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.