Tag Archives: Nick Sienkiewicz

Mass. College Hoops: Sunday’s D3 Conference Tournament Championship Preview

By Matt Noonan 

Four local Division 3 conference tournament championships will occur this afternoon and below is a preview of each contest.

Men’s NESCAC Championship: No. 1 Amherst vs. No. 2 Williams @ Amherst, Mass. / 12 p.m.: For the third time this season, Amherst and Williams will meet on the hardwood, but this particular contest will determine the NESCAC champion. Aaron Toomey poured in a game-best 36 points yesterday as the Lord Jeffs defeated Trinity, 80-62. As for the Ephs, they defeated Middlebury, 78-75. Williams rallied from an 11-point deficit at the break to defeat the Panthers and received 27 points from Michael Mayer. Amherst and Williams met last season in the title round with the Lord Jeffs edging the Ephs, 74-73. Williams is number one in conference play in points per game (81.3), while Amherst is second (78.6). Amherst is currently on a seven-game winning streak is undefeated at home this season, while Williams has won 10 straight, including two conference tournament contests. The Ephs are 10-1 away from Williamstown.

Women’s NESCAC Championship: No. 1 Tufts vs. No. 2 Amherst @ Medford, Mass. / 12 p.m.: The Jumbos will attempt to capture their first conference crown. Tufts has appeared in three conference finals (2007, 2008 and 2012), but hasn’t been able to attain some hardware. Against the Bantams of Trinity, the Jumbos used a second half surge to earn a 57-47 victory. Tufts’ Hayley Kanner led all players with 19 points, while Michela North chipped in 10 points off the bench. Amherst trailed Bowdoin, 20-16, at intermission, but outscored the Polar Bears during the final 20 minutes, 29-22. Ali Doswell, who led Amherst and all scorers with 15 points, secured the win for the Lord Jeffs by sinking one of two free throws during the final seconds. Amherst and Tufts met in Medford a few weeks ago with the Jumbos prevailing, 63-56. Amherst hadn’t lost until that particular contest. The Jumbos have won 25 of 26 contests this season, their only blemish occurred in a non-conference clash against Babson College on Tuesday, February 11.

Men’s NEWMAC Championship: No. 3 Springfield vs. No. 4 MIT @ Worcester, Mass. / 1 p.m.: MIT used an early second half run against host WPI to secure a spot in the title game, while Sean Martin‘s layup at the end of the second session provided a spark for Springfield to defeat Babson in overtime. Both teams split their season series, so the winner of today’s match will win the 2013-14 series. MIT received 14 points and 14 rebounds from Matt Redfield, along with 16 points from Justin Pedley. MIT recorded 28 defensive rebounds and eight caroms on the offensive end. Springfield sank a variety of important shots down the stretch against the Beavers, including a triple in the second half from Nick Sienkiewicz and trifecta in overtime from Nick McKenna. MIT is 5-4 since the first day of February, while Springfield is appearing in its third straight conference championship.

Women’s NEWMAC Championship: No. 1 Smith vs. No. 6 Springfield @ Northampton, Mass. / 1 p.m.: The Pioneers secured a spot in the championship by defeating the Beavers, a squad that’s 4-1 all-time against Smith in postseason play. Paulina Solis registered a team-high 17 points for Smith against Babson, while Mandy Castro added 14 points off the bench. The Pioneers have been to the tournament championship in prior seasons, but have never won a NEWMAC crown. Springfield earned a spot in the title game following back-to-back wins against Coast Guard and Wheaton. The Pride earned a two-point lead at the break before outscoring the Lyons in the second half, 43-30. Jamie Bickelhaupt paced Springfield with 20 points, while Emily Gins registered a game-best 12 boards. Springfield hasn’t won a tournament championship since 2006.

NEWMAC Hoops Tournament: Springfield College Postgame Comments (VIDEO)

By Matt Noonan 

WORCESTER, Mass. – After earning an 85-77 overtime victory against Babson College in the NEWMAC semifinals, Springfield College head coach Charlie Brock, along with Nick SienkiewiczSean Martin and Nick McKenna spoke about the Pride’s effort.

Babson earned a five-point lead at the break and maintained its lead for a majority of the second session. However, Springfield rallied during the final minutes and forced overtime following a layup by Martin.

In the extra session, McKenna buried a trey on an early offensive possession, which provided the Pride with the lead for good.

Springfield will return to WPI’s Harrington Auditorium tomorrow afternoon to face MIT in the conference tournament championship. Both squads met in the 2012 championship with the Engineers prevailing, 65-60.

Catching Up With Charlie Brock (Springfield College Men’s Basketball)

Springfield College Pride (Photo Credit: LaxJournal.com)

Springfield College Pride (Photo Credit: LaxJournal.com)

By NoontimeSports.com 

Springfield College’s men’s basketball team shocked the country on Sunday afternoon by handing the fifth ranked WPI Engineers their first setback of the season. At the time of the game, though, WPI was ranked second in the nation.

Earlier today, Noontime Sports caught up with head coach Charlie Brock to discuss his team’s win, as well as his team’s outlook toward their final two regular season contests against Clark University and Wheaton College.

On beating WPI: “Well first of all, we played well on Sunday and to beat a team like WPI you have to (because) they’re very, very good and they are a very, very good shooting team from the perimeter. All of their perimeter guys including Ryan Kolb, who’s an inside player that can shoot three’s really well, so that spreads the floor and creates matchup problems, and secondly I thought when we were (playing at WPI in Worcester) and they forced you to do this they are a very good defensively and they force you to do things that you’re not comfortable with typically and I thought we played with a little bit more patience on Sunday than we did up there, and maybe created a better opportunity for scoring for ourselves.”

On the team’s defense and free throw shooting: “I think we’ve evolved as the season has gone along into a better defensive team, a little bit better understanding of what needs to be done with certain players depending upon the kind of player they are and free throw shooting (is something) we all work on. If there were a miracle cure for how to be a great free throw shooting team, we’d all be doing it. It’s one of those things you don’t find in the manual. And at a crucial time of the game and always in a close game, if you knock them down it makes a difference and we did (against WPI).”

On utilizing every member of the team: “They get comfortable with the rotations with the way we would like to do them. Some things mess that up a little bit like guys getting in foul trouble and Sean Martin got into some trouble against WPI, which gave Matt Pascuzzo an opportunity for more minutes and he gave us a great lift and he’s a little water bug, he’s all over the floor. And Tim Swenson, (who) is in a six-year program, a very challenging physical therapy program and the first two years out of high school, we recruited him, but he didn’t think he was going to have time to play, but this is his first year (on our team and) he’s just now coming into a situation where he’s becoming a little bit more comfortable wit what he can do. He was getting in foul trouble early and he’s settled into that situation a little bit, and he’s a good strong body coming in off the bench. We’ve got some great big guys in our league (like) Will Tashman from MIT is a great player, Brian Vayda from Clark University is a great player, and John Wickey from Babson College is a great player, and Kolb is an outstanding player.”

On how the WPI win will help the Pride: “Well we hope so. Again, you’ve got to play well now at this stage of the game (because) it’s crunch time and every time you put your foot on the floor we’ve got to play well, we’ve got to do certain things well, you have to win the battles of the boards, you have to win the battles of the fouls and you have to win the battles of defensive field goal percentage. One of the factors (from) the WPI game was that we were able to get their shooting percentage a little bit lower than they’re accustomed to and have been doing and it was a factor in the game. It was a 60 point game instead of something in the mid 70’s.”

On finishing the regular season on a strong note: “Right now we’re just taking almost every moment at a time and that’s what we try to sell to the degree to which they buy into that and athletes are kind of fickle and you don’t know what they’re thinking, but the main thing we do now is focus on what we’ve got to do to win a game against a really good Clark team. I was just looking at some of their games and they’ve got three games that they’ve lost by one point, one of them in overtime to Tufts University the other night. They got a win over Eastern Connecticut (a squad) that’s a potential NCAA team early in the year. They go down to New York University and lose by one, and we were able to outlast them the first we played them. It was a great game. Their record is deceiving, they’re really good, they’ve got really good players, they’re very well coached and we’ve just got to live in the moment here and do (our best) and try to limit what they want to do and see if we can win the game.”

On the play of Alex Berthiaume: “Well he does a great job of making players around him better. He’s an outstanding passer. He’s a very good ball handler and he contributes to the team’s success for sure in so many ways. The thing that’s interesting about him was last year it was kind of an unknown and even during the course of the year even though he was having great games he was still an unknown, but he wasn’t an unknown this year and so he becomes a focus for teams going against him. If (teams are) going to beat us, they’ll have to limit what he does and that’s what made it more difficult for him. He did sustain an injury just before the holidays and actually over the past couple of weeks has really just ironed itself out to where earlier in January he was a little bit hampered by it. I think he’s very healthy right now, but we’re waiting on another player that we lost (Jordan Rote) a couple of weeks ago and he hasn’t played the last four games and one of those games (was against WPI in Worcester and we were) learning to play without Jordan because he brings such a different kind of look to (our unit). He’s a (player that can get inside), and the kid that replaced him (Nick Sienkiewicz) had a monster game against WPI the other day and he’s a different player, so as a team we’re getting used to that and we’re hopeful that we get Jordan back full strength for the tournament and that’s kind of a long range goal we’ve got right now.”

On being successful in the NEWMAC tournament: “I think any (team from the conference) is capable (of winning the tournament). In order to get there and win it, you can’t stain any injuries to key players, you’ve got to play with smarts (because) you’re doing executing and doing things well, not turning the ball over and taking care of it, and defensively now it becomes even more of a premium because as we go along every game gets tougher and tougher and kids playing harder and harder, so I think if you look at some of the scores of our league against teams from other leagues, we’ve been able to do pretty well, so I think any (team) could make some hay in the tournament.”

Mass. College Hoops: Springfield Snaps WPI’s 22-Game Winning Streak (VIDEO)

By Matt Noonan 

Sunday was an exciting day for Pride fans, as Springfield College’s men’s basketball team snapped WPI’s 22-game winning streak with a 66-60 victory in Springfield, Massachusetts.

Alex Berthiaume paced the Pride with 20 points, Nick Sienkiewicz chipped in 19 points, while Springfield finished 24 of 30 from the stripe.

Below are highlights from Sunday’s tilt from the Springfield College YouTube channel:

Recap: No. 4 MIT 67, Springfield College 59

By Matt Noonan 

CAMBRIDGE, MA — It’s been a few weeks since MIT’s men’s basketball team played an actual game, so it was expected that Wednesday’s contest against Springfield College wasn’t going to be perfect.

However, the Engineers found a way to maneuver past the Pride, despite various lead changes, and earn their 13th win of the season, as well as their first conference victory by a score of 67-59.

“I think [we were] just a little rusty from being off for three weeks,” said MIT head coach Larry Anderson. “We were playing pretty well before the semester break, and we practice well, and it was just one of those games I think when you come out and play, [and know] you’re going to have some rust [because we didn’t’] get a chance to practice [because] you go home and take a break, and not get a chance to play basketball.”

Springfield dominated from the start by building a small lead that eventually MIT reduced when junior Will Tashman, (18 points, six rebounds, and two assists) sparked his offense by scoring five points.

MIT built off his momentum, and eventually tied the game when junior Mitchell Kates, (eight points, five assists, and three steals) scored a layup halfway through the first half.

The Pride eventually regained the lead, but then relinquished it to the Engineers, as senior Daniel McCue knocked down an open three-pointer that helped MIT finish the half on a 10-5 run.

“We shoot 40 percent from three-point range,” said Anderson. “We knew coming in [that] Noel Hollingsworth being an All-American, [Springfield] was going to try and double [him], so if you don’t have somebody who can shoot the long ball, you’re going to miss those, [and then] you won’t get anything going”

Senior Jamie Karraker kick-started MIT’s offense during the second half, as the Engineers jumped out to a six-point lead, which Springfield attempted to erase, but couldn’t due to a few missed shots and fouls during the final minutes.

However, the Engineers capitalized on a missed shot by freshman Nick Sienkiewicz, which allowed Kates to dribble up court and locate senior Billy Bender, who sank the game winning three-pointer with less than a minute remaining.

“He just hits big shots,” said Tashman, when asked to describe Bender’s three-point play. “We always feel comfortable giving [the ball] to him [in] late game situations, and he just knocked it down. Mitch drew two guys, and Bender was wide open, and ready, and knocked it down.”

Bender then connected on a few free throws, which preserved the lead, and eventually the game.

“[This is] the first game back since the break, [and] we clearly weren’t in good tempo on offense or on defense. We were missing a lot of our rotations, [and] rebounds,” said Tashman. “Springfield’s a tough team. They forced us out of our element a little bit, and they got us a little uncomfortable, but luckily we held on and made some big plays down the stretch.”

MIT will return to the hardwood on Saturday, Jan. 7, when they host Wheaton College, while Springfield College will conclude their two-game road trip on the same day when they visit Coast Guard.