Tag Archives: University of Pennsylvania

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.

Harvard Football Unveils 2019 Schedule

7865_harvard_crimson-helmet-0.pngBy NoontimeSports.com | @NoontimeSports 

Just weeks after capping its 2018 season with a 45-27 win over Yale University in the 135th playing of The Game, the Harvard University football team unveiled its 2019 slate, which features five home and five road games.

Harvard will entertain Brown UniversityCornell UniversityDartmouth CollegeHoward University and University of Pennsylvania at historic Harvard Stadium, while visiting Columbia UniversityHoly CrossPrinceton UniversitySan Diego and Yale this fall.

The Crimson will commence their 2019 season in San Diego on Saturday, September 21st before hosting Brown one week later on Saturday, September 28th. The Crimson’s home-opener against the Bears will be aired on ESPN+.

Following their home date with Brown, the Crimson will entertain Howard and Cornell in early October before visiting Holy Cross and Princeton.

The Crimson will cap their final month of play with two home games and two road contests, including the 136th playing of The Game against Yale in New Haven, Connecticut on Saturday, November 23.

Harvard concluded its 2018 season with a three-game winning streak, while finishing third in the Ivy League. Princeton, which defeated Harvard in October by eight points (29-21), captured the Ancient Eight crown with a perfect 10-0 record, while Dartmouth finished second at 9-1 overall.

The 2019 season will be coach Tim Murphy‘s 26th with the program – the tenured coach currently owns a 174-75 overall record with Harvard, but needs five wins to match Yale’s Carmen Cozza (179) for the most win in conference history.


Stay connected with our New England football coverage by following @Noontime_FB on Twitter today! 

Boston Cannons Select Five Players In 2018 MLL Collegiate Draft

DU-Air Force NCAA D1 Men's Lacrosse

Trevor Baptiste, who is a current senior at the University of Denver, was selected first overall by the Boston Cannons in the 2018 MLL Collegiate Draft. (PHOTO COURTESY: US Lacrosse Magazine/Trevor Brown)

By Matt Noonan (@MattNoonan11)

With the number one pick in the 2018 Major League Lacrosse (MLL) Collegiate Draft last night, the Boston Cannons selected Trevor Baptiste from the University of Denver.

Baptiste becomes the first-ever face-off specialist to be taken first overall in the collegiate draft – he is also the first top-three selection for the Pioneers, according to yesterday’s press release from the University of Denver.

“He’s a dominant face-off guy,” Boston Cannons coach Sean Quirk said via Matt McGuirk of BostonCannons.com.

“We’ve certainly been watching him closely,” Quirk added.

Considered one of the best face-off specialist in the collegiate game, Baptiste enters his team’s second-to-last weekend second in NCAA Division I Men’s Lacrosse history in face-off wins (1,076) and ground balls (594). He needs 41 face-off wins to match Kevin Massa (Bryant University), who currently holds the record of 1,117 face-off wins. Massa also holds the record for ground balls in a career with 753.

This season, Baptiste has won 197 of 254 face-offs, while scooping a team-high 113 ground balls.

In addition to Baptiste, Boston also selected Will Sands (Bucknell University), Tom Kennedy (Bryan University), Kevin McGeary (University of Pennsylvania) and Anthony Johnson (Bryant University).

All five selections will certainly be counted on when they join the Cannons later this season – Boston officially begins it 2018 campaign this Saturday, April 21st when they visit the Charlotte Hounds. Face-off between the Cannons and Hounds is scheduled for 7:30 p.m.

Stay connected with Noontime_Lax on Twitter for New England professional, college and high school lacrosse news and scores! 

Ivy League Football Notebook: Harvard Set To Tangle With Big Red In Ithaca

Cornell/Harvard Logo By Bob Whitney (@WhitneyBob) 

The Harvard Crimson continued their winning ways last Saturday with a lopsided 41-2 road win over the Georgetown Hoyas.

The Crimson put on a dominating offensive performance, rushing for 177 yards and passing for 280 while limiting the Hoyas to 46 on the ground and 155 in the air.

Harvard’s Justice Shelton-Mosley had a special afternoon against the Hoyas as he amassed 169 total yards in the win at RFK Stadium. Shelton-Mosley’s 91-yard punt return for a touchdown was the longest in Harvard history and (tied Columbia’s Travis Chmelka) as the third-longest in Ivy League history.

Jake Smith got the starting nod at quarterback for the second consecutive week and completed 11-of-21 passes for 139 yards in three quarters of work. Joe Viviano saw limited action in Coach Tim Murphy’s platoon system connecting on 5-of-10 for 66 yards.

The Crimson 2-1 (1-0) will return to Ivy League action on Saturday when they face a potential trap game against Cornell 0-3 (0-1) in Ithaca, NY (1:30 p.m.).

Harvard’s secondary had a strong outing against Georgetown and they will be tested again this week against Cornell.

The Big Red has an outstanding quarterback in junior Dalton Banks who will pose a challenge for the Harvard secondary. Banks passed for 239 yards (22-of-43) in a 21-7 loss to Colgate last week.

However, Banks had four picks and was sacked nine times. Harvard leads the all-time series, 47-32-2, and has won 14 of the last 16 meetings.

The Crimson won last year’s meeting, 29-13, at Harvard Stadium.

Bob’s Prediction: Murphy’s recipe for platooning Smith and Viviano at quarterback is looking better each week. The Big Red will throw an early scare at the Crimson but Harvard should pick up Ivy win No. 2. PREDICTION: Harvard 38, Cornell 17

Next week: Harvard will return home to host Lafayette on Saturday, Oct. 14. The game will be the Crimson’s final non-conference clash of the season.

Around the Ancient Eight: The Ivy League is off to its best non-conference start since 1970 with a 13-3 record in the first three weeks of the 2017 season. Columbia pulled off the upset of the early season when they defeated preseason title favorite Princeton, 28-24. It was the Lions’ first win over the Tigers since 2010 and their first 3-0 (1-0) start since 1996.

Columbia wide receiver Ron Smith caught 10 passes for 236 yards and two touchdowns, to lead the Lions against the Tigers.

Dartmouth 3-0 (1-0 Ivy) remained unbeaten, as well as winning their Ivy opener, when the Big Green edged Penn 2-1 (0-1) as time expired, 16-13.

Yale 3-0 (1-0) and Dartmouth 3-0 (1-0) will put their unbeaten records on the line when they square off in Hanover, NH on Saturday (1:30 p.m. ESPN3).

(Report compiled from various Ivy League media sources).

Follow Bob on Twitter @WhitneyBob; like him on Facebook and Instagram.

Mass. College Football: Harvard Projected To Capture 2015 Ivy League Crown

Harvard Crimson Logo

By Matt Noonan 

The Harvard University football team was projected to capture the Ivy League crown for the second straight season, as the Ancient Eight preseason media poll was unveiled this morning.

Harvard garnered 11 of 17 first-place votes and finished with 130 points in the poll.

The Crimson was last picked to finish first in 2012 – Harvard wrapped their season with an 8-2 overall mark, 5-2 ledger in conference play, and the program’s sixth consecutive victory against Yale University.

Harvard won every game last season, concluding its campaign with a perfect 10-0 record, including an exciting 31-24 victory over rival Yale University in the 131st playing of The Game.

“We had a great year last year, but that’s ancient history,” Harvard head coach Tim Murphy said this afternoon on the Ivy League Football Media Day conference call. “Once again we have a chance to be a very solid football team and at the same time realize we still have a huge target on our back.

“If you look at last season – obviously you have to do a lot of things right to have the season we had, but I think our identity was really on the defense. We had a great defensive football team, one of the best we’ve had in our 20-plus years here.”

Behind Harvard is Dartmouth College, picked to finish second. The Big Green collected four first-place votes and tallied 116 points in the poll. The Bulldogs of Yale were picked to finish third and received one first-place vote.

“What we really try to do is put our best foot forward each weekend and certainly it’s a challenge. (There’s) no off-week, (so) you better have your A-game and we have a pretty (competitive) schedule (this season),” Dartmouth head coach Buddy Teevens said on the conference call.

“We’re aware of the challenges throughout the course of the league and certainly have great respect, and certainly look forward to opportunities to demonstrate what we have here at Dartmouth when we have the opportunity to do so.”

Dartmouth finished 5-1 in conference play last season, recording its best conference mark since the 1997 campaign. The Big Green’s lone setback occurred against Harvard as the Crimson topped Dartmouth, 23-12.

Princeton University was selected to finish fourth, while Brown University rounded out the top-five with a projected fifth-place finish.

University of Pennsylvania, Columbia University and Cornell University were picked to finish sixth, seventh and eighth, respectively.

Games commence on Saturday, September 19 with eight non-conference contests. League play begins the weekend of Friday, October 2 when Columbia travels to Princeton for a 7:00 p.m. kick-off.

“I think it is an incredibly competitive league,” Cornell University head coach David Archer said on the conference call. “It is really an anybody’s league. Up and down the schedule – I call them bowl games (because) each game in the Ivy League is like a bowl game because (every contest impacts) the standings so much you have to bring your A-game every Saturday.”

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