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

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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D3 Basketball: Women’s Top 10 Poll (Monday, Dec. 9th, 2019)

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By NoontimeSports.com | @NoontimeNation

Tufts University becomes our new number one team this week in New England D-III women’s basketball – the Jumbos, who enter the new week with a 7-0 record, moved into the top spot, which had been occupied by Amherst College, which dipped two spots to the third position.

The Jumbos capped their post-Thanksgiving week with wins over Emerson College and WPI (receiving votes). This week, they visit Bridgewater State on Tuesday, December 10th before heading to Stevens Institue of Technology at the end of the month to compete against Christopher Newport (Dec. 28th) and TCNJ (Dec. 29th).

Bowdoin College also moved up – the Polar Bears checked in second with an 8-0 mark, while Williams College and Brandeis University rounded out the top five positions.

Rhode Island College and Trinity College both joined this week’s poll – the two teams enter the second week of December with a combined 15-2 record. RIC is currently the top team in the Little East Conference (LEC) and will compete two more times this month against Emmanuel College (Dec. 9th) and Johnson & Wales (Dec. 18th).


New England D-III Basketball Women’s Top 10 Week Five Poll| Monday, December 9th, 2019

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

ON THE RISE: Babson College, Middlebury College, UMass Boston, UMass Dartmouth, University of New England, Wesleyan University, and WPI 


Previous Polls: Preseason Poll |Week OneWeek TwoWeek Three|Week Four 

 

Noontime’s Basketball Notebook: Familiar Faces In New Places

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By Matt Noonan (@MattNoonan11) 

It has been a busy few days in the D3 basketball world with some coaching changes, especially here in New England.

For starters, we learned a few days ago that Tom Glynn will be taking over the Rhode Island College men’s basketball program after guiding Nichols College to a pair of Commonwealth Coast Conference (CCC) championships the past two winters.

Glynn turned the Bison into a very solid New England program and is expected to work his magic with the Anchormen this upcoming season.

The news of Glynn’s departure from Nichols to RIC was announced last Wednesday, June 20th.

“Rhode Island College is a special place and I consider myself extremely fortunate to be part of this community,” said Glynn via the RIC release.

“This basketball program has a winning tradition and great support from the campus and local community.  I look forward to working with the talented group of student-athletes in our pursuit to hang the next banner in The Murray Center.”

Glynn takes over for coach Michael Byrnes, who guided the Anchormen to an 8-18 overall record, including a 5-9 mark in the Little East Conference (LEC).

Also being named a new head coach last Wednesday was former Middlebury College assistant Jessica Turner, who takes over a talented Skidmore College women’s basketball team.

Turner, who played basketball at Castleton University, spent five seasons with the Panthers, assisting them to a 17-8 ledger this past winter, along with an appearance in the New England Small College Athletic Conference (NESCAC) Tournament. She was instrumental in helping Catherine Harrison earn the conference’s Rookie of the Year honor at the conclusion of the 2016 season.

“It is truly an honor to be selected as the next women’s basketball coach at Skidmore,” Turner said via the Skidmore press release last week. “I am humbled and incredibly excited by this amazing opportunity!

Skidmore captured the Liberty League (LL) crown this past winter before making its second appearance in the NCAA Division III Tournament in program history.


Additional Coaching News

Joseph Busacca will lead the Curry College men’s basketball team this winter after spending the past two seasons as an assistant at Manhattanville College

Charles “Guy” Rancourt will oversee the Western Connecticut men’s basketball team this winter. Rancourt coached Lycoming this past winter, but is an alum of Western Connecticut. 

Danny Lawson, who was recently an assistant at Endicott College, recently was named the third men’s basketball coach at Emmanuel College.

Worcester State announced at the beginning of the month that Tyler Hundley will oversee the Lancers this upcoming season. Hundley was recently an associate coach with the Keene State men’s basketball team. 


Stay connected with our Noontime Sports basketball coverage by following @Noontime_Hoops on Twitter.