D3 Hoops: 10 Games To Watch (Feb. 16th)


By NoontimeSports.com | @NoontimeSports 

Happy Friday, everyone!

Welcome to our FINAL 10 Games to Watch for the 2018-19 season – crazy how fast the time goes! Let’s go out in style with some great picks before we dive into conference tournament coverage.

Last week, we picked seven of ten games correctly to bump our overall record to 59-31. 

Lesley University at New England College (MBB) | Saturday, February 16th at 1 p.m.: The Pilgrims established a new program-record for consecutive wins (10) one week ago with a 112-97 victory over Becker College. Look for their winning streak to continue on Saturday before they head into the NECC Tournament as the team to beat. PREDICTION: New England College 

Wheaton College at Clark University (MBB) | Saturday, February 16th at 1 p.m.: Look for the Cougars to deliver coach Paul Phillips his final win before he heads into retirement. PREDICTION: Clark University 

Maine Maritime at Thomas College (MBB) | Saturday, February 16th at 1 p.m.: The Terriers beat Maine Maritime at home one week ago before capping their 2018-19 slate with a 90-76 win over UMaine-Farmington. Look for Thomas to find a way past the Mariners and advance to the NAC semifinals next Friday. PREDICTION: Thomas College 

MIT at Coast Guard Academy (WBB) | Saturday, February 16th at 1 p.m.: This a must-win for the Bears, who hope to clinch a spot in next week’s NEWMAC Tournament. MIT rebounded from a tough loss to Smith with a big win on Wednesday over Wheaton. A win for the Engineers would provide them with some additional momentum heading into the postseason. PREDICTION: MIT 

UMass Boston at Rhode Island College (WBB) | Saturday, February 16th at 1 p.m.: The Beacons suffered a heartbreaker the other evening with a one-point loss to UMass Dartmouth (60-59). Look for the Blue and White to bounce back on Saturday with an end of season victory before heading into the LEC Tournament. PREDICTION: UMass Boston 

Wheaton College at Smith College (WBB) | Saturday, February 16th at 2 p.m.: A win for the Pioneers would provide coach Lynn Hersey with her 200th win at Smith. Additionally, a victory would keep the Pioneers’ momentum going into the NEWMAC Tournament. PREDICTION: Smith College 

UMaine-Farmington at Northern Vermont University-Lyndon (WBB) | February 16th at 2 p.m.: This is an enticing opening round NAC Tournament tilt between two teams that both beat each other earlier this winter. NVY-Lyndon may have some momentum heading into this win or go home clash, thanks to a pair of recent victories over SUNY Canton and Northern Vermont-Johnson. PREDICTION: Northern Vermont Univ.-Lyndon 

Babson at WPI (WBB) | Saturday, February 16th at 3 p.m.: The Beavers clinched a share of the NEWMAC crown earlier this week with a 62-40 win over Wellesley College. WPI needs to win to keep their postseason hopes alive, so this is a playoff game for the Engineers. PREDICTION: Babson College 

Eastern Connecticut at Keene State (MBB) | Saturday, February 16th at 3 p.m.: The Owls soar into their final contest of the season as one of the hottest teams in New England. Keene State has won nine-straight and needs this win to keep their momentum going into the LEC Tournament next week. PREDICTION: Keene State 

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Clark’s Paul Phillips To Retire After 2018-19 Season


By Matt Nooonan | @MattNoonan11

Clark University men’s basketball coach Paul Phillips announced late Wednesday evening that he will be retiring at the conclusion of his team’s 2018-19 season.

Phillips, who is in his 21st season with the Cougars, enters his team’s current holiday break with a career record of 438-360, which includes wins from his previous stop at Anna Maria College.

The Cougars’ long-time bench boss has guided the Red and White to 273 wins since arriving on campus prior to the start of the 1996-97 campaign, which is the most wins by any coach in the Clark men’s basketball program history. Additionally, Phillips has led the Cougars to four New England Women’s and Men’s Athletic Conference (NEWMAC) regular season and conference tournament championships, along with five appearances in the NCAA Tournament. Clark last appeared in the NCAA Tournament in 2010.

As of Thursday morning, Phillips has guided his current squad to four wins, including a pair of recent victories earlier this month against Framingham State and Regis College.

Clark, which sits at 4-5 overall, is off until Saturday, December 29th when they host Curry College on the opening day of the Clark Basketball Holiday Classic.

In a statement last night to the media, which was also seen through the Clark athletic website, Phillips said he has been “contemplating” his retirement for “for quite a while,” but feels its best to walk away after his team’s current season concludes.

“I truly appreciate everything that Clark has done for me and everything that the institution has allowed me to do,” Phillips said in last night’s press release. “I will miss the student-athletes the most, but will also miss the action and camaraderie that is developed on and off the court.”


Paul Phillips is currently the all-time winningest coach in Clark University men’s basketball program history. (PHOTO COURTESY: Frank Poulin)

Phillips was tabbed the 1999-2000 NEWMAC Coach of the Year, while earning the Paul N. Johnson Memorial Award from Worcester Area College Basketball Association (WACBA) in 2016.

Prior to his arrival at Clark, Phillips enjoyed a successful 10-year stint (1986-96) with the Anna Maria men’s basketball program, which included six Commonwealth Coast Conference (CCC) crowns, along an appearance in the 1995-96 NCAA Division III Tournament’s ‘Sweet Sixteen.’

Phillips’ 1995-96 AMCATs squad set the program’s current record for most wins (25) in a singles-season, which was almost matched by the 2012-13 squad that finished its season with 21 victories.

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

Mass. College Hoops: Clarks’ Phillips Earns Win No. 400 Win As Cougars Beat Babson

By NoontimeSports.com 

Courtesy of the Clark University sports information department, here’s this evening’s release about men’s basketball head coach Paul Phillips, who earned his 400th win on the sidelines. The Cougars defeated Babson College, 71-70, and earned their first conference victory:

Worcester, Mass. – Clark University held off a furious second half rally to knock off a high-flying Babson College squad, 71-70, and in the process gave head coach Paul Phillips his 400th career coaching victory on Wednesday evening in New England Women’s And Men’s Athletic Conference (NEWMAC) men’s basketball action at a raucous Kneller Athletic Center.

The win for the Cougars gives them their first win in league play (1-6) and also makes Phillips the winningest coach in men’s basketball history at Clark with 234 wins, surpassing the legendary Wally Halas who guided the Scarlet and White from 1984-87.

Phillips’ tenure has spanned 16 seasons over two stints and have included five trips to the NCAA Tournament, a pair of Elite Eight appearances and three NEWMAC Coach of the Year Awards.

“I’m thrilled to get 400, because it puts me in the company with Wally Halas, and things like that, but its more about this team, and us getting our first NEWMAC win, and certainly earning it,” said Phillips.

Clark (10-8) came out on fire, scoring 46 points in the first 20 minutes – a total that surpassed the entire output in last year’s NEWMAC Tournament Quarterfinal loss to the Beavers (52-34).

Andrew Musler (Belmont, Mass.) was the catalyst, scoring 12 points on aggressive drives and some long range shooting that helped the Cougars lead by 14 at 46-32 at halftime.

After a scoreless first three minutes of the second half, Babson (13-5, 4-3 NEWMAC) cut into the lead as John Wickey (Manchester, N.H.) and Joey Flannery (Acton, Mass.) began to assert themselves with interior baskets and deep three-pointers.

Clark ran off seven straight to push its lead to its peak at 17 on free throws from Lamar Berk (Saint Augustine, Fla.), a fast break finish from David Mercier (Milford, Mass.) and a clutch three-pointer from Musler. When the dust cleared, the Cougars seemed to be in control with a 65-48 lead with less than nine minutes to play.

The Beavers, however, got hot, trimming the lead down to one in less than five minutes on an impressive 16-0 burst. Flannery was dominant during the run, scoring on two free throws, a strong inside finish, a steal and fast break layup and a smooth elbow jumper.

Clark aided the Babson run by committing five turnovers and when they gave away the ball again on a Travis Sheldon (Woodstock, N.Y.) steal, Wickey drilled a three-pointer that capped the run and made the score 65-64 with 3:53 to go.

The Scarlet and White answered back with consecutive three-pointers by Musler and Gubitose to give Clark some breathing room at 71-64 at 1:37.

Wickey connected on a three-pointer of his own and a Matt Palazini (Franklin, Mass.) free throw had Babson within three at 71-68 with less than a minute to play.

The Cougars committed another turnover and two Kenny Ross (Furlong, Pa.) free throws made the score 71-70 with 17 seconds left.

Another Clark turnover – this time a steal by Ross gave the Beavers the last shot and a chance for the win. Flannery got the ball at the top of the key and drove towards the rim but lost the ball. It deflected off a Cougar, giving the Beavers possession with 4.5 seconds to go.

An inbounds pass came to Flannery and his strong drive to the right resulted in an angled shot that banked off the glass hit the rim and spun out as time expired giving the Cougars and Phillips the historic victory.

Clark shot 44 percent from the field, held a 37-36 edge in rebounds, made ten three-pointers and outscored the Babson bench, 28-8.

The Beavers, meanwhile, had a 24-20 advantage on points in the paint, forced 19 turnovers and scored 25 points on those Cougar miscues.

Flannery and Wickey were fantastic for Babson, scoring 23 points each and combining for 16 rebounds on 17-for-32 shooting. Wickey was 4-for-7 from behind the arc, while Flannery added five steals.

Musler led the Clark attack with 18 points and ten rebounds on 7-for-13 shooting, while Mercier tossed in a career best 12 points to go along with four rebounds and three blocks.

Nicholas DaPrato (Marshfield, Mass.) added ten points, five rebounds and three steals and both Gubitose and Tyler Huffman (East Hartford, Conn.) chipped in with eight.

“I can’t be any prouder, you know I think me getting my 400th kind of overshadowed what the kids got done tonight,” said Phillips. “That’s not what you want as a coach. You want the kids to get the glory.”