Tag Archives: Saint Anselm College

New England Basketball Notebook: Harvard Shines In Season-Opener

Men's Basketball between the Harvard Crimson and the Columbia Lions

Bryce Aiken and the Harvard University men’s basketball team are motivated to return to the NCAA Tournament this upcoming season. (PHOTO COURTESY: David Dermer/Harvard Athletics)

By Matt Noonan | @MattyNoonz11

For Harvard University, Tuesday’s 84-27 victory over MIT was an ideal way to begin a new season, but also an opportunity to gain some much-needed momentum heading into an important non-conference clash on Friday with Northeastern University.

Multiple Crimson players contributed on both ends of the floor against the Engineers, including first-year forward Chris Ledlum, who recorded his first collegiate double-double of 13 points and 11 rebounds. Senior Christian Juzang netted 12 points, while classmate Chris Lewis stuffed the stat sheet with nine points, seven rebounds, one assist, and one block.

Harvard’s 57-point victory margin matched the 1945-46 team, which established the mark with their win over Northeastern.

While it certainly was an impressive start to their 2019-20 campaign, Harvard, as well as their coach Tommy Amaker, know they have more work to do in order to accomplish their preseason goals. And one of those goals, according to senior guard Bryce Aiken, is to return to the NCAA Tournament, something the Crimson have not done since 2015.

Harvard has come close to returning to the ‘big dance,’ but has fallen short the past three seasons in the Ivy League tournament. Additionally, they saw their run toward a National Invitational Tournament (NIT) title conclude twice within the past two years, including this past March when they lost a heartbreaker in the second round to North Carolina State University.

But despite falling short of accomplishing past preseason goals or winning tournaments and championships, Aiken remains optimistic. He believes this year’s crew can “make history,” and from what fans witnessed the other evening against MIT, perhaps the senior guard believes this year’s squad is truly capable of not just winning an Ivy League conference tournament but challenging other teams from across the country for the ultimate prize, a national championship. 

“The biggest motivation for us as seniors (this year) is leaving with a bang, man,” said senior Bryce Aiken, who elected to return to campus for one more season after initially entering his name for the 2019 National Basketball Association (NBA) Draft last April.

“We haven’t been to the NCAA Tournament, so that is the biggest motivating factor for us.”

Added Juzang, “It’s been three years of all of us (for) things you can look at and you can call motivation (from) the Ivy League championship games, the NC State game, and we could point to a bunch of different things, but I think the biggest thing is (we’re) internally driven, not getting pushed around by the expectations and whatnot.”

The expectations, as both the coaches and student-athletes know, is rather high for a team that is scheduled to face some stiff competition this month against Northeastern, University at Buffalo, and Texas A&M. Harvard could also face the University of Maryland this month, too – they would need to beat the Aggies of Texas A&M in the opening round of the Orlando Invitational, which is scheduled to commence on Thanksgiving Day.

Weeks after competing in the Orlando Tournament, Harvard will commence conference play in mid-to-late January against Dartmouth College before ending the month with a visit to the University of Pennsylvania, which opened its 2019-20 season with an 81-80 win over the University of AlabamaPenn lost to Harvard last March in the Ivy League semifinals but was picked second in the conference preseason poll.

Yet, before Harvard worries about Dartmouth, Penn, and other future foes, they will keep their focus on Northeastern, a team that beat the Crimson last November, thanks to a game-high 35 points by Jordan Rolland. Rolland will certainly be a player the Crimson will need to slow down in order to pick-up their second win of the season, but from a quick glance at this year’s roster, Harvard is loaded with talent to slow down their opponents’ top players, and will certainly receive a boost from an impressive and hard-working first-year class.

Amaker praised his freshman class, which was ranked 38th nationally, according to 247Sports.com. All five newcomers logged time on Tuesday against MIT and have seemed to adapt to the college game quite well it seems.

“I have been impressed with our first-years,” said Amaker during the team’s media day last Friday. “This is a tough-minded group. They are physical – you look at who they are (with their) bodies and (what) they are capable of taking in … they have been durable, but they have been very (impressive) with their durability, dependability, and then fitting in.

“Our future is good hands with this first-year class.”

No matter who is on the floor Friday and later this season – Aiken, Ludlum, Juzang, sophomore Noah Kirkwood or seniors Seth Towns and Henry Welsh – Harvard is expected to compete and play some impressive basketball that should translate into more wins and an exciting 2019-20 season.

News and Notes from New England: 

  • Andrew Fleming became the 31st player in the University of Maine men’s basketball program to net 1,000 points as the senior helped the Black Bears defeat Merrimack College, 84-64, on Wednesday evening. Fleming, who was named a preseason America East All-Conference honoree, recorded 37 points and 10 rebounds against the Warriors to go along with five assists and two blocks.
  • Keep your eyes on the Saint Anselm College women’s basketball team this weekend – the Hawks, who were picked to finish atop the Northeast-10 Conference will tip-off Saturday, November 9th against Bloomfield College at 6:30 p.m. After facing the Bears, the Hawks will cap their weekend with a late Sunday afternoon contest against the University of Bridgeport.

    Senior Shannon Ryan will be one of many student-athletes to watch on the Hawks this winter. Ryan recorded a double-double of 29 points and 18 rebounds last weekend against Bishop’s University.

  • WPI, which secured the fourth spot in our New England D-III Men’s Basketball Top 10 Preseason Poll, tips-off its season against ninth-ranked Brandeis University on Friday. Both teams are two squads to watch this winter – the Engineers were picked to capture the New England Women’s and Men’s Athletic Conference (NEWMAC), while Brandeis is expected to continue its success from last year under second-year coach Jean Bain.
  • Finally, make sure to read Bob Whitney‘s first column, Around The Rim – I am very excited to have Bob join our team this winter to produce some additional basketball content. Bob has covered the college and high school game for years and will be a great addition to our Noontime Sports staff.

Mass. College Hoops: Bentley’s Stevens Earns 900th Win & Battista Breaks Scoring Record

By NoontimeSports.com 

Courtesy of the Bentley University sports information department, here’s tonight’s release from today’s women’s basketball game. Bentley head coach Barbara Stevens earned her 900th win, while Lauren Battista became the all-time leading scorer in the storied program’s history:

WALTHAM, Mass. – History was made at the Dana Center Saturday afternoon as Bentley University’ Barbara Stevens became only the sixth women’s basketball coach in NCAA history to reach the 900-win plateau and Falcon senior All-America Lauren Battista (North Easton/Oliver Ames HS) became the all-time leading scorer in the storied program’s history.

The 98-82 Northeast-10 Conference win over Saint Anselm College, Bentley’s 18th without a loss this season, lifted Stevens, a 2006 inductee into the Women’s Basketball Hall of Fame, to 900-246 over 37 years, including 743-155 in 28 seasons with the Falcons. She’s the third fastest to reach 900, behind only Pat Summitt (Tennessee) and Tara VanDerveer (Stanford).

“This was a tremendous opportunity to reflect on a career that I’ve been so blessed to have,” said Stevens, who was able to reach 900 on the day her program was having its annual alumni day. “It’s not about me, but all the tremendous players and assistant coaches we’ve had.”

Battista, a two-time WBCA All-America and Capital One Academic All-America® who now has 1,804 points, entered the game needing 17 points to eclipse Kelly Barker (1,800 from 1997-2001) for the top spot on the list and she got it done in a first half that ended with the nation’s number one-ranked Division II team up 22, 58-36.

“Lauren has done everything we’ve asked, and has done so within the framework of our offensive system,” praised Stevens. “She is one of the best we’ve ever had.”

The milestone points came on a turn-around jumper in the paint with 1:06 left on the first-half clock. Battista, who began the day third on Bentley’s all-time scoring list, tied number two Alison Fay ’84 at 1,792 with a three-point play with 5:55 left. She scored five unanswered in a stretch of 58 seconds to pull within three of Barker with 2:49 til intermission and got within one with a lay-up with 1:27 left, that basket giving the Falcons their first 50-point first-half of the season.

Battista totaled 20 points on 8-of-13 shooting and also provided three assists and two rebounds before exiting the game for good with 10:19 to play and Bentley up 26 at 85-59.

“This was a tremendous accomplishment for Lauren, but she and the rest of the team know they have more to achieve,” said Stevens.

Grad student Courtney Finn (Winthrop/Winthrop HS) led Bentley with 21 points, seven rebounds and four assists as she enjoyed an outstanding shooting day, as did most of the Falcons. Finn made seven of eight overall, including four three-pointers, and was perfect on three free throw attempts.

Junior guard Kelsey Mattice (Cicero, N.Y./Cicero North Syracuse HS) added 15 points off the bench, freshman forward Jen Gemma (Milton/Milton HS) helped out with 12 points and six rebounds, and senior forward Jacqui Brugliera (Fitchburg/Wachusett Reg. HS) missed only one shot during a 11-point, six-rebound effort.

Bentley took the lead for good with a 19-6 first-half run that made it a 27-14 game with 9:39 left. Brugliera got things started, hitting a three from the top of the key to break an 8-8 tie and following with a fast-break lay-up.

A 15-8 run over the first four minutes of the second half produced Bentley’s biggest lead, 73-44. At that juncture, Stevens’ club was shooting a ridiculous 69 percent, 25 of 36, with 10 three-pointers.

In its most productive offensive game of the season, Bentley finished with season-bests in points, points in a half, field goal percentage (.614) and three-point accuracy (.524). Saint Anselm (10-9, 6-8 NE-10) became the first team to exceed 68 points against the Falcon D this season and finished with a .443 field goal percentage.

Freshman guard Candace Andrews (Boston, Mass.) led four double-figure scorers for Saint Anselm, finishing with 20 points before fouling out.

Bentley, 13-0 in conference play, continues to lead the Northeast-10’s Northeast Division by four-and-a-half games. The Falcons are back on the Dana Center court Wednesday with a 5:30 pm game against The College of Saint Rose.

Mass. College Football: Friday Night Roundup

By Matt Noonan 

The seventh week of the college football season commenced once again under the bright “Friday Night Lights” with Assumption defeating Saint Anselm’s and UMass Dartmouth beating Bridgewater State. Below are the highlights from each contest.

Quick Note: Video above courtesy of Assumption College’s athletic department’s YouTube channel.

Assumption 41, St. A’s 27: Running backs Matt Pedone and Matt Heriveaux combined for four touchdowns, three on the ground, one through the air as well as 165 yards of total offense (136 yards on the ground) as the Hounds defeated the Hawks in Manchester.

Quarterback Bobby Jordan tossed one touchdown and completed 13-of-24 passes for 177 yards, while Scott Simonson hauled in five catches for 79 yards.

Mike Bates and Matt Colangelo, two players that combined for 26 total tackles, two-and-a-half sacks and three-and-a-half tackles for a loss, led Assumption’s defense.

Justin Bernard of St. A’s led all receivers with 17 catches for 154 yards and one touchdown.

UMD 33, Bridgewater State 29: Cullen Hanna completed 17-of-29 passes for 179 yards and three touchdowns, two of them to Abiola Aborishade, which included the go-ahead score with 1:22 remaining in the fourth quarter as the Corsairs topped the Bears in Dartmouth.

UMD’s Derek Tarpey recorded a career-high 22 total tackles, 14 solo stops, which included five tackles for a loss of 15 yards and one sack. He also registered two forced fumbles.

Bridgewater’s Mike McCarthy finished 18-of-26 for 273 yards and one touchdown, as well as rushed for two scores on 17 carries for 52 yards.

Mass. College Football: Week 11 Schedule

By NoontimeSports.com 

The 11th week of the college football season is officially here. And below is this week’s slate of games.

Saturday, Nov. 10: 

* Harvard at Penn, 12PM

* Williams College at Amherst College, 12PM

* Norwich at Becker College, 12PM

* Springfield College at WPI, 12PM

* American International at New Haven, 12PM (Northeast-10 Conference Championship)

* Tufts University at Middlebury College, 12:30PM

* Holy Cross at Wagner, 1PM

* Mount Ida College at Castleton State, 1PM (Eastern Collegiate Football Conference Championship)

* Assumption College at Bentley University, 1PM

* So. Conn. at Stonehill College, 1PM

* Saint Anselm at Merrimack College, 1PM

* Husson at Anna Maria, 1PM

* Salve Regina at Framingham State (New England Football Conference Championship)

* UMass at Akron, 2PM

* Notre Dame at Boston College, 8PM

Bentley’s Hopkins Named NE-10 Defensive Player Of The Week

By NoontimeSports.com 

Courtesy of our friends from Bentley University’s athletic department — here is today’s press release about Steve Hopkins being named this week’s Northeast-10 Conference Defensive Player of the Week:

WALTHAM, Mass. – Bentley University senior safety Steve Hopkins (Waltham/Waltham HS) has been named the Defensive Player of the Year in the Northeast-10 Conference after his outstanding performance in Saturday night’s 38-28 win over Saint Anselm College.

Seventeen of the undefeated Falcons’ points against the Hawks followed takeaways by Hopkins, who finished with two interceptions, a fumble recovery, seven tackles, a pass break-up and his first career touchdown.

His first interception, early in the second quarter, led to the Falcons’ first score of the evening, a seven-play, 46-yard drive. Later in the quarter, he recovered a fumble in the red zone with the ensuing possession capped by a short field goal on the final play before intermission.

Five minutes into the second half, Hopkins grabbed his second INT of the night at the Saint Anselm 40 and took it the distance for his first career pick 6 and a 24-0 Bentley lead.

Hopkins, who plays alongside his twin brother Don, is second on the team with 29 tackles and he has a total of four takeaways on the season. For his career, he’s made eight interceptions and come up with four fumbles.

Bentley, just on the outside of the American Football Coaches Association Division II top 25, improved to 5-0 with the victory and stretched its winning streak to seven games, tied for the fourth longest current streak in Division II.

Three other Bentley Falcons were also recognized by the Northeast-10 with selection to the Weekly Honor Roll: senior wide receiver Sean Cross (Duxbury/Duxbury HS), junior quarterback Danny Guadagnoli (Framingham/Framingham HS) and junior linebacker Blaine Hopwood (New Bedford/New Bedford HS).

Cross had seven receptions and 129 yards, both career-bests, and a touchdown. Guadagnoli amassed 247 of his 266 yards of total offense in the first half Saturday. He ran for a career-best 75 yards on ten carries and completed half of his 24 passes for 180 yards and the TD pass to Cross while playing less than three full quarters.

Hopwood tied his career-high with 13 tackles, including seven solos, and also had a pass break-up against the Hawks.

This Saturday, Bentley will host another unbeaten, fifth-ranked New Haven, in a key Northeast-10 showdown.

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