Around The Rim With Bob Whitney (Nov. 22, 2019)

Around The Rim Whitney Social

By Bob Whitney | @WhitneyBob

Bob Whitney is back from a short break for some thoughts on the New England (and national) college basketball landscape with a brand new edition of ‘Around the Rim.’ 

Opening Tap: 

A pair of Braintree High School (Mass.) standouts are making a difference for the Southern New Hampshire women’s basketball team.

First-year Adriana Timberlake has earned a spot in the starting lineup and is averaging 12.0 points per game, along with 2.6 rebounds and 4.4 assists per game.

Sophomore Jenna Roche has played an important role for the Penmen coming off the bench. Roche is averaging 5.8 points and 2.4 rebounds per game.

Southern New Hampshire has won four-straight since dropping its initial contest of the season to Georgian Court. The Penmen visit Assumption College tomorrow (Saturday, November 23rd) with tip-off scheduled for 1:30 p.m.

Manis, Holy Cross scored an exciting win against Boston College 

The Holy Cross women’s basketball team scored an impressive win earlier this month by defeating Boston College in its home-opener. The win was the Crusaders first over a Power 5 school since 2014.

Holy Cross is led by senior forward Lauren Manis (Bishop Feehan). Manis, who is a three-time All-Patriot League selection, concluded the 2018-19 season second in the conference in scoring (16.8 points per game) and rebounding (11.1 per game).

Prior to her team’s initial game of the 2019-20 season, Manis checked-in fourth in program history with 844 career rebounds and 12th in career points (1,461)

Manis, who is a terrific role model for all those youngsters that aspire to play at the next level, has scored 53 points in three games and has pulled down 33 rebounds.

Holy Cross hosts Merrimack College on Saturday in Worcester with tip-off scheduled for 7 p.m.

Christian, Boston College off to a successful start: 

Jim Christian‘s Boston College men’s squad has had a solid start marked by an important Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC) win over Wake Forest University (77-70).

The Eagles hit a speed bump when they were torched at home, 100-85, by highly-regarded Belmont University team.

Christian has a slew of potential young talent that he is trying to integrate with veteran Nik Popovic.

The future looks bright at Conte Forum but this year they are likely to slug it out once again in the bottom quarter of the ACC – unless you are Duke University it is so very difficult to succeed with young talent in the country’s best college hoop conference.

While we are talking BC, why aren’t the Eagles and Ed Cooley‘s Providence College Friars playing this year?

Just Thinking 🤔: 

If you get a chance, find a way to watch the University of Vermont‘s Anthony Lamb. He has the potential to be a player selected in next year’s NBA DraftLamb put on an offensive showcase recently scoring 30 points in a 61-55 loss to the University of Virginia

If healthy these Catamounts will continue to dominate the America East and could be a real sleeper in March Madness.

Unfortunately, Lamb and the Catamounts will make just one trip to Massachusetts when they visit UMass Lowell in late February.

National Thoughts: 

Virginia, the defending NCAA men’s champ, is off to an impressive start with Mamadi Diakite and Kihei Clark,  who were the heroes of last year’s epic NCAA tournament run.

The Hoosiers, who are under the direction of coach Tony Bennett, have traditionally led all D-I programs in most of the key defensive categories. Their defense (and impressive play) will be on display tomorrow when they compete against UMass in The Hall of Fame Tip Off Tournament at Mohegan Sun Arena in Connecticut.

UMass enters Saturday’s contest, which is scheduled to commence at 12 p.m, with an impressive 5-0 mark. The Minutemen are off to their best start since the 2013-14 season.

Have a great Thanksgiving….. Keep shooting! – Bob Whitney 

Mass. College Hockey: Boston College Men’s Picked To Capture Hockey East Crown

Hockey East Pre-Season Coaches Poll

By NoontimeSports.com 

The Boston College men’s ice hockey team was picked to capture the Hockey East regular season crown this upcoming season, as reported by the league on Monday, September 21.

BC received seven first-place votes, while rival Boston University, which was picked to finish second, earned a trio of first place votes. Providence College – the reigning national champion – was picked to finish third and earned a pair of first-place votes, while UMass Lowell was projected to place fourth and Northeastern University fifth.

New Hampshire, Notre Dame, Vermont and Connecticut rounded out the sixth, seventh, eighth and ninth place positions, while Maine was picked to finish 10th. Merrimack College and UMass completed the 12-team poll, earning 11th and 12th place projections, respectively.

Mass. College Hockey: BU Captures Hockey East, Tops UML 5-3

By NoontimeSports.com 

The Boston University men’s ice hockey team captured their eighth Hockey East crown on Saturday evening at the TD Garden, defeating last year’s reigning champion UMass Lowell, 5-3. With the win, the Terriers earn an automatic bid to the upcoming NCAA Division I Men’s Ice Hockey Tournament – the bracket will be released tomorrow.

Courtesy of the Hockey East Communications Office, here is this evening’s release:

BOSTON – Jack Eichel (North Chelmsford, Mass.) scored twice and set up another and Matt Grzelcyk (Charlestown, Mass.) added a goal and two assists to lead top-seeded Boston University to a 5-3 win over fourth-seeded UMass Lowell in the title game of the 31s​t annual Hockey East Championship in front of 13,352 fans at TD Garden Saturday evening.

In their 11th trip the finals the Terriers captured the Lamoriello Trophy as Hockey East Champions for the eighth time, their first since 2009 and the team’s first under second-year coach David Quinn. With the win, Boston University (25-7-5) earns Hockey East’s automatic bid the NCAA Men’s Ice Hockey Championship. The tournament’s selections will be announced Sunday at noon on ESPNU.

Eichel added the William Flynn Tournament MVP Award to sweep the conference’s major awards. The freshman forward picked up the Warrior Hockey East Player of the Year and Pro Ambitions Rookie of the Year awards on Thursday. He was joined on the all-tournament team by Grzelcyk, forward Evan Rodrigues (Etobicoke, Ontario) and goaltender Matt O’Connor (Toronto, Ontario).

BU opened up a tightly played first period with a pair of goals starting at 13:08.  On a power play Eichel carried the puck deep into the UML zone and fed Grzelcyk, who snapped it home at 13:08. O’Connor helped start the play and picked up an assist on Grzelcyk’s 10th of the year.

At 15:02, BU would make it 2-0 when Eichel again carried it to the goal mouth to shoot it past UMass Lowell goaltender Kevin Boyle (Manalapan, N.J.). Rodrigues and Brandon Hickey (Leduc, Alberta) picked up assists.

The River Hawks closed the period cutting the deficit in half with a power play goal of their own by center Joe Gambardella (Staten Island, N.Y.) just six seconds into the man-advantage at 18:10. Gambardella won the draw and after passes from Tommy Panico (Wall, N.J.) and Adam Chapie (Oxford, Mich), was alone in the low slot and used a forehand to backhand move to tuck it in for his 14th of the season.

The second period was all Boston University as it added a pair of goals, both on odd-man rushes. Senior Cason Hohmann (Arlington, Texas) finished a 3-on-1 started by A.J. Grier (Joliette, Quebec) and Doyle Somerby (Marblehead, Mass.), slipping the puck between Boyle’s pads at 5:38. The River Hawks had a great chance to make it a one-goal game midway through the stanza but O’Connor gloved a rebound attempt by Jake Kamrass (Atlanta, Ga.) from point blank range.

With the period winding down BU made it 4-1 as Grzelcyk, on a 2-on-1, set up Nickolas Olsson (Escondido, Calif.) who beat Boyle with 44.5 seconds before the intermission.

UML battled back to make it 4-2, as Michael Kapla (Eau Claire, Wis.) drilled it past O’Connor from the slot 6:47 into the third, converting a feed from Michael Fallon (Glenview, Ill.) with Dylan Zink (Madison, Wis.) also adding an assist.

Eichel made it 5-2 with his second of the game, 24th of the campaign and sixth in four tournament games with a great individual effort at 14:43 of the third after feeds from Nick Roberto (Wakefield, Mass.) and Grzelcyk.

With 3:08 left, Michael Louria (Glenview, Ill.) of the River Hawks closed the scoring at 5-3 with A.J. White (Dearborn, Mich.) and Fallon picking up assists.

Boyle finished with 19 saves for UMass Lowell (21-12-6) saw its two-year run as conference champions come to an end in its third straight appearance in the final game. The River Hawks went 1-for-4 on the power play and BU went 1-for-3. O’Connor had 22 saves for the Terriers who will make their 32nd trip to the NCAAs.

Joining the four Terriers on the All-Championship team were blueliner Robbie Russo (Bartlett, Ill.) of Notre Dame and forward Grayson Downing (Abbotsford, Alberta) of New Hampshire.

Game notes: The Terriers are 8-3 in the HEA Championship Game all-time…The Terriers are 3-1 all-time in the HEA Championship Game against the River Hawks… Freshman forward Jack Eichel has 66 points (24-42-66) on the season…Eichel’s 66 points set the freshman record for most in team history in a season…Eichel’s 66 points (24-42-66) are the most by a freshman in the NCAA since Paul Kariya had 100 (25-75-100) in the 1992-93 season…Eichel extended his point-streak to 12 games (9-17-26)…Junior defenseman Matt Grzelcyk extended his point streak to 11 games (9-8-17)…This year’s Hockey East All-Tournament Team consisted of goaltender Matt O’Connor (BU), defensemen Matt Grzelcyk (BU), Robbie Russo (ND), and forwards Jack Eichel (BU), Grayson Downing (UNH), and Evan Rodrigues (BU).

Mass. College Lax: Noontime Top 5 (Division 1, Week 1 Poll)

By NoontimeSports.com 

With another week of the Division 1 College Lacrosse in the books, it is time to unveil this week’s poll – our #NoontimeTop5 – highlighting the local squads.

Men’s Division 1

1.) Harvard (1-0) – The Crimson began their 2015 campaign last Saturday, downing the Minutemen in the snow. Harvard travels to Duke on Saturday for what could eventually be a NCAA Tournament clash later this spring.

2.) Holy Cross (2-0) – The Crusaders made some serious “noise” last weekend, defeating Loyola (Md.), 13-12. Holy Cross has won-back-to-back contests by one-goal. This week, they host Navy, which is coming off back-to-back setbacks to Maryland and Bucknell. Can the Crusaders keep on rolling?

3.) Boston University (2-1) – The Terriers look to rebound following their initial of the season against Providence College on Tuesday. This is the second of four road games for the Terriers, and it would be great for BU to capture at least one or two contests before returning to Nickerson Field.

4.) UMass (0-3) – This hasn’t been the ideal start for the Minutemen, who lost by one on Saturday to the Crimson. UMass is desperate for a win, but can they clam their first victory against Brown, which defeated Quinnipiac, 17-6, last weekend?

5.) UMass Lowell (0-2) – After a tough Division 1 debut against Yale, the River Hawks kept pace with Siena before falling, 13-9. They’re close to their program’s initial Division 1 victory and it could come this weekend against Wagner.

Women’s Division 1

1.) Boston College (3-0) – Coach Acacia Walker’s squad is off to another fast start, claiming local wins against UMass Lowell and Vermont, along with a 9-5 season-opening road victory at Johns Hopkins. This week, they open ACC play on the road at Syracuse, which is a big contest.

2.) Harvard (1-0) – The Crimson commenced their 2015 season with a non-conference win against Hofstra, which included 11 stops from goalie Kelly Weis. Harvard will enjoy a short break before taking on Virginia, Columbia and Syracuse in a span of 11 days, starting on March 3.

3.) UMass (3-0) – The “New England” tour continues this week with games against Boston University and Holy Cross. Back-to-back wins would provide UMass with five local victories heading into their next home tilt against Drexel.

4.) Boston University (1-1) – After registering their first win of the season, the Terriers fell to Vanderbilt, 16-9. Can they rebound against UMass later this week?

5.) Holy Cross (0-3) – It hasn’t been an ideal start for the Crusaders, who have dropped three straight, including a tough season-opening game against Bryant, 9-6. Holy Cross will look to snap its skid on Saturday against UMass at home.

Mass. College Lax: Recapping The Weekend of Lacrosse (LINKS)

By Matt Noonan

Despite the snow – even additional snow from yesterday – we had some lacrosse games this weekend. Below is a roundup of the various games.

Men’s Lacrosse

BU 13, Canisius 9Trailing 6-4 at the break, the Terriers used a 5-0 run, sparked by a Cal Dearth strike that helped BU go onto claim their second win of the season and first-ever victory at Nickerson Field.

Holy Cross 10, Fairfield 9: Terry McKenna netted the game-winning goal – his only strike of the contest – which lifted the Crusaders to their first win of the season.

Yale 19, UMass Lowell 4: Cory Highfield scored two goals in the River Hawks’ first-ever  Division I era contest.

North Carolina 20, UMass 8: Nick Mariano recorded his seventh career hat trick in the Minutemen’s second setback of the season.

Women’s Lacrosse

BU 13, Siena 9: Mallory Collins and Ally Adams each netted four goals as the Terriers won their first contest of the season in Queensbury, New York.

No. 7/6 BC 9, Johns Hopkins 5Caroline Margolis tied her career-high of three goals, Mikaela Rix netted a pair and the Eagles won their initial contest of the season.

Bryant 9, Holy Cross 6: Kristie Voswinkel recorded a hat trick and one helper to lead the Bulldogs past the Crusaders in their first contest of the season. Laura Ryan registered a hat trick for Holy Cross.

UMass 18, UMass Lowell 4: Hannah Murphy paced UMass with a hat trick, while five players scored twice in their initial win of the season. Taylor Sokol registered two goals for UMass Lowell in their season debut.