Mass. College Hoops: 10 Games To Watch This Weekend

By NoontimeSports.com 

With the weather getting cooler (well, not exactly today!) and basketball season in full tilt, it’s time to dish out our 10 Games to Watch for this weekend.

Men’s Basketball:

No. 21 UMass vs. BYU: The Minutemen will look to earn their eight win of the season when they host the Cougars for a 1:30 p.m. tip. BYU enters the game having won two of their last three and three of their last four, while UMass junior Cady Lalanne is averaging a team-best 16.4 points per game and 11.4 rebounds.

Harvard at Boston University: The Crimson will attempt to earn their fifth straight victory, along with their ninth overall win when they travel across the Charles River for the second time this week to face the Terriers. Harvard’s Wesley Saunders is averaging a team-best 15.1 points per game, while BU’s Maurice Watson Jr. ranks first on the Terriers in assists per game (5.6). BU, which has won four straight, will look to earn their fifth consecutive victory, along with their seventh overall victory.

Bentley vs. St. Michael’s: After seeing their seven-game winning streak conclude on Wednesday, the Falcons will look to rebound against a 6-2 St. Mike’s squad, which enters the contest having won one of their last three contests. Keep an eye on Bentley’s Tyler McFarland, who ranks fourth in the Northeast-10 Conference in points per game (20.4). He’s also fifth in rebounds (8.9) and three-point percentage (52.6).

Springfield at Williams: After losing to Hampden-Sydney, the Pride has rebounded with back-to-back wins against Penn St.-New Kensington and Trinity (Conn.). They’ll look to earn their sixth win of the season against Williams, which hasn’t lost since their first game of the season. Daniel Wohl leads the Ephs with 17.7 points per game, while Michael Mayer ranks first in rebounds (10.3). Robbie Burke leads Springfield with 80 points and 45 boards, while Alex Garstka ranks second in points with 79.

Eastern Nazarene at Endicott: The Lions, winners of six straight, will look to earn their seventh victory of the season, as well as well as their second Commonwealth Coast Conference win when they travel to Beverley to face Endicott. The Gulls commenced their season with four straight wins before dropping their last two games to Gordon and Rivier. Eastern Nazarene’s Jaylen Owens ranks second in the conference in points per game (18.2), while Endicott’s Taylor Rioux is second in field goal percentage (65.5).

Women’s Basketball:

Harvard vs. Long Beach State @ Phoenix, Ariz.: The Crimson will take their 6-2 record on the road this weekend when they travel to the Grand Canyon to face Long Beach State in the first round of the Arizona State classic. Keep an eye on Christine Clark (19.4 points per game) and Melissa Mullins (9.1 rebounds per game).

Fordham at Holy Cross: The Crusaders will look to earn their seventh straight victory when they host a Rams squad that recently won the Lady Rebel Round-Up tournament against Cincinnati in Las Vegas. Holy Cross’ ‘hot start’ is their best start in over 30 years. Holy Cross has also scored 70 points in every contest this season, including 92 points against UMass Lowell. Alex Smith leads the unit with 98 points.

So. New Hampshire at Stonehill College: The Skyhawks, winners of two straight, as well as three of their last four, will look to earn their seventh win of the season when they host the Penmen in Easton. Stonehill is 3-1 in NE-10 play this season. On Wednesday, the Skyhawks defeated Assumption, 79-68, thanks to 21 points, five assists and five rebounds from Mary Louis Dixon, as well as 14 points and nine boards from Tori Faieta.

Wesleyan at Williams College: The Ephs haven’t lost a regular season contest since last season when Smith College topped Williams, 53-49. Since then, Williams has won 11 straight, including seven this season. They’ll look to extend their current streak to 12 when they host Wesleyan for an important New England Small College Athletic Conference matchup. Keep an eye on Kellie Macdonald, who’s averaging a team-best 14.0 points per game.

Wheaton College at Clark University: Can the Lyons make it seven in a row? Wheaton, which has been one of the biggest surprises of the season thus far, is coming off a 77-52 win over Emerson College on Wednesday. Wheaton has registered 70 points or more in five contests this season. Clark has won three of the last four meetings, including both games last season. Keep an eye on Wheaton’s Abbie Brickley and Kiley Shoemaker, as well as Clark’s senior trio, which includes Emily Reilly, Ashleigh Condon and Megan Grondin.

Mass. College Hoops: Five Games To Watch This Weekend (Feb. 22-24)

By NoontimeSports.com 

It’s Friday, which means its time to unveil five basketball games to watch this weekend. And as usual, we invite you to circle back to our blog throughout the weekend to for recaps, roundups and releases.

Make sure to follow us on Twitter (@NoontimeSports or @NoonSportsBlog), as well as become a fan on Facebook (Facebook.com/NoonSports).

Men’s Basketball:

Boston University at UMBC (Saturday, 7:00 p.m.) – The Terriers won’t be dancing in March or April, but as of lately they’ve been on a roll. BU enters the game on a five-game winning streak and will look to earn a season sweep against UMBC.

Last time these two squads tangled, Dom Morris filled the stat sheet with 19 points, eight rebounds, three assists, and one steal, which helped the locals tackle the Maryland institution.

The Retrievers haven’t appeared in the win column since defeating Maine on February 2, so it’ll be interesting to see how this dogfight concludes.

MIT vs. Springfield College (Saturday, 3:00 p.m. @ WPI) – The third time is the charm, right?

The rematch of last year’s NEWMAC (New England Women’s and Men’s Athletic Conference) championship is expected to be an epic battle. The winner of this game will face-off against the winner of Babson College-WPI on Sunday in the conference championship, so strap on your seatbelt and enjoy the ride.

MIT enters the game on an eight-game winning streak, while Springfield College concluded their regular season slate with three consecutive victories.

Springfield’s Alex Berthiaume netted 20 points or more in both meetings, so MIT will need to keep an eye on him. However, the Engineers received some much needed help from Will Tashman in their last meeting, as the senior recorded a double-double with 21 points and 13 rebounds.

Both squads handed the top-seeded Engineers of WPI a loss during the final week of the regular season, and will certainly pose challenges for Chris Bartley’s crew.

Middlebury College vs. Williams College (Saturday, 3:00 p.m. @ Amherst College) – The NESCAC (New England Small College Athletic Conference) will feature two great semifinal matchups on Saturday, but this is certainly a big one.

The Ephs edged the Panthers in their last meeting, 64-63 in Williamstown, thanks to a Daniel Wohl’s layup with 31 ticks remaining. The Ephs won the battle of the boards, but surrendered the ball 13 times, which allowed the Panthers to convert an additional 18 points.

After sustaining their first setback of the season, Middlebury recovered by winning six of their final seven contests. With a win, the Panthers would appear in the conference championship tilt for the fifth consecutive time. Last year, they lost to Amherst College, but defeated Williams the previous year.

Women’s Basketball:

Bentley University at Stonehill College (Saturday, 1:30 p.m.) – The first meeting resulted in a win for the Falcons, so can the Skyhawks even the season series with a victory on their court?

Stonehill enters the contest on a four-game winning streak. They’ve averaged 82.5 points in their last four matches, thanks to offensive production from Mary Louise Dixon, Asia Ewing and Tori Faieta.

Bentley recently took over the number one position in the USA Today Sports poll, as well as earned their third consecutive Northeast-10 regular season crown with its 24th consecutive win on Wednesday against Franklin Pierce. Lauren Battista finished with 20 points and 10 rebounds, while Jacqui Brugliera netted 13 points in the win.  

Last time these two squads met, the Falcons constructed a 49-11 lead and never looked back. Batista, Courtney Finn and Christiana Bakolas each recorded 10 points or more in the win, while Faieta led the visitors with a game-best 14 points.

Amherst College vs. Bowdoin College (Saturday, 5:30 p.m.) – The Polar Bears shocked New England last weekend by defeating Tufts University in Medford. Can they continue their momentum against the Lord Jeffs?

Bowdoin led Amherst at the break during their first meeting, but couldn’t fend off a second half charge, as the Lord Jeffs’ 44 points secured the win. Amherst’s Marcia Voigt led all scorers with 17 points, while Bowdoin’s Selena Lorrey scored 15 points off the bench. The Polar Bears bench provided 21 points compared to the Lord Jeffs 10, so it’ll be interesting to see if the non-starters can impact this game.

Against the Jumbos, the Polar Bears held their opponent to 22 of 67 from the field, as well as outrebounded them, 38-35.

Bowdoin topped Amherst in the 2009 conference championship, but ever since the Lord Jeffs have won and two victories this weekend will make it a four-peat for the hosts.

Mass. College Hoops: News And Notes From Saturday’s Slate

By Matt Noonan 

There were some interesting outcomes on Saturday in the college basketball world, and below are a few thoughts on the various games.

* I want to congratulate the Bentley University women’s basketball team for earning their 30th consecutive win against an East Region opponent, as Barbara Stevens guided the Falcons to 75-66 win against New Haven. Courtney Finn registered her second straight double-double, while Tyler Parker Kimball recorded a career-best 15 rebounds in 20 minutes. The Falcons are now 17-0 and 13-0 in Northeast-10 Conference play.

* Against UMBC, Boston University’s men’s team had six players record double figures in the Terriers 11th win of the season. Dom Morris, Malik Thomas, Maurice Watson Jr., John Papale, D.J. Irving and Nathan Dieudonne each tallied 10 points or more. The Terriers hadn’t had six scorers record double figures in a game since 2003.

* Kelly Greenberg picked up her 250th win as a head coach, as the BU women’s basketball team rebounded from their loss to Albany with a win against UMBC. The Terriers are now 17-4 overall and 7-1 in America East play.

* Harvard’s men’s basketball team overcame a seven-point deficit with 1:10 remaining and went onto defeat the visiting Dartmouth Big Green in overtime, 82-77. Tommy Amaker’s squad is now 10-6 overall and 2-0 in the Ivy League.

* Anna Maria’s men’s basketball team has been a rather quiet story this year. However, their most recent win a few days ago against Albertus Magnus certainly created a ripple across the region. Yesterday, they earned their eighth consecutive win by defeating Johnson & Wales, 76-68. Anthony Clink led the AMCATS with 22 points, while also recording eight rebounds, two assists, two blocks and two steals.

* Daniel Wohl upped his status to Big Man On Campus following his go-ahead layup with 31 seconds remaining, as Williams College handed Middlebury College their first setback of the season in Williamstown. The Ephs are now 17-2 overall and 6-0 in the New England Small College Athletic Conference (NESCAC).

* Amherst College’s men’s basketball team is on a roll and has now won 11 straight contests. The Lord Jeffs haven’t dropped a game since falling to Babson College on December 6. On Saturday, they defeated Trinity College to earn their sixth conference win, along with their 17th of the season.

* Tufts University’s women’s basketball team earned its 20th consecutive win of the season by defeating Bates College, 55-34. Since the Jumbos started playing basketball in 1972, the Powder Blue and White have tallied 20 wins or more in four seasons. The most wins the Jumbos have recorded were 26, which occurred during the 2007-08 season.

* Amherst’s women’s basketball team picked up its 19th consecutive win of the season, as the Lord Jeffs defeated Trinity College, 67-47. Marcia Voigt and Savannah Holness each tallied a game-high 13 points.  

* The New England Collegiate Conference (NECC) got off to a slow start, but as of recently, it is a two-horse race for the number one spot. Elms College and Newbury College are both 8-1 in the conference and 10-8 overall. Becker College is also 10-8, but 6-3 against conference foes. Newbury defeated Elms earlier this season, but will tangle with them once again on Saturday, February 16.

* Babson College and Smith College each picked up important road wins and remain neck and neck in the New England Women’s and Men’s Athletic Conference (NEWMAC).

* Framingham State’s women’s basketball team shocked Worcester State yesterday, as the Rams handed the Lancers their first setback in the Massachusetts State Collegiate Athletic Conference (MASCAC). Kristen Hoffman, Madeleine Park and Kia Minor each tallied 11 points or more in their team’s 11th victory.