Mass. College Hoops: Anna Maria Women’s Hoops Tops Lasell On ‘Senior Day’

By NoontimeSports.com 

Courtesy of the Anna Maria sports information department, here’s today’s release about the women’s basketball team, which capped its ‘Senior Day’ with an 85-58 victory over Lasell:

Paxton, Mass. –  Anna Maria College juniors Trafficia Warburton (Worcester, Mass.) and Katie Pryor (Whitinsville, Mass.) combined for 44 points to lead the AMCATS to a 85-58 victory over Lasell College in Great Northeast Athletic Conference (GNAC) women’s basketball action on Saturday afternoon at the Fuller Activities Center.

In a pre-game ceremony, head coach Kevin Bigelow and the AMCATS honored senior Taylor Walker (Winchendon, Mass.) for her contributions to the women’s basketball team over her three-year career.

Pryor notched 22 points on 6-of-17 shooting from the field including three from beyond the arc and a nice 7-of-9 from the free throw line. Warburton added 22 points and 10 rebounds for her tenth double-double on the season. Walker poured in 15 points on 6-of-7 shooting from the floor, while freshman Christina Gauvin (Dudley, Mass.) ended the afternoon in double figures with 13 points.

Lasell was led by sophomore Katie Stopera (Hollis, NH), who totaled a team-high 19 points, 4 rebounds and 2 assists, while teammate Danielle Autencio (Montville, CT) garnered a double-double with 11 points and 11 rebounds.

The game opened with Lasell quickly building a 6-0 lead on a pair of threes from Molly Lauver (Cambridge, NY) and Stopera, however Anna Maria would settle into their half-court offense and tie the game at 6-all with 16:23 to play. The first nine minutes of the game would see five lead changes but when sophomore Brandi Pasternack (North Brookfield, Mass.) connected on a jumper from the elbow at the 10:15 mark Anna Maria would take a 16-15 advantage they would never relinquish. The AMCATS would outscore the Lasers 28-13 over the last ten minutes of the half to take a 16-point, 44-28 lead at intermission.

Anna Maria continued to apply the offensive pressure in the second frame and extended its lead to as many as 31 (79-48) on a layup by Walker with 5:48 to play in the game. The Lasers closed out the game with three straight from the charity stipe to set the final score at 85-58.

The AMCATS held the advantage in shooting percentage, (49.2% – 34.0%), rebounds (42-34) and steals (16-6) en route to the victory.

Anna Maria will head to Suffolk University for a GNAC match-up on Tuesday evening at 7:00p.m., while Lasell will return home to host Norwich University at 6:00 p.m. on the same night.

Highlights From Wednesday’s Worcester Basketball Breakfast

By Matt Noonan 

LEICESTER, MA – Quick hits from Wednesday’s Worcester Basketball Breakfast.

* Every coach expressed his or her excitement for the upcoming season. Some teams begin their campaigns this weekend, while others tipoff next weekend.

* Anna Maria’s men’s head coach Shawn Conrad exclaimed the highlight of his team’s preseason is that they’re undefeated. Last season, Conrad guided his squad to a 14-15 record and a GNAC conference championship appearance. However, the AMCATS lost to Albertus Magnus in the championship, 88-54.

* Sticking with Anna Maria, this year the women’s team will have a new coach and his name is Kevin Bigelow. This is Bigelow’s first head coaching job, but he certainly seems ready for the challenge, especially after spending the past few seasons as an assistant coach with the men’s team and Worcester State.

* Assumption College’s women’s head coach Kerry Phayre talked about her team’s juniors and seniors, who’re all going to play significant roles this winter, while Matt Mahar, the men’s head coach, seemed optimistic about his entire roster. Although, Mahar did say that he hopes to avoid overtime this year. Assumption played six extra session contests last season, but managed to win all of them.

* Becker College’s men’s head coach Brian Gorman talked about the importance of securing rebounds on both ends of the court. The young squad will also be looking for a new leading scorer. Terrence Favors graduated last May and concluded his final season with the Hawks with 497 points in 29 games.

* Don’t sleep on Clark University. Both teams should be competitive in the NEWMAC (New England Women’s and Men’s Athletic Conference), especially the men’s team that has four graduate students and three seniors.

* Staying in the NEWMAC, let’s not forget the Engineers of WPI. Both teams will be competitive this year and will certainly challenge Babson College, MIT, Smith College and Springfield College.

* Both Worcester State teams are optimistic about their seasons, and hope to conclude their final season on their current parquet with a championship. The college will be building a new athletic center, which is scheduled to open in September of 2015.

* Finally, both Holy Cross teams seem prepared for their difficult schedules. Both teams will be facing some tough non-conference foes, and will certainly have their hands full in the Patriots League, too.