A Career Day for Dayton Helps No. 4 Tufts Top Conn. College, 100-83

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Everett Dayton netted a career-high 25 points to lead fourth-ranked Tufts past Conn. College on Saturday afternoon in NESCAC play. (PHOTO CREDIT: Tufts Daily /Laura de Armas)

By Brian Willwerth (@BriWillerth)

MEDFORD, Mass. – The three-pointers kept falling. The points kept adding up. And the top team in the New England Small College Athletic Conference (NESCAC) is still looking down at the rest of the league.

Fouth-ranked Tufts defeated Connecticut College on Saturday afternoon, 100-83, behind a career-high 25 points from Everett Dayton and 13 three-pointers. It was the team’s ninth win a row, and the first time this season they’ve scored 100 points in a game.

“The best thing for us is that we just have great team chemistry,” said Tufts Head Coach Bob Sheldon, whose team improved to 6-0 in the NESCAC.

This was a very entertaining, fast-paced game from both teams. Tufts never trailed in this one, and midway through the first half, it looked like the game might turn into a blowout, with the Jumbos leading by as many as 14. But the Camels (2-4) outscored the Jumbos 16-7 over a five-minute stretch to tie the game at 43. A last-second three-ball by Ethan Feldman gave the Jumbos the lead at the intermission, and they slowly increased that advantage in the second 20 minutes.

Dayton came into this contest averaging 7.5 points a game. But he more than tripled that on Saturday, and added eight assists, also a career high.

“Everett is a real good basketball player,” said Sheldon. “It all came together for him today.”

Connecticut College had four players in double figures, led by Tyler Rowe’s 19.

The Jumbos will face Newbury on Thursday night. The Camels return home on Wednesday night to take on Fisher.

Mass. College Hoops: Amherst, Tufts To Meet In NCAA D3 Sectional Final

Stephen Haladyna poured in a team-high 30 points as Tufts defeated Johnson & Wales in Friday's NCAA Division III Sectional Semifinals. (Photo Credit: Tufts Athletics)

Stephen Haladyna poured in a team-high 30 points as Tufts defeated Johnson & Wales in Friday’s NCAA Division III Sectional Semifinals. (Photo Credit: Tufts Athletics)

By Matt Noonan 

Tufts University men’s basketball head coach Bob Sheldon secretly wanted to play Amherst College in the Sectional Final.

His wish was granted on Friday evening following 101-85 victory over Johnson & Wales University at Cousen’s Gymnasium.

Tufts and Amherst will square off in Saturday’s Sectional Finals with tip-off scheduled for 7:00 p.m.

“(The) Rubber-match tomorrow (with) the ‘elite eight’ on the line,” said Sheldon. “We’re excited.

“I think deep down inside I wanted to play Amherst to be honest with you. I wanted to have the rubber-match; I want to go at (them) tomorrow.

“They’re a great team. They shoot the ball well, they run, (so) I think it is going to be another game in the 80’s-90’s. We’re excited to play them – it is an Amherst-Tufts thing, and what is going to happen is a NESCAC team is going to be in the final four.”

Stephen Haladyna highlighted the Jumbos’ effort, netting a team-high 30 points, while Tarik Smith scored 25 points. As a team, the Jumbos collaborated for an impressive 29-of-36 from the charity stripe.

Senior Tom Garrick paced the visiting Wildcats with 30 points, while classmate Quarry Greenaway finished with a double-double of 19 points and 11 rebounds.

Tufts led 47-43 at the break before outscoring the visitors, 54-42 in the second session.

Johnson & Wales – this year’s GNAC champions – concludes its season 28-3 overall. The Wildcats earned a trip to Medford following first and second round victories against Trinity (Conn.) and Fitchburg State.

“(My team) gave everything they had,” said Johnson & Wales head coach Jamie Benton, “great year.”

Five members of the Amherst men’s basketball team registered double figures, as the Purple and White defeated Babson College, 88-76, prior to Tufts-Johnson & Wales.

Jayden Dawson poured in a game-high 19 points, Johnny McCarthy netted 15 points, including a trio of trifectas, while David George tallied 13 points and seven caroms.

Amherst trailed Babson, 39-37, at the break, but outscored the Beavers, 51-37, in the second session.

“We tried to execute a little bit better,” Amherst head coach David Hixon said of his team’s second half effort. “We started the second half by going right inside to David George – that always helps your percentage so 52 percent is a great percentage inside.”

A trio of Babson players netted double-figures, including Bradley Jacks, who paced the Green and White with 15 points. Joey Flannery and Isaiah Nelesen each recorded 14 points, respectively.

“I feel very blessed to go 23-6,” said Babson head coach Stephen Brennan, who guided the Beavers to back-to-back New England Women’s and Men’s Athletic Conference (NEWMAC) Tournament championships.

Mass. College Hoops: NESCAC Preview (LINKS)

By Matt Noonan 

Our preseason basketball coverage continues with more links from the New England Small College Athletic Conference.

Three teams from Massachusetts (Amherst, Tufts and Williams) compete in this conference, so those are the links we’ve provided below.

Men’s Basketball

* Amherst College — After securing their fifth consecutive NESCAC crown, the Lord Jeffs season concluded in the third round of the March Madness tournament against Franklin & Marshal. This year, expect great things from  Aaron Toomey and Willy Workman, as well as Peter Kaasila and David Kalema. Amherst has a great deal of depth, which will certainly come in handy against Brandeis and Williams.

* Tufts University — Bob Sheldon knows what it takes to be successful, especially in a very competitive conference. Last season, the Jumbos concluded their campaign with 16-9 record, as well as a quarterfinal loss in the NESCAC tournament to Bates College. So, after this season last year, it’s expected that the men sporting the blue and white will be hungry for more wins this winter.

* Williams College — The Ephs will begin another season tomorrow when they host the Williams Tip-Off Tournament. Their first game is against So. Vermont. Williams will rely heavily on senior co-captains Nate Robertson and James Klemm.

Women’s Basketball

* Amherst CollegeThe 2012-13 season will certainly be an interesting one for the Lord Jeffs. Caroline StedmanLem Atanga McCormick and Kim Fiorentino all graduated, so that means some new players will have to step-up and fill the void immediately.

* Tufts University — Nine Letter-winners will anchor the Jumbos this season following their second straight trip to the March Madness tournament. Expect great things from Kate Barnosky and Bre Dufault this season.

* Williams College — Pat Manning knows that NESCAC is a tough conference year in and year out. So, to counter their competition, the Ephs will rely heavily on their senior class this winter.

Mass College Hoops Recap: Amherst 74, Tufts 65

By Brian Willwerth 

MEDFORD, MA – This was a matchup between two of the top teams in the NESCAC who came in having won a combined 11 games in a row between them.  The game played out at the high level you’d expect from two such teams.

In a game that featured non-stop action from the start, Amherst College defeated Tufts University on Saturday, 74-65. With the win, the Lord Jeffs improved to 8-0 in the conference, (20-2 overall) and clinched a home quarterfinal game in the upcoming NESCAC championship. The Jumbos fell to 6-3, (16-6 overall.)

The first half was back-and-forth the entire way, with neither team being able to open up much of a lead. The action was fast and furious. There were eight ties and eight lead changes in the first 20 minutes alone.

The Jumbos shot 51% from the field, compared to 45% for the Lord Jeffs. The home team led by one at the intermission.

“I thought the great thing was that we were only one down at halftime,” said Amherst head coach David Hixon. “I said ‘guys, we did this, this and this…and we’re only down one.  Let’s go.’”

After the break, Amherst went on an 8-2 run to open up a small lead, and then turned up the defensive intensity, as Tufts was unable to retake the lead the rest of the way.

Each team had four players in double-figures, and leading the way for the Lord Jeffs was Aaron Toomey, (18 points), while David Waller added 15. The pair combined to go 5-12 from behind the arc, while Willy Workman and Allen Williamson scored 10 apiece.

“We like to set (Toomey) free and move the ball around himself,” said Hixon.  “Offensively, we started to sort-of let this kid loose a little bit, and let him start to do some things and make everybody better when he couldn’t get something himself.”

The Jumbos, playing before a full house at Cousens Gymnasium, were led by Ben Ferris’ 16 points. C.J. Moss had 12, and Alex Orchowski and Scott Anderson added 11 and 10, respectively.

The Jumbos were hoping for another big win, one night after beating Trinity at the buzzer.

“We missed some shots, and they were a little bit more poised than we were,” said Tufts head coach Bob Sheldon, who said his team was ready for the big matchup after Friday night’s dramatics. “To be honest, they were a little tougher than us.”

Massachusetts College Basketball: Men’s Top-5 Poll Updated

By NoontimeSports.com 

1.) MIT (Last Week/No. 1) – Despite dropping their first contest of the season to rival WPI, the Engineers still remain the top-squad in our men’s Top-5 poll. However, they’ll certainly need to rebound this week, especially against Clark University and the U.S. Coast Guard at home. 

2.) Amherst College (Last Week/No. 2) – The Lord Jeffs appear to be peaking at the right time, as they’ve won two consecutive road games. They’ll continue their four-game swing on Wednesday when they travel to the Berkshires to face Williams College.

3.) WPI (Last Week/No. 4) – The Engineers earned an enormous road victory this past weekend, as they defeated MIT in Cambridge, 80-68. WPI will look to build off their convince win at Springfield College on Wednesday.

4.) Williams College (Last Week/No. 3) – Earlier this month, the Ephs struggled, and lost two games to Tufts University and Wesleyan University. However, the men who sport the words, “Williams” across their chest have rebounded quite well, as they’ve won three of their last four contests, which included an 82-61 victory this past Sunday against Hamilton College.

5.) Tufts University (Last Week/No. 5)Bob Sheldon’s squad is currently residing in second place, and will want to earn a “W” on Saturday when they host Bowdoin College, who is also 4-2 in conference play. The Jumbos have won two of their last three contests, along with three consecutive home games, too.