Noontime’s Senior Salute: Eric Savage (Tufts University)

By NoontimeSports.com | @NoontimeSports 

Our Noontime Senior Salutes continue with honoring Eric Savage, who guided the Tufts University men’s basketball team to its first-ever New England Small College Athletic Conference (NESCAC) Tournament Championship last month, along with a pair of NCAA D-III Tournament wins.

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Eric Savage helped Tufts University win a pair of NCAA Tournament games last month, as well as the program’s first-ever NESCAC Tournament Championship. (PHOTO COURTESY: Dan Saunders)

Savage, who started all 29 contests this past season, netted his 1,000th career point last November during the Jumbos’ 96-65 win over Lasell University before drilling the game-tying basket during the final seconds of the second half months later against Colby College in the NESCAC Tournament Finals. The game-tying basket provided the Powder Blue and White with enough momentum to outlast the Mules, 102-94, in double-overtime and secure an automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament.

After helping his team rally to beat Western Connecticut in the opening round of the 2020 NCAA Tournament, Savage scored 19 points on 5 of 11 shooting to go with seven rebounds, two assists, two blocks, and one steal against RPI in the second round.

An economics major from South Brunswick, New Jersey, Savage averaged 15.8 points per game this past season along with 6.9 rebounds and 3.4 assists. He scored 1,408 points in 105 games while tallying 615 rebounds, 290 assists, and 126 steals.


What will you remember most about your senior year?

Winning our first-ever NESCAC (Tournament) Championship.

Looking back on the 2019-20 season, what game (or games) will you will remember most? Why these particular games?

Our entire postseason run, both our conference tournament and the first NCAA weekend were extremely memorable. Being able to host (all five postseason games) on our home court in front of our families, friends, and fans were awesome. The energy in Cousens Gymnasium was electric and we were able to win all five contests, which made it all the more special.

What have you enjoyed most about competing for the Tufts men’s basketball team (and program) these past four years?

The friendships and relationships I have built over the last four years mean so much and are so special to me. The Tufts basketball program has brought me so much joy over the course of my career and I am happy to have given back to the school by helping to deliver their first (NESCAC) championship.

Once you officially graduate later this spring, do you plan to stay involved with the sport in some capacity? Any interest in coaching?

I would love to be a coach at some point in the future. I am not sure what my specific plans are regarding basketball moving forward, but one thing is for sure and that is I am not ready to say goodbye to the sport just yet.

What interested you in pursuing a major in economics? What do you hope to do with your degree after graduation?

From a young age, I actually wanted to be an astronaut, but when I came to Tufts I was originally majoring in astrophysics. A variety of factors (including my ironic discovery that astronauts cannot be colorblind) forced me to pivot.

In high school, I developed an interest in business and entrepreneurship which led me to an economics major with minors in finance and entrepreneurial leadership studies.

Daily Noontime: Friday, February 28th, 2020

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By Matt Noonan | @NoontimeNation

Happy Friday, everyone!

Today is the final Fri-Yay of February, which might be bittersweet (to some people), but I think it is awesome news because it means we’re another day closer to spring (and warmer weather, of course!).

Make sure to bundle up – I hear it is VERY CHILLY outside today!

The Boston Bruins return to the win column 

  • After a few tough outings, including a six-goal setback to the Vancouver Canucks, our hometown Boston Bruins returned to the win column last night with a 4-3 victory against the Dallas Stars. Four different Bruins lit the lamp, including three that skaters that finished with one goal and one assist.
  • With the win, the Bruins improve to 40-13-12 overall and will be one state over tomorrow afternoon for an important Eastern Conference clash with the New York Islanders. Puck drop is scheduled for 1 p.m.

Boston Celtics set to host the Houston Rockets 

  • The Boston Celtics will entertain the Houston Rockets tomorrow evening at the TD Garden – tip-off is scheduled for 8:30 p.m. Boston has won its last two outings, including an impressive win earlier this week against the Utah Jazz.

Don’t leave us, Tom Brady! 

  • According to various reports, both yesterday and this week, it doesn’t sound like Tom Brady will be returning to New England this fall. It seems more likely that the six-time Super Bowl champion will leave the area to play for another team next season. But do you really think that will actually happen? We’ll just have to wait and find out.
  • Tom Brady will officially become a free agent on March 16th, so we should know if he will stay or go pretty soon.

Albertus Magnus men’s basketball edges Lasell University to advance to the GNAC Championship 

  • Terry Dawkins recorded a double-double of 25 points and 11 rebounds as the Hawks of Albertus Magnus edged Lasell, 95-94, in the Great Northeast Athletic Conference (GNAC) semifinals last night to secure a spot in Saturday’s conference championship game.
  • EJ Day paced the Lasers with a game-high 38 points while Jonathan Friberg added 13 rebounds and nine points. Lasell earned a trip to New Haven, Connecticut last night by beating Emmanuel College in the quarterfinals on Tuesday.

Arsenault’s late bucket sends Endicott men’s basketball the CCC Championship 

  • Billy Arseneault netted the game-winning basket during the final seconds of Thursday’s Commonwealth Coast Conference (CCC) semifinal which helped the Gulls of Endicott College edge Wentworth Institute of Technology, 63-62.
  • With the win, the Gulls will now host Nichols College in the CCC Championship tomorrow with tip-off scheduled for 2 p.m. Nichols is seeking its fourth-straight conference crown after beating Gordon College last night in its semifinal contest.

Both Worcester State teams will be competing for a MASCAC crown on Saturday 

  • Saturday will be an exciting day for both Worcester State University basketball teams, who will be competing in the Massachusetts State Collegiate Athletic Conference (MASCAC) Championships.
  • The Worcester State men’s basketball team will visit Westfield State for a 1 p.m. tip-off. The Owls beat Salem State University last night in their semifinal contest while the Lancers topped MCLA.
  • Framingham State women’s basketball will entertain Worcester State – both teams scored convincing wins last night in their respective semifinal contest. Framingham State beat Bridgewater State while Worcester State outlasted Westfield State on the road.

 

D3 Basketball: USJ Men’s Basketball Continues Its Winning Ways

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The USJ men’s basketball team has won 17-straight contests, dating back to November 2019. (PHOTO COURTESY: Univ. of St. Joseph’s (Conn.) Athletics)

By Matt Noonan | @NoontimeNation  

Winning one or two games in a row is not an easy task in any sports team, but capturing 17-straight contests is pretty impressive.

The University of St. Joseph’s (Conn.) men’s basketball team secured its 17th consecutive victory last night with a 94-57 win over Lasell University. Lasell entered the early week meeting with the Blue Jays undefeated in conference play.

Taelon Martin led the Blue and Gold with 19 points off the bench – he finished 8 of 13 from the field, including 3 of 5 from beyond the arc – while Jordan Powell registered a double-double of 12 rebounds and 10 points to go with five blocks, three assists, and one steal. Jaecee Martin finished Tuesday’s game with 16 points on 6 of 9 shooting.

The Blue Jays led the Lasers, 40-19, at the break and then outscored the hosts in the second half, 54-38.

With the win, USJ improved to 18-2 overall and 6-0 against Great Northeast Athletic Conference (GNAC) teams.

As of now, USJ appears to be a lock for the top spot in the conference tournament later this month with five games remaining. The Blue Jays could, however, encounter some challenges, especially against Anna Maria College and Emmanuel College. Anna Maria has won four of seven conference tilts this winter, while the Saints are 5-1 against league opponents.

Last season, the Blue Jays advanced to the conference championship but fell to Albertus Magnus, which represented the conference in the 2019 NCAA Division III Tournament.

USJ is currently in its second season since the West Hartford, Connecticut school went co-ed in the fall of 2018. The Blue Jays are coached by Jim Calhoun, who earned his 900th win on the sidelines last month.

New England Basketball Weekend Watch (Friday, Jan. 17th)

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By Matt Noonan | @NoontimeNation 

Happy Friday, everyone – hope you are all staying warm on this bone-chilly (and windy) day in Boston.

Did I hear there was some snow in the forecast for tomorrow? When does the warm weather arrive?

Well, while we anxiously wait for temperatures that we had a week ago, let’s dish out a brand new ‘New England Basketball: Weekend Watch’ with some thoughts on a few local D-III games.


Colby College at Middlebury College (Friday, Jan. 17th at 7 p.m.): A battle between our top two teams in this week’s Noontime Top 10 Men’s Basketball Poll.

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.


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