Tag Archives: New England Basketball

Catching Up With Laura Pierce (Fitchburg State Women’s Basketball)

WB_PierceHC

Laura Pierce, who competed and coached at Wheaton College, was recently named the new women’s basketball coach at Fitchburg State University. (PHOTO COURTESY: Fitchburg State Athletics)

By NoontimeSports.com | @NoontimeSports 

Laura Pierce was ready for that next step in her coaching journey.

She had gained valuable experience at both Wesleyan University and Wheaton College as an assistant for both women’s basketball programs but appeared eager – and ready – to become a head coach.

And that eagerness – and readiness, too – paid off as she was recently named the new women’s basketball coach at Fitchburg State University.

“I am excited to get to work with the young women to create a culture in which our program makes Fitchburg State proud on the court, in the classroom, and in the community,” said Pierce in the press release announcing her hiring.

Pierce inherits a Falcons squad that finished 9-17 a year ago, including 2-10 against Massachusetts State Collegiate Athletic Conference (MASCAC) foes.

The Falcons did qualify for the MASCAC Tournament last winter but saw their bid for a conference crown conclude in the quarterfinals against Bridgewater State University.

Coaching in the MASCAC is something Pierce is very excited about – she described the conference as “really competitive,” while also noting that “you have to bring your best effort every (single) evening.”

Said Pierce, “My hope is that we enter the gym every day with the mindset of effort, focus, and attitude because it will help us be successful, both this upcoming season and in the future.”

Prior to becoming an assistant for both the Cardinals and Lyons, Pierce enjoyed an impressive career at Wheaton, tallying 622 points, 253 rebounds, 424 assists, and 68 steals in 100 games played. Pierce, who was a three-year captain, also attended “So You Want to be a Coach” Program at the Women’s Final Four in Tampa, Florida in April of 2015 before graduating from Wheaton one month later.

Noontime Sports recently spoke with Pierce about her excitement for leading her own program, but also what she learned as both a student-athlete and assistant from Coach Melissa Hodgdon.

What excites you about coaching your own program?

Being able to teach the game I love while shaping these young women’s lives.

Coaching is about so much more than the X’s & O’s (on a chalkboard). It’s about building relationships and mentoring (your players) to become the best they can be, both on and off the court. I have had many coaches and mentors along the way that I have played for and coached with, and they have all have shaped me into the coach and person I am today.

I think the exciting thing about coaching your own program is having a vision and being able to shape that vision throughout the season. It’s all about the process and we’ve got a lot of work to do, but it’s such an exciting time for the Fitchburg State women’s basketball program.

Do you feel your previous stops as an assistant at Wesleyan and Wheaton have prepared you for a successful first season with Fitchburg State?

Absolutely. Kate Mullen, who is the is the head coach of the Wesleyan women’s basketball team, took a chance on me – she hired me right after I graduated college (in May of 2015) and I will be forever grateful to her for providing me with my first collegiate coaching role.

Coach Mullen gave me the opportunity to coach and prepare to play against teams in the New England Small College Athletic Conference (NESCAC), which is one of the most competitive Division III women’s basketball conferences in the country. 

I am really fortunate that both Coach Mullen and Melissa Hodgdon gave me an opportunity to learn and grow as a young coach (these past few years). I consider them not just mentors, but great friends, as well.

Tell me about your experience learning and playing for Melissa Hodgdon. How did she help mold you into the current coach you are today? 

I honestly had never heard of Wheaton until Coach Hodgdon began recruiting me. But attending Wheaton and playing for her was the best decision I ever made.

Coach Hodgdon challenged me every day to become the best basketball player I could be so I could reach my highest potential on the court with hopes of leading the Lyons to a New England Women’s and Men’s Athletic Conference (NEWMAC) championship.

Her biggest impact though is she genuinely cares about each and every one of her players.

I missed my entire sophomore year with a knee injury, but that didn’t stop Coach Hodgdon from including me in team activities. She made sure I was included and kept me engaged throughout the entire season while allowing me to see the game from her perspective. And once my sophomore year concluded at Wheaton, I knew I wanted to become a collegiate basketball coach when I graduated, so I began gaining experience as an intern at the Duke University women’s basketball camp, along with several local camps, too, before I returned to campus for my senior year.

A few years after my final season with the Lyons, I returned to campus after completing my graduate assistantship program at Wesleyan – I knew (deep down that) I wanted to return to Wheaton and assist Coach Hodgdon, who established a program that meant so much to me, both as a student-athlete and assistant coach.

Being able to work (and learn) from Coach Hodgdon as an assistant was an amazing experience. She challenged me to become the best coach while giving me responsibilities that prepared me for my next step in my coaching journey.

Finally, what goals and objectives do you have for the team heading into the upcoming season?

We have a great group of young women returning this year as well as a couple of incoming first-year student-athletes that are excited to get to work. We’re going to focus on getting better every day, whether that be in the classroom, weight room, film room or on the court.

We are also going to have this mindset of getting better (every single day). But our number one goal is always going to be to represent the Fitchburg State community with class and pride.


Stay connected with our New England basketball coverage on Twitter by following @Noontime_Hoops

D3 Hoops: Tuesday Night Conference Scoreboard

NS CONF TOURN SCOREBOARD 2019

By NoontimeSports.com| @NoontimeSports & @NoontimeHoops 

The road to the 2019 NCAA Division III men and women’s basketball tournaments continued this afternoon and evening with a slew of local conference match-ups. Below are the outcomes from today’s quarterfinal contests.

As always, stay connected with our New England basketball coverage by following @Noontime_Hoops on Twitter! 

Commonwealth Coast Conference (CCC) | Men’s Basketball 

  • Roger Williams 102, University of New England 87
  • Gordon College 94, Wentworth 77
  • Western New England 70, Endicott 65

Commonwealth Coast Conference (CCC) | Women’s Basketball 

  • Curry College 64, Roger Williams 61
  • Western New England 64, Salve Regina 52
  • University of New England 64, Gordon College 39

Great Northeast Athletic Conference (GNAC) | Men’s Basketball 

  • St. Joseph’s (Conn.) 95, Suffolk 84
  • St. Joseph’s (Maine) 83, Johnson & Wales 80
  • Emmanuel College 90, Colby-Sawyer 83
  • Albertus Magnus 99, Lasell College 79

Great Northeast Athletic Conference (GNAC) | Women’s Basketball 

  • Suffolk 68, Anna Maria 58
  • Emmanuel College 61, Colby-Sawyer 39
  • Albertus Magnus 82, Regis College 74
  • St. Joseph’s (Maine) 99, Johnson & Wales 75

Little East Conference (LEC) | Men’s Basketball 

  • UMass Dartmouth 83, Plymouth State 65
  • Western Conn. 97, UMass Boston 77

Little East Conference (LEC) | Women’s Basketball 

  • Rhode Island College 66, UMass Boston 44
  • Southern Maine 63, Castleton 40

Massachusetts State College Athletic Conference (MASCAC) | Men’s Basketball 

  • Bridgewater State 101, Framingham State 84
  • Fitchburg State 67, Worcester State 55

Massachusetts State College Athletic Conference (MASCAC) | Women’s Basketball 

  • Framingham State 70, Salem State 47
  • Bridgewater State 89, Fitchburg State 68

New England Collegiate Conference (NECC) | Men’s Basketball 

  • Newbury College 96, Dean College 90
  • Mitchell College 64, Southern Vermont 53

New England Collegiate Conference (NECC) | Women’s Basketball 

  • Mitchell College 66, Elms College 49
  • Becker College 57, Newbury College 49
  • Eastern Nazarene 70, Dean College 66
  • New England College 85, Southern Vermont 85

New England Women’s and Men’s Athletic Conference (NEWMAC) | Men’s Basketball 

  • WPI 70, Babson 66

New England Women’s and Men’s Athletic Conference (NEWMAC) | Women’s Basketball 

  • MIT 76, Emerson College 58
  • Smith College 75, Wellesley College 38
  • Springfield College 66, Clark University 44

Noontime Sports New England D3 Men’s Basketball Top 10 (Jan. 1st)

NS HOOPS MBB TOP 10

By NoontimeSports.com | @NoontimeSports & @Noontime_Hoops 

Happy New Year, New England D3 Hoops fans!

Let’s kick-off the new year with our fifth poll of the 2018-19 season, which once again finds Williams College in the top spot followed by Hamilton College (second) and MIT (third).

Movers: We had some movement, beginning with Hamilton and MIT moving-up, while Gordon College and Babson College also moved-up one spot, respectively.

Newcomers: Amherst College checked-in 10th overall after scoring its third-straight win over Hunter College. The Mammoths, who currently stand at 8-1 overall, will attempt to continue its current momentum on Wednesday against Keystone before facing Trinity College on Friday.


Noontime Sports D3 New England Men’s Basketball Poll | Jan. 1st, 2019 

1. Williams College

11-0, 0-0 NESCAC Previously: No. 1 
2. Hamilton College   11-0, 0-0 NESCAC Previously No. 3
3. MIT  10-1, 0-0 NEWMAC Previously: No. 4
4. Nichols College  10-1, 3-0 CCC Previously: No. 2
5. Middlebury College 9-3, 0-0 NESCAC Previously No. 7 
6. Endicott College 8-3, 1-1 CCC Previously: No. 6
7. WPI  9-2, 0-0 NEWMAC Previously: No. 5 
8. Babson College 7-4, 0-0 NEWMAC Previously: No. 9 
9. Gordon College 11-1, 3-0 CCC Previously: No. 10 
10. Amherst College 8-1, 0-0 NESCAC Previously: Not Ranked

On The Rise: Albertus Magnus, Brandeis University, Coast Guard Academy, Colby College, Eastern Conn., Wesleyan University and Wheaton College 


Previous Polls: Preseason | Week One | Week Two | Week ThreeWeek Four


Stay connected with our New England basketball coverage by following @Noontime_Hoops on Twitter Today! 

 

D3 Hoops: 10 Games To Watch (Dec. 28-Dec. 31st)

NS 10 GAMES TO WATCH HOOPS

By NoontimeSports.com | @NoontimeSports & @Noontime_Hoops 

It’s FRIDAY, which means … (drum roll please) … it is NOW time for a brand new edition of 10 Games to Watch this weekend in New England D3 Hoops!

Yes, it has been a few weeks since our last 10 Games to Watch, but entering this weekend’s contests, we have predicted 12 of 20 contests correctly (two posts), so let’s see how we do this weekend. (Last time we made predictions, we finished 5-5.

As always, stay connected with @NoontimeSports and @Noontime_Hoops on Twitter for updates, scores and more!


Men’s Basketball 

Nichols College vs. Eastern Conn. (Saturday, Dec. 29th at 3 p.m.): The Bison enter the Hampton Inn West Springfield/Naismith Classic as the team to beat. Nichols has won nine-straight and should find a way to pick-up their 10th victory against the Warriors. The winner of this match-up will face either host Springfield College or Salisbury University on Sunday. PREDICTION: Nichols College

Endicott College vs. Colby-Sawyer (Saturday, Dec. 29th at 5 p.m.): This game certainly has potential to be a high-scoring affair. Keep an eye on Endicott’s Keith Brown and Colby-Sawer’s Patrick Coffey as both players should provide their respective unit with a boost on the offensive end. PREDICTION: Endicott College 

Salem State vs. Thomas College (Saturday, Dec. 29th at 7 p.m.): The Vikings scored an exciting win over Endicott earlier this month to provide the Blue and Orange with some momentum heading into their holiday tournament. Expect that momentum from their three-point win to continue against the Terriers. PREDICTION: Salem State 

WPI vs. Maryville (TN) (Saturday, Dec. 29th at 7 p.m.): It’s been a few weeks since we last saw these Engineers in action – they scored an 86-71 win over Husson University in their last outing. Sure, the game feels like ages ago, but one should expect coach Chris Bartley‘s squad will be ready for this particular contest, along with a potential championship contest, too, at this weekend’s Tampa Bay Shootout. PREDICTION: WPI 

Emmanuel College vs. St. Joseph’s (Maine) (Sunday, Dec. 30th at 3 p.m.): This early season GNAC clash has potential for an exciting finish as both teams enter the Catholic Classic Tournament with some momentum. The Saints have won four-straight, while the Monks haven’t lost since falling to Tufts University last month. Both teams will be in action Saturday with St. Joseph’s facing Rivier University, while Emmanuel will take on Regis College. PREDICTION: St. Joseph’s (Maine) 


Women’s Basketball

Trinity College vs. Lehman (Friday, Dec. 28th at 2 p.m.): The Bantams enter the CUNYAC Coaches v. Cancer Tournament with some momentum, which they earned earlier this month by defeating both Connecticut College and Stevens. As of this morning, four players on the Trinity roster, including Courtney Erickson, are averaging 10 points or more. PREDICTION: Trinity College 

TCNJ at MIT (Saturday, Dec. 29th at 2 p.m.): This will be a good test for the Engineers, who will resume NEWMAC play one week later when they visit Smith College. MIT has been rather successful this month, but so have the Lions of TCNJ, who enter the non-conference clash on a six-game winning streak. MIT is averaging 72.9 points per game, while TCNJ’s offense averages 66.5 points. PREDICTION: MIT 

Babson College vs. Salve Regina (Sunday, Dec. 30th at 1 p.m.): Babson will host the Judy Pearson ’85 Memorial Tournament on Sunday and Monday – we expect them to find a way past the Seahawks to secure a championship match-up against the winner of St. Lawrence-UMass Dartmouth. Babson enters the two-day tournament on a five-game winning streak. PREDICTION: Babson College 

UMass Dartmouth vs. St. Lawrence (Sunday, Dec. 30th at 3 p.m.): As noted above, this will be one of four games taking place at Babson College on Sunday and Monday, but this is certainly an enticing match-up. Since falling to Bowdoin College, the Corsairs have rebounded with two important wins over Keene State and Johnson & Wales. PREDICTION: UMass Dartmouth 

Bates College vs. Springfield College (Monday, Dec. 31st at 1 p.m.): The Pride will attempt to defend their Hampton Inn West Springfield/Naismith Classic championship when they host the Bobcats of Bates College on the first day of their holiday tournament. The winner of this match-up will face either Newbury College or Vassar College on Tuesday. PREDICTION: Springfield College 

Noontime Sports New England D3 Women’s Basketball Top 10 (Nov. 26th)

NS HOOP WBB TOP 10

By NoontimeSports.com | @NoontimeSports & @Noontime_Hoops 

Another week of New England D3 men’s basketball is in the books, which means it is time to unveil our latest Noontime Sports Top 10, which finds Bowdoin College in the top spot followed by Tufts University and Amherst College.

The Polar Bears secured the top spot for the first time this season with recent wins over MIT (78-57) and University of New England (106-55). Bowdoin will be idle for a few days, but does return to the hardwood on Saturday when they visit Colby College for a 2 p.m. tip-off.

Tufts has enjoyed a successful start to its 2018-19 campaign, thanks to some impressive play from its underclassmen, including Janette Wadolowski, who netted a season-best 22 points on Sunday in her team’s 110-63 victory over Brandeis University. Additionally, the Jumbos have gotten a boost from first-year Molly Ryan, who is averaging 9.5 points per contest.

Amherst slipped from the top spot to the third position following a 70-67 setback to Eastern Connecticut last week. The loss snapped a 68-game winning streak, but look for Amherst to construct a new one beginning this week.

Connecticut College made the leap from the seventh position to the fifth, thanks to recent regional wins over Johnson & Wales (78-43) and Coast Guard Academy (77-62). The Camels will attempt to close out the first month of play with wins over Mitchell College and Worcester State – both games will take place away from New London.

Finally, UMass Boston remained in the tenth position for the second-straight week following a pair of wins against Keuka College (78-69) and Emerson College (66-61). Sophomores Jalani Jackson and Joie Grassi have provided a boost for the Blue and White, averaging 16.3 and 15.3 points per contest, respectively.


Noontime Sports D3 New England Women’s Basketball Poll | Nov. 26th, 2018 

1. Bowdoin College

4-0, 0-0 NESCAC

Last Week: No. 2

2. Tufts University

4-0, 0-0 NESCAC

Last Week No. 3

3. Amherst College 2-1, 0-0 NESCAC Last Week: No. 1 
4. St. Joseph’s (Maine)  4-0, 0-0 GNAC  Last Week: No. 4
5. Conn. College 4-0, 0-0 NESCAC Last Week: No. 7 
6. MIT  3-2, 0-0 NEWMAC Last Week: No. 5
7. Middlebury College 3-0, 0-0 NESCAC Last Week: No. 9 
8.  Smith College 4-1, 0-0 NEWMAC Last Week: No. 6
9. UMass Dartmouth 4-0, 0-0 LEC Last Week: No. 8
10. UMass Boston 4-0, 0-0 LEC Last Week: No. 10 

On The Rise: Babson College (1-1), Eastern Conn. (2-2), Emmanuel College (3-0), Hamilton College (3-0), Trinity College (3-0) and Western Conn. (4-1)


Previous Polls: Preseason | Week One 


Stay connected with our New England basketball coverage by following @Noontime_Hoops on Twitter Today! 

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