ON CAMPUS A look at the area college sports scene

Monday, January 31, 2011

Langston's buzzer beaters

In case you missed them, here's a link to Southern Connecticut's Greg Langston and his remarkable buzzer beaters.

Yale men return home this weekend

The Yale men's basketball team was swept last weekend at Penn and Princeon. In both games the Bulldogs had poor first halves, closed the gap in the second half, but could not complete the comeback.
They have to take care of business at home including a pair of games at New Haven this weekend.

Ive League Men's Basketball Standings
Team Ivy League Overall record and streak
Harvard 4-0 15-3 won 8
Princeton 2-0 14-4 Won 4
Penn 2-0 8-8 Won 3
Columbia 3-1 12-6 Won 1
Yale 2-2 9-9 Lost 2
Dartmouth 1-3 5-13 Lost 1
Brown 0-4 7-11 Lost 3
Cornell 0-4 4-14 Lost 4

This week's slate
Feb. 4
Dartmouth @ Penn
Columbia @ Brown
Cornell @ Yale
Harvard @ Princeton

Feb. 5
Dartmouth @ Princeton
Columbia @ Yale
Cornell @ Brown
Harvard @ Penn

College notes: QU, Yale and Dyson

Quinnipiac’s James Johnson Takes NEC Co-Player of the Week

Quinnipiac's James Johnson was named the Choice Hotels Northeast Conference Co-Player of the Week, along with Long Island’s Julian Boyd. The award is the first of the year for Johnson, and the second of his career.
With the Bobcats needing a spark, Johnson was up to the task last week, averaging 24.5 points, 4.5 rebounds and 3.5 assists in Quinnipiac’s 2-0 week. The 6-foot guard shot 55.2 percent from the floor and 52.6 percent from three-point territory, where he made 10-of-19 shots. On Thursday, the Bobcats snapped a three-game losing streak with a 69-61 win over Robert Morris in a rematch of the 2010 NEC Championship game.

Yale women off to 3-1 start

Only one team will remain unbeaten after Friday’s round of Ivy play as Princeton (14-3, 3-0) and Harvard (11-6, 3-0) face off in Cambridge, Mass., highlighting another round of League action.

Yale (7-11, 3-1) will look to keep pace among the top of the League standings when it travels to Cornell (5-13, 2-2) and Columbia (3-15, 2-2) on Friday and Saturday. Penn (7-10, 1-2), along with the Tigers, will hit the road to Dartmouth (4-15, 0-3) and Harvard, while the Big Green and Brown (4-14, 0-4) will be in the hunt for their first League victory of

UConn's Dyson on a roll

Don't foreget about Jerome Dyson.
The former UConn star was named NBA Development League Performer of the Week for games played during the week of Jan. 24.
Dyson, a 6-3, 180-pound guard out of Connecticut who spent the 2010 NBA Summer League with the Cleveland Cavaliers, led the 66ers to a 2-1 record on the week, averaging 28.3 points, 2.7 rebounds, 3.0 assists and 1.0 steals.
After scoring 21 points in Tulsa’s 107-101 win at Springfield on Jan. 27, Dyson shot 6-of-9 from three-point range, scoring a game-high 37 points to go along with four rebounds, two assists and two steals in the 66ers’ 118-98 victory over the Armor the next day. Dyson also scored a team-high 27 points in Tulsa’s 109-106 loss to Maine on Sunday.

Friday, January 28, 2011

Notes from the Quinnipiac men's press conference

The Quinnipiac men’s basketball team defeated Robert Morris 69-61 on Thursday.

Here are some of coach Tom Moore’s comments.

On Justin Rutty’s return:“Every time I talked to him since the surgery, and it’s probably been four times, he said he’s always felt great. I knew he was coming along and I knew he was eager but the doctor looked at him and felt comfortable with us throwing him out there to see how it reacts.
“Tonight will be important. He hit the deck a couple of times and anytime with an elbow that you go up and grab a rebound with two hands there might be some shock in that area, too.
“It was comforting at the end of the game to have him out there. He was engaged. He looked winded at times and we put some little nuances into the game.
“He was a little behind offensively.”

On James Johnson’s performance:
“James Johnson is a really tough-minded kid. He came in here and shot 300 3’s on Monday with the rest of the guards. On Tuesday they shot 200 3’s and on Wednesday they shot 100 more.
“We talked in the locker room that who knows how many of those 600 3’s got him into the groove tonight. When you beat Robert Morris and stay ahead of them all night you need your perimeter guys to make shots.
“If you remember in the 52-50 game last year in the championship Justin had a really rough night against them because their defense is really geared to stopping the ball at the basket. You can’t dribble a ball in there and make a move.
“But what they give up is the kick back out. We worked a ton on the perimeter guys. Most of James’ 3-pointers came off a kick in the lane. Some came off transition.

James Johnson scored 38 points in the win.
Here are his thoughts:
“If those shots don’t go down it would have been a lot different. I knew I wanted these guys. I needed this win to close the book from last year.
“I’ve been using them beating us 52-50 (in the NEC Championship) as motivation. Coach was talking about getting that big win and getting that train rolling in the right direction. This was a big win and we got Justin back.
“It’s a win to turn our season around. We’re not in first place yet so hopefully if we keep practicing hard and keep playing with the amount of focus we did today then we should be all right.”

Quinnipiac vs. St. Francis preview


Where: TD Bank Sports Center, Hamden
When: Today, 2 p.m.
Radio: WQUN-1220 AM

Records: St. Francis (Pa.) (7-13, 5-4); Quinnipiac (13-7, 5-4).

Scouting Quinnipiac: The Bobcats got an unexpected boost when star forward Justin Rutty returned to the lineup on Thursday after undergoing elbow surgery just two weeks earlier. While Rutty provided the inspiration, James Johnson scored a career-high 38 points as the Bobcats knocked off Robert Morris 69-61 to break a three-game losing streak.
Scouting St. Francis: The Red Flash are the hottest team in the Northeast Conference riding a five-game winning streak. St. Francis defeated Sacred Heart 88-86 in overtime on Thursday as Umar Shannon scored 30 points. Shannon is on fire. He’s scored over 20 four straight games and was 5 for 9 from 3-point range against SHU. St. Francis also defeated NEC leaders Long Island in its recent hot stretch.

Quinnipiac women brace for big weekend

By Bill Cloutier

HAMDEN – It’s hard to tell a team with a record of 0-5 that things are proceeding right on schedule. Jacinda Dunbar and the Quinnipiac women’s basketball team, however, seemed to believe it.
After the Bobcats began the season without a win in its first five outings coach Tricia Fabbri told them not to worry and when their Northeast Conference slate began they’d be all the better for it.
So far, so good.
Quinnipiac (10-9) plays host to Robert Morris today at the TD Bank Sports Center at noon. The two teams are part of a three-way tie for first place in the conference at 7-1. The Bobcats men’s team battle St. Francis (Pa.) immediately after the women’s game. Both men’s teams are 5-4 in the NEC.
“This is going to be a real defensive challenge for us,” Dunbar said. “Robert Morris is a tough team. They have more than one girl who can really take it to the basket.”
The Lady Bobcats have won four straight and seven of their last eight. Their tough opening stretch featured games against nationally-ranked Vanderbilt and USC.
Depth, according to Dunbar, has been the biggest reason for Quinnipiac’s revival.
“I’m kind of surprised,” Dunbar said. “I knew that we would be a good team in conference time. It’s good that we have a lot of players to sub in. We weren’t deep at all last year. No one has to play 40 minutes anymore.”
Dunbar is a fierce competitor. Undersized at power forward she typically battles against bigger frontcourts throughout the season. She wears her emotions on her sleeve and plays with reckless abandon.
Earlier in the season after fouling out of a game against Lafayette on a questionable call Dunbar fumed about the infraction for the entire night. The next day she torched New Hampshire for a career-high 26 points on 10 of 15 shooting.
A couple of weeks ago in a thrilling win over Central Connecticut State, Dunbar was so upset about her fifth foul that she walked off the court and right out of the arena to compose herself. She returned later to watch guard Felicia Barron win the game with a 3-pointer at the buzzer.
Dunbar is third on the team in scoring at 9.6 ppg and third in rebounding at 4.9. She averaged 9.8 points last year while playing nearly seven minutes more a contest as the Bobcats were decimated by injuries and finished 12-18 overall and 7-11 in the NEC.
The Bobcats have gotten tremendous contributions from freshman Brittany McQuain and transfer Kari Goodchild. But it’s been the remarkable comebacks by Courtney Kaminski and Barron that have truly paved the way. Barron has returned from two torn anterior cruciate ligaments to lead the team in assists, steals, 3-pointers and is second in scoring at 12.8. Kaminski missed four games and parts of three others with a variety of injuries yet still leads the team in scoring.
Both are among the best players in the conference.
“We’re all just hungry,” Dunbar said. “After last year when we had so many injuries we’ve all matured as a team.”
Quinnipiac hosts St. Francis (Pa.) on Monday night. The Red Flash are also 7-1.
“This is the biggest weekend series since I’ve been here,” Dunbar said. “We can succeed. It’s going to be a big challenge for us to all pull together.”

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Quinnipiac-RMU game on as scheduled

Despite the heavy snowfall from last night, Quinnipiac has confirmed that tonight's game against Robert Morris will be played.
The tip off is scheduled for 7 p.m. at the TD Bank Sports Center in Hamden.
This is a huge game for the Bobcats.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Baskin latest Bobcat star

Quinnipiac's Tevin Baskin is making the most of his opportunity with the Bobcats with Justin Rutty sidelined.

Here's a look at his road so far as the Bobcats get ready to meet Robert Morris Thursday night.

Quinnipiac meets Robert Morris on MSG

The Bobcats try to snap their three-game losing streak Thursday night when they face Robert Morris on MSG.

You can follow me live from the game on twitter.

I will have a report on Justin Rutty's status.

Here's a quick preview of Thursday's game. There is more in the New Haven Register.

Where: TD Bank Sports Center, Hamden
When: Today, 7 p.m.
Radio: WQUN-1220 AM

Records: Robert Morris (9-10, 5-3 Northeast); Quinnipiac (12-7, 4-4).

Scouting Quinnipiac: The Bobcats have lost a season-high three straight. Quinnipiac won at Robert Morris last season but the Colonials edged the Bobcats --- in the Northeast Conference tournament final denying them a chance to earn an NCAA berth. While that serves as motivation Quinnipiac is currently in survival mode waiting for star Justin Rutty to return from elbow surgery which has already kept him off the court for seven games.
Scouting Robert Morris: Guard Karon Abraham leads RMU in scoring at 15.4 ppg while hitting 41 percent of his 3-pointers. The Colonials nearly knocked off Villanova in last year’s NCAA tournament. After the game coach Mike Rice left for Rutgers. This year’s team has won four of its last five games and lost twice to NEC leaders Long Island.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Are Quinnipiac and Yale in the NCAA pictures?

At the beginning of the season the Quinnipiac men's basketball team looked like the most logical choice to earn a berth in the NCAA Tournament out of Yale and the Bobcats' men's and women's teams.

A lot has changed since then. With the injury to Justin Rutty the Quinnipiac men's team has fallen into sixth place in the NEC. Things don't look too promising with Robert Morris coming into town on Thursday night.

But the Quinnipiac women's team is 9-1 in the conference and the swept the weekly awards this week. Sophomore Felicia Barron was the top player while freshman Brittany McQuain was tabbed as the Rookie of the Week. Both led the Bobcats in their conference wins at Mount St. Mary's and Wagner last week.

Barron led the Bobcats with 23.5 points and 6.0 assists last week. In addition, she shot 64.3 percent (9-of-14) from three-point territory and finished 10-of-11 free-throws. The sophomore guard was Quinnipiac's leading scorer in both contests, posting a career-high 25 points in the 74-60 win at Mount St. Mary's and 22 points in the 77-62 victory against Wagner.

McQuain recorded her best performances this season in the Bobcats' most recent road wins. The freshman forward averaged 11.5 points and 8.5 rebounds, and shot 50 percent (8-of-16) from the floor last week.

With a 7-1 record in conference play, Quinnipiac has moved into a three-way tie for first place in the NEC standings. The Bobcats will host each of the first place teams at the TD Bank Sports Center in the week ahead. Quinnipiac will face Robert Morris on Saturday, Jan. 29 at 12:00 p.m. and Saint Francis (Pa.) on Monday, Jan. 31 at 7:00 p.m.

Both the Yale men's and women's teams swept Brown last week to take over first place in the early going in the Ivy League. Winning the league earns them an automatic berth into the NCAA.

Greg Mangano has won the league's player of the week award two straight weeks and might make three in a row this week. On the women's side, Meghan Vazquez claimed the weekly honors for the Lady Bulldogs.

And don't count out the Quinnipiac men's team either. All the Bobcats have to do is finish in the top eight in the conference to earn a spot in the NEC postseason and no one will want to see Quinnipiac in the tournament especially when it gets Rutty back.

This is going to be an interesting run.

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Monday, January 24, 2011

Yale sweeps Ivy League honors

Mangano Named Player Of Week; Kreisberg Selected Top Rookie

Yale’s frontcourt played a big role in Saturday’s 59-51 victory over Brown on Saturday. Greg Mangano and Jeremiah Kreisberg combined to make 12-of-20 shots from the field and score 30 points. The two were honored by the Ivy League for their performances on Monday. Mangano, who had 17 points, 12 rebounds and seven blocks, was named the Player of the Week, while Kreisberg, who scored a career-high 13 points and grabbed eight rebounds, was chosen Rookie of the Week.

Mangano, who was honored for the third straight week, has been on a tear, posting double-doubles in each of the last four games. His seven blocks were two shy of the Yale single-game school record, and he now has 106 career blocks, which is second all-time at Yale. Mangano, who is averaging a double-double (14.8 ppg., 10.3 rpg.) for the season, is 16th in the nation in rebounding and 18th in blocked shots (43, 2.7 per game).

In Saturday’s victory, Mangano scored 11 points and had eight rebounds in the first half as the Bulldogs built a 30-20 lead.

Kreisberg native, also had a big first half, scoring nine of his points in the opening 20 minutes. He finished 5-of-7 from the field in his 30 minutes. In his last six games, Kreisberg has reached double figures five times and is shooting 60.6 percent from the field during the stretch. Kreisberg (6.5 ppg., 4.3 rpg.) is second on the team in rebounding and fifth in scoring.

The Bulldogs are back in action on Friday when they play at Penn at 7 p.m. Yale is at Princeton on Saturday for a 6 p.m. tipoff.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Johnson nets 1,000th in Quinnipiac loss

James Johnson scored the 1,000th point of his career, but the Quinnipiac University men's basketball team was defeated by Mount St. Mary's, 69-61, Saturday night at Knott Arena.
With the loss, the Bobcats fall to 12-7 (4-4 NEC), while the Mountaineers improve to 7-14 (5-3 NEC). Quinnipiac is currently in a tie for sixth place in the standings. The top 8 reach the postseason tournament.

Here's a look at the Northeast Conference standings:

Long Island 6-2 14-5
Central Conn. St. 5-3 12-7
Wagner 5-3 9-10
Robert Morris 5-3 9-10
Mount St. Mary's 5-3 7-14
Quinnipiac 4-4 12-7
St. Francis (PA) 4-4 6-13
Bryant 4-4 6-14
Sacred Heart 3-5 8-11
St. Francis (NY) 3-5 8-11
Monmouth 2-6 6-14
Fair. Dickinson 2-6 4-14

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Friday, January 21, 2011

Quinnipiac-Mount St. Mary's preview



Where: Emmitsburg, Md.

When: Today, 7 p.m.

Radio: WQUN-1220 AM

Records: Quinnipiac (12-6, 4-3 Northeast); Mount St. Mary’s (6-14, 4-3)

Scouting Quinnipiac: The Bobcats have lost two straight since knocking off Central Connecticut State last week. Quinnipiac allowed 60 points in the second half as Wagner completed a season-series sweep of the Bobcats on Thursday night. James Johnson led the way with 24 points but Quinnipiac fell behind early in the second half and could never get closer than three points the rest of the way. The Bobcats are clearly trying to hang on until star Justin Rutty returns from elbow surgery next month.

Scouting Mount St. Mary’s: The Mount was beat up in its non-conference slate but are currently in a five-way tie for third place in the NEC with the Bobcats. Shawn Atupen scored 20 points in the Mount’s 61-45 win over Sacred Heart on Thursday for its second straight win. The Mountaineers outscored Sacred Heart 34-14 in the paint Thursday night, behind the play of forward Atupem who was 8 for 9 from the floor. Quinnipiac beat Mount St. Mary’s at the buzzer earlier in the season on Johnson’s steal and layup as time expired.

Probable starters
Mount St. Mary’s
Player Ht. Year Pos. Avg.
Shawn Atupen 6-7 Sr. F 10.4
Julian Norfleet 6-2 Fr. G 9.2
Lamar Trice 5-11 Jr. G 13.9
David Golloday 6-1 Fr. G 5.5
Raven Barber 6-8 So. F 8.0
James Johnson 6-0 Jr. G 16.3
Deontay Twyman 6-0 Sr. G 13.2
Dominique Langston 6-3 Fr. G 8.3
Ike Azotam 6-6 Fr. F 5.2
Jamee Jackson 6-7 So. F 7.5
Off the bench
Mount St. Mary’s: Danny Thompson, 6-7, Jr., F, 5.8 ppg; Josh Castellanos, 6-1, Fr., G, 3.6; Jean Cajou, 6-3, Sr., G, 2.5; Quinnipiac: Dave Johnson, 5-10, So., G, 5.6; Lance Brown, 6-4, So., G, 4.9; Tevin Baskin, 6-6, Fr., F, 4.4.
-- Bill Cloutier

Yale vs. Brown preview


Where: Lee Amphitheater, New Haven

When: Today, 2 p.m.


Records: Brown (7-8, 0-1 Ivy); Yale (8-7, 1-0)

Scouting Yale: The Bulldogs won at Brown last week as Greg Mangano scored 23 points and grabbed a career-high 17 rebounds. Yale still needed to hold on down the stretch and got crucial free throws from Reggie Willhite and Porter Braswell to close the game out the 69-64 victory.

Scouting Brown: Tucker Halpern scored 11 straight points in the Brown’s loss to Yale last week. Halpern has a deadly outside shot. The Bears are deep and have split the season series against Yale four of the last five seasons. They won at Yale last in the Ivy League opener. Brown (7-8, 0-1 Ivy) played its last non-conference game on Monday and knocked off Quinnipiac 87-78 as Halpern scored 26 points and grabbed 12 rebounds, both career highs. Brown's seven non-league wins are the third most in the program's history. Peter Sullivan (13.7 ppg., 5.8 rpg.) leads the Bears in scoring and rebounding. Yale, though, held him to four points and four rebounds last Saturday. Sullivan is 13th on Brown's all-time scoring list with 1,240 career points. The Bears (.754) began the week 20th in the nation and second in the Ivy League in free throw percentage.

Youth Day: All children under 14 years old will admitted free and there will be an autograph session after the game.

Player Ht. Year Pos. Avg.
Andrew McCarthy 6-8 So. F 5.7
Peter Sullivan 6-5 Sr. F 13.7
Sean McGonagill 6-1 Fr. G 9.3
Garrett Leffelman 6-4 Sr. G 11.1
Tucker Halpern 6-8 So. F 11.2

Austin Morgan 5-11 So. G 14.0
Porter Braswell 6-1 Sr. G 10.3
Greg Mangano 6-10 Jr. F 14.6
Jeremiah Kreisberg 6-9 Fr. C 6.1
Reggie Willhite 6-4 Jr. F 9.8

Off the bench
Brown: Adrian Williams, 6-1, Sr., G, 5.7 ppg.; Matt Sullivan, 6-5, So., G, 5.7. Yale: Rhett Anderson, 6-8, Jr., F, 3.2; Raffi Mantilla, 6-3, Sr., G, 3.4.
-- Bill Cloutier

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Quinnipiac-Wagner preview

Men’s basketball gameday
Quinnipiac at Wagner
When: Today, 7 p.m.
Where: Staten Island, N.Y.
Records: Quinnipiac (12-5, 4-2 Northeast Conference); Wagner (8-9, 4-2)
Radio: WQUN-1220
Scouting Wagner: When the Skyhawks upset the Bobcats 73-68 earlier in the season it was one of the biggest wins in recent years for the program. Since then, Wagner has become a legitimate force in the Northeast Conference and coached by Danny Hurley they have played with a great deal of confidence. Tyler Murray lit up the Bobcats for 28 in the win at Hamden in a game Wagner won while Quinnipiac’s Justin Rutty was still in the lineup.

Scouting Quinnipiac: The Bobcats won a big game without Rutty over the weekend. Deontay Twyman scored 23 points as Quinnipiac built a double-digit lead and held off Central Connecticut State 73-68. The victory put the Bobcats in a tie with Wagner and Robert Morris for second place in the conference. Quinnipiac lost to Brown on Monday but that was a non-conference game and clearly the Bobcats are focussing on conference play from here on out. Rutty won’t be back for at least two more weeks.
Lance Brown 6-4 So. G 3.8
Dominique Langston 6-3 Fr. G 6.8
Jamee Jackson 6-2 Sr. G 11.7
James Johnson 6-0 So. G 14.0
Deontay Twyman 6-0 Sr. G 14.0
Orlando Parker 6-8 Fr. F 5.6
Naofall Folahan 6-11 Fr. C 4.2
Tyler Murray 6-5 Jr. G 17.9
Chris Martin 5-11 Jr. G 8.6
Latif Rivers 6-1 Fr. G 13.0
Wagner — Danny Mundweiler, 5-11, So, G, 4.5 ppg.; T.J. Czeski, 6-2, Sr., G, 0.3; Josh Thompson, 6-5, So., F, 7.4. Quinnipiac — Ike Azotam, 6-6, Fr., F, 5.3; Dave Johnson, 6-0, So., G, 4.3, Tevin Baskin, 6-6, Fr. F, 4.3.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Mike Papale's second chance

Papale has a second chance with his first love
By Bill Cloutier
Assistant Sports Editor
HAMDEN — Mike Papale Jr. never imagined he’d spend his college basketball days sitting behind the bench.
Papale was a talented guard at Sheehan High, already being recruited by Division II and III teams. He dreamed of following in the footsteps of his father, who was a prolific collegiate scorer.
But those dreams were dashed on an August morning in 2006 when Papale suffered an unimaginable and unforeseeable heart attack.
To say that Papale nearly died that day is by no means a stretch. Twice his heart stopped beating, the first time for over 9 minutes.
“Basketball was a huge part of my life, and it hurt not being able to play, but I realized that surviving the heart attack was more important than anything,” Papale said. “I’m actually fortunate.”
Papale now serves as a manager for the Quinnipiac men’s basketball team. Bobcat fans can see him shagging balls or setting up chairs for the team during timeouts. What they don’t see is the work he does behind the scenes or how his goals have changed.
Papale has now changed his focus on becoming a college basketball coach while trying to spread a message that all major facilities should be equipped with defibrillators, a device that saved his life.
Papale has spoken at the state capital and traveled to Washington as part of NBA player, and Waterbury native, Ryan Gomes’ Hoops for Heart Health. Both have become advocates for the supply of defibrillators and heart testing for individuals.
Papale doesn’t remember suffering the heart attack. Honing his basketball skills, he spent that morning like he usually did, training at the Choate Rosemary Hall gymnasium from 6:30 to 8 a.m.
“The last thing I remember, we had worked out and I changed my shirt, which was sweaty,” Papale said. “Then I coached a game and (officiated) a game, but I don’t remember doing it at my father’s basketball camp at the Wallingford Park & Recreation Department.
“At 10:30, I was sitting on the bleachers with a bunch of kids around me, and I fell over. No one knew what was happening. I had no idea I had a problem with my heart. I was in shape, so everyone assumed that I was just hot.
“But I was in cardiac arrest.”
Papale was given CPR for 9 minutes by an Emergency Medical Technician, who was fortunately carrying his pager in a nearby building. There was no defibrillator on the premises. Then an ambulance arrived, and its EMT shocked him with the device.
Papale responded and was rushed to Mid-State Hospital in Meriden, where he again went into cardiac arrest.
Again, he was shocked, and again, he responded. He was then transported to Hartford Hospital, where he underwent an operation to implant a combined pacemaker and defibrillator.
Papale spent 14 days in the hospital. He still cannot remember passing out on the bleachers in front of his father, Mike, brother, John, best friend, Connor Meehan, and a slew of terrified young basketball players.
The first call for help was answered by Bob Heubner, who rushed to the scene and began CPR.
“They say it goes in 10-minute increments,” Papale said.
“For every 10 minutes, you have that less chance of survival.”
Although the CPR therapy was critical, Papale feels he wouldn’t have survived without the use of the defibrillator.
Papale suffers from a hereditary condition called hypertropic cardiomyopathy, which affects the heart muscle. It is the same malady that killed both Loyola Marymount basketball standout Hank Gathers and former Boston Celtic Reggie Lewis.
Papale said that in most cases the condition can be detected by a simple EKG test.
“It wouldn’t be difficult to tell in my condition,” Papale said. “My EKG is totally different from anyone else’s. Their beats go up, mine go down.”
Papale said he doesn’t talk about that day much, especially to his younger brother, who now plays basketball at Choate. John Papale has been tested for the condition and does not have it. Mike just wishes that John didn’t have to witness the scary incident.
“He was in the hallway of the Park & Rec department when a policeman came in and said he was there to report the death of a 17-year-old,” Papale said. “I wish he never had to go through that. No one died. It’s actually been easiest for me than on my family, because they had to see it.”
Papale said what he’s learned most at Quinnipiac is how to win. The Bobcats set a program record for victories last year and won their first Northeast Conference title.
“Winning is important at this level, and everyone on the coaching staff has won before,” Papale said. “(Head coach) Tom Moore has been a part of national championships at UConn. (Assistant) Scott Burrell has won an NBA championship.”
Papale detailed the titles that assistants Sean Doherty and Adam Eaton have won and the credentials of director of basketball operations Jonathan Iati.
“They’re all winners,” Papale said. “It’s not about drills, and everything is learning how to win.”
Moore said that Papale has been an important part of the club.
“He’s been a blessing because of his level of commitment and dedication and loyalty to our program — it’s off the charts,” Moore said.
“He’s a bright young guy and very loyal. He’s got qualities that you don’t find in a lot of young people 18 to 22. Anything I ask him to do, he does with enthusiasm. He’s made himself essential and invaluable. He’s been such a help to our program.”
Papale helps at practice and games, edits videos and sends out recruiting mailings, among a long list of other things.
Anything to help.
“I’ll do anything I can,” Papale said. “I want to win as much as anyone on this team, and I realized that there’s nothing else that I want to do than be around basketball.”
Moore knew that Papale was a talented player, but he didn’t know the drive that Papale has.
“I’m grateful for how much he’s given us and really excited about his future,” Moore said. “He’s very bright, and I think it will be in basketball. He’s got a ton of potential as a head coach.
“He comes from a great family, and in light of what nearly happened to him, they feel blessed for every day that they have with him. Any parent can relate to what they have, which amounts to a second chance.”
Papale realizes that he’s fortunate to be alive, but still regrets not being able to play anymore. The heart attack occurred as Papale was preparing for his final year of high school basketball.
“I went to every practice at Sheehan my senior year and sat on the bench in every game, and it got hard,” Papale said. “But I was able to take what happened and realize that I was lucky to even survive it.”
Papale and the seniors on the Quinnipiac team have begun a program to raise funds for defibrillators to distribute to area schools. The Wallingford Park & Recreation Dept. now has one, and Papale believes that every such building should be equipped with one.
“It saved my life,” he said.
And he’s hoping he can help save others.

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Yale's Graf top rookie

NEW HAVEN, Conn. — After leading the Yale University women’s basketball team to victory over Brown in the Ivy League opener, freshman forward Janna Graf has earned recognition from the Ivy League for the third time in four weeks for her efforts.
Graf (Mission Wood, Kan./Shawnee Mission E.) scored a career-high 26 points in Yale’s 66-54 win over Brown on Friday. She also had four rebounds and a pair of assists in the victory. On Monday afternoon, the Ivy League announced that it named Graf as its Player of the Week and its Rookie of the Week for her stellar effort. It is the first Player of the Week honor of her career at Yale and her third Rookie of the Week honor in the last four weeks.
Graf is the first women’s basketball player to earn both honors in the same week since Princeton senior Addie Micir won both awards in her freshman season on Jan. 14, 2008. Graf is also the first Yale player to accomplish the feat since freshman forward Erica Davis and Dartmouth freshman Elise Morrison both were named Co-Player of the Week and Co-Rookie of the Week on Jan. 12, 2004.
Against Brown, Graf broke her previous high of 22 points, which she set in Yale’s historic win over then-No. 15/14 Florida State on Dec. 18. Although she was 10-for-17 overall against the Bears on Friday, she was a stellar 5-for-7 in the second half, including 4-for-6 from 3-point range. Yale (5-10, 1-0 Ivy League) used an 18-3 run over a 5:56 span late in the second half to break the game open against Brown (4-11, 0-1). Graf opened and closed the run with a 3-pointer and scored 10 of Yale’s 18 points in the run.
Not to be overlooked in her effort against Brown is Yale’s senior forward Mady Gobrecht, who tallied 11 points, a career-high 14 rebounds, four blocked shots, two assists, and two steals in the win over the Bears. Her efforts earned her a spot on the Ivy League’s weekly honor roll.
After missing the first three games of the season with mononucleosis, Graf has averaged 14.0 points and 6.4 rebounds per game in the seven games since her breakout game against Florida State.
“I’m glad Janna got over her mono,” said Chris Gobrecht, the Joel E. Smilow, Class of 1954, Head Coach of Women’s Basketball. “I think she will continue to improve her overall game as we continue this season. Even though she missed nearly all of the preseason and the first three games of the season, Janna has become an integral part of our team even though she is only a freshman.”
For the season, Graf is Yale’s third-leading scorer, with an average of 9.9 points per game in the 12 games in which she has played. She has earned the start in Yale’s last nine games. She is also the third-leading rebounder on the team with an average of 5.0 rebounds per game. She is shooting 42.9 percent (48-for-112) from the floor, 33.3 percent (15-for-45) from 3-point range, and 50.0 percent (8-for-16) from the free-throw line.

Yale is off until Friday, Jan. 21, when it visits Brown to close the home-and-home series. The game will tip off at 7 p.m.