Middlebury Secures Top Spot In Second NCAA D-III Northeast Regional Rankings

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By NoontimeSports.com| @NoontimeNation

The Middlebury College men’s basketball team secured the top spot in this week’s NCAA D-III Northeast Regional Rankings after placing second one week ago.

Middlebury, which has won 20 of 24 contests this season, will begin its pursuit of a New England Small College Athletic Conference (NESCAC) Tournament crown this Saturday, February 22nd when they visit Trinity College for a 3 p.m. tip-off. The Bantams of Trinity, which are the fourth seed in the 2020 NESCAC Men’s Basketball Tournament, did not appear on this week’s list.

Springfield College, which is currently the top team in the New England Women’s and Men’s Athletic Conference (NEWMAC), checked-in second while WPITufts University, and Colby College rounded out the top five. Tuft was the top team last week in the initial Northeast Regional Rankings of the current season.

Babson College secured the sixth position, St. Joseph’s (Conn.) placed seventh while Amherst CollegeBrandeis University, and Albertus Magnus rounded out the top ten positions, checking in eighth, ninth, and tenth, respectively.

Finally, New England College joined the list, checking in 11th overall with an 18-6 overall record. The Pilgrims, who compete in the New England Collegiate Conference (NECC), have won seven-straight contests and will wrap up their 2019-20 regular season slate this evening when they host Eastern Nazarene College at 7 p.m.

New England Basketball Weekend Watch (Friday, Jan. 17th)

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By Matt Noonan | @NoontimeNation 

Happy Friday, everyone – hope you are all staying warm on this bone-chilly (and windy) day in Boston.

Did I hear there was some snow in the forecast for tomorrow? When does the warm weather arrive?

Well, while we anxiously wait for temperatures that we had a week ago, let’s dish out a brand new ‘New England Basketball: Weekend Watch’ with some thoughts on a few local D-III games.


Colby College at Middlebury College (Friday, Jan. 17th at 7 p.m.): A battle between our top two teams in this week’s Noontime Top 10 Men’s Basketball Poll.

The Mules of Colby enter the contest riding an impressive 13-game winning streak – they extended that streak last weekend with back-to-back wins over Connecticut College and Trinity College. Sam Jefferson is one of two players in the New England Small College Athletic Conference (NESCAC) averaging 22.8 points per game – he will certainly be a player to watch on Friday evening, as well as someone the Panthers will need to locate when he is on the court.

As for the Panthers, they enter this marquee matchup with a 15-1 mark – they lost last weekend to Amherst College but rebounded the following day with a one-point win over Hamilton College. Tommy Eastman highlighted the Blue and White’s win over the Continentals – similar to Jefferson, he will also be a player to watch in this contest.

Noontime’s Prediction: I think the Panthers’ win over Hamilton provided them with some momentum that not only helped them against Albertus Magnus earlier this week but should assist them to make a few more plays than Colby, especially down the stretch. Middlebury will beat Colby, 81-78. 

Tufts University at Amherst College (Saturday, January 18th at 3 p.m.): It may be too early to call this a ‘must-win’ game for both teams, but as two of the top three women’s basketball teams in the NESCAC, this is a VERY important contest.

Since falling to Emmanuel College last month, the Mammoths have won 11-straight – they will attempt to make it 12-straight wins when they host Bates College this evening with tip-off scheduled for 7 p.m.

Amherst’s Madeline Eck was named the conference’s player of the week on Monday – she entered the week averaging 15.6 points per game. The senior guard, who has played and started in all 15 games this season, has converted 72.1 percent of her free throws while averaging seven caroms per contest.

First-year coach Jill Pace has enjoyed a very successful start with the Jumbos, who enter this weekend riding a 14-game winning streak. Before Tufts visits Amherst on Saturday, they will travel to Hamilton on Friday for a 7 p.m. tip-off.

Tufts opened conference play last week with a 78-60 win over Wesleyan University – it was a game that featured a double-double of 28 points and 10 rebounds by Erica DeCandido. DeCandido will be a player to watch on the Powder Blue and White against the Mammoths on Saturday.

Noontime’s Prediction: This will be a good test for both teams, but Amherst has been impressive since falling to the Saints and should find a way to beat the Jumbos on their home court by a score of 63-57. 


Time for some ‘extra picks’ for the weekend! 

MBB: Tufts (MBB) over Hamilton (Jan. 17th): After falling to Suffolk University earlier this week, the Jumbos will find a way to bounce back against the Continentals before hosting the Mammoths on Saturday afternoon.

MBB: Emmanuel College over Lasell University (Jan. 18th): Coach Danny Lawson and the Saints should continue their recent momentum at home against the Lasers and score their first conference win of 2020.

WBB: Smith College over Emerson College (Jan. 18th): The Pioneers scored an impressive road win earlier this week against the Ephs of Williams College and should be able to continue that momentum on the other side of the state against the Lions.

MBB: Endicott College over Roger Williams (Jan. 18th): The Gulls have rebounded nicely since falling to Nichols College earlier this month with back-to-back wins over Curry College and Gordon College. Look for a big game on Saturday from Keith Brown and Jalen Echevarria.

WBB: Rhode Island College over UMass Boston (Jan. 18th): RIC appears to be the team to beat in the Little East Conference (LEC) – they enter Saturday’s match-up riding an 11-game winning streak. RIC’s Willcia McBorrough will be the player to watch in this contest.

WBB: Westfield State over Bridgewater State (Jan. 18th): After surrendering 101 points to Framingham State last weekend, the Owls have rebounded with some important conference wins over Fitchburg State and Worcester State. Look for Blue and White to extend their current winning streak to three games on Saturday.

WBB: Eastern Nazarene at Mitchell College (Jan. 18th): The Lions appear to be the team to beat (and watch) in the New England Collegiate Conference (NECC) – this has the making of a potential postseason preview.


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D3 Lacrosse Notebook: Springfield Gains Momentum With Win Over WNE

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By Matt Noonan | @MattyNoonz11

It was an important non-conference win on Tuesday for the Springfield College men’s lacrosse team, which gained some important momentum heading into it’s New England Women’s and Men’s Athletic Conference (NEWMAC) clash this Saturday against Babson College.

The Pride netted 18 goals – the second most tallies they have recorded in a single game this season – to defeat Western New England (our seventh-ranked team in this week’s Noontime Sports Top 10 Poll) for their fourth win of the season.

Cameron Glover netted a season-high five goals in the win, while Zachary Schuette registered a hat trick and two helpers. Additionally, the Pride received a trio of goals from Jack Vail while Patrick Watson added five points on four assists and one goal.

For Springfield, the next few weeks are critical especially after enduring a difficult start to its current season. The Pride struggled in a trio of early March contests but did score an important non-conference win against Endicott College. They concluded the month with a 21-5 win over Emerson College before earning its first win of the new month yesterday against the Golden Bears.

With just seven contests remaining, including one non-conference contest with Middlebury College, every game is important for a unit that has made 11 consecutive trips to the NCAA Tournament.

As of early today, the Pride is one of four teams with 1-0 marks in NEWMAC play, but their game against Babson certainly won’t be easy as the Beavers will also enter the Saturday meeting with hopes of improving to 2-0 in league play.

Sticking with the NEWMAC, Coast Guard Academy remains the top team with a 7-2 overall record (and 1-0 league mark). The Bears scored a hard-fought 14-13 win last Saturday evening against Clark University.

Coast Guard hosts UMass Dartmouth this evening at 7 p.m. before they visit Wheaton College on Saturday for a 1 p.m. face-off in Norton, Massachusetts.

Switching gears to the women’s game, fans of D3 lacrosse should keep an eye on a tight race in the Commonwealth Coast Conference (CCC) with Endicott CollegeRoger Williams, and University of New England locked in a three-way tie for first place.

The Gulls were my pick to win the conference this spring – I won’t change it, I promise! – but Endicott will certainly be challenged over the next few weeks when they take on their remaining conference foes, including Roger Williams and UNE. Both meetings will occur later this month. Wins over the Hawks and Nor’easters would help the Gulls secure the top seed for the conference tournament.

Becker College appears to be in the diver seat in the New England Collegiate Conference (NECC) with a 5-1 mark. They have rebounded from their lone setback of the season last month with back-to-back wins against Anna Maria College and MCLA. They will face Mitchell College this afternoon with hopes of earning their sixth win, but also their initial conference victory.

Dean College appears to be the front-runner in the NECC, thanks to five wins, including a 19-5 league victory last month against Becker. The Bulldogs are led by Anthony Trasacco, who has recorded 45 points on 30 goals and 15 assists. The Cheshire, Connecticut native has a chance to match his point total from last spring when he recorded 64 points on 45 goals and 19 assists.

Dean has just four games remaining before the NECC Tournament commences – they should be the favorite in their league’s postseason.

Finally, keep an eye on Wentworth‘s Brooke Paradis, who currently ranks 10th in NCAA Division III in goals per game (5.40). The Pelham, New Hampshire native is enjoying another successful season after posting career-highs in goals (62), assists (22) and points (84) one year ago.

This season, Paradis has notched 54 markers in 10 contests, along with 13 assists for 67 points. She has converted 17 free-position goals while snatching 55 draw controls and scooping 29 ground balls.

This past weekend, Paradais she netted her 200th goal in a 21-6 win over Nichols College while also setting a new program record for goals in a single game with 11.

Paradis and the Leopards have won seven of 10 contests this season. They will host Endicott this Saturday – it will be the teams’ ‘Senior Day’ with opening draw set for 2 p.m. A win over the Gulls would be a huge momentum boost for the Leopards heading into the final few weeks of the regular season.

NECC Men’s Lacrosse Tournament Preview: Can Regis Repeat?

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Regis College men’s lacrosse enters the NECC Tournament as the top seed, but also the defending tournament champions. (PHOTO CREDIT: Regis College Athletics)

By Matt Noonan (@MattNoonan11) 

After finishing league play undefeated, Regis College men’s lacrosse will look to capture its second-straight New England Collegiate Conference (NECC) postseason crown this week when they open tournament play tomorrow, Wednesday, April 26th against fourth-seed Mitchell College.

Regis defeated Mitchell in its season finale last Saturday, thanks to a combined 12 points from AJ Karofsky (four goals and two assists) and Calvin Brault (four goals and two assists).

A win for the Pride would send them to Saturday’s (Apr. 29th) championship game against either Daniel Webster (second seed) or Becker College (third seed).

The Eagles and Hawks will also begin tournament play tomorrow, competing in New Hampshire with face-off set for 4:00 p.m.

Daniel Webster, which lost just one league contest this season, will face Becker for the second time in four days. The Eagles soared past the Hawks last Saturday by a score of 7-1, thanks to a pair of goals and assists from Gavin Abbott, who is current sixth in the league in goals (24). Tre Mason (Daniel Webster) leads all NECC scorers with 38 goals.

Last season, Regis captured its first-ever NECC Tournament crown, defeating Becker in the championship game by a score of 10-6. The four-goal victory capped the team’s best season in program history as Regis finished its campaign with 13 wins.

Noontime’s Prediction: Regis maybe the favorite heading into this year’s tournament, but I certainly would not overlook Daniel Webster or Becker, two teams that were edged by the Pride earlier this season by one goal. The Pride needed an extra session to beat the Hawks, while its defense dashed a fourth quarter rally against the Eagles.

I’ll take Regis over Mitchell and Daniel Webster over Becker. In the championship game, I’ll take the Eagles over the Pride. 

Stay up to date with New England NCAA Division III sports by following Noontime Sports (@NoontimeSports) on Twitter and becoming a fan on Facebook

Three-Point Heroics Lifts Lesley Past Regis in NECC Quarterfinals

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Lesley’s Devon Mayo sank the game-winning trey on Tuesday evening, which lifted the Lynx past Regis in the NECC Quarterfinals. (PHOTO CREDIT: Lesley University Athletics)

By Matt Noonan (@MattNoonan11) 

By now you probably know that the Lesley University men’s basketball team will be competing in the New England Collegiate Conference (NECC) semifinals on Thursday – the Lynx are scheduled to visit Becker College with tip-off scheduled for 7 p.m.

Yet, how did the Lynx advance to their first conference semifinal in six years?

Simple: a game-winning trey from Devon Mayo with three seconds remaining, which lifted the Lynx past Regis College, 69-68.

Courtesy of Michael Crotty (@CoachCrotty), here is the game-winning basket from last night’s NECC quarterfinals, which was seen on Twitter:

Mayo concluded the contest with 14 points, seven rebounds, seven assists and two steals.

Following the contest, the Lynx men’s basketball team shared the game-winning basket on Twitter, which fans can also see on the Lesley Athletics website: