The Colby College men’s basketball team has won 18-straight contests this season, including six consecutive New England Small College Athletic Conference (NESCAC) match-ups. They will attempt to extend that streak to 19 consecutive victories this afternoon when they visit Tufts University.
Colby, which defeated Bates College last night, is tied with Tufts for the top spot in the NESCAC with just a few weeks remaining in the regular season. A win over the Jumbos would provide them with the inside track to the top spot in the conference tournament later this month.
Similar to Colby, Tufts has not dropped a conference clash this winter as they have won five consecutive league meetings, including one last night against Bowdoin College. Eric Savage netted a career-high 35 points against the Polar Bears while Tyler Aronson chipped in 15 points and five rebounds.
If Tufts is going to beat the Mules, they must find a way to slow down a very impressive Colby offense, which is averaging a league-best 92.8 points per game. Additionally, they will need to stop Sam Jefferson, who is averaging a league-best 23.5 points per contest.
The Tufts women’s basketball team scored a big road win last night, defeating Bowdoin in Brunswick, Maine, by a score of 97-88. With the win, the Jumbos have secured the top spot in the conference, along with an inside track to hosting the NESCAC Tournament later this month in Medford.
Emily Briggs led the Jumbos with a team-high 23 points, while Calin Harrington netted a season-high 20 points on 8 of 13 shooting.
The Jumbos outscored the Polar Bears, 24-18, in the final session to improve to 19-0 overall and 5-0 in conference play. Tufts will visit Colby this afternoon with tip-off scheduled for 3 p.m. Their meeting with the Mules will be their final regular-season road contest as their next four games will take place on campus.
Other News and Notes from the New England D-III Basketball World
The Trinity College men’s basketball team scored an impressive 82-76 win last night over Middlebury College. Kyle Padmore and Colin Donovan each netted 20 points in the win. The Bantams host Williams College this afternoon at 3 p.m.
The Babson College women’s team has won two-straight New England Women’s and Men’s Athletic Conference (NEWMAC) contests and will attempt to win a third against Smith College this afternoon at 1 p.m. Despite falling to Emerson College, the Pioneers have been a team to watch this winter – they enter today’s important meeting riding a three-game winning streak.
Framingham State women’s basketball has won six-straight Massachusetts State Collegiate Athletic Conference (MASCAC) meetings, including an early January contest against Westfield State. A win this afternoon against the Owls would provide the Rams with a season-sweep, as well as the inside track to the top spot in the conference tournament.
Eastern Connecticut women’s basketball has won 15 of 18 contests this season, including an early January meeting against UMass Boston. A win today against the Beacons would secure a season-sweep. UMass Boston has not beaten the Warriors since February 3, 2018. The Beacons’ last home win against the Warriors occurred on January 6, 2018.
The Endicott College men’s basketball team will attempt to win their seventh-straight contest when they visit Gordon College for a 3 p.m. tip-off. The Gulls edged the Fighting Scots earlier this season, 88-86, in overtime. A win today over Gordon would provide Endicott with its tenth conference victory.
Finally, St. Joseph (Conn.) men’s basketball will look to extend their winning streak to 16 consecutive wins when they visit Johnson & Wales for a 3 p.m. tip-off. The Blue Jays enter the game with a great deal of momentum following an impressive win earlier this week against Albertus Magnus.
The Mules of Colby enter the contest riding an impressive 13-game winning streak – they extended that streak last weekend with back-to-back wins over Connecticut College and Trinity College. Sam Jefferson is one of two players in the New England Small College Athletic Conference (NESCAC) averaging 22.8 points per game – he will certainly be a player to watch on Friday evening, as well as someone the Panthers will need to locate when he is on the court.
As for the Panthers, they enter this marquee matchup with a 15-1 mark – they lost last weekend to Amherst College but rebounded the following day with a one-point win over Hamilton College. Tommy Eastman highlighted the Blue and White’s win over the Continentals – similar to Jefferson, he will also be a player to watch in this contest.
Noontime’s Prediction: I think the Panthers’ win over Hamilton provided them with some momentum that not only helped them against Albertus Magnus earlier this week but should assist them to make a few more plays than Colby, especially down the stretch. Middlebury will beat Colby, 81-78.
Tufts University at Amherst College (Saturday, January 18th at 3 p.m.): It may be too early to call this a ‘must-win’ game for both teams, but as two of the top three women’s basketball teams in the NESCAC, this is a VERY important contest.
Since falling to Emmanuel College last month, the Mammoths have won 11-straight – they will attempt to make it 12-straight wins when they host Bates College this evening with tip-off scheduled for 7 p.m.
Amherst’s Madeline Eck was named the conference’s player of the week on Monday – she entered the week averaging 15.6 points per game. The senior guard, who has played and started in all 15 games this season, has converted 72.1 percent of her free throws while averaging seven caroms per contest.
First-year coach Jill Pace has enjoyed a very successful start with the Jumbos, who enter this weekend riding a 14-game winning streak. Before Tufts visits Amherst on Saturday, they will travel to Hamilton on Friday for a 7 p.m. tip-off.
Tufts opened conference play last week with a 78-60 win over Wesleyan University – it was a game that featured a double-double of 28 points and 10 rebounds by Erica DeCandido. DeCandido will be a player to watch on the Powder Blue and White against the Mammoths on Saturday.
Noontime’s Prediction: This will be a good test for both teams, but Amherst has been impressive since falling to the Saints and should find a way to beat the Jumbos on their home court by a score of 63-57.
Time for some ‘extra picks’ for the weekend!
MBB: Tufts (MBB) over Hamilton (Jan. 17th): After falling to Suffolk University earlier this week, the Jumbos will find a way to bounce back against the Continentals before hosting the Mammoths on Saturday afternoon.
MBB: Emmanuel College over Lasell University (Jan. 18th): Coach Danny Lawson and the Saints should continue their recent momentum at home against the Lasers and score their first conference win of 2020.
WBB: Smith College over Emerson College (Jan. 18th): The Pioneers scored an impressive road win earlier this week against the Ephs of Williams College and should be able to continue that momentum on the other side of the state against the Lions.
MBB: Endicott College over Roger Williams (Jan. 18th): The Gulls have rebounded nicely since falling to Nichols College earlier this month with back-to-back wins over Curry College and Gordon College. Look for a big game on Saturday from Keith Brown and Jalen Echevarria.
WBB: Rhode Island College over UMass Boston (Jan. 18th): RIC appears to be the team to beat in the Little East Conference (LEC) – they enter Saturday’s match-up riding an 11-game winning streak. RIC’s Willcia McBorrough will be the player to watch in this contest.
WBB: Westfield State over Bridgewater State (Jan. 18th): After surrendering 101 points to Framingham State last weekend, the Owls have rebounded with some important conference wins over Fitchburg State and Worcester State. Look for Blue and White to extend their current winning streak to three games on Saturday.
WBB: Eastern Nazarene at Mitchell College (Jan. 18th): The Lions appear to be the team to beat (and watch) in the New England Collegiate Conference (NECC) – this has the making of a potential postseason preview.
Colby has scored some impressive regional (and non-regional) wins thus far, including a 103-97 season-opening victory against Ramapo College. Alex Dorion led the Mules with a team-high 23 points, while Noah Tyson pulled down 10 rebounds.
Despite scoring eight points less than the Roadrunners in the second half, Colby managed to outscore Ramapo, 16-10, in the extra session to secure their first of seven consecutive wins.
Including their most recent win over Kean, the Mules boast a 4-0 record in Waterville, Maine, a 2-0 mark away from campus and a 1-0 record in neutral sites.
Two of the team’s six wins last month came against Gordon College (95-77) and New England College (103-67) in the Colby Classic.
This week, the Mules face Thomas College on Tuesday, December 3rd followed by a visit to Colby-Sawyer on Saturday, December 7th. Colby will then break for the holidays before visiting Southern Maine on Tuesday, December 31st.
Players to Watch:
Sam Jefferson: 181 points through seven contests … has netted 61 of 90 field goals, including 28 of 48 three-pointers … He is first on the team in three-point percentage (58.3%) … Jefferson is 31 of 34 from the free-throw line … Jefferson has also recorded 23 rebounds, 37 assists, and 10 steals.
Matt Hanna: Second on the team in points (121) and fourth on the team in rebounds (24) … Leads the Mules in assists with 37 … Hanna has converted 14 of 17 free throws (82.4 %).
Noah Tyson: Leads the Mules with 56 rebounds through seven contests … Tyson has also recorded 11 assists and seven steals … Ranks fourth on the team in points (83).
Alex Dorion: Dorion has come off the bench to net 92 points on 33 of 58 shooting, including 24 of 44 from beyond the arc … The senior guard has registered 16 rebounds, 14 assists, and two swipes.