Mass. College Hoops: Babson, Tufts Capture Respective Conference Crowns

By Matt Noonan 

On Sunday afternoon, the Babson College and Tufts University women’s basketball teams each captured their respective conference crowns, while earning automatic-bids to the upcoming NCAA Division III Tournament that commences later this week.

The Beavers defeated Wheaton College in Springfield by a score of 77-51, while the Jumbos topped Bowdoin College at home by a score of 68-52.

Babson Captures Sixth NEWMAC Crown in Seven Seasons: Linnett Graber stuffed the stat sheet with seven points, nine rebounds, five assists and one steal, while Taylor Russell poured in a game-and-team-high 16 points as the Beavers overcame a regular season setback to the Lyons.

Babson led Wheaton, 42-18, at the break before tacking on 35 points during the second stanza. The Lyons rallied by netting 33 points in the second half, including nine points from Abbie Brickley and eight points from Kiley Shoemaker. Laura Pierce netted a team-high 12 points for the Blue and White, while Shoemaker pulled down a game-high 14 rebounds.

The Beavers, who entered the tournament as the fourth seed, earned a trip to the finals by defeating WPI and host Springfield in the quarterfinal and semifinal rounds, respectively. Wheaton’s road to the championship began with a quarterfinal victory over Emerson College before they defeated U.S. Coast Guard Academy yesterday in the semifinal.

Jennifer Narlee added 10 points for the Green and White, while Erin Young connected on three of seven shots from beyond the arc.

Tufts wins Second-Straight NESCAC crown: Four Jumbos registered double-digits, including 16 points from Emma Roberson as Tufts defended its tournament crown from one year ago.

Tufts led Bowdoin, 28-22, at the break before netting 40 points in the second half to secure their 26th win of the season.

Roberson scored 11 of her 16 points during the final 20 minutes, while Michela North, Hayley Kanner and Josie Lee netted 14, 12 and 12 points, respectively. Kelsey Morehead came off the bench and poured in seven points, while Melissa Baptista – also came off the bench – added two points, one rebound and one block.

Mass. College Hoops: Wednesday Roundup

By NoontimeSports.com 

Below are results and game summaries from various men’s and women’s contests this evening.

Men’s Basketball

BC 62, No. 1 Syracuse 59 (OT): The Eagles outscored the Orangemen, 45-34 during the final two sessions, including overtime as Boston College handed Syracuse its first setback of the season. Olivier Hanlan paced the Maroon and Gold with 20 points, while Ryan Anderson stuffed the stat sheet with nine points, 14 rebounds (11 on defense), four assists, two blocks and one steal. The win snapped a five-game skid for BC.

BU 71, American 62: Dom Morris scored a game-high 16 points, while Maurice Watson Jr. added 13 points as the Terriers defeated Eagles and improved to 20-8 overall and 13-2 in Patriot League Play.

No. 12 WPI 58, Wheaton 46: Sam Longwell scored 13 points, Domenick Mastascusa recorded a double-double of 12 points and 11 rebounds off the bench as the Engineers defeated the Lyons and secured its ninth conference regular season title in the last 11 years. Agyei Gregory paced Wheaton with 13 points.

Elms 94, Mitchell 84: Andre French recorded a game-best 23 points, along with nine rebounds as the Blazers capped the regular season with their 14th overall win, 12th in NECC play.

Endicott 85, Wentworth 67: Lachlan Magee scored a game-best 16 points, while John Henault added 11 points as the Gulls defeated the Leopards. Ray Bessette paced Wentworth with 16 points.

Mount Ida 70, Norwich 66 (OT): Michael Joseph scored 15 points off the bench, including a triple at the end of regulation that forced an extra session, along with a free-throw in overtime, which lifted the Mustangs over the Cadets.

Wheelock 71, Regis 65: Paul Coucci scored 20 points and grabbed eight boards, Anthony Williams registered 19 points, four rebounds, four assists, two blocks and one steal as the Wildcats concluded their season with a victory over the Pride. Osanto Marc Jr. led Regis with 20 points.

Women’s Basketball

Holy Cross 90, Lafayette 76: Brisje Malone tallied 15 points and a game-best six rebounds, as well as became the program’s 30th player to net 1,000 career points as the Crusaders defeated the Leopards.

No. 1 Bentley 95, So. New Hampshire 55: Lauren Battista netted 16 points and recorded eight rebounds, three assists and two steals as the Falcons soared to their 24th straight victory. Courtney Finn registered 13 points, eight boards and six assists in the win.

Emmanuel 68, Johnson & Wales 59: Jennifer Bujnowski paced the Saints with 12 points, while Vanessa Bramante and Sarah Higgins each scored 11 points, respective, as Emmanuel defeated Johnson & Wales and improved to 9-0 in conference play.

MIT 57, Babson 56: Osheiza Otori recorded a layup with 41 seconds remaining, which provided the Engineers the lead for good as MIT defeated Babson in Babson Park. MIT’s Mari Kordell led all scorers with 23 points, while Linnett Graber paced the Beavers with 13 points. Jennifer Narle and Briana Hunt each netted 11 points in the setback.

Wellesley 54, Wheaton 52: Kendall Bianchi‘s layup with eight seconds remaining pushed the Blue ahead for good as Wellesley defeated Wheaton for the second time this season. Wellesley’s Leslie Leong led all scorers with 20 points, while Kiley Shoemaker and Laura Pierce combined for 22 points, 20 rebounds and five assists for Wheaton.

Suffolk 56, Anna Maria 51: Iliana Quadri scored 19 points, as well as recorded five rebounds, four assists, three blocks and two steals, which helped the Rams defeat the AMCATs. Trafficia Warburton paced Anna Maria with 16 points.

Mass. College Hoops: Babson Rallies For 68-63 Victory Over Wheaton

By NoontimeSports.com 

Courtesy of the Babson College sports information department, here’s this afternoon’s release from the women’s basketball game, which saw the Beaver erase a two-point deficit at halftime en route to a 68-63 victory over rival Wheaton College: 

BABSON PARK, Mass.—Sophomore Linnett Graber (Roseland, N.J.) scored 17 points and classmate Briana Hunt (Newton, Mass.) added 14 points, seven rebounds and four assists as Babson College slipped past visiting Wheaton College, 68-63, in New England Women’s and Men’s Athletic Conference (NEWMAC) women’s basketball action on Saturday afternoon at Staake Gymnasium.

With its fifth straight win, Babson is now 13-10 overall and 12-6 in the NEWMAC, while Wheaton, which is currently ranked sixth in the region, slips to 19-5 overall and 14-5 in conference play.

First-year Jennifer Narlee (Medfield, Mass.) had nine points and 10 rebounds in her return to the lineup for the Beavers, while classmate Giovanna Pickering (Hull, Mass.) chipped in with seven points, four assists and a game-high four steals in the win.

Sophomore Kiley Shoemaker (Fayetteville, N.Y.) led all players with 22 points and 15 rebounds for the Lyons. Junior Abbie Brickley (Sandy, Utah) and sophomore Rebecca Arnone (Litchfield, N.H.) added 14 and 11 points, respectively.

Both teams started fast and after falling behind 11-8 on a layup by Graber at the 13:48 mark, Wheaton ripped off a 17-2 run to build a 12-point lead. Arnone, who started the spurt with a three-pointer, and Shoemaker combined for 12 points during the run, and the Lyons started 9-of-16 from the floor go ahead 25-13 with 7:34 to go in the half.

Wheaton took its biggest lead of the game at 30-17 with 5:17 remaining in the opening half, but Babson responded with a 15-4 burst, capped by a Narlee layup just before the buzzer to get within 34-32 at the break.

Both teams shot 46.4 percent in the opening period and the Green and White outscored the Lyons 18-12 in the paint.

Four quick points from Shoemaker and a three-pointer from junior Kirsten Ferrari (Lynn, Mass.) helped Wheaton go back in front 43-37 with 15:07 to go in the game. Sophomore Kristen Ferola (Amherst, Mass.) and junior Erin Young (Westwood, Mass.) buried back-to-back threes to help Babson tie the game, and consecutive hoops from sophomore Jess Coelho (Westport, Conn.) and Pickering put the Beavers in front for the first time since early in the first half at 47-45 with 12:16 remaining.

Trailing 56-52 after another three-pointer from Young, Ferrari drilled a triple of her own and Shoemaker knocked down a short jumper to put the Lyons back in front, 57-56, at the 4:33 mark.  Four straight free throws from Graber helped the Green and White retake a 60-57 advantage, and Hunt followed two free throws by Shoemaker with a pair of her own to keep Babson ahead 62-59 with just 1:38 mark.

After two consecutive defensive stops, Graber knocked down a three-pointer from the top of the key with just three seconds on the shot clock, pushing the Beavers lead to 65-59 with under a minute to go. The Lyons committed a turnover on the ensuing possession and Hunt put the game out of reach with three free throws in the last 32 seconds for the final margin.

Babson shot 41.4 percent (24-for-58) on the afternoon and held a 28-22 edge in paint scoring. The Lyons finished at 39.7 percent (23-for-58) from the field and outscored the Beavers 17-15 off turnovers.

Both teams return to action on Wednesday at 7 p.m. as Babson hosts MIT and Wheaton hosts Wellesley in its season finale.

GAME NOTES: Babson is now 39-15 all-time against Wheaton and has won 13 straight games over the Lyons going back to 2009…With two three-pointers in the game, Young is now tied for second all-time in program history with 138 career trifectas…going into the final week of the regular season the Beavers are tied for third in the NEWMAC standings and would host a tournament quarterfinal with wins in their final two games.

Mass. College Hoops: Five Games To Watch This Weekend (Feb. 14 – 16)

By NoontimeSports.com 

With another weekend quickly approaching, it is time to unveil our five games to watch this weekend. As always, make sure to circle back for updates. You can also follow along with in-game updates on Twitter (@NoontimeSports or @NoonSportsBlog), too.

Men’s Basketball

Harvard @ Columbia (Friday, Feb. 14) – Since falling to archrival Yale last week, the Crimson will look to return to the win column by registering their 19th overall victory and sixth Ivy League win. Their weekend trip begins in New York City against a Lions squad that’s 14-9 overall and 3-3 in Ancient Eight play. Columbia is 1-3 in its last four games, but did manage to earn a win against Princeton.

Harvard, which is 4-1 in its last five outings, has received major contributions from Wesley Saunders, who averaging 14.8 points per game. Siyani Chambers is second on the team in points per game; he’s averaging 10.8, while Kyle Casey is averaging 6.3 rebounds.

Saunders led the Crimson in their last outing against the Bulldogs with 16 points, while Casey pulled down six rebounds.

Bentley @ St. Michael’s (Saturday, Feb. 15) – The Purple Knights’ five-game winning streak concluded earlier this week with an 86-85 setback to St. A’s. They’ll look to return to the win column when they host Bentley tomorrow afternoon, a squad they defeated earlier this season in Waltham.

Since falling to St. Michael’s, Bentley has won nine contests, including six Northeast-10 Conference tilts. They’re currently 2-1 in February and are coming off back-to-back wins against Assumption and Merrimack. Alex Furness secured the team’s 16th win on Wednesday when he sank a go-ahead jumper with two-seconds remaining. The Warriors recorded a turnover on the ensuing possession.

Tyler McFarland is currently fifth in the conference in points per game (19.0). He’s recorded 438 points in 23 games this season.

Women’s Basketball

Lehigh @ Holy Cross (Saturday, Feb. 15) – The Crusaders will look to avenge an 87-82 loss earlier this season when they welcome Lehigh to the Hart Center for a 3 p.m. tip-off. The Crusaders enter the contest 15-9 overall and 7-6 in Patriot League play.

Alex Smith is currently eighth all-time in program history in points (1,546), but is 10 points shy of seventh place. She’s also seven assists away from earning fifth pace in both Holy Cross’ and Patriot League’s assists record book. Also, if she records three more steals, she’ll increase her total to 200, which would be 10th most in program history.

Excluding Smith, Brisje Malone is 25 points away from becoming the program’s 30th player to net 1,000 career points. Also, Molly Hourigan, who ranks seventh in blocked shots with 84, is one swat shy of sixth place and three away from tying teammate Emily Parker, who is fifth all-time with 87 blocks.

No. 6 Washington U. @ Brandeis (Friday, Feb. 14) – The Judges will look to extend their current winning streak to seven when they welcome the UAA’s top squad to Waltham for their first of two weekend contests. Their other weekend matchup will be on Sunday against the Maroons of Chicago.

In their first outing against the Bears, Kasey Dean netted 12 points, while Paris Hodges added eight points, six rebounds and three assists, but it wasn’t enough to defeat Washington University. Yet, since that particular setback, the Judges are 6-1.

Washington University enters the contest 18-2 overall and 8-1 in conference play. Their two losses came to conference foe Rochester and D3Hoops.com’s number one squad, DePauw.

In Brandeis’ last outing against Carnegie Mellon, Dean and Maria Jackson each scored 12 points, while Samantha Mancinelli came off the bench and netted seven points, along with three boards and three assists.

Both games are important for the Judges, who’ll look to keep pace with Washington University and New York University, the UAA’s top two teams.

Wheaton @ Babson (Saturday, Feb. 15) – This is indeed a critical contest for both squads.

Wheaton, which is 19-4 overall and 14-4 in NEWMAC play, will look to extend its current winning streak to six. They currently own the top spot in the conference, but a loss to Babson and a Smith College win against Coast Guard could make things interesting.

Babson has won 10 of 13 contests, including a come-from-behind win on Tuesday against No. 5 Tufts University. Linnett Graber and Giovanna Pickering combined for 32 points and were a major part in the Beavers’ second half effort. Babson outscored Tufts during the final 20 minutes, 45-20.

The last time these two squads met, Babson secured a 37-29 halftime lead and never looked back. Graber paced the Green and White with 16 points, while Erin Young netted nine points in 14 minutes off the bench.

Wheaton’s last victory over Babson occurred during the 2008-09 season when the Lyons defeated the Beavers on their home court, 71-61.

Mass. College Hoops: Babson Stuns No. 5 Tufts, 58-52

By NoontimeSports.com 

Courtesy of the Babson College athletic department, here’s this evening’s release about the women’s basketball team, which defeated No. 5 Tufts University this evening:

MEDFORD, Mass.—Sophomore Linnett Graber (Roseland, N.J.) and first-year Giovanna Pickering (Hull, Mass.) each scored 16 points and visiting Babson College stormed back from a 19-point halftime deficit to stun previously undefeated and fifth-ranked Tufts University, 58-52, in non-conference women’s basketball action on Tuesday night at Cousens Gym.

With its fourth straight victory, Babson is now 12-10 on the year, while Tufts drops to 21-1.

Graber and Pickering combined for 22 of their 32 points after halftime as the Beavers shot a blistering 73.7 percent (14-for-19) from the floor and went 16-of-20 at the free throw line over the final 20 minutes. Pickering also grabbed a game-high eight rebounds for the Green and White.

The Jumbos, who made just four second-half field goals, were led by 13 points from senior Liz Moynihan (Storrs, Conn.) and eight from first-year Michela North (Duxbury, Mass.).

After shooting just 31.6 percent and committing 13 first-half turnovers, Babson used a 23-4 run over the first 10:32 of the second half to tie the game at 36-36. Sophomore Briana Hunt (Newton, Mass.) opened the period with a layup, followed by back-to-back hoops from junior Nicki Heavern (Hull, Mass.), and a pair of free throws from Graber to cut the deficit to 32-21.

After a North free throw, junior Erin Young (Westwood, Mass.) buried a three-pointer, Pickering made a layup and Hunt hit one of two free throws to get within six. Moynihan hit Tufts’ first field goal of the half at the 12:54 mark, but another bucket from Graber, three points from Pickering and four straight points from first-year Gena Restiano (Revere, Mass.) helped the Beavers pull even for the first time since the opening minutes with 9:28 left.

Babson took its first lead of the game at 44-42 on a layup by first-year McKenna Cudgma (Hingham, Mass.) with 5:04 to go, and after North tied the game with two free throws, Young knocked down a jumper to give the Beavers the lead for good at 46-44. Graber buried a jumper on the next possession and Pickering drilled two free throws one possession later to make it 50-44 with 1:54 remaining.

Moynihan made it a three-point game with 1:37 left, but Pickering rebounded her own miss for a hoop with 1:05 to go and Babson put the game away by going 6-of-8 at the free throw line of the final 36 seconds to win its 40th consecutive game in the month of February.

The Beavers shot 52.6 percent (20-for-38) for the game, outscored the Jumbos 30-14 in the paint, and held a 34-24 advantage on the glass.

Babson returns to action on Saturday afternoon when its hosts Wheaton at 1 p.m., while Tufts welcomes Colby to Medford on Friday at 6 p.m.

GAME NOTES: Babson is now 10-12 all-time against Tufts and has won two of the last three meetings in the series going back to 2011…The Beavers are now 12-5 on the year when scoring 50 points or more and are 9-4 when holding their opponents under 60…Babson is 8-2 when shooting 40 percent or better from the field and 7-3 when it holds an edge on the glass.