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

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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)

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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)

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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.

Noontime’s Boston Sports Notebook: Will Tom Brady Return?

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By Matt Noonan | @NoontimeNation 

It’s been just four days since the New England Patriots season concluded, but the setback to the Tennesse Titans doesn’t seem to be on the mind of many these days.

Instead, the biggest issue surrounding our beloved football team is the future of quarterback Tom Brady – will he really leave Boston as a free agent and sign with the Dallas CowboysLas Vegas Raiders or Los Angeles Chargers? Or will he stay in New England for one or two more seasons?

The speculation began quickly after the final whistle sounded last Saturday evening at Gillette Stadium as various reporters pressed the long-time signal-caller on his future with the team. Brady didn’t seem interested in discussing future plans. Instead, it appeared as if he wanted to go home and fall asleep. He also didn’t seem interested in reflecting on the entire 2019 season, too, which saw New England win eight-straight contests.

Will or will not, Tom Brady, return to New England will remain at the forefront of social media, blogs, websites, and media outlets going forward. But I have a hunch that Brady returns next season and concludes his career with the Patriots, not another team.

Watching Brady play for the Cowboys or Raiders would just seem strange in my opinion – I, along with other New England fans, would have a hard time seeing the six-time Super Bowl champion donning a different uniform.

I don’t know Brady – I have never covered any of his games, but have enjoyed watching him as both a fan and season ticket holder, and believe he will stick around the area and finish his impressive career as a Patriot, not a Cowboy or Charger. But for Brady to remain with the organization, New England is going to need to acquire some additional pieces on the offensive end so they can compete for a seventh championship next fall.

Brady, who just didn’t seem to have fun this season, needs help. And he certainly knows he can’t win games going forward with just Julian Edelman and James White. He needs receivers and tight ends that are accustomed to winning, but also those that are willing to commit to the process (also known as the ‘Patriot Way.’).

We’re still weeks (and months) away from finding out where Brady is headed, but again, I just have a feeling – yes, a feeling – that he returns for one or two more seasons and leads New England to their seventh (and maybe eighth) Super Bowl.

If Brady wins seven or eight Super Bowls then it will be really hard to say he is not the greatest ever to play football, right?

Noontime’s Quick Thoughts on some Boston sports news (and notes): 

  • The Boston Celtics have been really impressive and fun to watch this season – I think this team is destined for a deep postseason run.

    But after observing some of their previous starts against the Atlanta Hawks and Washington Wizards, all I can say is the following: they need to play good basketball wire-to-wire, but also not allow mediocre teams dictate the pace of play following the opening tip.

    The Green and White host San Antonio this evening – the Spurs are currently eighth in the Western Conference – and should certainly provide the Celtics with a good test. But a win over the Spurs this evening followed by a victory tomorrow against the Philadelphia 76ers is a must for a team that didn’t play their best basketball against the Hawks and Wizards. Sure, they beat Atlanta (and the Chicago Bulls one night later), but if I am Brad Stevens, my message would be the following: we dictate the pace of play, not our opponent.

  • Could Alex Cora get suspended for 81 games or the entire 2020 season due to the latest report of the Boston Red Sox stealing signs during their 2018 World Series run?

    I think it is possible – do others?

    This is a bad look for the local nine that did not qualify for the postseason last year and has seemed to take a backseat to bolstering their roster this offseason, so they can compete with some of the best in the American League this season, including the New York Yankees.

  • In case you missed it, the Boston College men’s basketball team scored an impressive (and exciting) win last night over 18th ranked Virginia – hope Bob Whitney enjoyed watching this particular game.

    The win bumps the Eagles record to 9-6 overall and should provide the Maroon and Gold with momentum heading into upcoming contests against Georgia Tech and Syracuse University.

    Duke University remains the top team in the Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC) while the Eagles sit two spots below the Blue Devils with a 3-1 league record.


Stay connected with our Noontime Nation Boston Sports coverage on Twitter by following @NS_Boston

WACBA Women’s Basketball Honor Roll (Tuesday, January 7th, 2020)

WACBABy NoontimeSports.com | @NoontimeNation & @WACBAHoops 

Happy New Year!

A few weeks of college basketball in the Worcester area are in the books, which means it is time to unveil our fifth Worcester Area College Basketball Association (WACBA) Women’s Honor Roll for the 2019-20 season.

Noontime Sports is proud to sponsor with WACBA for the seventh consecutive season to host the weekly honor roll, which will be seen every Tuesday throughout the current college basketball season. Each week, we will select a player and rookie of the week, as well as highlight various milestones, too.

Fans of Worcester college basketball are encouraged to follow @WACBAHoops on Twitter for scores, news and more. 


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Lauren Manis averaged 18.8 points and 12.0 rebounds in six contests for Holy Cross over the holiday break. (PHOTO COURTESY: Mark Seliger)

Women’s Player of the Week: Lauren Manis (Holy Cross | Sr. | Franklin, Mass.): In six games between Saturday, December 14th, 2019 and Saturday, January 4, 2020, Lauren Manis averaged 18.8 points and 12.0 rebounds as the Crusaders went 5-1. During that six-game stretch, the senior forward chipped in 14 assists, nine steals, and six blocks while shooting .519 from the field and .600 from 3-point range. She had five games with double-doubles, including a 28-point, 11-rebound showing against New Hampshire on Dec. 22; she had four straight games with 20 or more points. She opened conference play at Loyola on Jan. 2 with a 16-rebound, 13-point performance, and with 12 rebounds at Navy on Jan. 4, she became the third player in program history to surpass the 1,000-rebound mark for her career.


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Becker College first-year Natasha Pacheco averaged 5.0 points, 10.0 rebounds, 2.3 assists and 2.3 steals per game over three games for the Hawks. (PHOTO COURTESY: Brian Foley)

Women’s Rookie of the Week: Natasha Pacheco (Becker College | Freshman | Fairfax, Va.): Pacheco continued to show why she was one of the best rookies in the region during the holiday break by averaging 5.0 points, 10.0 rebounds, 2.3 assists and 2.3 steals per game over three games. In Becker’s win at Lesley this past Saturday, the first-year was a dominant force in the paint, pulling down a career-high 19 rebounds while scoring ten points with five assists and a steal. Pacheco’s 19 boards matched the total for the entire Lesley team.


Women’s WACBA Honor Roll | Tuesday, January 7th, 2020

Riley Berry (Becker | Sophomore | Margate, Fla.): Berry averaged 10.3 points per game with 3.3 steals and 3.0 rebounds.  In Becker’s win at Lesley this past Saturday, the sophomore finished with 10 points on the day, including a career-high seven steals.

Brianna Capacchione (Assumption College | Senior | Washington Township, N.J.):  Capacchione has been instrumental to Assumption’s success over the past few weeks, averaging 15.4 points, 6.0 rebounds and 2.2 assists in five contests while being the leading scorer in three of them. In the Hounds’ win over Caldwell, Capacchione put up eight points while adding four rebounds, two assists, and two steals. Against Saint Michael’s she led the team with 19 points while adding six rebounds, four assists, and one block. She continued her success against District of Columbia where she led the Blue and White with 16 points and added seven rebounds. Capacchione also led the team with 21 points with six rebounds, three assists, two steals and one block in the Hounds’ victory over Dominican. This past Sunday, Capacchione helped her team to their fifth consecutive victory by stuffing the stat sheet with 13 points, seven rebounds, one assist and one block.

Sierra Johnson (Anna Maria College | Sr. | Brockton, Mass.): Johnson concluded the holiday break by averaging 20.25 points in four contests with her best performance occurring this past weekend against Dean College. Johnson converted 12 of 18 shots against the Bulldogs, including three trifectas for a career-high 37 points. She finished one point shy of matching Meghan DePatsy‘s single-game record of 38 points.

Emily Sifferlen (Clark University | Sophomore | North Andover, Mass.): Since the last WACBA report, Sifferlen has been a player to watch – she averaged 24.75 points in four contests while netting a new career-high of 30 points in a late December setback to Drew. The second-year guard netted 26 points or more in three contests to bump her points per game average to 16.2 through 13 contests this season. Additionally, Sifferlen pulled down 12 rebounds, including a season-best eight caroms against Suffolk on Tuesday, December 10th, while tallying seven assists in all four contests. She is currently averaging 4.2 rebounds and 1.9 assists per game.

Spencer Vinson (WPI | Sr. | Los Angeles, CA): Vinson, a Southern California native, had a strong showing in front of family and friends as the Engineers won both games on during their holiday trip.  The senior shared team-high honors with 14 points as the Crimson and Gray began their west coast swing with an 80-61 victory over Occidental.  Vinson then scored the first six points of the game and ended up with a double-double (career-high equaling 20 points and 10 rebounds) in a wire-to-wire in a 60-45 triumph over host Caltech.  Over the four games during break, the center averaged 13.8 points and 7.0 rebounds while shooting 64.1% from the floor.


Fans of Worcester college basketball are encouraged to follow @WACBAHoops on Twitter for scores, news and more.