Around The Rim With Bob Whitney (Nov. 22, 2019)

Around The Rim Whitney Social

By Bob Whitney | @WhitneyBob

Bob Whitney is back from a short break for some thoughts on the New England (and national) college basketball landscape with a brand new edition of ‘Around the Rim.’ 

Opening Tap: 

A pair of Braintree High School (Mass.) standouts are making a difference for the Southern New Hampshire women’s basketball team.

First-year Adriana Timberlake has earned a spot in the starting lineup and is averaging 12.0 points per game, along with 2.6 rebounds and 4.4 assists per game.

Sophomore Jenna Roche has played an important role for the Penmen coming off the bench. Roche is averaging 5.8 points and 2.4 rebounds per game.

Southern New Hampshire has won four-straight since dropping its initial contest of the season to Georgian Court. The Penmen visit Assumption College tomorrow (Saturday, November 23rd) with tip-off scheduled for 1:30 p.m.

Manis, Holy Cross scored an exciting win against Boston College 

The Holy Cross women’s basketball team scored an impressive win earlier this month by defeating Boston College in its home-opener. The win was the Crusaders first over a Power 5 school since 2014.

Holy Cross is led by senior forward Lauren Manis (Bishop Feehan). Manis, who is a three-time All-Patriot League selection, concluded the 2018-19 season second in the conference in scoring (16.8 points per game) and rebounding (11.1 per game).

Prior to her team’s initial game of the 2019-20 season, Manis checked-in fourth in program history with 844 career rebounds and 12th in career points (1,461)

Manis, who is a terrific role model for all those youngsters that aspire to play at the next level, has scored 53 points in three games and has pulled down 33 rebounds.

Holy Cross hosts Merrimack College on Saturday in Worcester with tip-off scheduled for 7 p.m.

Christian, Boston College off to a successful start: 

Jim Christian‘s Boston College men’s squad has had a solid start marked by an important Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC) win over Wake Forest University (77-70).

The Eagles hit a speed bump when they were torched at home, 100-85, by highly-regarded Belmont University team.

Christian has a slew of potential young talent that he is trying to integrate with veteran Nik Popovic.

The future looks bright at Conte Forum but this year they are likely to slug it out once again in the bottom quarter of the ACC – unless you are Duke University it is so very difficult to succeed with young talent in the country’s best college hoop conference.

While we are talking BC, why aren’t the Eagles and Ed Cooley‘s Providence College Friars playing this year?

Just Thinking 🤔: 

If you get a chance, find a way to watch the University of Vermont‘s Anthony Lamb. He has the potential to be a player selected in next year’s NBA DraftLamb put on an offensive showcase recently scoring 30 points in a 61-55 loss to the University of Virginia

If healthy these Catamounts will continue to dominate the America East and could be a real sleeper in March Madness.

Unfortunately, Lamb and the Catamounts will make just one trip to Massachusetts when they visit UMass Lowell in late February.

National Thoughts: 

Virginia, the defending NCAA men’s champ, is off to an impressive start with Mamadi Diakite and Kihei Clark,  who were the heroes of last year’s epic NCAA tournament run.

The Hoosiers, who are under the direction of coach Tony Bennett, have traditionally led all D-I programs in most of the key defensive categories. Their defense (and impressive play) will be on display tomorrow when they compete against UMass in The Hall of Fame Tip Off Tournament at Mohegan Sun Arena in Connecticut.

UMass enters Saturday’s contest, which is scheduled to commence at 12 p.m, with an impressive 5-0 mark. The Minutemen are off to their best start since the 2013-14 season.

Have a great Thanksgiving….. Keep shooting! – Bob Whitney 

New England College Hockey: Frozen Fenway Returns In 2017

Frozen Fenway will return in January 2017. (PHOTO CREDIT: Matt Noonan for NoontimeSports.com)

Frozen Fenway will return in January 2017. (PHOTO CREDIT: Matt Noonan for NoontimeSports.com)

By NoontimeSports.com 

The City of Boston and Fenway Sports Management (FSM) announced earlier today that Fenway Park would become Frozen Fenway this January, beginning Wednesday, January 4, 2017. Frozen Fenway will conclude Monday, January 16, 2017 and will feature a pair of Hockey East double-headers on January 7 and 14, along with additional college and high school hockey games.

Frozen Fenway will also feature a public skating day for City of Boston residents, too.

“Outdoor hockey is quickly becoming a staple on Boston’s winter sports calendar and we look forward to joining with the Hockey East and the City of Boston to build on that tradition by bringing some of the most accomplished and talented collegiate teams in the country to compete on the ice at Fenway Park,” Boston Red Sox President Sam Kennedy said in a statement.

As noted in the Hockey East release, Boston University will face-off against University of Massachusetts, while Boston College takes on Providence College – both contests will take place Saturday, January 7. One week later – Saturday, January 14, 2017 – Northeastern University will skate against University of New Hampshire, while University of Maine competes against University of Connecticut.

“Hockey East and our schools could not be more excited to take the ice once again at Fenway Park,” said Hockey East commissioner Joe Bertagna said in the conference release. “Once Frozen Fenway 2017 is complete all twelve Hockey East schools will have played an outdoor game at Fenway Park, creating once-in-a-lifetime memories for the players, students, alumni and fans.”

Additional details, including other contests and events will be announced in the coming months. Fans can visit RedSox.com for more information on Frozen Fenway.

Mass. College Hockey: Boston College Men’s Picked To Capture Hockey East Crown

Hockey East Pre-Season Coaches Poll

By NoontimeSports.com 

The Boston College men’s ice hockey team was picked to capture the Hockey East regular season crown this upcoming season, as reported by the league on Monday, September 21.

BC received seven first-place votes, while rival Boston University, which was picked to finish second, earned a trio of first place votes. Providence College – the reigning national champion – was picked to finish third and earned a pair of first-place votes, while UMass Lowell was projected to place fourth and Northeastern University fifth.

New Hampshire, Notre Dame, Vermont and Connecticut rounded out the sixth, seventh, eighth and ninth place positions, while Maine was picked to finish 10th. Merrimack College and UMass completed the 12-team poll, earning 11th and 12th place projections, respectively.

Frozen Four: BU, Providence Advance To NCAA D1 Championship

Boston University's Jack Eichel netted a pair of goals on Thursday evening, while registering one assist as the Terriers defeated North Dakota, 5-3. (Photo Credit: CBS Sports)

Boston University’s Jack Eichel netted a pair of goals on Thursday evening, while registering one assist as the Terriers defeated North Dakota, 5-3. (Photo Credit: CBS Sports)

By Matt Noonan 

BOSTON, Mass. – A pair of Hockey East teams will compete on Causeway Street on Saturday evening at the TD Garden as Boston University and Providence College earned Frozen Four semifinal victories on Thursday evening.

The Friars, who competed in the first semifinal match, defeated Nebraska-Omaha (4-1), while the Terriers skated past North Dakota (5-3).

BU’s Jack Eichel clinched the victory for the Terriers late in the third period when he sailed a shot into an open North Dakota net from behind the face-off circle, which halted a late rally.

Eichel opened the scoring for the Terriers, netting a back-handed shot off a rebound before Brandon Hickey doubled the Red and White’s advantage with a strike at 19:12 in the first period.

North Dakota sliced the deficit 44 seconds into the second frame when Luke Johnson slipped the puck past Matt O’Connor, but the Terriers responded with back-to-back tallies from A.J. Greer and Doyle Somerby that provided BU with a 4-1 lead after 40 minutes of hockey.

Troy Stecher and Connor Gaarder closed the gap for North Dakota at 12:10 and 16:17, respectively, in the third period, but that would be the closest they would get to the Hockey East champions. O’Connor deflected 33-of-36 shots, while North Dakota’s Zane McIntyre turned away 23-of-27 attempts.

Providence’s Nick Saracino led the Friars with three-points (one goal and two assists) and set-up the game’s first and second tallies, which were recorded by Noel Acciari and Mark Jankowski. Saracino eventually located the back of the net in the third period, capping the Friars’ offensive outburst at 19:23.

Jon Gillies picked up his 23rd victory between the pipes, deflecting 25 shots, including nine attempts in the opening frame. Omaha’s Ryan Massa dipped to 14-8-6 and recorded a game-high 44 stops. Massa’s 14 wins were the most the senior goaltender has recorded with the Mavericks.

Omaha’s Jake Guentzel recorded the Mavericks’ lone goal of the contest – his 14th of the season – at 10:46 in the third period. The loss ended Omaha’s first-ever NCAA Tournament appearance run.

Mass. College Hockey: BU Edges Providence, Advances To Hockey East Semifinals

By NoontimeSports.com 

Courtesy of the Boston University sports information department, here’s this afternoon’s release from the women’s hockey game. The Terriers edged Providence College, 3-2, and advanced to the Hockey East semifinals:

BOSTON – Senior captain Louise Warren tallied two goals, including the game-winner with 14:52 remaining in regulation, to help the Boston University women’s ice hockey team advance to the Hockey East semifinals with a 3-2 win over Providence on Saturday at Walter Brown Arena.

BU (22-12-1) will face third-seeded Northeastern next Saturday (March 8) at 4:30 p.m., in Hyannis, Mass. The first semifinal will feature top-seeded Boston College and No. 4 Vermont at 1:30 p.m., with the title game to take place the following day at 1:30 p.m. Providence finished its season with an 11-24-0 record.

Sophomore Sarah Lefort became the first player in the NCAA to score 30 goals this season with her second-period strike. She also assisted on Warren’s game-winner. Senior Kaleigh Fratkin had two assists, with sophomore Lillian Ribeirinha-Braga and freshmen Maddie Elia and Samantha Sutherland also adding assists.

Senior goaltender Kerrin Sperry was spectacular once again for the Terriers. She stopped 37 of 39 shots and collected her seventh straight Hockey East tournament victory. Sperry was perfect in the final frame, holding the Friars scoreless with 13 saves.

After a scoreless first period in which Providence outshot BU, 16-2, the Friars took a 1-0 lead just 47 seconds into the second stanza. With two seconds remaining on a 5-on-3 penalty, Cassidy Carels found Beth Hanrahan alone at the top of the crease for an easy finish.

Warren responded at the 9:06 mark of the period to tie the game, 1-1. Fratkin took a shot from the right point that Sarah Bryant (19 saves) stopped. The rebound caromed to Sutherland, who pushed it to Warren amidst a sea of players. The senior captain knocked it home for her 25th goal of the year.

It took just 45 seconds for Lefort to give BU its first lead of the game. Ribeirinha-Braga passed the puck to Fratkin at the top of the zone, and the senior blue liner again fired a shot from the right point. This time, Lefort redirected it from the left circle past Bryant for her NCAA-best 30th goal of the season.

Lexi Romanchuk tied the game, 2-2, exactly four minutes later when her blast from the top of the zone got through traffic and past Sperry. The score remained that way until the 5:08 mark of the third period when BU converted on a power-play chance. Lefort skated into the right circle and fired a shot towards goal. Elia had two rebound chances stopped on the doorstep before Warren found space five-hole and finished for her 26th tally of the season.

The Friars pulled their goaltender with 1:17 remaining in regulation and had several chances to tie the game, but Sperry and the BU defense stood tall and survived several final-minute defensive-zone draws to secure the victory.

This was the third straight year that the Terriers ended the Friars’ season. BU bested Providence in the 2012 Hockey East title game and again in last year’s semifinal. It is the first time in the league’s history that Providence did not reach the Hockey East semifinals.

BU is 2-1-0 this season against Northeastern, with both wins coming on the road. The Huskies earned a 4-2 win at Walter Brown Arena on Jan. 19 in the last meeting between the two teams.