Noontime’s Senior Salute: Mary Kate O’Day (Framingham State)

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Mary Kate O’Day and the Framingham State women’s basketball team competed in their first-ever NCAA Tournament game last month. (PHOTO COURTESY: Frank Poulin/Framingham State Athletics)

By NoontimeSports.com 

For Mary Kate O’Day, her senior season with the Framingham State University women’s basketball team was one both she and fans will certainly remember for quite some time.

The Berlin, Massachusetts native averaged a career-bests in points per game (17.9), rebounds (8.5), and assists (3.1) while leading the Rams to their first-ever Massachusetts State Collegiate Athletic Conference (MASCAC) Tournament Championship with a 66-51 win over Worcester State.

Framingham State would make its initial appearance in the NCAA D-III Tournament days later and conclude its 2019-20 campaign with a school-record 22 wins in a single-season.

Named the MASCAC Player of the Year for the second time in her career, O’Day netted 20 points or more in 12 contests this past season while scoring a season-high 31 points in her team’s 101-91 victory over Westfield State in January. O’Day was honored by both the New England Women’s Basketball Association (NEWBA) and D3Hoops.com (All-Northeast Region) last month, securing spots on the first and second teams, respectively.

O’Day scored 1,557 points in 102 games with the Rams to go with 621 rebounds, 234 assists, and 127 steals. She also recorded 38 blocks, including a career-best 16 this past winter.

We recently caught up with Mary Kate O’Day to discuss her final season with the Rams, as well as her future plans beyond graduation later this spring.


What will you remember most about your final season with the Rams? 

I will remember winning the MASCAC championship. We came up short twice in the past, so to finally win it my senior year was something special.

Was there a game (or two) that you will remember most from either your senior season or the past three years? If so, which game(s) are they?

I think the game that I will remember most (from this past year) was when we beat Westfield State on the road. We had only beaten them once in my four years with the Framingham State women’s basketball program, so earning a win against the Owls was (an important step toward eventually winning our conference tournament title on the final day of February).

In addition to our win over the Owls, it has been great seeing both former and current teammates reach certain milestones. I have vivid memories of watching Alycia Rackliffe, Raegan Mulherin, and Emily Velozo score their 1,000th point, respectively, to Lauren Donahue becoming the program’s all-time assists leader. Those are games (and memories) I will never forget. 

What have you enjoyed most about competing for your team (and program) these past four years? What will you miss most after graduation? 

Meeting so many amazing people. I have become so close with my teammates over the past four years. We have shared some amazing memories together, including two trips to Florida and celebrating New Years’ at Universal Studios. Those were some of my favorite memories with my teammates (and friends).

I will miss most hanging out with my teammates and being apart of a team. Whether we were hanging out in someone’s dorm room, grabbing food off-campus to shooting around before practices, the times we spent together, both on and off the court is something I will miss.

Tell me about your major. How did you choose it and what do you hope to do beyond graduation? 

I am a sociology major. I went into college undeclared but during my sophomore year, I took a sociology class and really enjoyed it. My goal is to get a job with the Special Olympics.

Noontime’s Senior Salute: Erica DeCandido (Tufts University)

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Erica DeCandido averaged 16.7 points and 8.3 rebounds per game this past winter for the Tufts University women’s basketball team. (PHOTO COURTESY: Alonso Nichols / Tufts University)

By NoontimeSports.com | @NoontimeNation 

This past winter, Erica DeCandido was the player to watch on the Tufts University women’s basketball team.

The North Wales, Pennsylvania native averaged career-bests in points per game (16.7) and rebounds (8.7) in 29 contests while leading Tufts to a 28-1 overall record.

Recognized as the 2020 New England Small College Athletic Conference (NESCAC) Player of the Year, DeCandido scored 20 points or more seven times this past winter while netting a career-high 28 points in her team’s 78-60 win over Wesleyan University. Additionally, she pulled down 10 rebounds or more in 10 contests and recorded nine double-doubles.

DeCandido scored 1,397 points in 119 games with the Jumbos to go with 685 rebounds, 317 assists, 166 steals, and 67 blocks.

We recently spoke with Erica about her final season with the Jumbos, as well as where she is headed after graduation later this spring.


Despite the way the season concluded, what will you remember most about your senior year?

I will definitely miss the camaraderie. My teammates are my best friends, and college basketball gives you such a great opportunity to do something you love with all the people you love.

Despite all of the wins and that one loss (from this past season), I will remember how much fun we had from (competing on the road) to our bus trips, team meetings, and so much more.

Looking back on the 2019-20 season, what game (or games) will you remember most? Why these games?

I will remember our two road games against Amherst College and Bowdoin College. I think the Amherst game was one of the first games in my collegiate career where we went into overtime which was very intense. The Bowdoin game featured some amazing fans and neither team could miss (a shot). Both were such different games but against two great teams, and we won them both.

What have you enjoyed most about competing for the Tufts women’s basketball team (and program) these past four years?

I’ve certainly enjoyed the high level of competition, not only in the NESCAC but in our everyday practices, too. I was able to play in the D-III National Championship my freshman year, win a NESCAC championship while having an amazing time with my friends. As cheesy as that sounds, that’s why I love playing for this team. We are super close and were able to compete for championships. 

Once you officially graduate later this spring, do you plan to stay involved with the sport in some capacity? Any interest in coaching?

I definitely would love to stay involved with the sport. I do not think I will become a coach (at some point) but I would love to work for basketball non-profits, so I can teach this game I love so much. 

What interested you in pursuing a degree in cognitive brain science? What do you hope to do with your degree after graduation?

I find the brain and psychology very fascinating. We all have brains, but it’s so interesting to see how different things can impact one from the other. It’s fun to learn about what goes on behind people’s actions, thoughts, and decisions.

I currently have a job lined up in New York City, doing client services for a company called Guidepoint.

Three New England College Basketball Players Drafted In The 2020 WNBA Draft

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Lauren Manis, who competed for the Holy Cross women’s basketball team the past four seasons, was drafted in the third round of the 2020 WNBA Draft by the Las Vegas Aces. (PHOTO COURTESY: Mark Seliger)

By NoontimeSports.com | @NoontimeNation

A trio of New England college basketball players heard their names called last night during the 2020 WNBA Draft, including Holy Cross‘s Lauren Manis, who was selected in the third round by the Las Vegas Aces.

Manis, who was a two-time Worcester Area College Basketball Association (WACBA) Player of the Year, led the Crusaders to a 19-11 overall record this winter, along with a spot in the Patriot League semifinals for the second-straight season. She recorded a double-double of 19 points and 12 rebounds in her team’s final contest against Lafayette and concluded her impressive four-year career with 2,020 points and 1,188 rebounds.

A native of Franklin, Massachusetts, and alum of Bishop Feehan, Manis broke the school and conference record in rebounds while becoming the first Holy Cross basketball player in school history, including men’s basketball, to record 2,000 points and 1,000 rebounds.

“It’s a dream come true,” Manis said, via Paloma Villicana of Fox 5 Lase Vegas when asked about being drafted by the Aces.

Manis, who averaged 18.6 points and 11.5 rebounds per game this past season, is currently third in program history in career points and second with 58 career double-doubles. She is also the first student-athlete in Holy Cross women’s basketball program history to be drafted by a WNBA team.

In addition to Manis, a pair of University of Connecticut women’s basketball players were drafted last night, including Megan Walker, who was taken ninth overall by the New York Liberty. Walker, who led the Huskies with 19.7 points, will join former UConn teammates, Kia Nurse and Kiah Stokes.

Crystal Dangerfield, who averaged 14.9 points, 3.7 rebounds and 3.9 assists in 30 contests, was selected 16th overall in the second round by the Minnesota Lynx. Dangerfield will team up with her former teammate, Napheesa Collier, who was named the league’s Rookie of the Year last September.

Walker and Dangerfield become the 39th and 40th WNBA draft picks in UConn program history.

University of Oregon’Sabrina Ionescu was selected first overall by the New York Liberty. Ionescu’s teammate Satou Sabally was selected second by the Dallas Wings while Baylor University‘s Lauren Cox was selected third by the Indiana Fever.

To see who else was selected in the 2020 WNBA Draft – HOP HERE

D3 Basketball: Women’s Top 10 Poll (Monday, Feb. 10th, 2020)

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By NoontimeSports.com | @NoontimeNation

After winning a pair of games this past weekend, the Tufts University women’s basketball team remains our top team in today’s New England D-III Top 10 Poll followed by Amherst College, which defeated third-ranked Bowdoin College this past weekend.

All three teams – Amherst, Bowdoin, and Tufts – appear destined to host New England Small College Athletic Conference (NECAC) quarterfinals after their respective regular-season campaigns conclude this weekend. Tufts can sew-up the top spot by beating Middlebury College and Williams College later this week.

Eastern Connecticut and Western New England remained in their same positions from one week ago while Rhode Island College moved up two spots following back-to-back wins last week over Southern Maine and UMass Boston. The Anchorwomen will host Eastern Connecticut on Wednesday, February 12th for an important conference meeting. RIC beat Eastern Connecticut earlier this season.

Finally, Springfield College joined this week’s poll – the Pride enters the new week on a six-game winning streak, which will be tested against WPI on Wednesday followed by MIT (at home) on Saturday.


New England D-III Basketball Women’s Top 10 Week 11 Poll| Monday, Feb. 10th, 2020

1. Tufts University 22-0, 8-0 NESCAC Last Week: No. 1
2. Amherst College  19-3, 6-2 NESCAC Last Week: No. 3
3. Bowdoin College 21-2, 7-2 NESCAC Last Week: No. 2 
4. Eastern Connecticut 18-3, 11-1 LEC Last Week: No. 4
5. Western New England 18-4, 11-2 CCC Last Week: No. 5
6. Rhode Island College 18-4, 10-3 LEC Last Week: No. 8
7. Williams College 16-6, 5-3 NESCAC Last Week: No. 6
8. Trinity College 15-7, 4-4 NESCAC Last Week: No. 7
9. Babson College 13-7, 6-0 NEWMAC Last Week: No. 9
10. Springfield College  15-6, 6-0 NEWMAC Last Week: Not Ranked

ON THE RISE: Framingham State, Hamilton College, Smith College, and University of New England 


Previous Polls: Preseason Poll |Week OneWeek TwoWeek Three|Week Four Week FiveWeek SixWeek Seven |Week Eight|Week Nine  Week Ten 

 

D3 Basketball: Men’s Basketball Top 10 Poll (Monday, Feb. 10th, 2020)

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By NoontimeSports.com | @NoontimeNation

The Tufts University men’s basketball team remains our top team in our latest New England D-III Men’s Basketball Top 10 – the Jumbos have won four-straight, including back-to-back games against Connecticut College and Trinity College.

Tufts continues to be the top team in the New England Small College Athletic Conference (NESCAC) with two games remaining, but the Jumbos will face some challenges later this week when they visit Middlebury College and Williams College.

Springfield College moved into the second position after checking in third one week ago. The Pride has won six-straight contests dating back to a mid-January loss to Emerson College. Springfield visits Wheaton College on Wednesday before hosting MIT later this week.

Babson College moved up two spots – the Beavers have won six-straight and face a tough challenge on Wednesday when they host eighth-ranked WPI.

Colby College and Middlebury College rounded out the top five, while Emmanuel College joined the poll, checking, in tenth overall. The Saints have won six straight, but face a difficult challenge later this week when they host seventh-ranked St. Joseph’s (Conn.), which has won 18 consecutive contests.


New England D-III Basketball Men’s Top 10 Week 11 Poll| Monday, Feb. 10th, 2020

1. Tufts University 18-4, 8-0 NESCAC Last Week: No. 1
2. Springfield College 18-3, 9-1 NEWMAC Last Week: No. 3
3. Babson College 18-3, 8-2 NEWMAC Last Week: No. 5
4. Colby College 19-2, 7-2 NESCAC Last Week: No. 2
5. Middlebury College 19-3, 5-3 NESCAC Last Week: No. 6
6. Brandeis University 15-5, 7-2 UAA Last Week: No. 4
7. St. Joseph’s (Conn.) 19-2, 7-0 GNAC Last Week: No. 7
8. WPI 17-4, 8-2 NEWMAC Last Week: No. 8
9. Amherst College 16-6, 6-2 NESCAC Last Week: No. 9
10. Emmanuel College 18-3, 6-1 GNAC Last Week: Not Ranked

ON THE RISE: Albertus Magnus, Endicott College, Rhode Island College, and Trinity College


Previous Polls: Preseason Poll |Week One| Week Two | Week ThreeWeek Four| Week Five |Week Six |Week Seven |Week Eight|Week Nine | Week Ten