Briggs, DeCandido Leads Tufts Past SUNY Cortland

wbasketball

Erica DeCandido registered a double-double in Tufts University’s second-round contest against SUNY Cortland. (PHOTO COURTESY: Alexander Thompson / The Tufts Daily)

By NoontimeSports.com 

For the ninth consecutive season, the Tufts University women’s basketball team secured a spot in the upcoming NCAA D-III Tournament’s “Sweet 16” with a 79-53 win over SUNY Cortland on Saturday afternoon at Western New England.

With the win, the Jumbos secured a date with Williams College, which beat Ithaca College, 69-61, in its second-round matchup this afternoon. Tufts and Williams have met twice this season with the Jumbos winning both contests, including last month’s New England Small College Athletic Conference (NESCAC) semifinals.

Erica DeCandido led the Jumbos and all scorers with 26 points to go with 11 rebounds, three assists, and three steals while Emily Briggs chipped in 21 points on 9 of 15 shooting. Briggs also contributed nine rebounds, two assists, one steal, and one block.

Tufts led 21-14 after one quarter before pushing ahead for good at the break with a 38-22 advantage. Cortland did reduce the deficit in the second half with a 22 point output, but it wasn’t enough to provide the Red Dragons with enough momentum to slow down the Jumos in the final frame.

Three members of the Red Dragons netted double-digits, Casey Travers, who finished with a team-high 13 points on four of nine shooting.

Cortland secured a second-round date with the Jumbos after scoring an opening day win over host Western New England. Tufts defeated SUNY Poly on the first day by a score of 72-34.

Noontime’s Sunday Shootaround: Tufts Continues Its Winning Ways

NSHoopsShootaround

By Matt Noonan | @NoontimeNation 

With just two games remaining in the regular season, the Tufts University women’s basketball team is inching closer to securing the top seed in the upcoming New England Small College Athletic Conference (NESCAC) Tournament.

Tufts, which scored back-to-back wins this past weekend against Connecticut College and Trinity College, will close out its regular-season slate next weekend when they host Middlebury College on Friday, February 14th and Williams College on Saturday, February 15th.

One week after hosting the Ephs, the Jumbos, who currently reside in the top spot in the conference as of this afternoon, would most likely host a quarterfinal contest. And a win over their quarterfinal opponent would provide the Powder Blue and White with the opportunity to host both the semifinals and championship one week later.

Against the Camels, Erica DeCandido netted a game-high 27 points on 13 of 19 shooting to go along with six rebounds, four steals, and three assists. Emily Briggs added 18 points while Cailin Harrington led all players with 10 rebounds. 

Tufts’ next opponent – Middlebury – has won just one conference game this season. The Panthers defeated Hamilton College last month, thanks to a double-double from Kira Waldman of 21 points and 12 rebounds. Since their win over the Continentals, they have struggled, both in and outside the conference. 

Williams, which lost to Wesleyan University on Friday, has won five of eight conference tilts. They currently reside in the fourth position in the league standings.

If the conference tournament began today, the Jumbos would face Wesleyan, a team they beat last month. Erica DeCandido produced a double-double of 28 points and 10 rebounds against the Cardinals while Molly Ryan finished with 17 points.

The Tufts men’s basketball team is also the top team in the NESCAC – they have won eight consecutive league tilts, including some key match-ups over the past few weeks against Amherst College and Colby College.

Tufts beat Connecticut College and Trinity this past weekend to remain the top team in the league with two games remaining. The Jumbos will visit Middlebury on Friday followed by Williams on Saturday. If Tufts beats both the Panthers and Ephs, they will lock-up the top spot and host a quarterfinal contest.

Luke Rogers recorded a double-double of 11 rebounds and 10 points against Connecticut College on Saturday after stuffing the stat sheet against Trinity with 16 points, six rebounds, two steals, two blocks, and one assist.

The Babson College women’s basketball team secured a two-way tie for first place in the New England Women’s and Men’s Athletic Conference (NEWMAC) by beating Clark University this past weekend by a score of 78-64. Babson, which currently boasts a 6-0 mark in league play, is tied with Springfield College, a team they will face in two weeks (February 19th, to be exact).

Emily Bonifacic highlighted the Beavers’ 13th win against the Cougars by recording a double-double of 33 points and 11 rebounds.

Coach Jim Calhoun‘s team extended its winning streak to 18 yesterday as St. Joseph’s (Conn) defeated St. Joseph’s (Maine), 113-73.

The Blue Jays, who have won seven consecutive Great Northeast Athletic Conference (GNAC) matchups, appear to be in the driver seat for the top spot in the upcoming conference tournament.

St. Joseph’s has four games remaining, including an enticing match-up on Saturday, February 15th against Emmanuel College. The Saints have won six of seven league tilts and will visit St. Joseph’s (Maine) on Wednesday, February 12th.

As of today, Western Connecticut and UMass Dartmouth men’s basketball are the top two teams in the Little East Conference (LEC) while Rhode Island College is a half-game behind the two teams with three games remaining.

RIC, which has won back-to-back contests, including a dramatic 83-80 win on Saturday over UMass Boston, faces Eastern Connecticut on Wednesday, February 12th. It is an important game for both teams, especially the Warriors, who currently trail Keene State for the final spot in the upcoming tournament.

The Westfield State men’s basketball team has won three-straight match-ups, including a 72-55 win on Saturday against Fitchburg State.

With their second win over the Falcons, the Owls secured the top spot in the conference, but share an identical league mark of 7-2 with Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts. MCLA outlasted Westfield State last month in overtime, but the Trailblazers have only won once in their last three outings.

With two weeks remaining in the regular season, both MCLA and Westfield State remain in a position to secure the top spot in the Massachusetts State Collegiate Athletic Conference (MASCAC) Tournament. The two teams are scheduled to meet in Westfield later this month with the outcome possibly deciding the top two spots in the tournament pending both teams win their respective next two contests.

Finally, Framingham State women’s basketball inched closer to securing the top spot in the MASCAC with a season-sweep of Worcester State yesterday. Flannery O’Connor highlighted the Rams’ eighth-straight win by recording a double-double of 27 points and 10 rebounds.

The Rams visit MCLA this week before hosting Salem State on Saturday, February 15th and Bridgewater State next Wednesday, February 19th. All three are winnable games for FSU, which has not lost a game since falling to Emerson College early last month.

New England Basketball: Colby Looks To Continue Its Momentum Against Tufts

NEWKNDHOOPSWATCH011020

By Matt Noonan | @NoontimeNation 

The Colby College men’s basketball team has won 18-straight contests this season, including six consecutive New England Small College Athletic Conference (NESCAC) match-ups. They will attempt to extend that streak to 19 consecutive victories this afternoon when they visit Tufts University.

Colby, which defeated Bates College last night, is tied with Tufts for the top spot in the NESCAC with just a few weeks remaining in the regular season. A win over the Jumbos would provide them with the inside track to the top spot in the conference tournament later this month.

Similar to Colby, Tufts has not dropped a conference clash this winter as they have won five consecutive league meetings, including one last night against Bowdoin CollegeEric Savage netted a career-high 35 points against the Polar Bears while Tyler Aronson chipped in 15 points and five rebounds.

If Tufts is going to beat the Mules, they must find a way to slow down a very impressive Colby offense, which is averaging a league-best 92.8 points per game. Additionally, they will need to stop Sam Jefferson, who is averaging a league-best 23.5 points per contest.

Colby beat Tufts last season, 103-93, at home, thanks to a game-high 32 points from Sam Jefferson, but have not beaten the Jumbos in Medford since February 14, 2014.

The Tufts women’s basketball team scored a big road win last night, defeating Bowdoin in Brunswick, Maine, by a score of 97-88. With the win, the Jumbos have secured the top spot in the conference, along with an inside track to hosting the NESCAC Tournament later this month in Medford.

Emily Briggs led the Jumbos with a team-high 23 points, while Calin Harrington netted a season-high 20 points on 8 of 13 shooting.

“It was just an awesome game,” Tufts first-year coach Jill Pace said via The Portland Press Herald.

The Jumbos outscored the Polar Bears, 24-18, in the final session to improve to 19-0 overall and 5-0 in conference play. Tufts will visit Colby this afternoon with tip-off scheduled for 3 p.m. Their meeting with the Mules will be their final regular-season road contest as their next four games will take place on campus.

Other News and Notes from the New England D-III Basketball World

  • The Trinity College men’s basketball team scored an impressive 82-76 win last night over Middlebury College. Kyle Padmore and Colin Donovan each netted 20 points in the win. The Bantams host Williams College this afternoon at 3 p.m.
  • The Babson College women’s team has won two-straight New England Women’s and Men’s Athletic Conference (NEWMAC) contests and will attempt to win a third against Smith College this afternoon at 1 p.m. Despite falling to Emerson College, the Pioneers have been a team to watch this winter – they enter today’s important meeting riding a three-game winning streak.
  • Framingham State women’s basketball has won six-straight Massachusetts State Collegiate Athletic Conference (MASCAC) meetings, including an early January contest against Westfield State. A win this afternoon against the Owls would provide the Rams with a season-sweep, as well as the inside track to the top spot in the conference tournament.
  • Eastern Connecticut women’s basketball has won 15 of 18 contests this season, including an early January meeting against UMass Boston. A win today against the Beacons would secure a season-sweep. UMass Boston has not beaten the Warriors since February 3, 2018. The Beacons’ last home win against the Warriors occurred on January 6, 2018.
  • The Endicott College men’s basketball team will attempt to win their seventh-straight contest when they visit Gordon College for a 3 p.m. tip-off. The Gulls edged the Fighting Scots earlier this season, 88-86, in overtime. A win today over Gordon would provide Endicott with its tenth conference victory.
  • Finally, St. Joseph (Conn.) men’s basketball will look to extend their winning streak to 16 consecutive wins when they visit Johnson & Wales for a 3 p.m. tip-off. The Blue Jays enter the game with a great deal of momentum following an impressive win earlier this week against Albertus Magnus.

Stay connected with Noontime Sports on FacebookInstagramTwitter, and YouTube

New England Basketball Weekend Watch (Jan. 10th-12th)

NEWKNDHOOPSWATCH011020

By Matt Noonan | @NoontimeNation 

Another busy weekend of New England D-III college basketball is set to tip-off this afternoon and evening – hope you are ready for some great games to watch and follow!

Let’s begin with one game to watch in Medford, Massachusetts this evening as the Tufts University women’s basketball team welcomes Wesleyan University to Cousens Gymnasium for a 7 p.m. tip-off.

Friday’s clash between the Cardinals and Jumbos marks the official start of New England Small College Athletic Conference (NESCAC) play.

Tufts enters tonight’s contest riding an impressive 13-game winning streak, which has included recent wins over UMass DartmouthSUNYIT, and Wheaton College. Emily Briggs highlighted the Powder and Blue’s effort against the Lyons on Wednesday by connecting on 7 of 10 field goals for 19 points – she also made all three freebies. Erica DeCandido chipped in 13 points on six of eight shooting.

Wesleyan should certainly provide Tufts with some challenges on both ends of the court – the Cardinals have won eight of 11 contests thus far, including an early January clash with Babson College. The Cardinals began their 2019-20 campaign with six-straight wins.

In their last outing against SUNY Geneseo, last weekend, Caleigh Ryan and Katy O’Connor combined for 24 points, while Emma Roush added 10 points off the bench. 

A few other NESCAC women’s games to watch tonight and this weekend include Bowdoin College at Trinity College (1/10 at 7 p.m.), Amherst College at Middlebury College (1/10 at 7 p.m.), and Amherst at Williams College on Saturday, January 11th at 3 p.m.

On the men’s side of the NESCAC, keep an eye on Friday’s clash between Middlebury and Amherst. The Panthers have won 13-straight contests, including three consecutive 2020 meetings with Colby-SawyerSpringfield College, and Plattsburgh State. This particular outing should be a good test for the Panthers, but also the Mammoths, who began the new year with a 116-44 win over Lesley University before falling to Wesleyan three days later by a score of 79-77.

My prediction for Friday’s Amherst-Middlebury game is the following: The Mammoths will prevail and receive some major contributions from Grant Robinson, Fru Che, and Eric Sellew.

Tomorrow (Saturday, January 11th), WPI will entertain Babson in a very enticing New England Women’s and Men’s Athletic Conference (NEWMAC) contest. The Engineers began conference play earlier this week against MIT, while the Beavers were edged on Wednesday by Springfield.

It’s too early to say this a must-win for the Beavers (or Engineers) as all eight teams play each other twice in a single-season, but this could be a potential preview of the conference championship game next month.

Other Games to Watch (and Follow) this Weekend: 

  • WBB: Framingham State at Westfield State (Saturday, Jan. 11th at 12 p.m.): The Rams can begin conference play with a win on the road against an Owls team, which has not won a game since beating Plymouth State in mid-to-late November.
  • WBB: Western New England at Wentworth Inst. of Technology (Saturday, Jan. 11th at 1 p.m.): Look for the Golden Bears to bounce back after losing to WPI earlier this week. A win over the Leopards would provide WNE with their fourth conference win and keep them within at least one or two games of the University of New England.
  • WBB: Brandeis University at New York University (Saturday, Jan. 11th at 1 p.m.): The Judges face another 10-1 squad in an important conference meeting. Brandeis has won 10 of 11 contests this season so I expect that momentum will help them against the Violets.
  • MBB: Keene State at Rhode Island College (Saturday, Jan. 11th at 3 p.m.): This is an important meeting for both teams as the Anchormen and Owls are in a three-way tie with Western Connecticut for the top spot in the conference. Look for the Anchormen to bounce back after losing to Western Connecticut earlier this week.