Mass. College Hoops: New Haven Edges Stonehill In East Regional Finals

By NoontimeSports.com 

University of New Haven is headed to the NCAA Division II Women’s Basketball Quarterfinals following a dramatic 58-57 win over Stonehill College on Monday evening in the East Regional Finals in Garden City, New York.

Briana Bradford recorded the game’s most important steal with four seconds remaining before dashing down the court for a right-handed layup, which sealed the victory and punched the Chargers’ ticket to the quarterfinals in South Dakota.

Stonehill immediately called a timeout following the basket and attempted to net the game-winner, but Kelly Martin’s three-point attempt did not drop and the Chargers escaped with an exciting one-point win.

Bradford netted seven points, pulled down six rebounds and recorded one assist and one steal, while teammate Aquillin Hayes scored a game-high 21 points. Hayes also recorded 10 rebounds.

Tori Faieta paced Stonehill with a double-double of 19 points and 16 rebounds; Martin chipped in 12 points, four assists and six boards, while Ashley Gendron and Amy Pelletier scored five points apiece.

Stonehill led New Haven, 33-32, at the break, but the Chargers outscored the Skyhawks during the second stanza, 26-24.

New Haven converted 26-of-69 attempts from the floor, including three trifectas. Stonehill connected on 19-of-61 attempts and finished with four triples. The Skyhawks sank 15-of-18 shots at the free throw line – Martin finished a perfect 10-for-10 at the stripe – while Hayes connected on 3-of-4 attempts, the only free throws recorded by the Chargers.

The Chargers, who trailed most of the second half, earned their initial lead of the second stanza with 5:56 remaining as Elizabeth Cruso drilled a three-pointer that provided them with a 53-52 advantage.

Cruso would extend the Blue and Gold’s advantage with another triple at 4:26 before Stonehill closed the gap at 3:18 with a layup by Paige Marshall.

Marshall converted Stonehill’s final field goal of the evening, a trifecta with 56 seconds remaining, which put the Skyhawks up, 57-56.

New Haven, which entered the East Region as the second-seed, will face the winner of Cal Poly-Pomona/California Baptist University on Tuesday, March 24.

Mass. College Hoops: 10 Games To Watch This Weekend

By NoontimeSports.com 

With the weather getting cooler (well, not exactly today!) and basketball season in full tilt, it’s time to dish out our 10 Games to Watch for this weekend.

Men’s Basketball:

No. 21 UMass vs. BYU: The Minutemen will look to earn their eight win of the season when they host the Cougars for a 1:30 p.m. tip. BYU enters the game having won two of their last three and three of their last four, while UMass junior Cady Lalanne is averaging a team-best 16.4 points per game and 11.4 rebounds.

Harvard at Boston University: The Crimson will attempt to earn their fifth straight victory, along with their ninth overall win when they travel across the Charles River for the second time this week to face the Terriers. Harvard’s Wesley Saunders is averaging a team-best 15.1 points per game, while BU’s Maurice Watson Jr. ranks first on the Terriers in assists per game (5.6). BU, which has won four straight, will look to earn their fifth consecutive victory, along with their seventh overall victory.

Bentley vs. St. Michael’s: After seeing their seven-game winning streak conclude on Wednesday, the Falcons will look to rebound against a 6-2 St. Mike’s squad, which enters the contest having won one of their last three contests. Keep an eye on Bentley’s Tyler McFarland, who ranks fourth in the Northeast-10 Conference in points per game (20.4). He’s also fifth in rebounds (8.9) and three-point percentage (52.6).

Springfield at Williams: After losing to Hampden-Sydney, the Pride has rebounded with back-to-back wins against Penn St.-New Kensington and Trinity (Conn.). They’ll look to earn their sixth win of the season against Williams, which hasn’t lost since their first game of the season. Daniel Wohl leads the Ephs with 17.7 points per game, while Michael Mayer ranks first in rebounds (10.3). Robbie Burke leads Springfield with 80 points and 45 boards, while Alex Garstka ranks second in points with 79.

Eastern Nazarene at Endicott: The Lions, winners of six straight, will look to earn their seventh victory of the season, as well as well as their second Commonwealth Coast Conference win when they travel to Beverley to face Endicott. The Gulls commenced their season with four straight wins before dropping their last two games to Gordon and Rivier. Eastern Nazarene’s Jaylen Owens ranks second in the conference in points per game (18.2), while Endicott’s Taylor Rioux is second in field goal percentage (65.5).

Women’s Basketball:

Harvard vs. Long Beach State @ Phoenix, Ariz.: The Crimson will take their 6-2 record on the road this weekend when they travel to the Grand Canyon to face Long Beach State in the first round of the Arizona State classic. Keep an eye on Christine Clark (19.4 points per game) and Melissa Mullins (9.1 rebounds per game).

Fordham at Holy Cross: The Crusaders will look to earn their seventh straight victory when they host a Rams squad that recently won the Lady Rebel Round-Up tournament against Cincinnati in Las Vegas. Holy Cross’ ‘hot start’ is their best start in over 30 years. Holy Cross has also scored 70 points in every contest this season, including 92 points against UMass Lowell. Alex Smith leads the unit with 98 points.

So. New Hampshire at Stonehill College: The Skyhawks, winners of two straight, as well as three of their last four, will look to earn their seventh win of the season when they host the Penmen in Easton. Stonehill is 3-1 in NE-10 play this season. On Wednesday, the Skyhawks defeated Assumption, 79-68, thanks to 21 points, five assists and five rebounds from Mary Louis Dixon, as well as 14 points and nine boards from Tori Faieta.

Wesleyan at Williams College: The Ephs haven’t lost a regular season contest since last season when Smith College topped Williams, 53-49. Since then, Williams has won 11 straight, including seven this season. They’ll look to extend their current streak to 12 when they host Wesleyan for an important New England Small College Athletic Conference matchup. Keep an eye on Kellie Macdonald, who’s averaging a team-best 14.0 points per game.

Wheaton College at Clark University: Can the Lyons make it seven in a row? Wheaton, which has been one of the biggest surprises of the season thus far, is coming off a 77-52 win over Emerson College on Wednesday. Wheaton has registered 70 points or more in five contests this season. Clark has won three of the last four meetings, including both games last season. Keep an eye on Wheaton’s Abbie Brickley and Kiley Shoemaker, as well as Clark’s senior trio, which includes Emily Reilly, Ashleigh Condon and Megan Grondin.

Mass. College Hoops Notebook: Recapping The Past Month

By Matt Noonan 

One month of college basketball is in the books. So, let’s recap and get you caught up on the latest news and notes.

* We’ll begin in Division 1 with the UMass Minutemen, who’ve returned to the AP Top 25 and USA Today Coaches Poll. Massachusetts checked in as the 21st best team in the country on this week’s AP poll and 22nd on the USA Today poll. UMass, which is 6-0, earned its sixth straight win last night against Eastern Michigan.

They’ll look to keep their momentum going on Saturday when they host Brigham Young for a 1:30 p.m. tip-off.

* Harvard, a squad Sports Illustrated pegged as one of their preseason teams to watch, is currently receiving votes in the AP poll.

The Crimson, who have won three straight, return to the hardwood this evening when they travel across the river to face Northeastern University, tip-off is scheduled for 7 p.m.

* Let’s travel down the road to Waltham, where Bentley University’s women’s basketball team will look to keep their perfect record intact when they host Merrimack College this evening. The Falcons are the number one team in this week’s USA Today Sports/WBCA Division II poll, as well as earned 29 of 31 first-place votes. They’ve held the top spot for three straight weeks.

Senior All-America forward Lauren Battista and All-Northeast-10 grad student Courtney Finn lead the Falcons in scoring with Bautista averaging 16.1 points and Finn 15.6. As noted in yesterday’s press release, both players rank second and third on the team in both rebounds and assists.

* Below Bentley in the Northeast Division is Stonehill College, a squad that’s currently 5-2 and has won four of its last six contests. The Skyhawks host Assumption College this evening, their fourth conference match of the season. Stonehill is 2-1 thus far against NE-10 opponents and 1-1 in Easton.

As of today, Mary Louise Dixon and Amy Pelletier lead the squad in scoring as both players are averaging 16.0 points, while Tori Faieta ranks first on the team in rebounds 7.7.

* Switching gears to Division 3, Amherst College’s men’s team, last year’s national champion, is currently the top squad in this week’s D3Hoops.com men’s Top-25 poll. The Lord Jeffs are currently 4-0 and will look to earn their fifth straight win this evening when they host Anna Maria; tip is scheduled for 7 p.m.

* Also on the men’s Top-25 poll is Williams, who sits six spots below their rival and WPI, which checked in as the 14th best team in the country. The Engineers picked up an impressive non-conference win over Tufts last night in Worcester, their 20th straight home court victory.

Through six games, Ryan Kolb leads WPI with 105 points (17.5 per game), while Sam Longwell ranks second with 92 (15.3).

* According to this week’s D3Hoops.com women’s Top-25 poll, Amherst remains the fourth best team in the country, while Tufts checked in the eighth spot and Williams the 13th.

* Finally, Wheaton College’s women’s basketball team earned an impressive win against Smith College last week, which pushed its overall mark to 5-0, their best start since 1994-95. Abbie Brickley leads the team in points (78), while Kiley Shoemaker ranks first on the squad in rebounds (47).

The Lyons will look to extend their winning streak to six this evening when they entertain Emerson College at 7 p.m. in Norton.

Mass. College Hoops: NE-10 Conference Tourney Roundup

By NoontimeSports.com 

The Northeast-10 quarterfinals are officially in the books and below are highlights from each local contest.

Men’s Basketball

St. A’s 98, UMass Lowell 85 – Akeem Williams matched Saint Anselm’s Mike McCahey for a game-best 27 points, but that wasn’t enough to help the River Hawks defeat the top-seeded Hawks in Manchester, New Hampshire. Antonio Bivins and Mike Cornelius each netted 15 points for UMass Lowell, while Chad Holley added 12 points.

Saint Rose 67, Assumption College 64 – For the second straight game, the Golden Knights upset a top seed as Saint Rose topped second seeded Assumption in Worcester. Saint Rose relied on some clutch shots down the stretch and All-Conference First Team member Dominykas Milka, who registered 15 points and 12 boards in the win. Terrence Bobb-Jones paced the Hounds with 16 points.

Women’s Basketball 

Bentley 89, Adelphi 80 – The Falcons tied a school record for points in a half with 62 to overcome a 12 point deficit at the break. Courtney Finn,  Lauren Battista and Jacqui Brugliera combined for 61 points and 25 rebounds, which helped Bentley secure a spot in the conference semifinals for the 30th time in 32 years.

Assumption College 80, New Haven 66 – Gabrielle Gibson filled the stat sheet with a game-best 21 points, along with seven rebounds, four assists and two steals as the Hounds topped the Chargers in Worcester.

Merrimack College 77, Stonehill College 72 – Chloe Rothman registered a game-best 23 points off the bench to power the Warriors past the second-seeded Skyhawks. Merrimack’s Allison Wagner netted 13 points off the bench, while Stonehill’s Tori Faieta finished with 13 points and 12 rebounds.

Franklin Pierce 84, UMass Lowell 69 – Bianca Simmons tallied a game-best 28 points, but that was enough for the River Hawks to defeat the Ravens in Lowell. Franklin Pierce’s Tiffany Johnson finished with 20 points and 10 boards.

Mass. College Sports: Tuesday Night Roundup

UMass Lowell's Bianca Simmons netted a career-best 45 points on Tuesday against Bentley. (Photo Credit: UMass Lowell Athletics)
UMass Lowell’s Bianca Simmons netted a career-best 45 points on Tuesday against Bentley. (Photo Credit: UMass Lowell Athletics)

By Matt Noonan 

Another night of college basketball and hockey is in the books and below are the highlights.

Men’s Basketball:

Assumption College 68, AIC 63 – Ricky Hudson’s 20 points couldn’t propel the Yellow Jackets past the Hounds as Assumption concluded their regular slate with a five-point victory. Assumption’s Tim Beinert filled the stat sheet with 17 points, six rebounds, three assists and one block. The Hounds earned the second seed in the upcoming Northeast-10 Conference playoffs and will play the winner of Adelphi-Saint Rose on Sunday, March 3 at 4:00 p.m.

Bentley 81, UMass Lowell 70 – Tyler McFarland recorded a double-double with a game-best 29 points and 14 rebounds, which helped the Falcons soar past the River Hawks. UMass Lowell’s Chad Holley finished the contest with 18 points, while Antonio Bivins recorded 13 points and 11 boards. UMass Lowell will return to the hardwood on Friday, March 1 when they host Le Moyne in the first round of the NE-10 tournament.

Merrimack College 69, Franklin Pierce 62 – JT Strickland and Mike Clifford combined for 38 points, while Troy Hammel added nine points off the bench for the Warriors.

St. A’s 70, Stonehill College 52 – Sam Markle netted a team-high 13 points, Adam Fazzini registered 12 points and Jack Cole added 10 points and eight boards, but that wasn’t enough to help the Skyhawks defeat the Hawks. With the win, St. A’s improves to 22-4 overall, 18-4 in NE-10 play. The Hawks earned the number one seed in the NE-10 playoffs and will host the winner of Le Moyne vs. UMass Lowell on Sunday at 3:00 p.m.

Women’s Basketball:

Bentley University 100, UMass Lowell 70 – Bianca Simmons netted a career-best 45 points, but that wasn’t enough as the Falcons defeated the River Hawks in Waltham and finished their third consecutive season with 25 wins. Bentley’s Courtney Finn finished with a team-high 21 points, while Kelsey Roberson and Lauren Battista each netted 18 points. The Falcons, who’re the NE-10’s top seed in the conference tournament, will return to the hardwood Sunday when they host the winner of Adelphi-AIC at 3:00 p.m., while UMass Lowell will host Franklin Pierce at the same time.

Stonehill College 57, St. A’s 47 – Asia Ewing netted a team-best 14 points, while Tori Faieta and Mary Louise Dixon each netted 12 points as the Skyhawks defeated the Hawks in New Hampshire. Stonehill will return to the court on Sunday as the number two seed and host the winner of Merrimack-Pace at 3:00 p.m.

Merrimack College 70, Franklin Pierce 50 – Kelly Schatzlein scored a team-best 16 points and pulled down 19 rebounds to help the Warriors defeat the Ravens in North Andover. Merrimack earned the 10th seed in the NE-10 tournament and will travel to Pace on Friday for a 7:00 p.m. matchup.

Men’s Ice Hockey:

Boston University 5, Merrimack College 2 – Matt Nieto notched two goals and recorded one assist as the Terriers defeated the Warriors in Boston.

UMass Lowell 4, Boston College 2 – Christian Folin and Riley Wetmore each score recorded one strike in the final stanza, which lifted the River Hawks past the Eagles in Chestnut Hill. The win marked UML’s fifth consecutive victory.

Women’s Ice Hockey:

Harvard 3, Yale 1 – Mary Parker’s shorthanded goal at 18:28 in the third secured the win for the Crimson, as well as claim a share of the Ivy League crown for the first time since 2009.