Mass. College Hoops: WPI Falls To Randolph-Macon In NCAA Tourney (VIDEOS)

By Matt Noonan 

WORCESTER, MA — The WPI men’s basketball season came to a screeching halt on Saturday evening as Randolph-Macon defeated the Engineers in the second round of the NCAA Division III men’s basketball tournament, 79-68.

Ryan Kolb paced the Engineers with a game-high 25 points, while teammate Marco Coppola tallied 17 points.

Joe Hassell came off the bench and provided the Yellow Jackets with a team-best 18 points, while Connor Sullivan added  14 points, three assists and two boards.

Randolph-Macon led WPI at the break, 39-30 and relied on their defense, which limited the Engineers to one shot on multiple offensive series.

With the win the Yellow Jackets advance to next Saturday’s quarterfinals against Amherst College. No location or time has been announced.

Below are postgame reactions from both coaches, as well as Kolb and Coppola and Marcus Badger and Lamar Giggetts.

 

Mass. College Hoops: WACBA Players Of The Week

By NoontimeSports.com 

With another exciting week of college basketball in Worcester, here is this week’s WACBA Players of the Week.

QUICK NOTE: Player summaries were provided by the college’s sports information department. 

Men’s Basketball Player of the Week: Marco Coppola (WPI) Soph., Guard, Watertown, MA: Against Purchase in the first round of the NCAA Division III men’s basketball tournament, Coppola finished with a game-best 23 points as the Engineers defeated the Panthers, 80-67. Excluding his points, Coppola also registered four steals and three blocks.

Women’s Basketball Player of the Week: Gabrielle Gibson (Assumption College) Sr., Guard, Amityville, N.Y.: In a 2-0 week for the Hounds, Gibson averaged 16.5 points, four rebounds, three assists and 2.5 steals while shooting 44 percent from the field. After a 12-point, three-steal, two-assist showing on Senior Night vs. AIC, Gibson posted a game-high 21 points to go along with seven rebounds and four assists in a league semifinal win over New Haven. Gibson, who lifted the Hounds into their eighth all-time league semifinal, is third on the Assumption scoring list with 1,562 points and 50 points behind second-place Kelly Meredith ’12.

Mass. College Hoops: WPI Tops SUNY Purchase In First Round Of March Madness Tourney

By Matt Noonan 

WORCESTER, MA — WPI’s men’s basketball team earned its first win in the 2013 NCAA Division III March Madness tournament against SUNY Purchase on Saturday evening, 80-67. The win secured the Engineers a spot in the second round against Randolph-Macon, which will be played next Saturday.

Marco Coppola recorded a game-best 23 points, while Ryan Kolb added 16 points, four rebounds and three assists. Sam Longwell filled the stat sheet with 12 points, four assists, three rebounds and three steals.

Purchase was led by Andre Nixon, who netted 15 points, while Joel Neri tallied 12 points and Craig Davis added 11 points.

The Engineers led the Panthers at the break, 38-26, but secured their lead for good late in the second stanza with back-to-back buckets from Coppola. Kolb secured the victory with a trifecta at 2:38, which provided the Engineers with a 19 point advantage.

Below are videos with each team discussing the outcome. Chris Bartley joined Coppola, Kolb and Longwell, while Jeff Charney accompanied Davis and Nixon.

Mass. College Hoops: Springfield’s Brock, Martin Discuss Setback

By Matt Noonan 

WORCESTER, MA – Following their setback to WPI in the NEWMAC (New England Women’s and Men’s Athletic Conference) championship, Springfield College’s coach Charlie Brock and guard Sean Martin discussed the loss with the media, and below is the transcript from the interviews.

SEAN MARTIN

On the setback: “It was a good game. There’s a lot you can say about what went wrong and it’s never easy to talk about anything after a loss, especially like this one. We played really hard and I am proud of our team and that’s all that matters at the end of the day. Shots didn’t fall our way and that was the difference.”

On stepping up on offense and defense: “Our team is all about doing what it takes to win. It doesn’t matter who has to do what, but whether someone has to step up on defense or rebound more it doesn’t matter because we’re all having each other’s backs out there and that’s all we try to do. Guys that came in, such as Josh Altman, he played a hell of a game off the bench and it’s stuff like that, which helped keep us in the game.”

On falling short in back-to-back championships: “You never want to lose, especially in the playoffs, so it’s unfortunate.”

On Coach Brock’s message after the game: “Our season’s not done. We’re going to treat this next week just as we would any week. We’re going to prepare for whoever we have to play and whatever tournament.”

CHARLIE BROCK

On the team’s play: “We struggled offensively and credit for WPI for that. They play very aggressive man-to-man defense and we struggled offensively. We played better in the second half, we shot 50 percent.”

On playing without Alex Berthiaume for most of the first half: “I don’t think we changed anything offensively and other guys picked (up for Alex’s absence due to his three fouls). Matt Pascuzzo had a couple of buckets, Josh Altman had a couple of baskets, so obviously losing the conference leading scorer has an impact on your team, but I thought the guys did a great job of making up for it and putting fourth the effort.”

On defending Ryan Kolb: “Other than double with their perimeter players as good as shooters as they are there’s not much you can do. It was sort of a pick your poison type of situation. Actually, very similar to yesterday because there was one kid that we felt we could double off of and today I didn’t feel that way because they played four guards for most of the second half, as did I.”

On Kolb’s career-game: “He had a great day today. He really went at Robbie (Burke) and Robbie did the best he could and actually one of the things that he does very well is he finds people that are open and that really causes a problem. They’ve got four guards (one of them being Zach Karalis) and (Sam) Longwell, and they’re two wings and (Marco) Coppola I thought had a great game and in the first half he was very hard to deal with and I think he was the other leading scorer for them in the first half, but he’s a tough guard and every time he comes off something Kolb gets loose and then we’ve got to catch up to him, so it’s a nice combination.”

On falling short: “We had our chances, we didn’t do a couple of things that we had to, so that’s all.”

NEWMAC Championship: WPI’s Coppola, Kolb On Winning The Conference Crown (VIDEO)

By Matt Noonan  

WORCESTER, MA — WPI’s Ryan Kolb exploded for a career-high 29 points, while teammate Marco Coppola filled the stat sheet with 14 points, seven assists and five boards as the Engineers defeated Springfield College in the NEWMAC (New England Women’s and Men’s Athletic Conference) championship.

After the game concluded, Kolb and Coppola chatted about the game, as well as what it’s like to win a championship, too.

NEWMAC Semifinals: WPI 66, Babson College 64

By Matt Noonan 

WORCESTER, MA — WPI’s Zach Karalis scored the game-winning bucket on a reverse layup with two seconds remaining, which lifted the Engineers past the Beavers in the semifinals and secured the hosts a spot in Sunday’s conference championship.

Marco Coppola registered a team-high 19 points in the win, while Sam Longwell and Ryan Kolb each netted 16 points. Karalis finished with 10 points and four rebounds.

John Wickey put Babson up by eight with 5:49 remaining, but WPI answered with six points from Coppola and two free throws by Kolb, which tied the game at 59.   

David Mack pushed the Beavers ahead by two, but Kolb evened the score with two more free throws before Karalis netted a go-ahead triple with 58 seconds remaining.

Babson’s Matt Palazini answered on the ensuing possession 26 seconds later, but that didn’t stop Karalis, who followed an Aaron Davis three-point attempt on the ensuing possession with a rebound and layup before time expired, which secured the win.

Wickey led all scorers with 20 points, while Palazini added 12 points.

Babson led by one at the break, but only tallied 23 points during the second session, three less than WPI. 

Mass. College Hoops: Five Games To Watch This Weekend (Feb. 15-17)

By NoontimeSports.com 

It’s Friday, which means it is officially time to unveil our five college basketball games to watch this weekend. And as noted on this week’s hockey game post, make sure to check back throughout the weekend for recaps and roundups.

Also, make sure to follow us on Twitter (@NoontimeSports or @NoonSportsBlog) and Facebook (Facebook.com/NoonSports).

Men’s Basketball:

Princeton at Harvard (Saturday, 7:00 p.m.) – After last week’s shocker against Columbia, Harvard now has one blemish on their conference mark. However, they can certainly turn the page with back-to-back wins against Penn on Friday and Princeton on Saturday.

Princeton remains a half game behind Harvard for first in the Ivy League, and enters the weekend having won one of their last three games.

Harvard ranks 11th in the country in field goal percentage (.487%) and 94th in assists per game (14.2). Wesley Saunders has tallied 10 points or more in every game this season, as well as registered a season-high 27 points against Columbia.

WPI at Clark University (Saturday, 3:00 p.m.) – After earning two back-to-back losses to MIT and Springfield College, the Engineers will look to conclude their regular season with a victory against the Cougars, a squad that’s dropped two straight.

WPI was ranked second in the country last week, but their loss to Springfield dropped them three spots. The Engineers, though, are most likely not worried about their spot in the recent D3Hoops.com rankings, but instead, capping their successful campaign with a win.

Keep your eyes on Clark’s Brian Vayda (16.9 points per game) and WPI’s Marco Coppola (15.8), as both players will be the players to watch in tomorrow’s contest.

Mount Ida College at Anna Maria College (Saturday, 3:00 p.m.) The AMCATs enter the final weekend of the regular season with a 14 game winning streak. Coach Shawn Conrad told Noontime Sports that their game against Mount Ida College earlier this season was a turning point. And ever since their 72-62 victory against the Mustangs in Newton, the AMCATs have been unstoppable.

Anna Maria’s Anthony Clink ranks second in the GNAC (Great Northeast Athletic Conference) in points per game (19.5), while Mount Ida’s Kenny Jean ranks fourth in field goal percentage (55.4%).

Women’s Basketball:

Harvard at Princeton (Saturday, 6:00 p.m.) – Similar to the men’s game, this particular clash is very important too.

Harvard’s won three straight, while Princeton is on a seven-game winning streak. The Crimson’s only blemish in Ivy League play came against Dartmouth College on January 26.

Princeton ranks first in scoring, while Harvard ranks second with 68.6 points per game. The Tigers are first in scoring defense and have limited their opponents to roughly 54 points per game.

Excluding team statistics, this game will feature the league’s two best scorers – Princeton’s Niveen Rasheed (321 points) and Harvard’s Christine Clark (316 points).

Adelphi at Assumption College (Saturday, 1:30 p.m.) – This particular tilt is an important one for the Hounds, who’re currently tied for third place in the Northeast-10 Conference with UMass Lowell.

Last time Adelphi and Assumption met; the Panthers defeated the Hounds, 66-58. Assumption finished the contest 23 of 65 from the field, while Adelphia managed to connect on 23 of 52 shots.

Assumption will certainly lean on Gabrielle Gibson, who is third in the conference in points per game (16.8). Adelphi will counter with Jessica Kitrys, whose second in the conference in points per game (17.8).