Mass. College Hoops: D3 Hoops Games To Watch This Afternoon

By NoontimeSports.com 

With the college hoops regular season slowly winding down, today is certainly an important day for a variety of local Division 3 squads.

Here are a slew of games to keep tabs on as the day progresses. Make sure to check back for a roundup from these contests later this afternoon. Also, make sure to follow Noontime Sports on Twitter (@NoontimeSports or @NoonSportsBlog) for updates.

Men’s Basketball:

No. 3 WPI at Babson College (2 p.m.) – Since losing to the Engineers, the Beavers have won five of its last six games, including last weekend’s overtime thriller against Emerson College. Babson’s Joey Flannery has recorded 60 points in his team’s last two outings. He registered game-highs against Emerson College (43 points) and Wheaton College (17). The freshman forward was held to just nine points in 36 minutes against the Engineers, while teammate John Wickey led all players in that contest with a double-double of 21 points and 11 rebounds.

The Engineers remain the top squad in the NEWMAC, despite falling to Emerson College on Wednesday. A win for the Beavers could certainly put them back in contention to host the conference tournament, but they’ll need help.

WPI’s Sam Longwell has recorded 34 points in his team’s last two contests. He scored 13 points in the Engineers’ 71-70 victory over Springfield and 21 points against the Lions.

Tufts University at No. 10 Williams College (4 p.m.) – With three games remaining, the Jumbos will look to reposition themselves in the standings with a victory against a talented Ephs squad that hasn’t lost since falling to Amherst in January. Tufts earned its first NESCAC win a few weeks ago when they defeated Bates College followed by a road win at Connecticut College.

With eight teams making the conference tournament, Tufts will need to capture this contest, as well as defeat Bowdoin College and Colby College at home next weekend. Williams would be the second seed if the tournament were to start today.

Duncan Robinson, who is seventh in the conference in points (120 points in NESCAC play), is averaging 16 points per game for Williams. He’s also a 90.9 percent free throw shooter, too. Tufts’ Hunter Sabety is 11th in the conference in points (107) and is averaging 14.6 points per game.

Other Games To Watch:

Nichols College @ Western New England (3 p.m.)  – Curry snapped Nichols’ winning streak (10 games), so can the Bison turn it around against the Golden Bears?

Wentworth @ Eastern Nazarene (3 p.m.) – The Leopards returned to the win column earlier this week by defeating University of New England. Can they earn win number 11 against a Lions squad that’s currently second in the conference? Eastern Nazarene has won five straight since falling to Gordon College on Jan. 18.

Becker at Lesley (2 p.m.) – The Hawks are making a push for first place in the NECC. They’re currently on a six-game winning streak and will look to earn a season sweep against the Lynx.

Salem State at Worcester State (3 p.m.) – Don’t count out the Lancers, who’re riding a four-game winning streak. Worcester State will look to avenge their earlier loss to the Vikings (71-62) and earn its fifth conference victory.

Women’s Basketball:

No. 6 Tufts University at No. 15 Williams College (2 p.m.) – Both teams have combined for 39 wins and two losses this season. Tufts will look to extend its winning streak to 21 games, while Williams, which is 19-2 overall and 5-2 in NESCAC play, will look to extend its current winning streak to eight games.

Similar to the men’s team, Williams hasn’t lost since falling to rival Amherst College. However, the Ephs split the season series with the Lord Jeffs by claiming a victory in Williamstown on January 22. Tufts handed the Lord Jeffs their first setback of the season by defeating Amherst in Medford, 63-56.

Both teams rank in the top three in points per game in the NESCAC as Williams is second with 65.9, while Tufts is third with 64.7. The Jumbos have held opponent to roughly 48-49 points per game, while the Ephs defense has yielded an average of 57-58 points per game.

Keep an eye on Williams College’s Ellen Cook, who is averaging 14.2 points per game. Tufts’ Hannah Foley has connected on 41.8 percent of her shots from three-point land.

Other Games To Watch:

Emmanuel College at St. Joe’s (Conn.) (1 p.m.) – The Saints will look to extend its current winning streak to five games when they travel to Connecticut to take on the Blue Jays, who’ve won three straight. Emmanuel is currently second place in the GNAC, while St. Joe’s is fifth.

Wheaton at WPI (2 p.m.) – The Lyons will look to earn their fourth straight win against the Engineers, which dates back to last season. A win would be back-to-back season sweeps for the Lyons, who recently claimed the top spot in the NEWMAC on Thursday with their win over Coast Guard.

MIT at Smith College (2 p.m.) – Since falling to Williams, the Pioneers have rebounded with three consecutive victories, including a 56-51 win over Wellesley last weekend. They’ll look to keep pace with the Blue, Coast Guard and Wheaton by attempting to earn their fourth straight victory against a talented MIT squad.

Eastern Connecticut at UMass Boston (1 p.m.) – The Beacons will attempt to close out the week with back-to-back wins. UMB lost earlier this season to Eastern Connecticut, 67-47.

Framingham State at Bridgewater State (1 p.m.) – The Rams, who’re currently second in the MASCAC, will look to earn an important win against a Bears squad that’s won four straight. Bridgewater defeated Framingham earlier this season, 81-76, thanks to 29 points from Jenna Williamson.

Mass. College Hoops: Saturday Roundup

By NoontimeSports.com 

Here are scores and highlight from some of today’s men’s and women’s basketball contests.

Men’s Basketball:

UNC 82, Boston College 71: The Tar Heels ballooned a four-point lead at intermission into an 11-point victory, their 11th overall win of the season. Ryan Anderson registered a double-double of 11 points and 12 rebounds, while Olivier Hanlan led the Eagles with 16 points.

Holy Cross 61, Lehigh 42: Malcolm Miller registered 14 points, seven rebounds, two steals and two blocks in 29 minutes as the Crusaders defeated Lehigh and improved to 3-3 in Patriot League play. David Dudzinski netted 10 points, while Justin Burrell added 11 points and two assists.

Bentley 78, AIC 64: Tyler McFarland was a perfect 12-for-12 from the field, including 4-for-4 from beyond the arc as the sophomore forward netted 32 points in the Falcons’ 13th win of the season.

No. 5 WPI 64, Emerson 50: Sam Longwell netted a game-best 17 points, while Zach Karalis and Sean Doncaster scored nine points, respectively, as the Engineers defeated the Lions and earned their 11th straight win. Michael Thorpe led Emerson with 15 points.

No. 6 Amherst 82, Bates 71: David Kalema paced the Lord Jeffs with 20 points, while Aaron Toomey netted 19 points as Amherst defeated the Bobcats and improved to 4-0 in NESCAC play.

No. 10 Williams 69, Colby 62: Duncan Robinson scored a game-best 27 points, while Michael Mayer added 15 points and nine boards as the Ephs defeated the Mules and improved to 13-2 overall and 3-1 in NESCAC play.

Nichols 75, Wentworth 63: Ryan Sheehan recorded 18 points and eight rebound, while Sam Horning registered 11 points, six rebounds, one steal and one assist as the Bison extended their current winning streak to six games. Jherson Colon led Wentworth with 16 points.

Endicott 82, WNE 76: Lachlan Magee and John Henault combined for 35 points, nine rebounds, four assists and two steals as the Gulls soared past the Golden Bears. Dennis Rinaldi led WNE with 19 points.

Bridgewater State 78, Worcester State 65: Michael Lofton stuffed the stat sheet for the Bears with 17 points, eight rebounds, four assists and four steals, which lifted the Bears over the Lancers. Brendan Rios led Worcester State with 18 points.

Salem State 80, Westfield State 75: Jon Perez recorded 20 points and six boards off the bench, which helped the Vikings edge the Owls in Salem. Grant Cooper led Westfield State with a double-double of 36 points and 14 rebounds.

UMass Dartmouth 103, Keene State 90: Ryan Walsh converted on 12-of-17 shots from the field, including three from beyond the arc as the first-year guard scored a game-best 29 points for the Corsairs.

MIT 55, Springfield 51: Justin Pedley scored a game-best 27 points, while Dakota Pierce netted 12 points as the Engineers defeated the Pride in Cambridge. Nick McKenna led Springfield with 14 points off the bench.

Babson 80, Wheaton 59: John Wickey and Joe Flannery combined for 40 points, 15 rebounds, four assists, one steal and one block as the Beavers defeated the Lyons in Norton. Agyei Gregory led the Lyons with a double-double of 15 points and 11 boards.

Women’s Basketball:

Lehigh 87, Holy Cross 82: Raquel Scott registered a double-double of 23 points and 16 rebounds (11 on defense), but that wasn’t enough to lift the Crusaders past Lehigh in Pennsylvania. Alex Smith netted 19 points and recorded six boards, five assists and two steals in the setback.

No. 1 Bentley 84, AIC 46: Courtney Finn buried a school record eight triples and finished with a career-high 25 points as the Falcons defeated the Yellow Jackets in Springfield and improved to 16-0.

No. 21 Adelphi 95, Assumption 93: The Greyhounds’ 90+ point effort, which was the most they’ve scored since registering 92 points against Saint Michael’s on January 29, 2003, wasn’t enough to beat the Panthers, who registered 50 points in the second half. Shannon Ray led Assumption with 22 points, while Kelly Conley added 19 points, four boards, three assists and one steal.

No. 3 Amherst 88, Bates 54: Hannah Peterson scored a game-high 30 points, while Ali Doswell finished with a double-double of 16 points and 11 rebounds as the Lord Jeffs defeated the Bobcats in Maine.

No. 7 Tufts 68, Trinity 48: Hayley Kanner poured in 16 points, while Hannah Foley recorded nine points and seven rebounds as the Jumbos defeated the Bantams in Medford.

No. 18 Williams 71, Colby 54: Ellen Cook netted a team-high 15 points, which was also a game-high, while recording six rebounds, five assists, two steals and two blocks, which lifted the Ephs past the Mules in Williamstown.

WNE 53, Endicott 49: Ali Pessolano recorded 12 points, three rebounds and one assist in 27 minutes, which helped the Golden Bears even their overall mark at 7-7. Samantha Crough led the Gulls with 16 points.

Bridgewater State 63, Worcester State 48: Jenna Williamson scored a game-best 29 points, while adding eight rebounds, four assists and three steals, which helped the Bears defeat the Lancers in Worcester. Meghan Burns led the hosts with 14 points.

Wellesley 72. Mount Holyoke 47: The Blue claimed their 10th consecutive victory, 12th of the season, thanks to 17 points from Leslie Leong and 11 points by Morgyne Weaver.

Babson 68, Clark 65: The Beavers won their sixth consecutive NEWMAC contest and improved to 7-7 overall. Linnett Graber scored a team-high and game-high 18 points, while Kristen Ferola stuffed the stat sheet with 15 points, eight boards, six assists and two steals. Emily Reilly led Clark with 14 points.

Mass. College Hoops: Five Games To Watch This Weekend (Feb. 1-2)

By NoontimeSports.com 

It’s Friday, which means it is time to unveil our five basketball games to watch this weekend.

Also, make sure to stay up to date on the various games by visiting our blog for press releases, recaps and roundups, and updates via Twitter (@NoontimeSports or @NoonSportsBlog).

Men’s Basketball:

Drexel at Northeastern University (Saturday, 6:00 p.m.) – The Huskies eight-game winning streak was snapped on Wednesday, as Georgia State defeated Northeastern at historic Matthews Arena. The Black and Red will return to the hardwood on Saturday looking to rebound against a Dragons squad that is 4-2 in their last six contests.

Northeastern ranks 77th in the country in field goal percentage (.453) and 83rd in assists per game (14.4), while Joel Smith remains the leading points per game leader with 16.6.

The Huskies will need to stop Damion Lee, who is averaging 18.8 points per game, and if their defense does the job, expect the offense to produce on the opposite end of the court.

Springfield College at MIT (Saturday, 1:00 p.m.) – Both teams remain tied for the second spot in the NEWMAC (New England Women’s and Men’s Athletic Conference), as well as have 15 overall wins, too.

Springfield defeated the Engineers on their home court a few weeks ago, which marked the first time the Pride defeated their highly touted opponent since February 6, 2008. MIT had won the last 11 meetings, including last season’s conference championship, which took place in Cambridge.

Alex Berthiaume (Springfield) continues to lead the conference with 17.7 points per game, while Mitchell Kates (MIT) is two spots below him with 16.5 points. The Engineers will need to stop Berthiaume, who netted a game-high 21 points in their last meeting, in order to claim an important win. Springfield also recorded 23 points off 17 MIT turnovers; so protecting a ball is also a must for Larry Anderson’s crew.

Women’s Basketball:

Bridgewater State at Westfield State (Saturday, 1:00 p.m.) – Bridgewater defeated Westfield earlier this season, and relied on Elisha Homich and Jenna Williamson to carry the Bears past the Owls. On Saturday, they’ll certainly need both players, as well as their defense to force turnovers, too.

Homich currently ranks fifth in the MASCAC (Massachusetts State Collegiate Athletic Conference) with 284 points, while Westfield State’s Gabby Felix ranks eight with 279. Felix recorded a double-double against the Bears with 11 points and 12 rebounds in their last meeting, and will be someone Bridgewater State will need to stop.

Tufts University at Amherst College (Saturday, 4:00 p.m.) – This could potentially be a preview for the NESCAC (New England Small College Athletic Conference) championship. However, since both these teams only meet once, the winner will certainly have the upper hand in regards to home court for the conference semi-finals and finals.

Amherst is coming off a 46-30 victory against Wesleyan, while Tufts picked up their 21st victory against Rhode Island College. The Lord Jeffs rank first in their conference with points per game (64.7), while the Jumbos are second (62.3).

Megan Robertson (Amherst) ranks first in the conference with 9.1 rebounds per game, while Hanna Foley (Tufts) is ninth in points per game (12.1).

Wheaton College at Babson College (Saturday, 1:00 p.m.) – The Lyons snapped their three-game skid with an important conference win against WPI on Wednesday at Emerson Gymnasium. With the victory, Wheaton advanced to 8-12 overall, 5-8 in the NEWMAC. And with five conference games remaining, every contest is critical for Melissa Hodgdon’s squad.

Babson is coming off a win against Wellesley on Wednesday; as the Beavers overcame a two-point deficit at the break to earn their 18th win of the season and 13th victory against conference foes. Sarah Collins continues to lead the Green and White in points and rebounds, and was named this past week’s NEWMAC and NEWBA (New England Women’s Basketball Association) Player of the Week following two dominant performances against Mount Holyoke and WPI.

Wheaton’s Kiley Shoemaker ranks third in the conference with 149 rebounds (45 offensive, 104 defensive) and will be called upon to limit Babson’s chances on offense.

Babson’s Erin Young is second in the conference in three-point percentage (46.3). Young buried five triples against the Lyons in their last meeting in December, and will certainly be someone Wheaton will have to defend, too.

Mass. College Hoops: Div. III Hoops Second Half Thoughts

By Matt Noonan

The second half of the Div. III college basketball season officially kicked off last night. Some commenced 2013 with a win, while others suffered a setback.

Here are few notes and reactions from last night’s slate:

WPI Remains Undefeated: For the 12th time this season, No. 14 WPI earned a win, as they defeated St. Joe’s (Maine), 58-45. I’ll be seeing the Engineers for the first time on Saturday when they open NEWMAC (New England Women’s and Men’s Athletic Conference) play against Babson College.

The Engineers probably have the inside track for the conference crown because MIT is dealing with a few injuries. However, anything is possible, especially in this particular conference, so don’t count your chickens before they hatch.

Williams Leapfrogs Amherst: According to the most recent men’s D3Hoops.com poll, the Ephs leapfrogged the Lord Jeffs to No. 21. The Ephs will be on the road this weekend and can distance themselves from their rival with wins against Bates and Tufts.

Tufts Women’s Hoops Is Still Perfect: The Jumbos continue to be the favorite in my mind as we begin the second half of the season. However, it’ll be interesting to see how they fare this weekend against NESCAC (New England Small Athletic Conference) foes Middlebury and Williams at home. Hannah Foley, who hails from Acton, currently leads the Powder Blue and White with 135 points.

Suffolk Remains Perfect In The GNAC: The Rams men’s basketball team has been somewhat of a surprise this season. They’re currently one of three teams with a perfect record in the GNAC (Great Northeast Athletic Conference). They’ll face Emmanuel College on Saturday, a team that’s struggled, so it’ll be interesting if their crosstown foe can provide them with their first conference loss of the season.

Emmanuel Women’s Looks To Avenge December Losses: Unfortunately the Saints ended 2012 with two back-to-back losses in the California Lutheran University Tournament. Yet, they also dropped a game to Amherst in December, too. The Saints will have a few extra days to work things out before they begin the second half of their season on Monday against Bowdoin College at home.

Smith College Should Win The NEWMAC: The Pioneers have earned some impressive wins thus far and will get a crack at the conference’s defending champions next weekend when they travel to Babson. Smith does have to play Williams, though, while Babson will only face conference opponents for the remainder of the season. If the Pioneers can keep their winning streak intact and defend Sarah Collins in both contests, then they’re probably the best bet to win the NEWMAC.

Do you agree or disagree with these second half thoughts? Let us know what you think by sending us an email (NoontimeSports@gmail.com) or interacting with us on Twitter (@NoontimeSports or @NoonSportsBlog).  

Mass. College Hoops: Div. III Women’s Basketball Rankings

By NoontimeSports.com 

The Div. III college basketball season is in full swing, and below is our first official women’s poll of the season.

Do you agree with our rankings? If not, send us an email to NoontimeSports@gmail.com or contact us on Twitter (@NoontimeSports or @NoonSportsBlog).

1.) Amherst College (5-0) – Despite some critical graduating losses, G.P. Gromacki’s squad has continued their success with wins against non-conference foes. Their toughest test of the season will occur on Tuesday at Emmanuel College.

2.) Tufts University (6-0) – The Jumbos have stampeded, not literally, over their most recent opponents. Hannah Foley continues to lead the squad in points (73), while Kate Barnosky has chipped in 51 points and 21 assists.

3.) Emmanuel College (6-0) – The Saints have managed to rattle off six straight wins since the season commenced, but can they earn their seventh on Tuesday against Amherst?

4.) Babson College (6-0) – The Beavers may have entered the season without two of their best players, but Sarah Collins has made up for their graduating losses with some impressive performances. Babson can earn a comfortable advantage in the NEWMAC (New England Women’s and Men’s Athletic Conference) standings with victories against Wellesley College and Wheaton College this week.

5.) Williams College (5-1) – The Bears of Bridgewater State rallied in the second half of Saturday’s game to edge the host Ephs, 61-60 in Williamstown. Yet, despite the loss, Pat Manning’s squad managed to secure some early season non-conference wins against Salve Regina and Springfield College, so don’t expect the purple and yellow to slow down following their first setback.

Honorable Mentions: Bridgewater State, Clark University, Curry College, Endicott College, Smith College, Suffolk University, WPI, UMass Dartmouth