Around The Rim with Bob Whitney

Around The Rim Whitney Social

By Bob Whitney 

Some random thoughts after looking around at the local and national basketball landscape.

The Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC)/Big Ten Conference (B1G) Basketball Challenge is always at the top of my viewing list each year – I love channel surfing.

This year, the Big 10 Conference reigned supreme with some impressive showings by Maryland, Purdue, Ohio State, and Penn State.

Purdue absolutely dismantled Virginia and exposed the ‘Hoos offensive shortcomings while Ohio State throttled North Carolina. It’s early but Ohio State is looking like they have the horsepower to make a run to the Final Four next April.

Speaking of the ACC, Boston College is on a four-game losing spin and facing a rigorous conference road trip this Saturday at Norte Dame. A highly-touted freshman class must grow up in a hurry or the Eagles will once again reside in the ACC’s bottom quartile.

Save the date: current No. 1 Louisville will visit Conte Forum on Jan. 29. Tip-off is scheduled for 9 p.m.

Carl Pierre, who played high school basketball at Boston College High School, is having an excellent season at UMass. The 2017 Catholic Conference MVP and two-time conference all-star selection is currently averaging 12 points per game.

Pierre and the Minutemen will visit Harvard on Saturday, December 7th with tip-off scheduled for 1 p.m. UMass will attempt to snap a four-game skid, which began prior to Thanksgiving with a 58-46 setback to Virginia. Harvard enters the non-conference clash at 4-4 – the Crimson have lost two-straight since beating Texas A&M last Thursday. 

Newton North’s Ethan Wright has seen an uptick in playing time this season with the Princeton Tigers. The second-year guard has logged 93 minutes in six contests this season – he even started a game last month against Indiana. Wright has scored 13 points on 5 of 21 shooting, including 3 of 14 from beyond the arc. He has pulled down 13 rebounds, including two offensive caroms to go along with five assists and two blocks.

Wright and the Tigers sit at 1-6 and are scheduled to compete next Tuesday, December 10th against Monmouth. Tip-off is scheduled for 8 p.m.

Coach Trish Brown and the Stonehill College women’s basketball team are off to an impressive 6-2 start. Sure, their lone setbacks have come against Bentley and Molloy, but they have been fun to watch, especially in their last two contests against Assumption College and Franklin Pierce.

Emily Bramanti, who played locally for Westford Academy, credited all of her teammates in their most recent win against the Ravens for stepping-up and making plays when needed.

“That is just the greatness of our team is that any night anybody can step-up and play, so it’s really exciting to see how far we can get going,” she said following the Skyhawks’ 68-59 win over the Ravens.

Bramanti concluded her team’s eighth contest with a team-high 16 points.

Stonehill hosts Saint Anselm College on Saturday before heading to Daytona Beach Florida two weeks later to compete in the Daytona Beach Shootout.

Finally, the Babson College men’s basketball team scored an exciting and impressive win last night over Amherst CollegeFrank Oftring, who grew up in North Attleboro, Massachusetts netted a career-high 30 points in the win to go along with 10 rebounds.

Babson’s Andrew Jaworski finished with 23 points with four of those points being recorded during the final 30 seconds of the second half.

Babson, which is 12-3 against the New England Small College Athletic Conference (NESCAC) dating back to the 2016-17 season, will look to continue its early-season momentum this weekend when they compete in the New England Big 4 Challenge at Salem State University.

I’m getting ready to head back to warm and sunny Florida so I’ll be writing from the Sunshine State next week.


Mass. College Lax: Friday Roundup

By Matt Noonan 

Three games occurred this afternoon and evening, and below are their outcomes and summaries.

Men’s Lacrosse

Regis 9, Bryn Athyn 8: Matt Vogan registered four points (three goals, one assist), while Breandan Crane turned away 12 shots as the Pride earned their first win of the season.

Women’s Lacrosse

Elms 18, Bay Path 1: Lauren Mazza and Kayla Narey each recorded hat tricks as the Blazers defeated the Wildcats and claimed its first win of the season.

Assumption 11, Molloy 6: Lindsay Hagerman recorded three goals and two helpers, while Amy McNeil netted two goals as the Greyhounds picked up their second consecutive win of the season.

Mass. College Lax: Bastien Leads No. 7 Bentley Past Molloy


Courtesy of the Bentley University sports information department, here’s this afternoon’s release from the women’s lacrosse game against Molloy. Taylor Bastien netted the game-winning strike as time expire to lift the Falcons past the Lions in a non-conference match:

WALTHAM, Mass. – For the second straight game it went down to the wire for the Bentley women’s lacrosse team, and this time senior Taylor Bastien (North Kingstown, R.I./North Kingstown) was the hero, scoring as time expired to give the No. 7 Falcons a 13-12 victory over Molloy in non-conference action Saturday afternoon.

Molloy rallied from 12-8 down in the final 6:10 of the second half, tying the game with eight seconds left on a goal by senior Christie Roell despite being a man-down.

Bastien though won the ensuing draw control, raced down the field and scored from 10 yards out just as the clock hit 0:00 to give Bentley the dramatic win, its third in a row.

Bentley twice led by four goals in the second half, but each time the Lions rallied. Leading 7-4 at halftime after grad student Megan Wiggins (Acton, Mass./Acton-Boxborough) netted a buzzer beater of her own to end the first half, Bentley went up 8-4 just 13 seconds into the second half after Wiggins scored again.

But Molloy scored four unanswered goals over the next six minutes to tie the game at eight, with senior Kaitlynn Kelly getting two of them. But after senior Nicole Mastrianni tied it for the Lions at the 23:37 mark, the Falcons went on a 4-0 run of their own to take the 12-8 lead. Freshman Tori Cerny (Olney, Md./Good Counsel), Wiggins, and junior Carolyn Kynoch (Ashland, Mass./Ashland) had the first three goals of the run. A free-position goal by junior Chelsea Larivee (Amherst, N.H./Souhegan) with 10:22 to play capped the run.

Bentley kept Molloy off the scoreboard until a man-up goal by Alexa Toscano at the 6:10 mark, then Mastrianni netted two straight to make it a 12-11 game with 4:38 remaining. Roell’s goal to tie it late came after a Bentley turnover with 37 seconds to go.

Wiggins and Mastrianni each had a game-high four goals, while Bentley goalie Ally Dorman (Simsbury, Conn./Simsbury) made 10 saves to earn the win.

Bentley improves to 3-1 on the season, while Molloy falls to 3-5. The Falcons are back in action on Tuesday night when they host Northeast-10 rival Saint Michael’s.