New England Basketball Weekend Watch (Friday, Jan. 17th)

NEWKNDHOOPSWATCH011020

By Matt Noonan | @NoontimeNation 

Happy Friday, everyone – hope you are all staying warm on this bone-chilly (and windy) day in Boston.

Did I hear there was some snow in the forecast for tomorrow? When does the warm weather arrive?

Well, while we anxiously wait for temperatures that we had a week ago, let’s dish out a brand new ‘New England Basketball: Weekend Watch’ with some thoughts on a few local D-III games.


Colby College at Middlebury College (Friday, Jan. 17th at 7 p.m.): A battle between our top two teams in this week’s Noontime Top 10 Men’s Basketball Poll.

The Mules of Colby enter the contest riding an impressive 13-game winning streak – they extended that streak last weekend with back-to-back wins over Connecticut College and Trinity College. Sam Jefferson is one of two players in the New England Small College Athletic Conference (NESCAC) averaging 22.8 points per game – he will certainly be a player to watch on Friday evening, as well as someone the Panthers will need to locate when he is on the court.

As for the Panthers, they enter this marquee matchup with a 15-1 mark – they lost last weekend to Amherst College but rebounded the following day with a one-point win over Hamilton College. Tommy Eastman highlighted the Blue and White’s win over the Continentals – similar to Jefferson, he will also be a player to watch in this contest.

Noontime’s Prediction: I think the Panthers’ win over Hamilton provided them with some momentum that not only helped them against Albertus Magnus earlier this week but should assist them to make a few more plays than Colby, especially down the stretch. Middlebury will beat Colby, 81-78. 

Tufts University at Amherst College (Saturday, January 18th at 3 p.m.): It may be too early to call this a ‘must-win’ game for both teams, but as two of the top three women’s basketball teams in the NESCAC, this is a VERY important contest.

Since falling to Emmanuel College last month, the Mammoths have won 11-straight – they will attempt to make it 12-straight wins when they host Bates College this evening with tip-off scheduled for 7 p.m.

Amherst’s Madeline Eck was named the conference’s player of the week on Monday – she entered the week averaging 15.6 points per game. The senior guard, who has played and started in all 15 games this season, has converted 72.1 percent of her free throws while averaging seven caroms per contest.

First-year coach Jill Pace has enjoyed a very successful start with the Jumbos, who enter this weekend riding a 14-game winning streak. Before Tufts visits Amherst on Saturday, they will travel to Hamilton on Friday for a 7 p.m. tip-off.

Tufts opened conference play last week with a 78-60 win over Wesleyan University – it was a game that featured a double-double of 28 points and 10 rebounds by Erica DeCandido. DeCandido will be a player to watch on the Powder Blue and White against the Mammoths on Saturday.

Noontime’s Prediction: This will be a good test for both teams, but Amherst has been impressive since falling to the Saints and should find a way to beat the Jumbos on their home court by a score of 63-57. 


Time for some ‘extra picks’ for the weekend! 

MBB: Tufts (MBB) over Hamilton (Jan. 17th): After falling to Suffolk University earlier this week, the Jumbos will find a way to bounce back against the Continentals before hosting the Mammoths on Saturday afternoon.

MBB: Emmanuel College over Lasell University (Jan. 18th): Coach Danny Lawson and the Saints should continue their recent momentum at home against the Lasers and score their first conference win of 2020.

WBB: Smith College over Emerson College (Jan. 18th): The Pioneers scored an impressive road win earlier this week against the Ephs of Williams College and should be able to continue that momentum on the other side of the state against the Lions.

MBB: Endicott College over Roger Williams (Jan. 18th): The Gulls have rebounded nicely since falling to Nichols College earlier this month with back-to-back wins over Curry College and Gordon College. Look for a big game on Saturday from Keith Brown and Jalen Echevarria.

WBB: Rhode Island College over UMass Boston (Jan. 18th): RIC appears to be the team to beat in the Little East Conference (LEC) – they enter Saturday’s match-up riding an 11-game winning streak. RIC’s Willcia McBorrough will be the player to watch in this contest.

WBB: Westfield State over Bridgewater State (Jan. 18th): After surrendering 101 points to Framingham State last weekend, the Owls have rebounded with some important conference wins over Fitchburg State and Worcester State. Look for Blue and White to extend their current winning streak to three games on Saturday.

WBB: Eastern Nazarene at Mitchell College (Jan. 18th): The Lions appear to be the team to beat (and watch) in the New England Collegiate Conference (NECC) – this has the making of a potential postseason preview.


Stay connected with Noontime Sports on FacebookInstagramTwitter, and YouTube

D3 Basketball: Women’s Top 10 Poll (Monday, Jan. 13th, 2020)

WBBTOP102020SOCIAL

By NoontimeSports.com | @NoontimeNation

Tufts University remained the TOP team in our seventh New England D-III Women’s Basketball Top 10 after winning a trio of games last week, including their conference opener against Wesleyan University. The Jumbos will be on the road this week with contests at Hamilton College on Friday, January 17th and Amherst College on Saturday, January 18th.

The Mammoths of Amherst opened conference play with back-to-back wins over Middlebury College and Williams College to extend their current winning streaks to 10-games. Amherst is in action three times this week, including Tuesday, January 14th when they host Wesleyan.

Similar to Tufts, Bowdoin College enters the week riding an impressive 14-game winning streak, which will be put to the test three times this week against Maine-Presque Isle, Middlebury, and Williams.

WPI joined the poll this week following a few impressive regional wins over Westfield State, Williams, and Western New England. The Engineers will host Middlebury on Tuesday before hopping into conference play eight days later against Clark University.

And finally, Rhode Island College checked-in fifth overall after picking up their tenth-straight win this past weekend against Keene State. RIC visits ninth-ranked Eastern Connecticut on Wednesday for an important conference clash.


New England D-III Basketball Women’s Top 10 Week Five Poll| Monday, January 13th, 2020

1. Tufts University 14-0, 1-0 NESCAC Last Week: No. 1
2. Bowdoin College  14-0, 2-0 NESCAC Last Week: No. 2
3. Amherst College 13-1, 2-0 NESCAC Last Week: No. 3
4. WPI  10-4, 0-0 NEWMAC Last Week: Not Ranked
5. Rhode Island College 13-1, 6-0 LEC Last Week: No. 8
6. Brandeis University 10-2, 0-1 UAA Last Week: No. 6 
7. Williams College 12-2, 1-1 NESCAC Last Week: No. 4
8. Smith College 13-1, 0-0 NEWMAC Last Week: No. 5
9. Eastern Connecticut 11-2, 5-0 LEC Last Week: No. 9
10. Western New Eng. 11-3, 4-1 CCC Last Week: No. 7

ON THE RISE: Babson College, Bates College, Emmanuel College, Middlebury College, Springfield College, Trinity College, UMass Boston, University of New England, and Wesleyan University,


Previous Polls: Preseason Poll |Week OneWeek TwoWeek Three|Week Four Week FiveWeek Six 

 

D3 Basketball: Men’s Basketball Top 10 Poll (Monday, Jan. 13th, 2020)

D3MBBSOCIAL202

By NoontimeSports.com | @NoontimeNation

Middlebury College remained our TOP team in our seventh New England D-III Men’s Basketball Top 10 Poll after a 2-1 week for the Panthers, which saw the Blue and White beat Hamilton College and Plattsburgh State.

Yes, the Panthers did lose their conference opener to Amherst College, but they were able to turn around one day later and score a one-point win over Hamilton. Both Amherst and Hamilton remained on our weekly poll this week, checking in eighth and ninth, respectively.

Colby College stretched its winning streak to 13-straight, thanks to back-to-back conference wins last weekend over Connecticut College and Trinity College. The Mules visit Middlebury on Friday, January 17th in what should be a very exciting (and interesting) contest.

Babson College remained our third team, despite falling to fourth-ranked Springfield College in their conference opener. The Beavers rebounded with an impressive win on the road against WPI.

Finally, Brandeis University returned to the poll following a 76-71 win over New York University. The Judges, who have won four straight, will look to continue their recent momentum this weekend against both Rochester and Emory.


New England D-III Basketball Men’s Top 10 Week Six Poll| Monday, January 13th, 2020

1. Middlebury College 14-1, 1-1 NESCAC Last Week: No. 1
2. Colby College  13-0, 2-0 NESCAC Last Week: No. 2
3. Babson College 11-2, 1-1 NEWMAC Last Week: No. 3
4. Springfield College 11-2, 2-0 NEWMAC Last Week: No. 8
5. Albertus Magnus  11-1, 0-0 GNAC Last Week: No. 4
6. Tufts University 11-2, 1-0 NESCAC Last Week: No. 6
7. WPI 10-3, 1-1 NEWMAC Last Week: No. 5
8. Amherst College 10-4, 1-1 NESCAC Last Week: No. 7
9. Hamilton College 11-3, 1-1 NESCAC Last Week: No. 9
10. Brandeis University 9-3, 1-0 UAA Last Week: Not Ranked

ON THE RISE: Endicott College, Nichols College, Rhode Island College, and Western Connecticut 


Previous Polls: Preseason Poll |Week One| Week Two | Week ThreeWeek Four| Week Five |Week Six

New England Basketball Weekend Watch (Jan. 10th-12th)

NEWKNDHOOPSWATCH011020

By Matt Noonan | @NoontimeNation 

Another busy weekend of New England D-III college basketball is set to tip-off this afternoon and evening – hope you are ready for some great games to watch and follow!

Let’s begin with one game to watch in Medford, Massachusetts this evening as the Tufts University women’s basketball team welcomes Wesleyan University to Cousens Gymnasium for a 7 p.m. tip-off.

Friday’s clash between the Cardinals and Jumbos marks the official start of New England Small College Athletic Conference (NESCAC) play.

Tufts enters tonight’s contest riding an impressive 13-game winning streak, which has included recent wins over UMass DartmouthSUNYIT, and Wheaton College. Emily Briggs highlighted the Powder and Blue’s effort against the Lyons on Wednesday by connecting on 7 of 10 field goals for 19 points – she also made all three freebies. Erica DeCandido chipped in 13 points on six of eight shooting.

Wesleyan should certainly provide Tufts with some challenges on both ends of the court – the Cardinals have won eight of 11 contests thus far, including an early January clash with Babson College. The Cardinals began their 2019-20 campaign with six-straight wins.

In their last outing against SUNY Geneseo, last weekend, Caleigh Ryan and Katy O’Connor combined for 24 points, while Emma Roush added 10 points off the bench. 

A few other NESCAC women’s games to watch tonight and this weekend include Bowdoin College at Trinity College (1/10 at 7 p.m.), Amherst College at Middlebury College (1/10 at 7 p.m.), and Amherst at Williams College on Saturday, January 11th at 3 p.m.

On the men’s side of the NESCAC, keep an eye on Friday’s clash between Middlebury and Amherst. The Panthers have won 13-straight contests, including three consecutive 2020 meetings with Colby-SawyerSpringfield College, and Plattsburgh State. This particular outing should be a good test for the Panthers, but also the Mammoths, who began the new year with a 116-44 win over Lesley University before falling to Wesleyan three days later by a score of 79-77.

My prediction for Friday’s Amherst-Middlebury game is the following: The Mammoths will prevail and receive some major contributions from Grant Robinson, Fru Che, and Eric Sellew.

Tomorrow (Saturday, January 11th), WPI will entertain Babson in a very enticing New England Women’s and Men’s Athletic Conference (NEWMAC) contest. The Engineers began conference play earlier this week against MIT, while the Beavers were edged on Wednesday by Springfield.

It’s too early to say this a must-win for the Beavers (or Engineers) as all eight teams play each other twice in a single-season, but this could be a potential preview of the conference championship game next month.

Other Games to Watch (and Follow) this Weekend: 

  • WBB: Framingham State at Westfield State (Saturday, Jan. 11th at 12 p.m.): The Rams can begin conference play with a win on the road against an Owls team, which has not won a game since beating Plymouth State in mid-to-late November.
  • WBB: Western New England at Wentworth Inst. of Technology (Saturday, Jan. 11th at 1 p.m.): Look for the Golden Bears to bounce back after losing to WPI earlier this week. A win over the Leopards would provide WNE with their fourth conference win and keep them within at least one or two games of the University of New England.
  • WBB: Brandeis University at New York University (Saturday, Jan. 11th at 1 p.m.): The Judges face another 10-1 squad in an important conference meeting. Brandeis has won 10 of 11 contests this season so I expect that momentum will help them against the Violets.
  • MBB: Keene State at Rhode Island College (Saturday, Jan. 11th at 3 p.m.): This is an important meeting for both teams as the Anchormen and Owls are in a three-way tie with Western Connecticut for the top spot in the conference. Look for the Anchormen to bounce back after losing to Western Connecticut earlier this week.

D3 Basketball: Women’s Top 10 Poll (Monday, Jan. 6th, 2020)

WBBTOP10SOCIAL

By NoontimeSports.com | @NoontimeNation

Prior to their initial Monday contest of 2020, the Tufts University women’s basketball team checked-in first overall in our weekly Monday New England D-III women’s basketball Top 10 poll followed by Bowdoin College (second) and Amherst College (third).

Both Bowdoin and Tufts have won 11 consecutive contests – the two squads will meet at the end of the month in Maine. Tufts concluded the month of December with some impressive wins over Christopher Newport and TCNJ, while the Polar Bears ended 2019 with back-to-back victories against Cal Lutheran and Chapman.

Since falling to Emmanuel College early last month, the Mammoths of Amherst have been impressive to watch – the Purple and White have recently scored wins against Chapman, Widener, and Stevens. Amherst will entertain Albertus Magnus on Tuesday, January 7th before visiting Middlebury College on Friday, January 10th and Williams College on Saturday, January 11th.

The Ephs commenced 2020 with a win this past weekend against Skidmore College – prior to their win against the Thoroughbreds, Williams scored wins against Babson College, Delaware Valley, and Ursinus.


New England D-III Basketball Women’s Top 10 Week Five Poll| Monday, January 6th, 2020

1. Tufts University 11-0, 0-0 NESCAC Previously: No. 1
2. Bowdoin College  11-0, 0-0 NESCAC Previously: No. 2
3. Amherst College 10-1, 0-0 NESCAC Previously: No. 3
4. Williams College 11-0, 0-0 NESCAC Previously: No. 4
5. Smith College 12-0, 0-0 NEWMAC Previously: No. 7
6. Brandeis University 10-1, 0-0 UAA Previously: No. 5
7. Western New England 9-2, 2-1 CCC Previously: No. 6
8. Rhode Island College 10-1, 3-0 LEC Previously: No. 8
9. Eastern Connecticut 8-2, 2-0 LEC Previously: No. 10
10. Wesleyan University 8-3, 0-0 NESCAC Previously: Not Ranked

ON THE RISE: Middlebury College, Springfield College, Trinity College, UMass Boston, University of New England, and WPI 


Previous Polls: Preseason Poll |Week OneWeek TwoWeek Three|Week Four Week Five