Mass. College Hoops: Sam Longwell Records First Career-Triple Double, WPI Tops Wheaton (VIDEO)

By Matt Noonan

WPI senior Sam Longwell recorded his first career triple-double as the Engineers – ranked eighth in the latest D3Hoops.com poll – defeated Wheaton College, 92-68, in NEWMAC play on Saturday afternoon at Harrington Auditorium.

Longwell netted 24 points – 22 points in the first half – and registered 12 rebounds and 10 assists in his team’s 15th win of the season, fifth in conference play.

The Engineers led, 51-37, at the break, but added an additional 41 points during the final 20 minutes to seal the win. Junior Aaron Davis registered eight points and eight boards, while senior Domenick Mastascusa stuffed the stat sheet with 11 points, five rebounds, three assists and one steal.

Wheaton junior Billy Battaglia and senior Mike O’Loughlin netted 18 points, respectively.

Below is a postgame interview with Longwell and Davis, courtesy of WPI’s YouTube Channel.

Mass. College Hoops: No. 14 WPI Falls Short To No. 13 Albertus Magnis In NCAA Tournament

By NoontimeSports.com

Courtesy of the WPI sports information department, here’s this evening’s release from the Engineers’ first-round NCAA Tournament matchup against Albertus Magnus. WPI lost to Albertus Magnus, 68-66:

Purchase, NY — No. 13 ranked Albertus Magnus used a late 11-2 run to rally to defeat No. 14 ranked WPI 68-66 Friday evening in a NCAA Division III Men’s Basketball Tournament first round contest played at SUNY Purchase.

Albertus Magnus (27-2) advances to Saturday’s second round at 7pm against the winner of the host Panthers and Hartwick. WPI, who was appearing in its eighth NCAA Tournament in the last 10 years, completes its season with a 22-5 mark.

WPI went ahead 56-53 on a long 3-pointer by Matt Harrington (Shrewsbury, MA) with 5:30 left.  After the two teams traded baskets, the Falcons embarked upon game-deciding spurt when James Jennings (Bridgeport, CT) canned a trifecta of his own to level the game at 58-58.

Lightning-quick point guard Eian Davis (Brooklyn, NY) responded with a free throw and a short jumper and big man Victor Ljuljdjuraj (Yorktown Heights, NY) drained a pair of buckets sandwiched around an Aaron Davis (Marshfield, MA) jumper for WPI, giving AMC a 65-60 edge with a minute left.

After the two teams combined for three empty possessions, Albertus Magnus nailed three free throws in the final 12 seconds to hold off a hard-charging Engineer team that connected on a pair of three-pointers in the same span, including one at the buzzer by Aaron Davis.

The first half began at a frantic pace, with Albertus Magnus canning 7-of-8 shots from the floor en route to a 10 point edge at 29-19 midway through the stanza.  At that point, WPI’s defense took over and spearheaded a 15-0 run highlighted by four charges taken that helped fuel a 36-34 halftime advantage.

Eian Davis dodged foul trouble, including three before halftime to register game-highs of 22 points, six assists and two steals. Darius Watson (New Britain, CT) scored 14 of his 18 points in the first half, including drilling all four of his 3-pointers in a 4:32 span early in the game while the 6-8 Ljuljdjuraj posted 14 points and 11 rebounds en route to a double-double.

Domenick Mastascusa (North Reading, MA) was outstanding for WPI, tallying a team-best 19 points, to go along with seven boards, all defensive.

Zack Karalis (North Andover, MA) contributed 14 points, including four 3-pointers and tied his career-best nine rebounds.  Harrington matched his career-high with 11 points while Sam Longwell (Acton, MA) carried the mail early for the Crimson and Gray, scoring eight points before sliding over to help contain Watson in the second half.  Longwell will enter his senior season in November just 3 points short of 1,000.

Senior Ryan Kolb (Southington, CT) chipped in with seven points for the Engineers, who recorded assists on 18 of 24 baskets. on the night.   The game marked the final contest for Kolb and classmates Chad LaBove (Shrewsbury, MA) and Drew Osei (Buffalo, NY).

Mass. College Hoops: Early Afternoon Roundup

By Matt Noonan

There were more than a handful of contests that took place earlier this afternoon and below are their outcomes and summaries.

Men’s Basketball 

No. 14 WPI 88, Keene State 69: Sam Longwell netted a game-best 22 points, along with seven rebounds, four steals and one assist as the Engineers defeated Keene State in Worcester and improved to 9-1 overall.  Zach Karalis scored 15 points off the bench, while Ryan Kolb and Aaron Davis scored 12 points, respectively.

TCNJ 71, Westfield State 66: Grant Cooper led the Owls with 20 points and 17 rebounds, but that wasn’t enough for Westfield State, which saw its six point lead at the break disappear in the second half.

MIT 81, Wheelock 51: Andrew Acker and Justin Pedley each netted 20 points as the Engineers defeated the Wildcats in Cambridge. Acker also registered 16 rebounds, 12 on defense. Joe Reedy led Wheelock with 14 points.

Elms 73, Framingham State 57: Jerry Buchanon scored a game-high 27 points, as well as recorded seven rebounds, five steals and four assists as the Blazers defeated Framingham State in Chicopee. Charles Collins led the Rams with 17 points.

Women’s Basketball

Marist 76, Boston University 65: The Red Foxes outscored the Terriers, 40-27, in the second half, which helped them earn a non-conference victory in Boston. BU’s Sarah Hope led all players with 19 points, while Melissa Gallo contributed 12 points and Danielle Callahan scored 10 points.    

Anna Maria 72, Elms 49: Trafficia Warburton recorded a double-double with 29 points and 13 rebounds, along four assists, three steals and one block as the AMCATs defeated the Blazers in Chicopee. Gianna Youngblood led Elms with 20 points, while Denisha Parks registered a double-double with 11 points and 10 rebounds.

St. Joe’s (ME) 69, Framingham State 57: Morgan Cahill recorded a double-double with 15 points and 10 rebounds, while Mackenzie Dufour scored 15 points as the Monks defeated the Rams in Maine. Kristen Hoffman led Framingham State with 17 points.

Rhode Island College 48, UMass Boston 30: Olivia Murphy and Andrea Suffredini combined for 23 points in the Beacon’s first conference setback of the season.

Southern Maine 63, Salem State 34: Rachel Carter scored 10 points, while Jessica Kuzmickas registered six points off the bench, but that wasn’t enough to spark the Vikings to victory.

Gordon 67, Lesley 31: Fredi Nielsen poured in a game-high 18 points and pulled down 12 rebounds, as the Fighting Scots picked up their third win of the season. Tara Coleman led Lesley with 15 points.

Lasell 64, Plymouth State 59: Kayla Vincelette, Molly Lauver and Alexis Chappell each scored double figures as the Lasers beat the Panthers in New Hampshire.  

Wentworth 66, Maine-Farmington 61: The Leopards snapped their four-game skid thanks to 19 points from Rachael Camara and a double-double by Carly Rogers, who tallied 11 points and 15 rebounds.

Saint Rose 76, AIC 72: Alyssa Roach tallied 16 points, while Sarah Noble notched 14 points, but that wasn’t enough to lift the Yellow Jackets past Saint Rose.

Merrimack 67, So. New Hampshire 58: Chloe Rothman led the Warriors with 15 points, as well as recorded six assists and five rebounds, as Merrimack defeated Souther New Hampshire on the road.

Mass. College Hoops: WPI’s Bartley Reflects On NEWMAC Championship

Chris Bartley guided the Engineers to their first NEWMAC Championship since 2006 on Sunday afternoon! (Photo Credit: WPI Athletics)

Chris Bartley guided the Engineers to their first NEWMAC Championship since 2006 on Sunday afternoon! (Photo Credit: WPI Athletics)

By Matt Noonan 

WORCESTER, MA – After his team celebrated their first NEWMAC (New England Women’s and Men’s Athletic Conference) championship in seven seasons, WPI men’s basketball coach Chris Bartley shared his thought’s on the Engineers overtime win against Springfield College, as well as the play of Ryan Kolb, who netted a career-best 29 points.

With the win, WPI earned an automatic bid to the upcoming NCAA Division III championship, which will commence next weekend.

On ending a seven-year championship drought: “It’s something that I think about all the time. I don’t think our guy’s do because they weren’t here for all of them. The only ones that have been here for all of them are Ryan Cain and I.”

On what worked for the Engineers this year: I think the big thing that helped us this year with this group is we really did a better job of not focusing on the outcome and just focusing on what we needed to do each day and each possession. We really broke it down and everything was like a microcosm, so I’m proud of that. I thought we handled it well and I’ve got to tell you that I did not sleep one second last night, so I was extremely confident because I might have past out on the bench for not sleeping, but it was great.”

On Fending Off Springfield’s Second Half Rally: “You’ve got great players on Springfield College’s team and you’ve got leadership with Sean Martin and Alex Berthiaume, and those guys are season veterans. They’ve been through it, so we knew and didn’t say to our guys that they were going to make a run, but I was figuring they probably would and when Berthiaume got going a little bit, made some shots, it gave them confidence. When they took the lead by a three-pointer, I think things could have really gone south for us, but again I point to our guy’s mental toughness. Our guy’s are really mentally tough, all year and when they needed it to be at the most critical time they were and I thought Aaron Davis with the way he started overtime was phenomenal. Davis scored two baskets with his left hand on drives, which he hasn’t made that shot for a while for us, so it just shows you what type of big game player he is.”

On the play of Ryan Kolb: “He’s a tough kid. He’s literally one of the toughest kids I have ever coached. We also call him, ‘The Rock’ because he can be a rock at a time, but when a kid steps up like that I’m just in awe of how a kid can do that on that big of a stage. It’s just very impressive to me.”

On Springfield’s play down the stretch: “For them to do what they’ve done at the end of the year here is why I think they belong in the NCAA (Division III tournament). They’ve beaten so many good teams, so I have nothing, but respect for how tough and how well coached Springfield is and another bounce or another way, and they would have been hoisting the trophy today.”     

Mass. College Hoops: Wednesday Night Roundup

By NoontimeSports.com 

There were a few interesting outcomes in the college basketball world on Wednesday evening, and below are highlights from the various contests.

Men’s Basketball:

UMass 61, La Salle 60 Chaz Williams sealed the victory for UMass with a layup with eight seconds remaining, as the Minutemen defeated the Explorers by one point. UMass is now 14-5 overall, 4-2 in Atlantic-10 play. Raphiael Putney paced the Minutemen with a team-high 17 points.

Georgia State 78, Northeastern 73 – The Huskies earned their first Colonial Athletic Association setback, as the Panthers clawed back from a seven-point deficit at the break to earn an important road win. R.J. Hunter led all scorers with 27 points with five rebounds, while Northeastern was paced by Reggie Spencer’s 17 points.

Army 80, Holy Cross 66 – The Knights tallied 38 points in the opening session and 42 during the final 20 minutes, which helped them earn their 10th win of the season and drop the Crusaders to 10-11 overall, 2-4 in the Patriot League. Ella Ellis came off the bench for Army and led all scorers with 23 points, while Justin Burrell netted a team-high 14 points for the Crusaders.

WPI 66, Babson College 43 – The Engineers extended their winning streak to 20 games, as they defeated the Beavers for the second time in Babson Park. Ryan Kolb led the unit with 17 points, while Aaron Davis and Sam Longwell each netted 11 points.

MIT 70, Wheaton College 57 – The Engineers earned their third consecutive win by downing the visiting Lyons by 13 points. Paul Dawson paced MIT off the bench with 14 points, while Wheaton’s Brian Johnson recorded a game-high 17 points.

Springfield College 58, Coast Guard 45 – Springfield snapped its two-game skid and received 18 points from Alex Berthiaume in their 15th win of the season.  

Women’s Basketball:

Holy Cross 51, Army 46 – Alex Smith scored a game and season-high 21 points and connected on five triples, which helped the Crusaders earn their 10th win of the season and second in the Patriot League. Amy Lepley scored 12 points and recorded four rebounds and two assists.

Babson College 52, Wellesley College 48 – The Beavers overcame a two-point deficit at halftime to defeat the Blue on the Road by four points. Sarah Collins led all scorers with 16 points and tallied eight rebounds, while Erin Young sank three triples.

Smith College 79, Springfield College 44 – Paulina Solis and Alyssa Barrett each netted 22 points, as the Pioneers cruised to a 35-point victory.

Wheaton College 34, WPI 32 – The Lyons received 12 points from Abbie Brickley and six from Kiley Shoemaker en route to their eighth win of the season.

Mount Holyoke 61, Clark University 59 – Angelica Pascual tallied a game-high 22 points, including six trifectas, as the Lyons defeated the visiting Cougars.    

VIDEO: After fending off WPI during the closing seconds, Wheaton College’s women’s basketball head coach Melissa Hodgdon chats about the Lyons important conference win. 

Mass. College Hoops: No. 6 WPI Tops Springfield, Remains Undefeated

By NoontimeSports.com 

Thanks to our good friends from the WPI sports information department, here is this evening’s press release pertaining toward the men’s basketball team’s 19th consecutive win against Springfield College. With the win, the Engineers improve to 19-0 overall and 6-0 in the NEWMAC (New England Women’s and Men’s Athletic Conference). Here’s the release:

Worcester, MA — Marco Coppola (Watertown, MA) and Ryan Kolb (Southington, CT) combined for 43 points and the WPI defense withstood two attempts by Springfield to tie in the final seconds as the Engineers knocked off the Pride 69-66 in a battle of two unbeaten teams in the NEWMAC men’s basketball play on Wednesday evening.

The Engineers, ranked sixth in the latest D3hoops.com Top 25, are now 19-0 overall and improve to 6-0 in conference action while the visitors slip to 14-5 on the season and 5-1 in NEWMAC play.

Springfield held WPI without a field goal for the final 6:28, outscoring the hosts 10-2 during that stretch with nine points coming from returning NEWMAC Player of the Year Alex Berthiaume (Springfield, MA).  The Crimson and Gray however went ahead by six, 69-63 on a pair of free throws by Kolb with 1:31 left.  Berthiaume cut the deficit in half on SC’s next trip down the floor and then both teams traded turnovers before WPI missed a jumper with 12 seconds left.  After a pair of timeouts, Springfield had two shots to tie in the last six seconds but misfired on both attempts and the Engineers escaped with the outright lead in the conference.

After a first half that saw seven lead changes and four ties, WPI gained separation by hitting six of its first eight 3-pointers en route to a 23-17 lead with 9:15 to play before the half.  The Engineers extended the advantage to 11 in the final minute, but a Sean Martin (Rindge, NH) trifecta right before the final buzzer cut the Crimson and Gray edge to eight at 37-29.

Springfield scored 10 of the first 12 points of the second stanza to tie the game at 39-39 with 16:24 left.  WPI later went on a 12-4 spurt to grab a 64-49 bulge with just under nine minutes remaining.  Coppola and Kolb each chipped in with a 3-pointer and a jumper during the run.

Coppola ended the game with 23 points, his largest offensive outpoint since a 24-point showing against Salem State in December.  The sophomore’s five 3-pointers was a career-best.  Kolb was the only other WPI player in double figures with 20 points.  Sam Longwell (Action, MA) tossed in nine points and Aaron Davis (Marshfield, MA) led all players with five assists.

Berthiaume and Jordan Rote (Sheffield, MA) shared game-high scoring honors for Springfield with 18 points each. Robbie Burke (Cheshire, MA) has a monster game on the boards for the Pride, gobbling up a season-best 13 rebounds. Pat Rossi (Rock Taven, NY) and Martin finished with eight and seven points respectively.

WPI is off until Wednesday, January 30th when they head to Babson for a 7pm contest.  Springfield takes on the same Beaver squad this Saturday at 3pm at Babson Park.

Mass. College Hoops: WPI 65, MIT 59

By Brian Willwerth 

WORCESTER, MA – No. 6 WPI knew it would be in for a tough contest Saturday afternoon against the preseason No. 1 team in the country. The Engineers from Worcester were up to the challenge against the Engineers from Cambridge.

WPI defeated MIT, 65-59, with a total of seven players scoring in double-figures.  The win accomplished three things for the home-standing Engineers: they stayed undefeated (18-0); they remained in first place in the NEWMAC (tied with Springfield) and avenged a home defeat to MIT at Harrington Auditorium last year.

With a jacked-up crowd looking on, this game was intense and physical from the get-go. Both teams got off to a slow start, going scoreless for more than four minutes to start the contest. But WPI wound up shooting 41% from the field in the opening half, while holding MIT to just 26%.

“I just thought our kids stayed composed,” said WPI head coach Chris Bartley.  “We kept them at bay enough, and made enough big plays to escape with the win.”

The home team led by three at the half. In last year’s matchup in Worcester, MIT came out sizzling to start the second half, going on a 22-2 run and holding on for the win. But Saturday was different. When MIT appeared to be making a run, WPI would withstand the challenge.

Ryan Kolb led WPI with 18 points; Aaron Davis had 14, while Marco Coppola and Sam Longwell each netted 10, respectively.

MIT’s Mitchell Kates led all scorers with 19 points, while Will Tashman and Matt Redfield each netted 10.

“The second half was real important,” said Kolb. “I just stepped up (and) hit some shots.”  Kolb also talked about the importance of keeping Tashman in check, calling him “a beast.”

”Individually, (MIT) might have three of the best players in the country at their positions. So it was a really quality win for us,” said Bartley.

As big a game as this was for WPI, the Engineers have an even bigger one coming up on Wednesday night against Springfield. First place in the NEWMAC will be on the line.