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.
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.
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.