WACBA Honor Roll (Women’s Basketball) Week Nine

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An impressive week by Becker first-year Cassidy Harrison earned her this week’s WACBA Rookie of the Week honor. (PHOTO CREDIT: Becker College)

By WACBA Hoops (@WACBAHoops

WORCESTER, Mass.  Another week of college basketball is in the books, which means it is time to dish out our Worcester Area College Basketball Association (WABCA) Women’s Honor Roll, including our Player and Rookie of the Week.

Women’s Player of the Week: Adrianna Dowdy (Becker | Soph. | East Haven, Conn.): Dowdy had another great week for the Hawks, averaging 14 points, 10 rebounds, 3.0 assists and 2.7 steals per game. First, in Becker’s 68-59 win over Daniel Webster, Dowdy finished with eight points and 12 rebounds. Then, in Becker’s 58-57 come from behind win against Wheelock, Dowdy scored 19 of her 27 points in the second half with 13 rebounds while dishing out four assists and collecting two steals, and hitting a free throw at then end for the win. Finally, hosting Newbury on Saturday, Dowdy contributed seven points, five rebounds, four steals, three assists and two blocks. The three wins keep Becker in second place in the NECC standings, as they enjoy their best season since joining the conference. For her performances, Dowdy was named New England Collegiate Conference (NECC) Player of the Week.

Women’s Rookie of the Week: Cassidy Harrison (Becker | Fr. | Foxborough, Mass.): Harrison continues to lead the Hawks in scoring, as she averaged 18.3 points and 2.7 steals this past week in three Becker victories. Harrison posted 21 points and three steals in Becker’s 68-59 win over Daniel Webster on Tuesday. On Thursday, she came up with 12 points in a 58-57 victory over Wheelock. Finally, in Becker’s 61-51 win over Newbury, Harrison finished with 22 points, shooting 50 percent from the floor and making all eight of her free throw attempts. For her performances, Harrison was named New England Collegiate Conference (NECC) Rookie of the Week.

Women’s Honor Roll:

Ogechi Ezemma (Clark | So. | Hope Valley, R.I.): In a 1-1 week, Ezemma averaged 14 points, nine rebounds and 3.5 blocks. Her best effort of the week came in a 72-54 win over Wellesley where she totaled 23 points and 12 rebounds and went 7-for-7 from the free throw line.

Kyra Rose (Fitchburg State | Fr. | Rockland, Mass.): Rose averaged 20.7 points, nine rebounds, three assists, 2.7 steals and 1.7 blocks per contest in three games for the Falcons last week. She posted a double-double of 36 points and 13 rebounds as well as five assists, three steals and two blocks in a 94-89 overtime win over Dean College on Monday before adding nine points, four caroms, two assists and one steal in a 99-44 setback to Framingham State on Wednesday. Rose concluded the week by registering a double-double of 17 points and 10 caroms to go along with two assists, four steals and three blocks in a 108-55 setback to Westfield State on Saturday.

Tricia Byrne (Holy Cross | Jr. | Dunmore, Pa.): Against Navy this past week, the Dunmore, Pennsylvania native connected on 7 of 11 shots, including one trifecta, while draining a pair of free throws. She also tallied six assists, four rebounds and two blocks en route to finishing the two-point setback (73-31) with 17 points. Her 17 points were a career-best and so were the six assists, too.

Lauren Manis (Holy Cross | Fr. | Franklin, Mass.): Manis notched a new career-high of 25 points despite her team’s two-point setback to Navy. The Franklin, Massachusetts’s native drained 10 of 19 shots from the field, while connecting on four of five free throw attempts. She concluded the contest with seven caroms, two assists and two steals.

Kaitlyn Berkel (Worcester State | Soph. | Waterford , Conn.): The sophomore forward averaged 21 points and 7.5 rebounds in a 1-1 week for the Lancers. Berkel picked up a career-high 26 points as she went 12-for-19 (63.2%) from the field, while registering eight boards, four assists, and one block in the setback to Westfield State last Wednesday. She then scored 16 points and collected seven boards and a steal in the 55-51 win over MCLA on Saturday. 

Ama Biney (WPI | Jr. | Worcester, Mass.): Biney narrowly missed a double-double with 19 points and nine rebounds in a win over city and conference rival Clark last Saturday. She also recorded four steals and an assist in 34 minutes. The triumph was the sixth in-a-row for the 17-2 Engineers.

WACBA Honor Roll (Men’s Basketball) Week Nine

By WACBA Hoops (@WACBAHoops

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An impressive week by John Pisacreta earned him WACBA Men’s Player of the Week honors. (PHOTO CREDIT: Clark University Athletics)

WORCESTER, Mass.  Another week of college basketball is in the books, which means it is time to dish out our Worcester Area College Basketball Association (WABCA) Men’s Honor Roll, including our Player and Rookie of the Week.

Men’s Player of the Week: John Pisacreta (Clark | Jr. | Andover, Mass.): The New England Women’s and Men’s Athletic Conference (NEWMAC) Offensive Player of the Week averaged 25 points per game in the two contests last week as the Cougars went up against the conference’s top two teams. In a closer-than-you-think, 90-81 defeat at the hands of the nation’s No. 1 team, Babson College, Pisacreta finished with a team-best 21 points on 7-for-11 shooting, including a 5-for-6 performance from behind the arc. Along with his scoring, he added four rebounds, three assists and three steals in his 31 minutes of action. Then, in a huge 74-69 road win at MIT, he pumped in 20 of his career-high 29 points in the second half as the Cougars held on for a crucial league victory. In addition to his point total, Pisacreta provided four rebounds and three steals. For the week, he shot 14-for-24 from the field (58 percent), including 11-for-16 (68 percent) from three-point land and was a perfect 11-for-11 from the free throw line.

Men’s Rookie of the Week: Mike Rapoza (Anna Maria | Fr. | Charlton, Mass.): Rapoza averaged 18.5 points and 15.0 rebounds in an 0-2 week for the AMCATS. The big man had 21 points and 12 boards in 39 minutes against Emmanuel before producing 16 points and 18 rebounds at Suffolk en route to his third consecutive GNAC Rookie of the Week honor.

Men’s Milestone of the Week: Marcos Echevarria (Nichols | Soph. | Lynn, Mass.): Echevarria became the 28th student-athlete in program history to reach the 1,000-point mark for his career last week, averaging 26 points per game in back-to-back wins. He knocked down eight trifectas en route route to scoring 30 in a road win at Roger Williams last Wednesday and then scored 22 points in a win over Gordon on Saturday. Echevarria , who is only a sophomore, also averaged six assists and 3.5 steals last week.

Men’s Honor Roll: 

Samuel Durodola (Becker | Jr. | Rosedale, N.Y.): Durodola’s dominant play continued this past week, as he averaged 28.5 points, 14.0 rebounds and 5.0 assists per game in two Becker victories. The junior forward also shot 74 percent from the floor. In the Hawks’ 89-69 win over Wheelock, Durodola had a monster performance with 27 points, 18 rebounds and six assists. Durodola reached a double-double just 15:08 into the game. Then, in Becker’s 89-80 win against Newbury, Durodola had a career-high 30 points with ten rebounds, shooting 13 of 15 from the floor. For his performances, Durodola was named New England Collegiate Conference (NECC) Player of the Week.

Antonio White Jr. (Becker | Fr. | Middletown, Conn.): White has been a major force in his first season with the Hawks. He is averaged 19.5 points and 9.5 rebounds this past week in a pair of Becker wins. In the 89-69 victory over Wheelock, White scored 20 of his career-high 30 points in the second half to go along with six rebounds. Then, in the 89-80 win against Newbury, White scored nine points while pulling down a game high 13 boards. For his performances, White was named the New England Collegiate Conference (NECC) Rookie of the Week.

Jaleel Bell (Fitchburg State | Sr. |Dorchester, Mass.): Bell averaged 19.5 points, nine rebounds, three assists and three steals in two games for the Falcons last week. He registered a double-double of 21 points and ten rebounds, along with two assists and two steals in a 78-69 overtime win against Framingham State before adding a game-best 18 points, eight boards, four assists and four steals in a 75-59 triumph against Westfield State on Saturday.

Malachi Alexander (Holy Cross | Sr. | Bowie, Md.): Alexander led the Crusaders with 15 points, seven rebounds, a career-high five steals and three assists in his team’s victory over American. He scored a team-high 20 points on eight of 13 shooting at Loyola. He finished the week with 11 points, five rebounds, three assists and three steals at Navy.

DeAnte Bruton (Nichols | Fr. | New London, Conn.): Bruton scored a game-high 30 points in a home win over Gordon on Saturday. He made 57 percent of his field goals and also recorded four assists. For the week, Bruton averaged 19 points, 5.0 rebounds and 4.0 assists while shooting 42 percent.

Corey Gatta (Worcester State | Jr. | Sturbridge, Mass.): Gatta averaged 13 points, 2.5 rebounds and 2.5 assists in a 1-1 week for the Lancers. In his team’s 69-60 win over Westfield State, Gatta went 5-for-10 (50%) from the field and two-for-five (40%) from beyond the arc. On Saturday, Gatta went 5-for-11 from the field (45.5%) and drained four-of-seven triples (57.1%) to tally 14 points in the win over MCLA.

Cal Howes (Worcester State | Fr. | Maynard, Mass.): The first-year guard averaged eight points and three rebounds in a 2-0 week for the Lancers. Howes scored five points in the win over Westfield State, and then went four-for-eight (50%) from the field and three-for-five (60%) from three-point range to total 11 points in his team’s 80-54 win over MCLA.

Chris Rodgers (WPI | Jr. | Franklin, Mass.): Rodgers had another outstanding week for the Engineers, averaging 20.5 points and 8.5 rebounds to go with seven assists, four steals and one block. He scored 18 against Coast Guard before erupting for a career-high 23, while narrowly missing a double double with nine boards, at Springfield. He had the final say for the Crimson and Gray in both contests as he canned a pair of freebies and punctuated Wednesday’s win with a dunk. He then went on to register the final seven points on Saturday.

Catching Up With Babson College’s Joey Flannery

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Babson College senior Joey Flannery has the Beavers in position for an exciting rest of the season. (PHOTO CREDIT: Babson College Athletics)

By NoontimeSports.com (@NoontimeSports

Joey Flannery considers it a privilege to be a part of the Babson College men’s basketball team.

The three-time New England Women’s and Men’s Athletic Conference (NEWMAC) Player of the Year has the Beavers yet again in position to make a deep postseason run. Flannery is averaging a team-high 22.7 points per game and 6.3 rebounds per games, too.

Last Saturday, he guided the Green and White to their best start in program history as Babson improved to 16-1 overall with a 15-point victory over Coast Guard Academy.

Last night, Flannery and the Beavers extended their current winning streak to eight games as Babson topped Clark, 90-81, to improve to 17-1 overall and 7-0 in league play.

Babson, currently the top team in the latest D3Hoops.com poll (and in our Noontime Sports Top 10 Poll, too), is back in action Saturday, January 28th when they host Emerson College.

Prior to last night’s contest against the Cougars, Noontime Sports caught up with Flannery to discuss his final season with the Green and White, what he plans to do after graduation and who is all-time favorite Boston Celtics player is, too.

Your team established the program’s best start this past weekend, winning 16 of 17 games. What does that record mean to you?

“It’s great to be recognized. We try not to look too much into the numbers or record because our focus is to take it one day at a time. It is nice to be recognized, especially as a member of this great program.”

Your team matched a school-record for three-pointers (18) last weekend against Coast Guard Academy. How have you and your teammates been able to be so successful beyond the arc this season?

Nick Comenale has helped our offense move the ball around on extremely well. We have guys, including him, in our starting five that are willing to shoot three’s, but the big thing for our offense (this season) is we’re moving the ball around knowing if we have a good shot that we’ll get an even better shot with a few more passes. Against Coast Guard, our shots were falling early, but I think our ball movement was the key for us beyond the arc. If we continue to swing it around once or twice and get two reversals then our team can shoot with confidence.”

Who is the best three-point shooter on the team?

“I would have to say Nick. We always go back-and-forth in practice on who is sinking deeper shots, but it is hands down Nick.”

What have been one or two (or perhaps three) memories you have from being a member of the Babson men’s basketball program?

“There is always a moment (or two) that stands out from each season. During my sophomore year we had some great comeback wins, while another memory would be winning the NEWMAC Tournament at home the past two seasons. Additionally, we have had a great home court advantage (during my time at Babson) and having home court advantage up until the ‘Final Four’ two years ago was awesome. Winning in front of our home crowd has been fun (especially when we beat Trinity in the NCAA Sectional Finals). Those are just some big moments (from my time here as a student-athlete), but this team is so tight, we have a lot of seniors and juniors that have been together for a while, so I think hanging out off the court and being together is another great memory of mine.”

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Joey Flannery and the Beavers have enjoyed their best start in program history, winning 17 of 18 contests as of Wednesday, January 26, 2017. (PHOTO CREDIT: Babson College Athletics)

Last week, your team rallied to defeat MIT on the road, thanks to a 54-point second half effort. Was that the biggest second half rally you have ever been a part of?

“I have been a part of some big rallies over the past four years here at Babson. During my sophomore year, we had to rally back in a few games when we trailed by 15 (or more points). One of those games we rallied back to win was against Becker (my sophomore year). We have been down at half before, but we have a lot of experience from the past couple of years and even when we were down against MIT, we still had confidence and that togetherness allowed us to come out of the locker room with a positive mindset, knowing the game wasn’t over. After eight or ten minutes, we were still trailing, but that was when we turned it on and went on a run to win the game. We locked in, got stops, moved the ball offensively and got some good looks, so I think the game (as a whole) is a testament to us being unselfish and not panicking. We were down by 15 points, we didn’t take too many quick shots on offense, but we just pushed the tempo and got looks every time we went on offense.”

What is your major and what do you hope to do with it?

“I am concentrating on economics, but at the moment I am still deciding what direction I want this degree to take me. I really hope to remain involved with basketball after graduation, so being a coach is something that interests me currently, but it’s an exciting feeling to know I will have a degree from Babson.”

What would your dream basketball job be?

“I would love to coach in college and eventually elevate myself to the professional position. My dream job would be in player development because I love picking apart details, both on and off the court and through workouts. If I don’t end up coaching, then I would be fine with being a behind the scenes guy, specifically working in a player development role.”

Being a Massachusetts native, I presume you are a Boston Celtics fan, so who is your all-time favorite Celtic player?

“Everyone is a Larry Bird fan here in Massachusetts. I was unable to watch him (compete), but he is definitely at the top of my list (of all-time great Celtics). I would have to say my favorite Celtic was Paul Pierce. He was always the player I watched growing up and to see him lead the Celtics to a NBA championship in 2008 was very exciting. Even though I don’t have all the shots that he took, I try to take what I can from his game and apply it to my game as a small forward.”

Finally, what’s the best part about being a member of the Babson community, both as a student and student-athlete?

“It has to be the friendships I have made (over the past few years). Not just the friendships with my teammates, but various members of the campus’ community and other student-athletes, too. I have so many close friends here that I know I will stay in-touch with forever. The bonds we have established is one of the many things I love about this community.”

The WACBA Stats & Standings Report

wacba-logoBy WACBA Hoops (@WACBAHoops

Yesterday – Tuesday, to be exact – we unveiled our usual Worcester Area College Basketball Association (WACBA) Honor Roll for both the men and women.

Today, we bring you the updated statistics and standings through Sunday, January 22, 2017: wacba-01-22

Make sure to follow WACBA on Twitter to stay up to date with all the Worcester basketball teams!

NECC Men’s Basketball Conference Play Heating Up

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Becker College first-year Antonio White Jr. and the Hawks currently occupy first place in the NECC. (PHOTO CREDIT: Foley Photography)

By Matt Noonan (@MattNoonan11

We have an interesting conference race taking place (and heating up) in the New England Collegiate Conference (NECC) – it has been one of the various leagues we have been eyeing the past few weeks.

As of this afternoon, the Becker College men’s basketball team appears to be in the driver seat for the top spot. Yet, they still have some important games remaining, including a late afternoon/early evening clash with the Wildcats of Wheelock College – that game is scheduled to tip-off at 5:30 p.m.

Wheelock enters the game in a two-way tie for fourth place with Daniel Webster College – the Eagles are 2-2 in their last four games, but scored an impressive win over Lesley University 10 days ago (to be exact!).

The Lynx have been a fun story this season – they’re currently in sole possession of third place with a 6-3 conference ledger and have won 12 games, which matches their win total from the 2007-08 season.

Let’s also not overlook Southern Vermont, which has won five-straight contests. They’re idle this evening, but return to action on Thursday against Mitchell College. The Mountaineers captured the NECC crown last season en route to their second trip in program history to the NCAA Tournament.

The Mountaineers defeated Becker in tournament finale – could we be headed that way again? It’s possible – the two teams are scheduled to meet next month. Southern Vermont will host the initial meeting on Monday, February 6 before traveling to Becker on Wednesday, February 8. Both games will be must-follow!

Finally, keep an eye on Regis College and Mitchell – both teams could make some late season surges and make the positioning for the six-team tournament quite interesting!