Noontime’s Senior Salute: Jake Wisniewski (WPI)

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Jake Wisniewski averaged 9.0 points and 6.4 rebounds this past season with the Engineers. (PHOTO COURTESY: Frank Poulin/WPI Athletics)

By NoontimeSports.com 

It was just last month when WPI senior Jake Wisniewski was named the New England Women’s and Men’s Athletic Conference (NEWMAC) Defensive Player of the Year after leading the Engineers to a 20-win season, along with an appearance in the 2020 NCAA D-III Tournament.

For the second-straight year, the West Brookfield, Massachusetts native averaged 9.0 points per game to go with 6.4 rebounds and 1.8 assists in 28 contests. Wisniewski netted 10 points or more 11 times this past winter while scoring a season-best 23 points on 10 of 16 shooting against Wheaton College in February.

Named a second-teamer by both the NEWMAC and Worcester Area College Basketball Association (WACBA), Wisniewski concluded his career with 958 points in 107 contests along with 552 rebounds, 161 assists, and 35 blocks.

We recently caught up with Jake Wisniewski to discuss his four-year career with the Engineers, as well as his future plans after graduation later this spring.


What will you remember most about your final season with the Engineers? 

Conference play, but also getting to play with my classmate Lou Doherty.

Was there a game (or two) that you will remember most from either your senior season or the past three years? If so, which game(s) are they? 

Before our senior season tipped-off last November, I would say our NEWAC semifinal contest against MIT last winter when Colin McNamara sank the game-winning basket at the buzzer.

As for this past season, I would say our home games against Emerson College and Wheaton College. Against Wheaton, I got into a rhythm (and scored 23 points), but the best part of both games (as well as other home contests) was getting to spend time with our families and friends after the final buzzer sounded.

What have you enjoyed most about competing for your team/program these past four years? What will you miss most after graduation? 

I will miss battling and competing with these guys on a daily basis. I will miss the games because there probably will never be another contest I play that I can get as competitive as I did with the Engineers these past four years. But most of all, I will miss my teammates and hanging out with them off the court.

Do you hope to stay involved with your sport in the future? Any interest in being a coach? 

Definitely. I want to stay involved with basketball in some way, and I am certainly interested in being a coach in the future.

Tell me about your major/concentration. How did you choose it and what do you plan to do with it after graduation? 

I chose to concentrate on project management because I like to work with people to solve problems.

Bartley Was Determined To Lead WPI To The NCAA D-III Tournament

Jake Wisniewski

Jake Wisniewski will play in his first NCAA Tournament game on Friday, March 6th with the WPI

By NoontimeSports.com 

Chris Bartley and the WPI men’s basketball team were determined to find a way into the 2020 NCAA D-III Tournament, despite falling to Coast Guard Academy last weekend in the New England Women’s and Men’s Athletic Conference (NEWMAC) Championship.

WPI scored some important and impressive wins this season, including a few against some squads that will be competing this afternoon and evening in the opening round of the NCAA Tournament. And those victories certainly impressed the committee, which rewarded the Engineers with an at-large bid to the ‘big dance,’ but also a challenging opening-round match-up with Yeshiva University.

The Engineers have not competed in the NCAA Tournament since 2016, but Bartley seemed to determined to lead this year’s squad to the postseason so he could provide his two seniors with an opportunity to contend for a national championship before departing campus later this spring.

“It was our mission to get Jake Wisniewski and (senior) Lou Doherty to the NCAAs,” Bartley said, via Jennifer Toland of the Worcester Telegram & Gazette. “No senior that I’ve coached here has not made it to the NCAA Tournament.”

Wisniewski and Doherty have attempted to lead the Engineers back to the postseason as first-years, sophomores, and juniors, but will finally have a chance to compete in an NCAA Tournament game this afternoon against a talented Maccabees squad that has not lost a game since early November.

For WPI to advance to Saturday’s second round, they will need both seniors, along with juniors Kahleb DowningColin McNamara, and Garrett Stephenson to play their best basketball of the season.

WPI has not advanced past the first round since the 2012-13 season when they beat Purchase College, 80-67, before falling to Randolph-Macon by a score of 79-68.

Setting The Stage For The First Day of the NCAA D3 Men’s Basketball Tournament

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Jake Ross and the Springfield College men’s basketball team will open the 2020 NCAA D-III Tournament at home against SUNY Canton. (PHOTO COURTESY: Springfield College Athletics)

By Matt Noonan | @NoontimeNation 

We’re just one day away from the start of the 2020 NCAA D-III Men’s Basketball Tournament, which means its time to highlight a few things you need to know about this year’s postseason while also sharing some predictions, too.

Which New England teams will be competing in this year’s NCAA D-III Men’s Basketball Tournament? 

  • This year, there are 13 teams from our region that will begin their respective quests to Atlanta, Georgia tomorrow, including two teams that will be host sites for both the first and second rounds.
  • The teams competing in this year’s tournament are the following: Babson College, Coast Guard Academy, Middlebury College, Westfield State, Tufts University, Western Connecticut, New England College, WPI, Springfield College, University of Saint Joseph’s (Conn.), Nichols College, and Colby College.

What are the first-round matchups, times and locations? 

Here is the schedule for tomorrow’s (Friday, March 6th) first-round schedule:

  • WPI vs. Yeshiva University, 1 p.m. (at Johns Hopkins)
  • New England College vs. RPI, 3:30 p.m. (at Tufts University)
  • Colby College vs. Christopher Newport, 4 p.m. (at Stevens Inst. of Technology)
  • Middlebury College vs. Westfield State, 4 p.m. (at Brockport)
  • Babson College vs. Ithaca College, 5 p.m. (at Swarthmore College)
  • Univ. of Saint Joseph’s (Conn.) vs. Hobart, 5 p.m. (at Springfield College)
  • Western Connecticut at Tufts University, 6 p.m.
  • Coast Guard Academy at Brockport, 6:30 p.m.
  • Nichols College at Stevens Inst. of Technology, 6:30 p.m.
  • SUNY Canton at Springfield College, 7:30 p.m.

Which teams could advance to Saturday’s (March 7th) second round? 

  • Colby College: The Mules face a real tough test tomorrow against a talented Christopher Newport squad. The Captains will certainly challenge Colby from the opening tip, but if the Mules play the way they did against Tufts, as well as against Amherst College and Bates College in the New England Small College Athletic Conference (NESCAC) Tournament then I think they will be able to squeak out a first-round win.
  • Middlebury College: The Panthers haven’t played a game since late February, but this isn’t the first time they have had to wait to hear the committee announce their name on ‘Selection Monday.’ The Panthers should be able to beat Westfield State and then find a way to beat either Brockport or Coast Guard Academy in the second round.
  • Springfield College: The Pride of Springfield are equipped and ready to go on a very deep run this month. They should be able to top SUNY Canton on the opening day of the tournament. But can they turn around one day later and beat the University of Saint Joseph’s (Conn.), which is the favorite in their first-round matchup? I think they can.
  • Tufts University: The Jumbos enter the postseason riding some serious momentum, thanks to an exciting double-overtime win on Sunday in the NESCAC Championship. Their momentum will be tested immediately against a talented Western Connecticut squad, which enters the postseason on a seven-game winning streak. If they can beat the Colonials, they will most likely have to beat an RPI squad, which should beat New England College in their opening-round matchup.
  • University of Saint Joseph’s (Conn.): Jim Calhoun and the Blue Jays could be a real tough out. They have not dropped a game since falling to Tufts last November and proved they are a resilient bunch, especially this past weekend against Albertus Magnus in the Great Northeast Athletic Conference (GNAC) Championship. The Blue Jays should be able to beat Hobart, but will certainly be tested against Springfield in the second round.

What first-round match-up will I be watching? 

  • WPI vs. Yeshiva. The Engineers face a real tough test in the opening round. And if they are able to beat the Maccabees, who have not dropped a game since falling to Occidental College last November, they will most likely face Johns Hopkins, which is the favorite in their opening round match-up.For WPI to be victorious tomorrow, they will need to play the way they did against Babson last Friday. They will also need big games from Garrett StephensonColin McNamara, and Kahleb Downing.

First-Round Predictions! 

  • Ithaca College over Babson College
  • Brockport over Coast Guard Academy
  • Middlebury College over Westfield State
  • Tufts University over Western Connecticut
  • RPI over New England College
  • Yeshiva University over WPI
  • Springfield College over SUNY Canton
  • St. Joseph (Conn.) over Hobart
  • Stevens Inst. of Technology over Nichols College
  • Colby College over Christopher Newport

WACBA Men’s Basketball Honor Roll (Tuesday, January 21st, 2020)

 

WACBABy NoontimeSports.com | @NoontimeNation & @WACBAHoops 

Another week of college basketball in the Worcester area is in the books, which means it is time to unveil our seventh Worcester Area College Basketball Association (WACBA) Men’s Honor Roll for the 2019-20 season.

Noontime Sports is proud to partner 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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Worcester State’s Chris Cardoso nearly averaged a double-double in three games last week for the Lancers. Cardoso concluded the week with 21.67 and 9.0 rebounds (PHOTO COURTESY: Worcester State University Athletics)

Men’s Basketball Player of the Week: Chris Cardoso (Worcester State | Jr. | Jamaica Plain, Mass.): In a 3-0 week for the Lancers, the third-year guard averaged 21.67 points and nine rebounds to go along with 1.67 steals and one assist. Cardoso recorded back-to-back double-doubles against Framingham State and Westfield State while netting a season-high 28 points on 10 of 14 shooting last Tuesday which helped the Lancers secure their first of three-straight conference wins. The Jamaica Plain native scored 14 points against the Rams before adding 23 points this past Saturday in his team’s 80-67 win over Salem State. Through 15 games this season, Cardoso is averaging 15.3 points and 6.9 rebounds.


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Joe Pridgen recorded his first double-double this past weekend against American University. (PHOTO COURTESY: Holy Cross Athletics)

Men’s Rookie of the Week: Joe Pridgen (Holy Cross | Fr. | Winchendon, Mass.): In a pair of games last week for the Holy Cross men’s basketball team, the first-year forward averaged 22.5 points, 9.0 rebounds and 2.0 steals in a pair of games while hitting 58.8 percent of his field-goal attempts. He began the week by tallying 17 points, six rebounds, and two steals against Army before leading the Purple and White with 28 points, a career-high 12 rebounds and two steals against American University. The 28 points, 12-rebound effort was Pridgen’s first double-double with the Crusaders.


Men’s WACBA Honor Roll | Tuesday, January 21st, 2020

Malik Brown (Assumption College | RS-Jr. | Waldorf, Md.): Brown finished the week averaging a double-double of 12 points and 10.5 rebounds per game. He started the week with 11 points and nine rebounds in a 67-61 victory over Pace before recording 13 points and 12 rebounds in a 75-54 win over American International College this past Saturday. Additionally, he added seven assists and came up with four steals on the week.

Mateus Ribeiro (Becker College | Jr.| Sao Paulo, Brazil): Ribeiro led the Hawks to a 78-64 win over Mitchell College this past week, posting another great all-around performance with 18 points, seven rebounds and five assists while shooting 8-of-16 from the floor. As of press time, Ribeiro ranks tenth in the nation in minutes per game and total minutes.

Biko Gayman (Clark University | Jr. | Fort Pierce, Fla.): In a pair of games last week, Gayman averaged 23 points, 4.0 assists, 3.5 rebounds, and 2.0 steals. Against Springfield College last Wednesday, the third-year guard led the Cougars with 21 points on 10 of 17 shooting to go along with four assists, three steals, and one rebound. Three days later against Babson College, Gayman again led the Red and White with 25 points on 7 of 15 shooting while hitting 9 of 12 freebies. Gayman concluded the contest with six rebounds (all defensive caroms), four assists, and one steal, which helped the Cougars claim their first win over the Beavers in Worcester since January 25th, 2014. Heading into a new week, Gayman is seven points shy of becoming the 28th member of the Clark men’s basketball program to reach 1,000 points. 

Colin McNamara (WPI | Jr. | Arlington, MA): McNamara shot 50 percent from the floor and averaged 15 points, five rebounds, four assists and two steals at the Engineers went on the road and posted victories at Wheaton College and Coast Guard Academy.  


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

New England D-III Hoops Notebook: Brandeis, Emmanuel Score Impressive Mid-Week Victories

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By Matt Noonan | @NoontimeNation 

For the first time since 2005, the Emmanuel College women’s basketball team scored a win over the top team in Division III as the Saints beat Amherst College last night by a score of 60-55.

The Saints, who beat Bowdoin College 14 years ago when they were the top team in D-III, were led by Yuleska Ramirez-Tejeda, who recorded a double-double of 25 points and 10 rebounds. The Cambridge, Massachusetts native connected on 10 of 20 shots from the field, while sinking five of eight freebies.

Emmanuel led Amherst, 23-19, at the break – they would outscore the Mammoths, 26-19, in the final session to secure their fourth win of the season.

The setback snapped an early three-game winning streak for the Mammoths, which scored early-season wins against Babson CollegeIthaca College, and New Jersey City. Amherst is scheduled to face Eastern Connecticut on Saturday before heading to Las Vegas, Nevada three weeks later to compete in the D3Hoops.com Classic.

Emmanuel, which has won four of seven contests thus far, visits MIT on Saturday before hosting Rhode Island College next Monday, December 9th. The win over the Mammoths should provide the Blue and Gold with some momentum heading into their next two contests before heading to Nevada, as well, to compete in two days of the D3Hoops Classic at the end of the month.

Keep your eyes on Ramirez-Tejeda over the next few weeks – the senior guard is averaging 20.7 points and 11.6 rebounds per game. Additionally, she is averaging 2.9 assists per game and sinking 64.4 percent of her free throws.

Brandeis University scored an exciting 99-88 overtime win last night against Babson, thanks to a pair of impressive performances by Hannah Nicholson (19 points and 16 rebounds) and Camila Casanueva (19 points, nine rebounds, and eight assists).

The Judges outscored the Beavers, 25-14, in the extra session – Brandeis utilized an 8-2 run to begin the overtime period, which provided them enough momentum to secure their fifth win of the season.

Brandeis has enjoyed a successful start to its 2019-20 campaign – they won their Tip-Off Tournament early last month with wins against Framingham State and Nichols College while scoring non-conference wins over Roger Williams and Salem State. The Judges’ lone setback came against Tufts University late last month – the Jumbos outscored Brandeis, 41-29, in the second half to secure an 81-77 win.

The Judges will visit Clark University and Johnson & Wales later this week before hosting Becker College next Monday.

Since falling to New England College last month, the WPI men’s basketball team has looked unstoppable as they have now won seven consecutive contests, including a 72-62 win on Tuesday against Tufts.

WPI’s Garrett Stephenson stuffed the stat sheet against the Jumbos with a game-high 21 points to go along with six rebounds, two assists, and one steal. Colin McNamara contributed 13 points, eight rebounds, and four assists, while Reid Walker added 10 points, three rebounds, and one assist.

The Engineers will attempt to stretch their winning streak to eight games on Saturday when they visit Albertus Magnus for a 5 p.m. tip-off.

WPI has scored some impressive regional victories thus far against Tufts, Salem StateFitchburg State, Eastern Connecticut, and Brandeis. After their visit to the Falcons, WPI will be off for the holidays before visiting Framingham State on Saturday, January 4th for its final non-conference clash.

As of this morning, the Engineers are the only New England Women’s and Men’s Athletic Conference (NEWMAC) team that has won eight games thus far. Babson has won all six of its contests, while Springfield College has won five-straight.

Speaking of the Beavers, they host Amherst this evening with tip-off scheduled for 7 p.m. Babson has been a team to watch thus far, but Wednesday’s meeting with the Mammoths will certainly be a good test for the Green and White.

Following their non-conference clash with the Mammoths, Babson will compete in the New England Big 4 Challenge this weekend – their first game is against Salem State on Saturday at 2 p.m. The Big 4 Challenge is always a fun tournament to watch – the two day, the four-game tournament features Babson, Tufts, Brandeis, and Salem State.