Thursday Night Was A CRAZY Night Of MASCAC Semifinal Action

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Raegan Mulherin sank the game-winning trey with seconds remaining in the fourth quarter to send Framingham State past MCLA in the MASCAC Semifinals on Thursday. (PHOTO CREDIT: Framingham State Athletics/Frank Poulin)

By Matt Noonan (@MattNoonan11) 

If you’re not following the Massachusetts State Collegiate Athletic Conference (MASCAC) Tournament, then I suggest you do now!

Last night featured four dramatic games – one being decided in double-overtime (Bridgewater State-Westfield State), two contests saw both teams win their respective game by one point, while Worcester State shocked top-seed Fitchburg State, 71-68.

With four dramatic and exciting semifinals in the books, we now turn our attention to tomorrow’s championships, which promise to be even more exciting.

Yet, before we turn the page officially, let’s revisit all four contests, starting with Framingham State edging MCLA during the final seconds.

Framingham 60, MCLA 59Following a steal by Framingham State’s Monta Connolly, the Rams called timeout with roughly 10 seconds remaining. After their short breather, the Rams, who trailed by two (59-57), needed a layup or jumper in the paint to send the contest to overtime. However, the Black and Gold did not want to advance to an extra session – they wanted to secure the win. And that they did as Raegan Mulherin sank the game-winning triple with two seconds remaining, which sent the Athletic and Recreation Center into celebration city.

Westfield State 97, Bridgewater State 95 (2OT)A late layup in the second overtime by Bridgewater State’s Sara DaSilva brought the visitors within two-points (97-95) with 40 seconds remaining. 33 seconds later, it appeared Westfield State had secured the win, but a missed layup allowed the Bears an opportunity to tie the game or score the game-winning trey. Unfortunately, the Red and White missed two field goals – a triple and layup – before Susan Bell snatched the game’s final carom, which secured the Owls a spot in Saturday’s title round. Westfield State’s Jill Valley paced all scorers with 39 points.

Worcester State 71, Fitchburg State 68Since falling to Westfield State – their last regular season contest – something has clicked for Dave Lindberg‘s crew. The Lancers, who will be competing in their first MASCAC championship since 2006 (that season, they fell to Salem State in the title round) knocked-off top-seed Fitchburg State last night, thanks to monstrous performance from Paul Brooks, who recorded a double-double of 19 points and 18 rebounds. Jeremy Bacon also recorded a double-double, finishing the contest with 11 points and 11 caroms. Ryan Dibernardo and Aaron Anniballi combined for three free throws down the stretch, which secured the exciting win for the Lancers.

Salem State 69, Bridgewater State 68: Sean Bryan netted the biggest trifecta of the season with six seconds remaining to lift second-seed Salem State past Bridgewater State by one-point. Bryan’s three-pointer capped an amazing second half, which saw the Vikings net 42 points in 20 minutes. Salem State trailed Bridgewater State, 30-27, at the break. The trifecta in the final seconds was Bryan’s lone basket of the contest. Marcus Faison led the Vikings with 21 points and 11 rebounds, while Bridgewater State’s Fawaz Mass led all scorers with 22 points.

To watch Bryan’s game-winning trey – HOP HERE

Mass. College Hoops: D3 Conference Tourney Roundup

By Matt Noonan 

A few local squads punched their ticket to their respective conference championship this weekend and below is this evening’s conference tournament roundup.

Men’s Basketball

No. 14 Albertus Magnus 91, Lasell 72: Trailing 33-19 at the break, the Lasers attempted a comeback by scoring 53 points in the second session, but it wasn’t enough to defeat the Falcons, who’ll face St. Joe’s (Maine) on Saturday in the GNAC Championship. Brandon Ganesh scored 17 points in the setback, while Clyde Niba finished with a double-double of 14 points and 10 rebounds.

Salem State 82, MCLA 76: The Vikings are headed to the MASCAC Championship thanks to 17 points by Bryan Ortiz and 16 points by Andrew White. Salem State led MCLA at intermission, 34-30, before outscoring the Trailblazers 48-46 in the second half. Paul Maurice led MCLA and all scorers with 20 points.

Bridgewater State 66, Worcester State 62: Brendon Monteiro led all players 31 points, while Michael Lofton registered 10 rebounds as the Bears defeated the Lancers in Bridgewater and secured a spot in the MASCAC Championship. Dane Jobst led Worcester State with a double-double of 13 points and 10 rebounds.

Nichols 83, Salve Regina 80 (OT): Sam HorningJalen Hurst and Ryan Sheehan combined for four made free throws during the final 17 seconds, which helped the Bison defeat the Seahawks and earn a spot in the CCC Conference Championship on Saturday. Sheehan paced Nichols with 24 points, while Horning stuffed the stat sheet with 14 points, six steals, five rebounds, three assists and one block.

Gordon 66, Wentworth 55: Jason Dempsey netted 18 points, while Hans Miersma recorded eight points and 10 rebounds, as the Fighting Scots defeated the Leopards and advanced to the CCC Conference Championship. Wentworth’s Jherson Colon led all players with 20 points.

Women’s Basketball

Bridgewater 88, Salem State 62: Jenna Williamson registered a game-best 36 points, along with nine rebounds, six assists and two steals as the Bears defeated the Vikings and punched its ticket to the MASCAC Championship. Salem State’s Rachel Carter finished the contest with 32 points, four rebounds and two assists.

Framingham State 62, Westfield State 53: Kristen Hoffman played all 40 minutes and registered 20 points, while Alycia Rackliffe recorded a double-double of 12 points and 11 rebounds as the Rams defeated the Owls in Westfield and earned its first trip to the MASCAC Championship since 2001. Westfield’s Jen Ashton and Forbasaw Nkamebo scored 15 points, respectively.

Roger Williams 60, Endicott 57: Angelica Ariola poured in a game-best 21 points, while Kaitlyn Bovee added 20 points as the Hawks rallied from a three-point deficit at the break to defeat the Gulls in the CCC Conference semifinals. Roger Williams will play University of New England in the championship. Endicott’s Samantha Crough matched Ariola with 21 points, too.

Mass. College Hoops: MASCAC Tournament Schedule

By Matt Noonan 

The Massachusetts State Collegiate Athletic Conference (MASCAC) released the pairings/brackets for the upcoming men’s and women’s basketball tournaments, and below is the schedule. 

Men’s Basketball: 

* Quarterfinals: No. 3 Worcester State vs. No. 6 Framingham State, 7 p.m. / Tuesday @ Assumption 

* Quarterfinals: No. 4 Westfield State vs. No. 5 MCLA, 7 p.m./ Tuesday @ Westfield State 

* Semifinals: No. 1 Salem State vs. Winner of Westfield State/MCLA, 7 p.m. / Thursday @ Salem State 

* Semifinals: No. 2 Bridgewater State vs. Winner of Worcester State/Framingham State, 7:30 p.m. @ Bridgewater State

* Finals: MCLA/Salem State/Westfield State vs. Bridgewater State/Framingham State/Worcester State @ Highest Remaining Seed on Saturday/ Time TBA 

Women’s Basketball:

* Quarterfinals: No. 3 Framingham State vs. No. 6 Worcester State, 7 p.m./ Tuesday @ Framingham State 

* Quarterfinals: No. 4 Salem State vs. No. 5 Fitchburg State, 7 p.m. / Tuesday @ Salem State 

* Semifinals: No. 1 Bridgewater State vs. Winner of Salem State/Fitchburg State, 5:30 p.m./Thursday @ Bridgewater State 

* Semifinals: No. 2 Westfield State vs. Winner of Framingham State/Worcester State, 7 p.m./Thursday @ Westfield State

* Finals: Bridgewater State/Fitchburg State/Salem State vs. Westfield State/Framingham State/Worcester State, @ Highest Remaining Seed, Time TBA 

Mass. College Baseball: Nichols Adds Three To Coaching Staff

By NoontimeSports.com 

Courtesy of the Nichols College sports information department, here’s this afternoon’s release about the Bison’s baseball team adding three coaches to its staff:

DUDLEY, Mass. – Nichols College head baseball coach Nick Puccio has announced the additions of Dan Haugh, Casey Cummings, and Pat Redmond to his coaching staff.

Haugh comes to Nichols following a standout four-year playing career at Wheaton (MA) College which culminated in an appearance in the 2012 College World Series (CWS) National Championship game. He is No. 1 in Lyons program history in doubles (61) and sac flies (19), No. 2 in RBI (189), and No. 3 in games played (178), at bats (686), and total bases (362).

Haugh helped the Lyons capture three-consecutive New England Women’s and Men’s Athletic Conference (NEWMAC) Championships (2010-12) and, subsequently, appear in three NCAA Regionals (2010-12). The 2009 NEWMAC Rookie of the Year, Haugh was later named the 2010 NEWMAC Player of the Year and was a Second Team All-America selection by D3baseball.com in 2011. Haugh was a D3baseball.com Preseason All-America First Team selection as a senior.

“We’re really excited to add Dan to the coaching staff,” said first-year head coach Nick Puccio, who coached Haugh during his time at Wheaton. “He was a great player and an All-American who carries the same values and mindset that both Hal (Landers) and I bring with us from Wheaton. He’ll work primarily with our infielders.”

Cummings founded the club baseball team at Merrimack College and managed the team’s budget, practice, and game schedule. He has previous coaching stints at West Boylston Post 204 Legion Baseball (2010), Central Mass. Thunder AAU Baseball (2011-12), and Saint John’s H.S. (2009-13). He has worked at both 108 Stitches Baseball Camp and Double Play Sports & Fitness since February, 2013. Cummings received his Bachelor of Liberal Arts from Merrimack in 2012 and currently teaches social studies at Venerini Academy.

“Casey will be our pitching guy,” said Puccio. “He did a great job at Saint John’s over the last few years. He’s a young, enthusiastic coach looking to make a name for himself in this profession. He’s brings a lot to the table and we’re excited to have him.”

Redmond spent the last two years as a coach at both Saint Mary’s H.S. in Worcester and the Main South American Legion team. He is a 2003 graduate of Shepherd Hill Regional H.S. who went on to play baseball at MCLA in North Adams, Mass., where he was also a member of the Student Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC).

“Pat coached at Saint Mary’s the last few years, and everybody that I talk to says he’s a great catching guy,” said Puccio. “We’re so keen on player development, and having these guys – Dan with the infielders, Hal with the outfielders, Pat with the catchers, Casey and I with the staff, and all of us contributing on offense – allows us to provide the individual attention our student-athletes need to reach their full potential.”

The Bison open the 2014 season on March 14 against Baldwin Wallace at the Snowbird Classic in Port Charlotte, Fla.