D3 Hoops Notebook: NEWMAC Squads Highlight First Few Weeks Of Play

NS BBALL NOTEBOOK

By Matt Noonan (@MattNoonan11)

We’re just a few weeks into a brand new season of New England Division III basketball – maybe I shouldn’t say a ‘new season’ since a few weeks of hoops have already been recorded!

While we are starting to see certain teams emerge from the pack, we are also seeing some of the usual squads like Babson and WPI begin to pick-up momentum at the right time.

Last night – Thursday, December 7th, to be exact – the Beavers and Engineers scored impressive regional wins by knocking off Amherst and Eastern Connecticut State.

Both Amherst and Eastern Connecticut State are Top 25 teams, per the latest D3Hoops.com Men’s Basketball Poll.

For Babson, it was clutch free throw shooting down the stretch – the Beavers concluded the game eight of nine as a team from the stripe, while Amherst finished four of six. Babson’s Shyheim Ulrickson connected on all three freebies, while Nick Comenale was a perfect two-for-two. 

WPI had five players net double-figures in their 75-70 win over Eastern Connecticut, including Kahleb Downing, who added 15 points off the bench. Downing concluded the game four-of-seven from beyond the arc, while also recording seven assists, six boards and one block.

The win was WPI’s fifth of the season, while the loss halted Eastern Connecticut’s seven-game winning streak.

WPI is back in action tomorrow – that would be Saturday, December 9th, to be exact – when they host Salem State at 2 p.m. The Vikings are coming off their initial New England Big 4 Challenge win this past weekend, which included wins over Babson and Tufts.

In addition to solid wins by Babson and WPI, the NEWMAC saw a few other teams pick-up some impressive non-conference victories last night as Wheaton defeated Lasell, 65-60, while MIT topped Rhode Island College, 76-63, thanks to a career-high 32 points from Cameron Korb, who connected on 10 of 16 shots, including 8 of 13 from beyond the arc. 

As of today, MIT and Wheaton sit atop the NEWMAC with eight wins, respectively, while Babson, Coast Guard, Emerson and WPI have captured five games apiece.

News and Notes from New EnglandAs mentioned above, the Salem State men’s basketball team captured its first-ever New England Big 4 Challenge this past weekend when they defeated Babson and Tufts. I had a chance to PA Announce the game last weekend and wrote a few words about the Vikings’ win for D3Hoops.com.

The Middlebury women’s basketball team is off to a great start – they captured their eighth-straight contest last night by defeating Sage, 56-50. Middlebury’s Maya Davis led all scorers with 18 points. The Panthers take on Skidmore this evening at 8 p.m

As of this morning, Middlebury is one of five NESCAC women’s basketball teams that have yet to drop a single contest this season. Amherst, Bowdoin, Hamilton and Tufts remain undefeated as well, while Connecticut College and Williams have won six games, respectively.

Since falling to Wesleyan a few weeks ago, the Nichols men’s basketball team has won five-straight, including a 91-79 victory earlier this week against Roger Williams. The win against the Hawks was the team’s third-straight conference victory of the season. The two teams will meet again in January.

Games to Watch this WeekendAs always, Friday and Saturday will be busy days here in New England, so make sure to stay connected with both myself (@MattNoonan11) and (@NoontimeSports) on Twitter for scores and updates. Here are a few games I’ll be watching this weekend:

  • Men’s Basketball: No. 2 Middlebury at No. 16 Skidmore | Friday, Dec. 8th at 6 p.m.
  • Women’s Basketball: Middlebury at Skidmore | Friday, Dec. 8th at 8 p.m.
  • Men’s Basketball: Brandeis at No. 18 Wesleyan | Saturday, Dec. 9th at 1 p.m.
  • Women’s Basketball: Springfield at Worcester State | Saturday, Dec. 9th at 1 p.m.
  • Women’s Basketball: West Conn. at UMass Dartmouth | Saturday, Dec. 9th at 1 p.m.
  • Men’s Basketball: Springfield at No. 2 Williams | Saturday, Dec. 9th at 2 p.m.
  • Men’s Basketball: Salem State at WPI | Saturday, Dec. 9th at 2 p.m.
  • Women’s Basketball: UNE at Tufts | Saturday, Dec. 9th at 2 p.m.
  • Men’s Basketball: Western Conn. at UMass Dartmouth | Saturday, Dec. 9th at 3 p.m.
  • Women’s Basketball: Conn. College at Roger Williams | Sunday, Dec. 10th at 2 p.m.

Babson’s Brennan Reflects On An Exciting National Championship Victory

Babson Men's Basketball
It was a special moment for Babson College coach Stephen Brennan and the Beavers when they captured the program’s first-ever NCAA Division III men’s basketball championship. (PHOTO CREDIT: Keith Lucas)

By Matt Noonan (@MattNoonan11) 

It’s been a few days since Babson College captured its fist-ever NCAA Division III men’s basketball championship and coach Stephen Brennan’s phone is still buzzing with text messages, phone calls and emails.

“I think that night after the game I had about 120 text messages,” said Brennan, who guided the Beavers to an exciting 79-78 victory over Augustana (Ill.) last Saturday in Salem, Virginia.

Everyone wanted to congratulate Brennan and the team, including past and current Babson presidents, friends from Bates College and current Boston Celtics coach Brad Stevens.

Learn more about the connection between Boston Celtics coach Brad Stevens and the Babson College Beavers, via MassLive.com

Even the New England Patriots expressed their excitement, tweeting out a congratulatory tweet to both Babson and Amherst College, which captured the women’s national title game last Saturday, too.

“When the Patriots sent a congratulator tweet, I was like ‘what’s that?’” said Brennan. “You don’t really expect that.”

The Beavers were also congratulated by Massachusetts Mayor Charlie Baker and Attorney General Maura Healey.

Babson’s win provided a great deal of excitement to both Massachusetts and New England college basketball fans. They all feel touched by this particular victory, according to Brennan, including Babson’s conference foes and regional opponents.

“(This win) has touched multiple members of our community from alums to our opponents (in the northeast),” said Brennan, “so it’s certainly nice to touch so many people and share it with our friends and friends of our program.”

The win also touched a quartet of Babson alums – David MackTravis SheldonEric Dean and John Wickey – that positioned the Beavers over the past few years for a potential national title-run. And despite coming-up short two years ago in the national semifinals, Babson was able to avenge its disappointing setback with a dramatic one-point victory.

“The key for success is you have to pay the rent,” said Brennan, “and this team (especially the seniors) put in the time.”

The senior class certainly put in the time, they will depart Babson Park with 103 victories, which is the most wins in program history.

Joey Flannery, who was certainly a catalyst behind the Beavers’ run toward the program’s initial national crown, concluded his career with 2,620 points, which positions him eighth all-time in Division III history. Additionally – and as noted in the game’s release – he also scored 167 points in six NCAA Tournament games this season.

Brennan and the Beavers will continue to enjoy this special accomplishment, but know a new season will be here soon. And in order to continue their current success, the tenured coach knows his team will need to ‘pay the rent’ every day.

“Everyone will have to grow,” said Brennan. “We’ll need to continue our current work ethic and culture (moving forward, while continuing) our toughness and work ethic, too.”

Noontime Sports The Podcast: Episode 24 (John Cabral | Play-By-Play Broadcaster)

Noontime Podcast

By Noontime Sports (@NoontimeSports)

Just days after the NCAA Division III men’s basketball championship concluded, Noontime Sports the Podcast host Matt Noonan caught-up with Babson College play-by-play broadcaster John Cabral to discuss and highlight the Beavers’ (men’s basketball) first-ever national championship.

Cabral and Noonan recap a pair of exciting contests, and yes, slowly look ahead (at the end of the podcast) to what teams could be in the mix for a title-run next season.

NCAA D3 Basketball: Championship Weekend Predictions

Champ Weekend Predictions

By NoontimeSports.com (@NoontimeSports) 

It’s the final weekend of NCAA Division III basketball, so before today’s semifinal men’s and women’s games tip-off, let’s dish out some Noontime Sports predictions from our correspondents!

Men’s Division III Basketball Interactive Bracket 

Women’s Division III Basketball Interactive Bracket

Matt Noonan (@MattNoonan11) 

WBB Semis: Amherst vs. Christopher Newport

Amherst 

WBB Semis: Tufts vs. St. Thomas (Minn.)

Tufts 

WBB Final: Amherst vs. Tufts

Tufts 

MBB Semis: Babson vs. Whitman

Babson 

MBB Semis: Augustana vs. Williams

Williams 

MBB Final: Babson vs. Williams

Babson 


Brian Willwerth (@BriWillwerth

WBB Semis: Amherst vs. Christopher Newport

Amherst 

WBB Semis: Tufts vs. St. Thomas (Minn.)

St. Thomas (Minn.)

WBB Final: Amherst vs. St. Thomas (Minn.)

Amherst 

MBB Semis: Babson vs. Whitman

Babson 

MBB Semis: Augustana vs. Williams

Augustana

MBB Final: Babson vs. Augustana

Babson

 

Elaine Cavalieri (@ElaineCavSports)

WBB Semis: Amherst vs. Christopher Newport

Amherst 

WBB Semis: Tufts vs. St. Thomas (Minn.)

Tufts 

WBB Final: Amherst vs. Tufts

Tufts 

MBB Semis: Babson vs. Whitman

Babson 

MBB Semis: Augustana vs. Williams

Williams 

MBB Final: Babson vs. Williams

Williams 

 

Kyle Prudhomme (@Kyle_Prudhomme)

WBB Semis: Amherst vs. Christopher Newport

Amherst 

WBB Semis: Tufts vs. St. Thomas (Minn.)

St. Thomas (Minn.)

WBB Final: Amherst vs. Tufts

Amherst

MBB Semis: Babson vs. Whitman

Babson 

MBB Semis: Augustana vs. Williams

Williams 

MBB Final: Babson vs. Williams

Babson

Noontime Sports The Podcast: Episode 23 (John Cabral | Play-By-Play Broadcaster)

noontime-sports-podcast

By NoontimeSports.com (@NoontimeSports) 

In just three days, the Babson College men’s basketball team will compete in the program’s second semifinal in three seasons.

And if you’re fortunate to tune into Friday’s tilt, then you best listen to our friend John Cabral, who is the voice of the Babson men’s and women’s basketball teams, along with the UMass Dartmouth men’s and women’s basketball teams, too.

Cabral, who is play-by-play veteran, especially in the NCAA Division III world, joined Noontime Sports the Podcast to preview this week’s semifinal between Babson and Whitman.

Additionally, Cabral provided his insight into the other semifinal clashes, too.

Men’s Division III Basketball Bracket

Women’s Division III Basketball Bracket

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