D3 Basketball: Sunday’s Conference Tournament Roundup

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By Matt Noonan | @NoontimeNation 

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.

Men’s Basketball

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. 

Women’s Basketball

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. 

 

D3 Basketball: Noontime’s Saturday Conference Tournament Predictions

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By Matt Noonan | @NoontimeNation 

Welcome to the championship Saturday!

Before we officially tip-off a busy day of New England D-III basketball, I think it is time I dish out some predictions for who will win their respective conference tournament title this afternoon (or early evening).

And after today’s games conclude, we’ll turn our attention to another busy slate of championship games tomorrow.

So, without further ado, here are today’s predictions for ten championship games – enjoy the action, everyone!

Commonwealth Coast Conference (CCC): Endicott over Nichols. The Gulls have some serious momentum on their side following Thursday’s dramatic win over Wentworth Institute of Technology. 

Commonwealth Coast Conference (CCC): Endicott over the University of New England. I didn’t think the Gulls would beat Roger Williams earlier this week, but that road win provided them a home date (and a home town crowd this afternoon, too) for an important match-up with the Nor’easters.

Great Northeastern Athletic Conference (GNAC): Emmanuel College over Saint Joseph’s College. For the second-straight season, the Saints will find a way to beat the Monks and win their 17th conference crown.

Little East Conference (LEC): Western Connecticut over UMass Dartmouth. The Colonials looked pretty good the other night against UMass Boston and should continue their impressive play against the Corsairs.

Massachusetts State Collegiate Athletic Conference (MASCAC): Westfield State over Worcester State. I picked against the Owls on Thursday – I thought Salem State was going to spoil their run to the NCAA Tournament, so today I’ll go with the Blue and White over the Lancers.

Massachusetts State Collegiate Athletic Conference (MASCAC): Worcester State over Framingham State. The Lancers enter the final game of the MASCAC playoffs with some serious momentum following their win over Westfield State on Thursday.

New England Collegiate Conference (NECC): New England College over Mitchell. The Pilgrims’ offense produced 92 points the other night against Dean College and will dominate the Mariners defense this afternoon.

New England Collegiate Conference (NECC): Eastern Nazarene over New England College. The Lions are seeking their 22nd win of the 2019-20 season, which they will get against the Pilgrims.

North Atlantic Conference (NAC): Maine-Farmington over SUNY Canton. Terion Moss will continue his impressive play again this afternoon and guide the Beavers to both a conference championship, as well as a first-round appearance in next week’s NCAA Tournament.

North Atlantic Conference (NAC): Husson over Maine-Farmington. The Eagles soared to victory last night over NVU-Lydon and will do it again today against Maine-Farmington.

D3 Basketball: Women’s Top 10 Poll (Monday, Feb. 24th, 2020)

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By NoontimeSports.com | @NoontimeNation

Our New England D-III Women’s Basketball Top 10 Poll did not see any changes from a week ago, but we did, however, highlight a few new teams on the rise, including Emmanuel College and UMass Boston.

Tufts University continues to be our top team – the Jumbos won their 25th-straight contest this past weekend and will look to continue their momentum against seventh-ranked Williams College, which earned a trip to Medford, Massachusetts by defeating Trinity College in the opening round of the New England Small College Athletic Conference (NESCAC) this past weekend.

Western New England enters the week as the favorite in the Commonwealth Coast Conference (CCC) Tournament – the Golden Bears have won their last six outings and will host a semifinal contest on Thursday, February 27th against either Gordon College or the University of New England.

Both fifth-ranked Rhode Island College and Eastern Connecticut will be the two teams to watch in the Little East Conference (LEC) Tournament but will be certainly challenged by UMass Boston, pending they advance to the semifinals.

Finally, Babson College secured the top spot in this week’s New England Women’s and Men’s Athletic Conference (NEWMAC) Tournament – the Beavers could possibly face either ninth-ranked Springfield College or tenth-ranked Smith College in the championship game on Sunday, March 1st, pending two of the three teams advance to the final round.


New England D-III Basketball Women’s Top 10 Week 13 Poll| Monday, Feb. 24th, 2020

1. Tufts University 25-0, 10-0 NESCAC Last Week: No. 1
2. Amherst College  22-3, 8-2 NESCAC Last Week: No. 2
3. Bowdoin College 23-2, 8-2 NESCAC Last Week: No. 3 
4. Western New England 21-4, 14-2 CCC Last Week: No. 4
5. Rhode Island College 21-4, 13-3 LEC Last Week: No. 5
6. Eastern Connecticut 21-4, 14-2 LEC Last Week: No. 6
7. Williams College 18-7, 6-4 NESCAC Last Week: No. 7
8. Babson College 18-7, 10-0 NEWMAC Last Week: No. 8
9. Springfield College 18-7, 9-1 NEWMAC Last Week: No. 9
10. Smith College 21-4, 7-3 NEWMAC Last Week: No. 10

ON THE RISE: Emmanuel College, Framingham State, and UMass Boston


Previous Polls: Preseason Poll |Week OneWeek TwoWeek Three|Week Four Week FiveWeek SixWeek Seven |Week Eight|Week Nine Week Ten |Week 11 |Week 12

Noontime’s Sunday Shootaround: Tufts Continues Its Winning Ways

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By Matt Noonan | @NoontimeNation 

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’Connor highlighted 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.

D3 Basketball: Women’s Top 10 Poll (Monday, Feb. 3rd, 2020)

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By NoontimeSports.com | @NoontimeNation

The Tufts University women’s basketball team remained our top team heading into the first week of February following an important conference win last Friday over Bowdoin College. With the win, the Jumbos secured the top spot in the New England Small College Athletic Conference (NESCAC) heading into the final two weeks of the regular season.

Bowdoin remains our second team while Amherst College continues to occupy the third position – the Mammoths defeated Wesleyan University last Friday and will host the Polar Bears this Friday, February 7th. The winner will most likely secure the second spot in the upcoming conference tournament, which will begin later this month.

Eastern Connecticut was our biggest mover, checking in fourth overall after winning four-straight conference meetings, including a 78-61 win this past Saturday over UMass Boston. The Warriors remain the top team in the Little East Conference (LEC) with six games remaining.

Finally, Babson College and Williams College both joined the poll this week after being tabbed ‘Teams on the Rise’ one week ago.


New England D-III Basketball Women’s Top 10 Week Ten Poll| Monday, Feb. 3rd, 2020

1. Tufts University 20-0, 6-0 NESCAC Last Week: No. 1
2. Bowdoin College  20-1, 6-1 NESCAC Last Week: No. 2
3. Amherst College 17-3, 4-2 NESCAC Last Week: No. 3
4. Eastern Connecticut 16-3, 9-1 LEC Last Week: No. 8
5. Western New England 16-4, 9-2 CCC Last Week: No. 4
6. Williams College 16-5, 5-2 NESCAC Last Week: Not Ranked
7. Trinity College 15-5, 4-2 NESCAC Last Week: No. 5
8. Rhode Island College 16-4, 8-3 LEC Last Week: No. 6
9. Babson College 11-7, 4-0 NEWMAC Last Week: Not Ranked
10. Smith College 17-3, 3-2 NEWMAC Last Week: No. 7

ON THE RISE: Brandeis University, Framingham State, Hamilton College, Springfield College, UMass Boston, and University of New England 


Previous Polls: Preseason Poll |Week OneWeek TwoWeek Three|Week Four Week FiveWeek SixWeek Seven |Week Eight|Week Nine