Mass. College Hoops: Siyani Chambers’ Jumper Lifts Harvard Past Columbia (VIDEO)

By Matt Noonan 

With the score knotted at 68-68, Harvard’s Siyani Chambers pushed the Crimson ahead for good by sinking the go-ahead jumper with 2.9 seconds remaining that sealed a 72-68 win over Columbia on Friday evening in Cambridge.

Columbia evened the score at 68-68 with a trifecta from Jeff Coby, but Harvard responded roughly six seconds later when Chambers dribbled down court and pulled up inside the arc from the far side.

Wesley Saunders, who was fouled following a Columbia turnover on the ensuing possesion, sank back-to-back free throws to secure Harvard’s 16th win of the season and sixth in the Ancient Eight.

Below is Chambers’ jumper, courtesy of the Harvard University Athletic Department’s YouTube Channel:

For a recap of the game – HOP HERE

March Madness: No. 12 Harvard Tops No. 5 Cincinnati, 61-57 (Game Summary)

By Matt Noonan 

The Harvard University men’s basketball team extended its season to Saturday as the Crimson defeated the fifth-seeded Cincinnati Bearcats, 61-57.

Wesley Saunders stuffed the stat sheet with 12 points (team-high), four assists, three rebounds and two steals, while Siyani Chambers and Laurent Rivard each netted 11 points.

Cincinnati’s Sean Kilpatrick led all scores with 18 points, while Justin Jackson finished with a double-double of 13 points and 10 boards.

The Crimson, who entered the tournament as a 12th seed, converted 19 of 44 shots from the field, including 6 of 17 attempts from beyond the arc. As a team, they went 17 of 28 from the stripe.

The Bearcats finished 21 of 57 from the field. They out rebounded the Crimson, 34-33. However, Harvard won the battle on the defensive end, pulling down 24 defensive caroms.

Harvard led Cincinnati at the break, 36-29, but the Bearcats outscored their opponent in the second session, 28-25.

Titus Rubles brought the Bearcats within two points at 13:52 in the second half with a layup, but Harvard answered with back-to-back layups by Saunders and Evan Cummins that stretched the Crimson’s lead to seven points.

Both teams traded free throws down the stretch. Chambers and Saunders each recorded a pair at the charity stripe, which sealed the win and punched Harvard’s ticket to the third round.

Harvard (27-4) will play the winner of Michigan State-Delaware on Saturday. No time has been announced for the third round contest. Cincinnati concludes its season a 27-7 mark.

Mass. College Hoops: Five Games To Watch This Weekend (Feb. 14 – 16)

By NoontimeSports.com 

With another weekend quickly approaching, it is time to unveil our five games to watch this weekend. As always, make sure to circle back for updates. You can also follow along with in-game updates on Twitter (@NoontimeSports or @NoonSportsBlog), too.

Men’s Basketball

Harvard @ Columbia (Friday, Feb. 14) – Since falling to archrival Yale last week, the Crimson will look to return to the win column by registering their 19th overall victory and sixth Ivy League win. Their weekend trip begins in New York City against a Lions squad that’s 14-9 overall and 3-3 in Ancient Eight play. Columbia is 1-3 in its last four games, but did manage to earn a win against Princeton.

Harvard, which is 4-1 in its last five outings, has received major contributions from Wesley Saunders, who averaging 14.8 points per game. Siyani Chambers is second on the team in points per game; he’s averaging 10.8, while Kyle Casey is averaging 6.3 rebounds.

Saunders led the Crimson in their last outing against the Bulldogs with 16 points, while Casey pulled down six rebounds.

Bentley @ St. Michael’s (Saturday, Feb. 15) – The Purple Knights’ five-game winning streak concluded earlier this week with an 86-85 setback to St. A’s. They’ll look to return to the win column when they host Bentley tomorrow afternoon, a squad they defeated earlier this season in Waltham.

Since falling to St. Michael’s, Bentley has won nine contests, including six Northeast-10 Conference tilts. They’re currently 2-1 in February and are coming off back-to-back wins against Assumption and Merrimack. Alex Furness secured the team’s 16th win on Wednesday when he sank a go-ahead jumper with two-seconds remaining. The Warriors recorded a turnover on the ensuing possession.

Tyler McFarland is currently fifth in the conference in points per game (19.0). He’s recorded 438 points in 23 games this season.

Women’s Basketball

Lehigh @ Holy Cross (Saturday, Feb. 15) – The Crusaders will look to avenge an 87-82 loss earlier this season when they welcome Lehigh to the Hart Center for a 3 p.m. tip-off. The Crusaders enter the contest 15-9 overall and 7-6 in Patriot League play.

Alex Smith is currently eighth all-time in program history in points (1,546), but is 10 points shy of seventh place. She’s also seven assists away from earning fifth pace in both Holy Cross’ and Patriot League’s assists record book. Also, if she records three more steals, she’ll increase her total to 200, which would be 10th most in program history.

Excluding Smith, Brisje Malone is 25 points away from becoming the program’s 30th player to net 1,000 career points. Also, Molly Hourigan, who ranks seventh in blocked shots with 84, is one swat shy of sixth place and three away from tying teammate Emily Parker, who is fifth all-time with 87 blocks.

No. 6 Washington U. @ Brandeis (Friday, Feb. 14) – The Judges will look to extend their current winning streak to seven when they welcome the UAA’s top squad to Waltham for their first of two weekend contests. Their other weekend matchup will be on Sunday against the Maroons of Chicago.

In their first outing against the Bears, Kasey Dean netted 12 points, while Paris Hodges added eight points, six rebounds and three assists, but it wasn’t enough to defeat Washington University. Yet, since that particular setback, the Judges are 6-1.

Washington University enters the contest 18-2 overall and 8-1 in conference play. Their two losses came to conference foe Rochester and D3Hoops.com’s number one squad, DePauw.

In Brandeis’ last outing against Carnegie Mellon, Dean and Maria Jackson each scored 12 points, while Samantha Mancinelli came off the bench and netted seven points, along with three boards and three assists.

Both games are important for the Judges, who’ll look to keep pace with Washington University and New York University, the UAA’s top two teams.

Wheaton @ Babson (Saturday, Feb. 15) – This is indeed a critical contest for both squads.

Wheaton, which is 19-4 overall and 14-4 in NEWMAC play, will look to extend its current winning streak to six. They currently own the top spot in the conference, but a loss to Babson and a Smith College win against Coast Guard could make things interesting.

Babson has won 10 of 13 contests, including a come-from-behind win on Tuesday against No. 5 Tufts University. Linnett Graber and Giovanna Pickering combined for 32 points and were a major part in the Beavers’ second half effort. Babson outscored Tufts during the final 20 minutes, 45-20.

The last time these two squads met, Babson secured a 37-29 halftime lead and never looked back. Graber paced the Green and White with 16 points, while Erin Young netted nine points in 14 minutes off the bench.

Wheaton’s last victory over Babson occurred during the 2008-09 season when the Lyons defeated the Beavers on their home court, 71-61.

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: Friday Evening Roundup

Temi Fagbenle registered a double-double with 14 points and 12 rebounds against Columbia! (Photo Credit: The Harvard Crimson)
Temi Fagbenle registered a double-double with 14 points and 12 rebounds against Columbia! (Photo Credit: The Harvard Crimson)

By Matt Noonan 

Another evening of college basketball is in the books and below are the local game summaries.

Men’s Basketball: 

Harvard 56, Columbia 51 – Siyani Chambers tallied a game-best 16 points, Wesley Saunders netted 15 points as the Crimson defeated the Lions and improved to 18-9 overall and 10-3 in the Ivy League. Harvard is now one-half game behind Princeton University in the Ancient Eight standings.

Women’s Basketball: 

Harvard 61, Columbia 44 – Temi Fagbenle finished with 14 points and 12 rebounds, Victoria Lippert recorded a team-best 15 points as the Crimson topped the Lions and improved to 18-8 overall and 9-3 in Ivy League play.

Amherst College 47, Tufts University 42 – Hayley Kanner‘s game-best 12 points wasn’t enough to help the Jumbos as the Lord Jeffs defeated their NESCAC rival in third round of the NCAA Division III tournament and earned a spot in tomorrow’s quarterfinals against Widener. Bridget Crowley led Amherst with 10 points, while Marcia Voigt filled the stat sheet with 10 boards, seven assists, four steals and four points. Amherst led Tufts at the break, 25-17.

Williams College 64, Ithaca College 60 (OT) – Jennie Harding scored five of her 19 points in overtime, while Claire Baecher finished with 19 points and 10 rebounds as the Ephs defeated the Bombers in the third round of the tournament. Ithaca College received game-high 22 points from Kathryn Campbell, but that wasn’t enough to beat Williams. The Ephs will return to the hardwood tomorrow when they host Whitman in the quarterfinals.