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 Cortlandon Saturday afternoon at Western New England.
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.
It took two overtime sessions, but in the end, the Tufts University men’s basketball team was able to outlast Colby College, 102-94, to secure their first-ever New England Small College Athletic Conference (NESCAC) Tournament Championship.
With the win, the Jumbos secured the conference’s automatic bid to the upcoming NCAA D-III Tournament – the Powder Blue and White will find out their first-round opponent tomorrow when the pairings are released.
Eric Savage, who sent the game to overtime with a late three-pointer at the end of regulation, led all players with 27 points to go along with 11 rebounds and six assists. Luke Rogers also recorded a double-double of 25 points and 19 caroms while Brennan Morris finished with 16 points and six rebounds.
Tufts, which entered the 2020 NESCAC Tournament as the top seed, beat Colby last month, halting an 18-game winning streak that began with a 103-97 win over Ramapo in November. The Mules rebounded after their initial loss of the 2019-20 season by winning four of their final five regular-season contests before beating Bates College in triple-overtime in the NESCAC quarterfinals and Amherst College last night in the semifinals.
Dean Weiner paced the Mules with 23 points off the bench while Noah Tyson registered a double-double of 19 points and 13 rebounds to go with two steals and one assist. Matt Hanna concluded the game with 21 points on 7 of 13 shooting.
Despite the setback, the Mules should receive an at-large bid to the national tournament after winning 24 of 27 contests and securing the second seed in the NESCAC Tournament.
The Bowdoin College women’s basketball team captured their first NESCAC crown since 2009 earlier this afternoon by defeating Tufts, 70-60. With the win, the Polar Bears secure the conference’s automatic bid to the NCAA D-III Tournament.
The setback to the Polar Bears was the first for the Jumbos, who entered the 2020 NESCAC Tournament Championship on a 26-game winning streak. Tufts will receive an at-large bid to the postseason and will learn their first-round opponent tomorrow afternoon.
Maddie Hasson helped Bowdoin win their 25th contest of the season by recording a double-double of 24 points and 10 rebounds to go with three assists and two steals. Sela Kay finished the game with 18 points and seven rebounds.
Erica DeCandido led the Jumbos with 27 points and 10 rebounds while also tallying three assists, two blocks, and one steal.
Great Northeast Athletic Conference (GNAC) Championship: St. Joseph’s (Conn.) 88, Albertus Magnus 84: Coach Jim Calhoun is headed to the NCAA D-III Tournament, thanks to Delshawn Jackson Jr., who led the Blue Jays (and all players) with 46 points. Jackson, who recorded his 1,000th career point earlier in the title game, finished 16 of 23 from the field, including six of nine from beyond the arc.
St. Joseph’s led the Falcons, 44-25, at the break, but Albertus Magnus stormed back and closed the gap to four-points by outscoring the hosts, 59-44. Tyreek Perkins and Terry Dawkins combined for 47 points in the setback while Jahmerikah Green-Younger finished the game with 10 points.
New England Women’s and Men’s Basketball (NEWMAC) Championship: Coast Guard Academy 89, WPI 86 (OT): The Bears overcame a 25-point deficit at the break to not only force overtime but win their third NEWMAC Championship in program history. Coast Guard capped an impressive three-game, five-day tournament run that saw the Blue and Orange defeat Emerson College in the quarterfinals and Springfield College in the semifinals. Tyler Perez and Noah Baldez combined for 43 points while Packy Witkowski chipped in 19 points on 6 of 12 shooting. Garrett Stephenson paced WPI with a double-double of 26 points and 11 rebounds.
Little East Conference (LEC) Championship: Eastern Connecticut 49, Rhode Island College 44: Three members of the Warriors netted 12 points or more, including Danielle O’Brien, who finished with 15 points on five of nine shooting as Eastern Connecticut outlasted Rhode Island College and captured their seventh LEC title in program history. Maci Dorantes led Rhode Island College with 11 points off the bench.
NEWMAC (NEWMAC) Championship: Smith College 70, MIT 56: Elle Jo Whalen netted 20 points and pulled down 15 rebounds, including 12 defensive caroms while Jessie Ruffner added 15 points on 5 of 13 shooting as the Pioneers defeated the Engineers and claimed their first-ever NEWMAC Championship. Smith jumped out to a 21-4 lead and never looked back. Kylie Gallagher led MIT with 17 points while Jocelyn Luizzi added 16 points and 15 rebounds.
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’Connorhighlighted 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.
The Mules of Colby enter the contest riding an impressive 13-game winning streak – they extended that streak last weekend with back-to-back wins over Connecticut College and Trinity College. Sam Jefferson is one of two players in the New England Small College Athletic Conference (NESCAC) averaging 22.8 points per game – he will certainly be a player to watch on Friday evening, as well as someone the Panthers will need to locate when he is on the court.
As for the Panthers, they enter this marquee matchup with a 15-1 mark – they lost last weekend to Amherst College but rebounded the following day with a one-point win over Hamilton College. Tommy Eastman highlighted the Blue and White’s win over the Continentals – similar to Jefferson, he will also be a player to watch in this contest.
Noontime’s Prediction: I think the Panthers’ win over Hamilton provided them with some momentum that not only helped them against Albertus Magnus earlier this week but should assist them to make a few more plays than Colby, especially down the stretch. Middlebury will beat Colby, 81-78.
Tufts University at Amherst College (Saturday, January 18th at 3 p.m.): It may be too early to call this a ‘must-win’ game for both teams, but as two of the top three women’s basketball teams in the NESCAC, this is a VERY important contest.
Since falling to Emmanuel College last month, the Mammoths have won 11-straight – they will attempt to make it 12-straight wins when they host Bates College this evening with tip-off scheduled for 7 p.m.
Amherst’s Madeline Eck was named the conference’s player of the week on Monday – she entered the week averaging 15.6 points per game. The senior guard, who has played and started in all 15 games this season, has converted 72.1 percent of her free throws while averaging seven caroms per contest.
First-year coach Jill Pace has enjoyed a very successful start with the Jumbos, who enter this weekend riding a 14-game winning streak. Before Tufts visits Amherst on Saturday, they will travel to Hamilton on Friday for a 7 p.m. tip-off.
Tufts opened conference play last week with a 78-60 win over Wesleyan University – it was a game that featured a double-double of 28 points and 10 rebounds by Erica DeCandido. DeCandido will be a player to watch on the Powder Blue and White against the Mammoths on Saturday.
Noontime’s Prediction: This will be a good test for both teams, but Amherst has been impressive since falling to the Saints and should find a way to beat the Jumbos on their home court by a score of 63-57.
Time for some ‘extra picks’ for the weekend!
MBB: Tufts (MBB) over Hamilton (Jan. 17th): After falling to Suffolk University earlier this week, the Jumbos will find a way to bounce back against the Continentals before hosting the Mammoths on Saturday afternoon.
MBB: Emmanuel College over Lasell University (Jan. 18th): Coach Danny Lawson and the Saints should continue their recent momentum at home against the Lasers and score their first conference win of 2020.
WBB: Smith College over Emerson College (Jan. 18th): The Pioneers scored an impressive road win earlier this week against the Ephs of Williams College and should be able to continue that momentum on the other side of the state against the Lions.
MBB: Endicott College over Roger Williams (Jan. 18th): The Gulls have rebounded nicely since falling to Nichols College earlier this month with back-to-back wins over Curry College and Gordon College. Look for a big game on Saturday from Keith Brown and Jalen Echevarria.
WBB: Rhode Island College over UMass Boston (Jan. 18th): RIC appears to be the team to beat in the Little East Conference (LEC) – they enter Saturday’s match-up riding an 11-game winning streak. RIC’s Willcia McBorrough will be the player to watch in this contest.
WBB: Westfield State over Bridgewater State (Jan. 18th): After surrendering 101 points to Framingham State last weekend, the Owls have rebounded with some important conference wins over Fitchburg State and Worcester State. Look for Blue and White to extend their current winning streak to three games on Saturday.
WBB: Eastern Nazarene at Mitchell College (Jan. 18th): The Lions appear to be the team to beat (and watch) in the New England Collegiate Conference (NECC) – this has the making of a potential postseason preview.