New England Basketball Weekend Watch (Jan. 10th-12th)

NEWKNDHOOPSWATCH011020

By Matt Noonan | @NoontimeNation 

Another busy weekend of New England D-III college basketball is set to tip-off this afternoon and evening – hope you are ready for some great games to watch and follow!

Let’s begin with one game to watch in Medford, Massachusetts this evening as the Tufts University women’s basketball team welcomes Wesleyan University to Cousens Gymnasium for a 7 p.m. tip-off.

Friday’s clash between the Cardinals and Jumbos marks the official start of New England Small College Athletic Conference (NESCAC) play.

Tufts enters tonight’s contest riding an impressive 13-game winning streak, which has included recent wins over UMass DartmouthSUNYIT, and Wheaton College. Emily Briggs highlighted the Powder and Blue’s effort against the Lyons on Wednesday by connecting on 7 of 10 field goals for 19 points – she also made all three freebies. Erica DeCandido chipped in 13 points on six of eight shooting.

Wesleyan should certainly provide Tufts with some challenges on both ends of the court – the Cardinals have won eight of 11 contests thus far, including an early January clash with Babson College. The Cardinals began their 2019-20 campaign with six-straight wins.

In their last outing against SUNY Geneseo, last weekend, Caleigh Ryan and Katy O’Connor combined for 24 points, while Emma Roush added 10 points off the bench. 

A few other NESCAC women’s games to watch tonight and this weekend include Bowdoin College at Trinity College (1/10 at 7 p.m.), Amherst College at Middlebury College (1/10 at 7 p.m.), and Amherst at Williams College on Saturday, January 11th at 3 p.m.

On the men’s side of the NESCAC, keep an eye on Friday’s clash between Middlebury and Amherst. The Panthers have won 13-straight contests, including three consecutive 2020 meetings with Colby-SawyerSpringfield College, and Plattsburgh State. This particular outing should be a good test for the Panthers, but also the Mammoths, who began the new year with a 116-44 win over Lesley University before falling to Wesleyan three days later by a score of 79-77.

My prediction for Friday’s Amherst-Middlebury game is the following: The Mammoths will prevail and receive some major contributions from Grant Robinson, Fru Che, and Eric Sellew.

Tomorrow (Saturday, January 11th), WPI will entertain Babson in a very enticing New England Women’s and Men’s Athletic Conference (NEWMAC) contest. The Engineers began conference play earlier this week against MIT, while the Beavers were edged on Wednesday by Springfield.

It’s too early to say this a must-win for the Beavers (or Engineers) as all eight teams play each other twice in a single-season, but this could be a potential preview of the conference championship game next month.

Other Games to Watch (and Follow) this Weekend: 

  • WBB: Framingham State at Westfield State (Saturday, Jan. 11th at 12 p.m.): The Rams can begin conference play with a win on the road against an Owls team, which has not won a game since beating Plymouth State in mid-to-late November.
  • WBB: Western New England at Wentworth Inst. of Technology (Saturday, Jan. 11th at 1 p.m.): Look for the Golden Bears to bounce back after losing to WPI earlier this week. A win over the Leopards would provide WNE with their fourth conference win and keep them within at least one or two games of the University of New England.
  • WBB: Brandeis University at New York University (Saturday, Jan. 11th at 1 p.m.): The Judges face another 10-1 squad in an important conference meeting. Brandeis has won 10 of 11 contests this season so I expect that momentum will help them against the Violets.
  • MBB: Keene State at Rhode Island College (Saturday, Jan. 11th at 3 p.m.): This is an important meeting for both teams as the Anchormen and Owls are in a three-way tie with Western Connecticut for the top spot in the conference. Look for the Anchormen to bounce back after losing to Western Connecticut earlier this week.

D3 Hoops: 10 Games To Watch In Round Two Of The 2019 NCAA D3 Tournament

NS 10 GAMES TO WATCH HOOPS

By NoontimeSports.com | @NoontimeSports & @Noontime_Hoops

Welcome to day number two of the 2019 NCAA Division III men and women’s basketball tournaments!

Let’s get you all set for another busy day of games, which will tip-off later this afternoon and evening.

As always, make sure to stay connected with @Noontime_Hoops on Twitter for scores, news and more.  


Haverford College vs. Tufts University (WBB) @ 5 p.m.: The Fords rolled the Ravens in round one, but today’s match-up with the Jumbos will be a tougher challenge for the Red and White. Tufts clicked into gear in the second half of last night’s game to beat Western New England for a round one victory. PREDICTION: Tufts University 

Emmanuel College vs. SUNY New Paltz (WBB) @ 6 p.m.: After guiding his team to a GNAC championship last week, coach Andy Yosinoff worked his magic again last night, leading his Saints to an opening round win over Hartwick. Look for the tenured coach to continue to find a way to lead his team to another victory this evening. PREDICTION: Emmanuel College 

Amherst College vs. SUNY Geneseo (WBB) @ 6 p.m.: This has the chance to be a very close game from the start, but the Mammoths should pull away in the second half to secure a spot in next week’s third round. PREDICTION: Amherst College 

Bowdoin College vs. Smith College (WBB) @ 7 p.m.: This is a VERY enticing match-up – we are excited to tune in! Smith could pull the upset here, but slowing down Maddie Hasson and the Polar Bears may be a tall task for this Pioneers squad, which topped Merchant Marine in round one. PREDICTION: Bowdoin College 

DeSales vs. Middlebury College (WBB) @ 7 p.m.: The Panthers advanced to the second round of the NCAA Tournament for the first time since 1996. They scored a solid opening round win over John Carroll and should find their way once again into the win column tonight with a victory over DeSales. PREDICTION: Middlebury College 

Nichols College vs. Rowan University (MBB) @ 7 p.m.: We picked against the Bison when they faced Western New England last week. And we were wrong. Nichols rallied to beat WNE before beating Gordon College and Middlebury College in back-to-back games. The Bison should once again find a way to top Rowan on the road this evening to secure a spot in next week’s third round. PREDICTION: Nichols College 

MIT vs. Swarthmore College (MBB) @ 7 p.m.: The Engineers are one of a few New England teams that are equipped for a deep postseason run. They scored an impressive opening round win last night against Skidmore and should find a way past Swarthmore this evening. PREDICTION: MIT 

Amherst College vs. Rochester (MBB) @ 7 p.m.: The Mammoths cruised to an opening-round win last night, defeating Rosemont, 84-53. Amherst should find a way past the Yellow Jackets this evening, but it won’t be easy. Rochester’s Ryan Clamage will be a player to watch in this match-up. PREDICTION: Amherst College 

Hamilton College vs. Moravian College (MBB) @ 7 p.m.: The Continentals edged Penn State-Behrend last night to secure a date with Moravian. The Greyhounds have won four straight, including an opening round win over Keene State last night, and should find a way to top the Continentals on the road. PREDICTION: Moravian College 

Gwynedd Mercy University vs. Williams College (MBB) @ 7 p.m.: The Ephs topped the Eagles of Husson University last night by netting 86 points. When the Purple and Yellow score 80 points or more, they normally win, so Williams must net that amount again this evening to beat the Griffins in Williamstown. PREDICTION: Williams College 

New England D3 Notebook: NCAA Tournament Basketball, Hockey Weekend Roundup

Johnny McCarthy and the Amherst College men's basketball team advanced to the semifinals following a sectional final victory over Tufts. (Photo Credit: Amherst College Athletics)

Johnny McCarthy and the Amherst College men’s basketball team advanced to the semifinals following a sectional final victory over Tufts. (Photo Credit: Amherst College Athletics)

By Matt Noonan 

Amherst College’s Connor Green netted a game-high 25 points to lift the Purple and White past Tufts University in last night’s Sectional Final in Medford, Massachusetts.

With the win, the Purple and White advance to its third NCAA Final Four appearance in four seasons, and seventh appearance in program history. Amherst will face Benedictine University on Friday, March 18 at the Salem Civic Center in Salem, Virginia.

David George and Johnny McCarthy combined for 26 points and 15 rebounds, while Michael Riopel came off the bench and netted 12 points.

Tom Palleschi and Stephen Haladyna paced Tufts, netting 20 points, respectively. Ryan Spadaford registered 11 rebounds, while pouring in seven points.

Amherst led by five points (40-35) at the break before outscoring the host Jumbos, 46-38, during the final 20 minutes.

George hit one of two free throws late in the second session to provide the visitors with the lead before Green converted a three-point play (layup and free throw) with 2:41 remaining to push Amherst ahead for good.

Tufts ended its season at 23-7 following a trio of NCAA Tournament victories, which all occurred in Cousen’s Gymnasium.

Amherst, Tufts advance to Women’s Semifinals: The New England Small College Athletic Conference (NESCAC) will have a pair of teams vying for the national championship. Both Amherst and Tufts captured their respective sectional finals yesterday with the Purple and White defeating Rochester (78-50) while the Jumbos beat Scranton (57-48).

Amherst will now face Thomas More, while Tufts takes on Wartburg with both contests scheduled for Saturday, March 19.

Michela North highlighted the Jumbos’ effort, recording a double-double of 13 points and 10 rebounds in the win, while Melissa Baptista netted a team-high 23 points.

All five starters netted double-figures for Amherst with Meredith Doswell pouring in 24 points, including six trifectas. She also recorded six rebounds, three blocks and one assist.

NCAA Division III Hockey Tournament: Williams College and UMass Boston extended its respective seasons, winning first round contests yesterday. The Ephs defeated Salem State, 7-1, while the Beacons dislodged the defending champion Bantams by a score of 4-0.

Both teams will compete in this upcoming weekend’s quarterfinals with Williams taking on SUNY Geneseo, while UMass Boston will head to Hobart for a 7:30 p.m. puck drop.

SUNY Geneseo advanced to the quarterfinals following a 7-1 win over Salve Regina.

The Middlebury College women’s ice hockey team advanced to the semifinals after defeating UMass Boston in the quarterfinal round by a score of 4-0. The Panthers will face Plattsburgh State, which blanked Amherst College, 5-0.

The semifinals are scheduled for Friday, March 18 with the championship taking place on Saturday, March 19.

Mass. College Hockey: Nichols Falls To SUNY Geneseo In NCAA Tournament

By NoontimeSports.com 

Courtesy of the Nichols College sports information department, here’s this evening’s release from the first-round of the NCAA Division 3 Men’s Ice Hockey Tournament. The Bison saw their season conclude with a 3-2 setback against Geneseo State:

GENESEO, N.Y. – Sophomore Alex Larson (Madison, Ala.) made a career-high 45 saves in Nichols College’s 3-2 loss at SUNY Geneseo Thursday evening in the First Round of the NCAA Division III Tournament at Wilson Ice Arena.

Junior Brett Jackson (Larchmont, N.Y.) and sophomore Tyler Beasley (Indianapolis, Ind.) scored for the Bison, who were making their second trip to the NCAA’s in program history (2008-09).

Freshman Connor Anthoine (Lewiston, Maine) picked up a goal and an assist for the Knights (22-6-0), who will host Norwich Sunday afternoon. Sophomore Nate Brown (Bethel Park, Pa.) tallied two assists for SUNY Geneseo, which outshot Nichols 48-33.

“I thought it was a very even hockey game,” said Nichols head coach Kevin Swallow. “We battled them from start to finish and I thought we had our chances. The shots were not indicative of how this game was played – the score was. Both teams were very evenly matched. We could have been a little hungrier around the net and buried a couple, but you have to give them credit. They’re a very good hockey team.”

The Knights opened the scoring just 2:25 into the contest when junior Justin Scharfe (Webster, N.Y.) tucked a shot inside the right post behind Larson. Brown and Anthoine were credited with assists on the Scharfe’s 10th marker of the season.

All five Bison touched the puck on Beasley’s goal at 16:08 of the first. Junior Chris Gularte (Salinas, Calif.) sent a pass from the right point down to classmate Joe Sposit (Cleveland, Ohio) along the right wing boards. Sposit fed Beasley just outside the crease, and he lifted a backhand shot over the glove hand of Horrigan.

Junior Tyler Brickler (Riverwoods, Ill.) scored the game-winning goal – his 15th goal of the season – on the power play at 15:18 of the second period. He sent a shot through from the point through a screen and into the lower left side of the net. Early in the third, Brown took a shot from the right point that Anthoine redirected over the right shoulder of Larson at 2:10 to push the SUNY Geneseo lead to 3-1.

Nichols climbed to within one at 10:50 of the third when Jackson redirected a pass from sophomore Sean Fleming (Easthampton, N.J.) past SUNY Geneseo sophomore goalie Nick Horrigan (Mount Forest, Ontario). The Bison nearly tied the game with Larson on the bench for the extra attacker late in the stanza, but Sposit’s shot from the right side struck the right post along the ice.

“Alex played great. He’s a big-game player who always shows up when we have a tough opponent, and tonight was no exception,” said Swallow. “He played great start-to-finish.”

Horrigan made 31 saves to improve to 13-1-0 on the season. SUNY Geneseo went 1-for-3 with the extra attacker while Nichols did not receive a power-play opportunity.

Nichols closes its season 18-7-3.

Mass. College Hockey: NCAA D3 First Round Preview

By Matt Noonan 

The first round of the NCAA Division 3 Tournament begins tomorrow and two local squads – Nichols College and Salem State – will be competing for a chance to extend its season to Saturday.

Below is a quick preview of tomorrow’s contests. Make sure to circle back tomorrow evening for scores and highlights.

Nichols College @ SUNY Geneseo (Weds. March 12, 7 p.m.): The Bison ended its regular season slate with a 5-5 tie to Western New England. Yet, they returned to the win column by defeating Curry College in the ECAC Northeast semifinals, 4-3, and Wentworth Institute of Technology in the championship, 3-2. They’ll look to continue their season against a Knights squad that fell to Oswego State in the SUNYAC Championship.

Zachary Vit, who led all skaters with 28 points and 18 goals, while also recording 10 assists, leads the Knights. Vit also netted one-game winner this season, too. The Knights have relied on three goaltenders this season, but specifically Bryan Haude and Nick Horrigan. Both netminders have combined for roughly 1,605 minutes between the pipes, along with 732 saves and 21 wins. Geneseo converted 25 of 135 power plays this season and boasts a .801 penalty kill percentage. Their offense has produced 38 goals in the opening period and recorded 327 shots. They’ve held their opponents to 21 strikes in the opening session.

Sean Fleming leads Nichols in points (33), while Joe Sposit has netted a team-best 13 goals this season. Brett Jackson, who scored the clincher in overtime against the Leopards on Saturday, has recorded 11 goals and 12 assists. Alex Larson has appeared in the team’s cage 23 times this season and owns a 15-6-3 record. He’s turned away 742 shots and is yielding an average of 2.76 goals per game.

A win for the Bison or Knights would secure a quarterfinal matchup against the winner of Norwich University vs. Salem State.

Salem State @ Norwich University (Weds. March 12, 7 p.m.): The Cadets and Vikings will meet for the 48th time on Wednesday evening. Norwich leads Salem State, 31-15-1 in the all-time series.

Salem State earned a spot in the tournament by defeating Plymouth State in the MASCAC Championship last Saturday, 5-1. The Vikings are making their first appearance in the tournament since 1995. Eric Defelice leads the Blue and Orange with 27 points; he’s also potted 11 goals, while Alex Minter has registered 11 goals and 14 assists in 26 contests. Goaltender Ryan Sutliffe posted a 14-5-2 mark between the pipes this season and deflected 458 shots. He logged 1,275 minutes in net and is yielding 2.58 goals per game.

Norwich will be making its fifth-straight NCAA Tournament appearance on Wednesday. The Cadets have lost in the national semifinals the last three seasons. Travis Janke leads the Maroon and Brown with 35 points, while Chris Duszynski finished the season with 16 goals, which is a team-best. Chris Czarnota deflected 193 of 212 shots this season. He appeared in 14 games and owns a .910 save percentage.