Basketball Notebook: Sheldon Announces Retirement From Tufts University

Bob Sheldon, who has coached the Tufts University men’s basketball team for three decades, announced his retirement Thursday. (PHOTO COURTESY: TuftsNow)

By Matt Noonan 

Prior to yesterday’s announcement from the New England Small College Athletic Conference (NESCAC) regarding an update on the upcoming winter sports season, which has been canceled, Bob Sheldon, who has guided the Tufts University men’s basketball team for the past 33 years, announced he will be stepping down effectively on Thursday, December 31, 2020. 

Matt Malone, who has been an assistant under Sheldon for the past 15 years, will take over as the interim coach, according to Wednesday’s (Oct. 7) release from the Tufts University athletic department

Sheldon and the Jumbos matched a program record for wins (23) this past winter while capturing their first-ever NESCAC Tournament Championship by outlasting Colby College in double-overtime

“I was getting near the end of my career as it was, and then when Covid came up and the craziness with that, I just felt that it was time for me to go,” said Sheldon, via the Tufts athletic department story, which can be seen (and read) on the school’s athletic website. 

Sheldon noted he “went back and forth” with his decision to retire, but seems content with his choice to leave a program that he believes is in “a good spot going forward.” 

Prior to their season concluding earlier this year due to the coronavirus pandemic, Tufts won a pair of NCAA D-III Tournament games in Medford, including a come-from-behind win over Western Connecticut in the opening round. 

Sheldon, who is the program’s all-time winningest coach, would have entered his team’s 2020-21 season as one of the Top 25 NCAA D-III winningest coaches after being named the NESCAC and National Association of Basketball Coaches (NABC) Northeast Region Coach of the Year in March. 

The 2020-21 NESCAC winter sports season has been canceled: As noted above, the NESCAC became the first New England D-III conference to cancel its upcoming winter sports season on Thursday, October 7, after postponing its fall season on Friday, July 10

While health and safety were stressed in yesterday’s release regarding the decision by the conference’s presidents, the NESCAC did note that some of their schools have made “significant modifications” to their current academic calendar, which would limit the number of games each program would be able to compete in.  

The NESCAC has made no announcement regarding spring sports – an update will most likely come in a few months – but the conference did say the league’s 11 schools could schedule non-conference games if they choose to. However, D3Sports.com has reported that some schools within the conference have already made decisions for its various winter sports programs, including Middlebury College, which announced yesterday that they “will not hold any athletic competitions during the winter season.” 

Elms College to join the Great Northeast Athletic Conference (GNAC): While it is uncertain if and when Elms College will resume athletic competition in the next few weeks or months, the athletic department did announce some exciting news earlier this week about joining the Great Northeast Athletic Conference (GNAC) for the 2022-23 school year. 

The Blazers currently compete in the New England Collegiate Conference (NECC) and would join a former member of the eight-team league – that would be Dean College – which joined the GNAC as a full-time member at the start of the current academic year (2020-21)

Both Elms College basketball teams competed last winter in the NECC Tournament with the women’s squad advancing to the conference championship game against Mitchell College

The GNAC has welcomed a few new schools to its conference over the past few years, including Regis College in Weston, Massachusetts in 2017, and Colby-Sawyer in 2018. 

Daily Noontime: Wednesday, February 26th, 2020

DNFeb26th2020

By Matt Noonan | @NoontimeNation 

Happy Wednesday, everyone!

We’re making a few tweaks to the Daily Noontime going forward – hope you don’t mind as we continue to help start your day with headlines (and news), as well as something (like our videos of the day) to make you smile.

So, here is our brand-spanking-new ‘Daily Noontime’ – hope you enjoy it, everyone!

Calgary rolls past Boston

  • The Calgary Flames rolled past the Boston Bruins last night at the TD Garden by a score of 5-2. Boston has lost its last two outings – they surrendered nine goals last Saturday to the Vancouver Cancuks. Hopefully the Black and Gold can return to their winning ways soon – well, tomorrow to be exact, as they will welcome the Dallas Stars to Causeway Street. Puck drop is 7 p.m.

Tatum leads Boston past Portland 

  • Jayson Tatum scored 36 points last night while recording five rebounds and one assist as the Boston Celtics topped the Portland Trail Blazers, 118-106. Boston has now won 40 games and will look to cap their west coast road trip with a win this evening against the Utah Jazz. Tip-off is scheduled for 10:30 p.m.

Boston Red Sox sign-stealing investigation delayed (again!) 

  • It seems as if we will need to wait another day to hear what sort of punishment MLB commissioner Rob Manfred will dish out to our hometown Boston Red Sox. But according to a recent report from NJ.com, we could learn of the punishment by Friday.

New England Revolution kick-off their 2020 campaign on Saturday

  • A brand new season of New England Revolution soccer is set to commence this Saturday, February 29th when the local club hosts the Montreal Impact at 3 p.m. New England concluded its preseason with a 3-1 win over the Portland Timbers last weekend, which is hopefully a sign for additional wins to come!

The University of Saint Joseph (Conn.) extends its winning streak 

  • Coach Jim Calhoun‘s squad won its 23-straight contest last night, beating Regis College in the opening round of the Great Northeast Athletic Conference (GNAC) Tournament. The Blue Jays will welcome Anna Maria College to West Hartford, Connecticut on Thursday (Feb. 27th) for a 7 p.m. tip-off. The winner will advance to Saturday’s conference tournament final.

Holy Cross edges Harvard in men’s lacrosse 

  • The Crusaders scored their third-straight win yesterday, along with their fourth of the season, as Holy Cross outlasted Harvard University, 9-8, in men’s lacrosse yesterday in Worcester. Justin Lynskey led the Crusaders with four points while three Holy Cross players finished with two points.

Bruton leads Nichols College past Roger Williams in the CCC Quarterfinals 

  • DeAnte Bruton helped the Bison of Nichols College erase a 19-point deficit to beat the Hawks of Roger Williams last night in the opening round of the Commonwealth Coast Conference (CCC) Tournament. Bruton registered a double-double of 36 points and 14 rebounds while Matt Morrow contributed 13 points and eight caroms. Nichols will face Gordon College on Thursday in the semifinals.

Have a great day, everyone – thanks for stopping by for our new version of the Daily Noontime, and we will talk to you again tomorrow morning!

Noontime’s Top 10 Women’s Lacrosse Poll (Monday, February 17th, 2020)

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By NoontimeSports.com | @NoontimeNation 

Lacrosse season has officially returned to Massachusetts – sure, we’re a few days away from some teams beginning their respective campaigns, while other squads have competed once, twice or three teams.

So, with a brand new season of lacrosse upon us, Noontime Sports is excited to unveil our first Massachusetts D-III Women’s Lacrosse Top 10 Poll, which is powered by Zelos Athletics.

Tufts University, which plays its first game later this month at Colby College, secured the top spot followed by Amherst College second and Springfield College third. Both Tufts and Amherst will be teams to watch in the New England Small College Athletic Conference (NESCAC) this spring while the Pride of Springfield were picked to capture the New England Women’s and Men’s Athletic Conference (NEWMAC).

Endicott College and Babson College rounded out the top five while MITWestern New England, and Williams College each secured the sixth, seventh, and eighth positions.

Wheaton College checked-in ninth overall while Framingham State secured the final spot in our ten team poll.


Mass. D-III Lax Top 10 Poll | Monday, February 17th, 2020 

1. Tufts University

0-0, 0-0 (NESCAC)

2. Amherst College

0-0, 0-0 (NESCAC)

3. Springfield College 0-0, 0-0 (NEWMAC)
4. Endicott College 0-0, 0-0 (CCC)
5. Babson College 0-0, 0-0 (NEWMAC)
6. MIT 0-0, 0-0 (NEWMAC)
7. Western New England  0-0, 0-0 (CCC)
8. Williams College 0-0, 0-0 (NESCAC)
9. Wheaton College  0-0, 0-0 (NEWMAC)
10. Framingham State 0-0, 0-0 (CCC)

On The Rise: Curry College, Regis College, Smith College, Wellesley College, and Westfield State 

 

New England D3 Lacrosse: Welcome To Conference Tournament Week!

NS Lacrosse Notebook

By NoontimeSports.com | @NoontimeSports & @NoontimeLax 

Happy Monday, everyone. And welcome to a BUSY conference tournament week, which will feature some amazing games (and moments), along with some automatic qualifiers (and at-large bids, as well) for the upcoming NCAA Division III Tournament.

While conference tournament play has begun for some, it’s never too last to dish out some predictions for who will win their respective tournament.

Below are the teams Matt Noonan believes will win their respective conference crown.


Commonwealth Coast Conference (CCC) Men’s Tournament: Western New England. The Golden Bear marched through their conference tournament schedule without a single loss and will have no problem topping Curry College on Tuesday and then Endicott College in the final round.

Commonwealth Coast Conference (CCC) Women’s Tournament: Endicott College. The Gulls will repeat as conference champions this week behind solid efforts from Jackie Healy and Jennifer Lacroix.

Great Northeast Athletic Conference (GNAC) Men’s Tournament: Lasell College. The Lasers breezed by Rivier University earlier this spring and should do the same in the semifinals before beating the winner of Johnson & Wales-Norwich University.

Great Northeast Athletic Conference (GNAC) Women’s Tournament: Johnson & Wales. There is no way the Wildcats lose this week. Simmons College will provide some early challenges in its semifinal meeting, but in the end, they will find a way past the Sharks before topping Regis College in the championship round.

Little East Conference (LEC) Men’s Tournament: Keene State. The Owls struggled from the get-go but will secure their conference crown on Saturday with either a win over Plymouth State or Western Connecticut.

Little East Conference (LEC) Women’s Tournament: Plymouth State. The Panthers are a safe prediction to win the LEC title, but they will need to get past Southern Maine to secure the automatic bid. Additionally, I would not overlook Castleton University in the LEC Tournament, as well.

Massachusetts State Collegiate Athletic Conference (MASCAC) Women’s Tournament: Framingham State. The Rams finished the regular season with a 7-0 mark in conference play to secure the top spot in this year’s MASCAC Tournament. They will surely find a way past Massachusetts Maritime Academy or Worcester State in the semifinals to secure a spot in the championship round.

New England Collegiate Conference (NECC)/ North Atlantic Conference (NAC) Men’s Championship Prediction: New England College. The Pilgrims can move up and down the field at ease and should find a way past SUNY Canton in the 2019 NECC/NAC Finals.

New England Collegiate Conference (NECC) Women’s Tournament: Becker College. The Hawks secured the top seed and should have no problem winning the NECC title. Expect the championship game to be between Becker and New England College.

New England Small College Athletic Conference (NESCAC) Men’s Tournament: Tufts University. Since falling to Wesleyan University, the Jumbos have scored some impressive wins over Amherst CollegeBates College, and Middlebury College. Their semifinal tilt with the Panthers won’t be easy – Middlebury knocked-off last year’s national champion Cardinals and will certainly provide challenges for the Jumbos. But in the end, I see the Powder Blue and White competing for a championship against Williams College, which I think will find a way to beat Amherst in the other semifinal matchup. Williams topped Amherst earlier this spring by a score of 13-11.

New England Small College Athletic Conference (NESCAC) Women’s Tournament: Tufts University. Yes, I am picking the Jumbos to beat Middlebury College in the championship. Their semifinal match-up against Wesleyan won’t be easy, but Tufts will find a way to outlast the Cardinals before taking down Middlebury, which should beat Amherst in its semifinal matchup.

New England Men’s and Women’s Athletic Conference (NEWMAC) Men’s Tournament: Coast Guard Academy. The Bears will advance to the NCAA Tournament but will face some stiff competition along the way to snatching its conference crown. The winner of Babson College-Clark University will provide the Blue and Orange with challenges, as well as whoever wins between MIT and Springfield. But in the end, the Bears will prevail by at least one or two goals.

New England Men’s and Women’s Athletic Conference (NEWMAC) Women’s Tournament: Babson College. The Beavers are the top seed and favorite – they will most likely face MIT, which I think should outlast Springfield in its semifinal tilt.

North Atlantic Conference (NAC) Women’s Championship Prediction: SUNY Canton. SUNY Canton had its way with Husson University on Sunday in the conference tournament semifinals and will have no problem topping UMaine-Farmington in Saturday’s championship.


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Noontime Hoops Notebook: Emmanuel’s Yosinoff Becomes All-Time Winningest D3 Women’s Basketball Coach & More

Noontime Hoops Notebook

By Matt Noonan | @MattNoonan11 

It was an exciting day for Emmanuel College‘s Andy Yosinoff, who became the all-time winningest women’s basketball coach in NCAA Division III, thanks to a 68-58 win over Ramapo College.

Yosinoff, who has been coaching at Emmanuel since 1978, entered today’s non-conference tilt tied with the University of Scranton‘s Mike Strong, who retired in October 2014 with 815 wins.

“You can’t set a record like this without a lot of great players, coaches and support staff,” said Yosinoff via today’s release. “This win isn’t about me, it’s about the program. It’s for every player that has worn a Saints uniform and contributed to where we are today. I’m just lucky to have been along for the ride and have amazing coaches and administrators at Emmanuel who support what I do year after year.”

Yosinoff has guided the Saints to 18 NCAA Tournament appearances, including a 2001 Final Four contest, along with a trio of Sweet Sixteen and two Elite Eight contests. Additionally, he has led the Blue and Gold to 15 Great Northeast Athletic Conference (GNAC) crowns.

Manny Payton became the 20th member of the Framingham State men’s basketball program to reach 1,000 points yesterday during his team’s 66-57 setback to John Jay. The senior guard from Fitchburg netted a game-high 19 points on 7 of 16 shooting.

Clark University senior Sam O’Gara also eclipsed the 1,000-point mark yesterday, as well, by netting 17 points on 6 of 18 shooting, which helped the Cougars defeat Regis College, 70-65. O’Gara, who hails from Worcester, is now the 21st student-athlete in program history to net 1,000 points or more.

After falling 94-91 earlier this month to Salem State, the Gulls of Endicott College rebounded with back-to-back wins over Colby-Sawyer and Thomas CollegeKeith Brown highlighted his team’s win earlier today against the Terriers with a team-high 25 points, while Joe Shehadi added 16 points, five rebounds, two assists and two steals.

Both of Endicott’s games took place at Salem State, which was hosting a two-day, four-team holiday tournament.

The Babson College women’s basketball team extended its current winning streak to six games as the Beavers rolled past Salve Regina, 99-58, in the opening contest of the Judy Pearson ’85 Memorial Tournament. Nicole Hiller netted a career-high 16 points in the win, while Medfield’s Payton Ouimette added 15 points and nine rebounds.

Babson will face UMass Dartmouth in tomorrow’s championship game, which is scheduled to commence at 2 p.m. The Corsairs defeated St. Lawrence, 71-50, thanks to a double-double of 18 points and 10 rebounds from Nakira Examond. Examond, who hails from New Bedford, currently leads the Corsairs with 18.4 points per game.

Other notes from the weekend: 

  • Coach Jim Calhoun and the University of St. Joseph’s (Conn.) men’s basketball team capped its December slate with a 92-68 win over Salve Regina on Saturday. Three players, including Delshawn Jackson Jr. finished in double-figures.
  • MIT women’s basketball capped its December slate with an impressive 56-46 win over TCNJ on Saturday. The Engineers’ fifth-straight win was highlighted by Upton’s Kylie Gallagher, who led all MIT scorers with 12 points. TCNJ was held to just 19 field goals on 57 attempts.
  • After falling to Bowdoin College yesterday, the Wheaton College women’s basketball team bounced back with a 67-36 win over Cedar Crest to move to 6-5 overall. Wheaton jumped out to a 20-5 advantage after one quarter and never looked back. Sara McLeman highlighted her team’s win with a double-double of 12 points and 11 rebounds.
  • The St. Joseph’s College (Maine) men’s basketball team extended its current winning streak to 10 games as the Monks outlasted Emmanuel College, 107-102, earlier this afternoon. Four St. Joseph players finished in double-figures, including Jack Casale, who finished with 31 points on 11 of 22 shooting. 

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