wheelock College men's lacrosse team made history on Thursday, earning the program's first win in a 6-3 victory against Anna Maria. (Photo Credit: Wheelock College Athletics)

The Wheelock College men’s lacrosse team made history on Thursday, earning the program’s first win in a 6-3 victory against Anna Maria. (Photo Credit: Wheelock College Athletics)

By Matt Noonan 

Wheelock College men’s lacrosse head coach Eric Small was beaming after his team pulled out a hard-fought 6-3 victory on Thursday against Anna Maria College.

The win marked the program’s first-ever victory for the Wildcats, who improve to 1-1 overall.

“It was a truly unbelievable night for our Wheelock Men’s Lacrosse program,” said Small, who is in his second season with the Wildcats.

“The coaching staff did a great job all week instilling a positive mindset in our guys to believe in themselves. (We knew if) we executed our game plan, we would go out and get our first win. They bought in right from the start and the rest is history.”

Entering the second quarter tied at 2-2, Wheelock’s Eddie Romero jumpstarted a four-goal run, spanning the second and third sessions to push the Wildcats ahead for good.

Romero, along with five other players located the back of the Anna Maria net, while Noah Horning earned his first collegiate win between the pipes.

Wheelock, which is in the middle of a six-game road trip, returns to action next Tuesday, March 8 when they visit Curry College for a 3:30 p.m. face-off.

Said Small, “Moving forward, I really think the sky is the limit with this group. To go out and get six goals from six different players really shows them that any one of them can step up at any given time. They have confidence in one another. When it comes to team sports that is everything a coach could ask for.”