ON CAMPUS A look at the area college sports scene

Monday, October 31, 2011

Connecticut 6 Breakfast postponed till Nov. 8

Due to the bad weather, the Connecticut 6 basketball breakfast has been postponed and rescheduled to be held on November 8. The event will run from at 7:30 to 8:30 a.m. and include breakfast, followed by a panel discussion involving head coaches between Fairfield, Central Connecticut, Hartford, Quinnipiac, Sacred Heart and Yale.

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Latest D2 football rankings

Here are the latest D2 college football rankings for the East regional:

The top six teams make the playoffs. New Haven should be safe at 8-0 in the region with games left against Pace and St. Anselm's, the bottom-feeders of the NE-10. While the Chargers won't get many points for those wins, if they do win they should at least finish in first or second and get a bye and at least one home game.
SCSU is off next and week and will probably slide down another slot but four of the teams ahead of them play each other and that will hopefully move them back up.
Southern finishes the season against Merrimack which will earn them some points but will be a tough game.

1. New Haven 8-0 8-1
2. Winston-Salem 8-0 9-0
3. WV Wesleyan 9-0 9-0
4. Bloomsburg 8-1 8-1
5. Elizabeth City 7-1 7-2
6. Slippery Rock 8-1 8-1
7. S. Connecticut 7-1 7-2
8. Callifornia 7-1 7-2
9. Kutztown 8-1 8-1
10. Shepherd 6-2 7-2

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Gateway basketball teams have promise and potential

NEW HAVEN — The Gateway Community College men’s basketball team is hoping to draw from the championship laurels of a pair of former Bridgeport Central stars this season.
Gateway, which went 9-15 last season, losing in the conference semifinals, will feature Mario Darden and Jerome Parkins as it guns for a national crown. The duo have already won a state title while with the Hilltoppers.
Now here’s the catch. Parkins helped pace Bridgeport Central to the Class LL title in 2010 when he scored a team-high 19 points in a 78-66 win over Hillhouse.
Darden did the trick seven years earlier as the Hilltoppers edged Notre Dame-West Haven for the same title in 2003.
Age difference aside, the pair bring a bevy of experience and talent to the Lions attack.
“Mario’s like my older brother,”
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Parkins said. “He’s good and it’s great to play with him.”
Parkins was ranked as one of the state’s top recruit by in his senior year. He spent a year of junior college in Kansas before returning to the state.
“What I want to do is play well here and get my academics in order and then get a shot at a Division I or Division II school,” Parkins said.
Gateway coach John Stewart said he has all the tools to do it.
“He’s going to be the man,” Stewart said. “He’s realy good. He can do it all out there.”
Stewart has a history of bringing in big talent to the school. Keeping them there is a difficult task.
“We can be real good but the second semester is always important,” shooting guard Dan Litevich said. “The guys have to keep their grades up and work hard. It’s really important for the team.”
Litevich, from Branford, who combined with Darden averaged 25 points a game last year and including 106 3-pointers, said it’s probably the most important of all aspects of the team.
With Darden directing things, he could be right.
“I’ve never seen anyone take the ball from him,” Litevich said.
Said Darden: “We could be real good. We have the players to go for a national title and that’s what I want.”
While Parkins, who averaged nearly 20 points and 10 rebounds a game in his senior year at Bridgeport Central which finished 28-0, is just 6-3 he may see time under the boards as the Lions are particularly small this year. But Darden said that Gateway’s speed and tenacity easily makes up for lack of height.
“We’re always the fastest team around so we’re not worried about rebounding,” Darden said. “We score a lot of points and we do OK on the boards.”
The Lions have a deep roster including Hyde’s Damion Gray and Wilbur Cross’ Ken Gilmore.
Numbers have been a problem for the Lions’ women’s team lately. With a small roster Gateway went just 1-9 last year. They enter the 2011-12 season with nine players, all freshmen, but high hopes.
“You have to be confident,” guard Shontea Brown said. “We have the heart and the dedication. We’re trying our hardest to keep everyone up.
“We’re going to be pretty good. I’m hoping we all stay together as one and put up some big numbers.”
Like the men’s squad, the Gateway women’s team is small and hopes to outrun the opposition.
Meriden’s Alaina Holloman, a 5-11 center is the lone player over 5-5.
“I’ll be all right rebounding,” she said. “I just have to stay out of foul trouble. We have a lot of potential.”
Jamie Baker, a 5-4 guard from Hillhouse, should help on the offensive end of the court.
Contact Bill Cloutier at 203-789-5653. Follow Bill on Twitter @BillCloutier. To receive breaking news first, simply text the word nhsports to 22700. *Msg & Data Rates May Apply. Text HELP for help. Text STOP to cancel.


Thursday, October 27, 2011

Albertus women's soccer team to host playoff game

HOSTING — The Albertus Magnus women’s soccer team will have a home playoff game for the first time in school history when it hosts Simmons College on Saturday at 1 p.m. The Falcons earned the No. 3 seed in the upcoming Great Northeast Athletic Conference tournament, the highest ranking the team has ever had.

Amanda Roke (Cheshire) leads the Falcons with team-high six goals and 13 points. Sophomore goalkeeper Christina Dineson (Foran) has a goals against average of 1.00 and senior Krystal Quinones has three goals and is the program’s second-leading all-time scorer with 24 points.


♦University of New Haven sophomore volleyball player Keidy Candelaria was named the Northeast-10 Conference Player of the Week for the third time. Candelaria helped the Chargers to a perfect week with three wins over NE-10 opponents, collecting 45 kills in 91 attempts with four errors in three matches. Candelaria recorded 22 kills against Saint Anselm and added 16 digs, three aces and three blocks during the week.

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Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Yale picked second in Ivy Poll

NEW HAVEN — A year ago the Ivy League championship was settled on Yale’s homecourt. Unfortunately the Bulldogs weren’t a part of the game as the league settled its title in a game between Princeton and Harvard at the Lee Amphitheater.
Yale coach James Jones is optimistic that his team could be a part of this year’s title chase. The Bulldogs were tied for second place in the league’s preseason media poll which was released on Wednesday. Harvard picked up 16 of the 17 first-place votes to earn the top spot. Yale had the other first-place vote and tied with Princeton for second place in the poll.
“Every year we’ve been picked to finish lower than we’ve actually finished,” Jones said. “This year we’re picked to finish second so there is only one spot higher.”
Yale opens up the season on Nov. 11 when it meets Central Connecticut State in the Connecticut 6 tournament at the Mohegan Sun.
Jones especially likes his frontcourt and its depth. Orange’s Greg Mangano and California’s Jeremiah Kreisberg both played on their country’s national team over the summer.
You can tell that experience has helped they are both playing at a very high level.
As a team, Yale played a series of exhibitions in China to gather even more experience and build chemistry. Jones hopes that helps his team build on its 15-13 overall record and 8-6 league mark last season.
“Rebounding is going to be key for us,” Jones, in his 13th year at the school, said. “We have to rebound it well and don’t turn it over. We have a lot of size and depth at the position.”
Jones said that perimeter shooting could be a problem but Yale does have Austin Morgan back. Morgan is at times too unselfish but he has unlimited range.
Mangano has a world of potential and frankly could dominate league play this season. The 6-10 shot-blocker entered the NBA draft for a spell last season before pulling his name out in time to remain eligible for the upcoming season. While Mangano said it was an effort to build exposure for his future plans the move was not just a publicity stunt. Mangano finished among the nation’s leaders in blocked shots and double-doubles last season.
“I don’t know if there’s a sense of urgency for us because Greg is in his senior year but there will be for Greg,” Jones said. “It’s like that for all seniors.”
The Bulldogs have a fine mix of veterans and underclassmen. There are 10 freshmen or sophomores this year including former Register Player of the Year Brandon Sherrod who played at Choate last season and sophomore Greg Kelley who missed all of last season with an injury.
Jones said the entire league is brimming with talent.
“Just like last year we have a lot of strong teams in the Ivy,” he said. “Princeton and Harvard are going to be good again but the entire league is good. You have to show up every night or you’re going to get beat. There will be some great games in the league because of that parity.”
Contact Bill Cloutier at 203-789-5653. Follow Bill on Twitter @BillCloutier. To receive breaking news first, simply text the word nhsports to 22700. *Msg & Data Rates May Apply. Text HELP for help. Text STOP to cancel.

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New Haven, SCSU both in playoff mode

By Bill Cloutier
Assistant Sports Editor
NEW HAVEN — For the past two years not one team from the Northeast-10 Conference has reached the NCAA Division II football playoffs.
This year two teams could earn a berth, and they’re both from the area.
New Haven was ranked first when the initial 2011 regional rankings were released on Monday. Southern Connecticut State was ranked seventh. The top six teams in the final rankings earn a berth in the playoffs.
Both teams have been winning on the edge lately. New Haven (7-1, 5-0 NE-10) is ranked 13th nationally in the latest Division II poll. It’s a fantastic start which should give them wiggle room down the stretch. Even if New Haven loses one of its final two games, the Chargers should still earn a playoff berth.
“I would think that would happen,” New Haven coach Peter Rossomando said. “The last couple of years the top seed has lost a game and still made the playoffs.”
But New Haven will have to run the table to secure the one of the top two seeds which carries with it a first-round bye and at least one
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home game.
“I was surprised that we were ahead of Bloomsburg,” Rossomando said. “They’re undefeated and we’ve got one loss but I really haven’t poured over their schedule. We must have a better strength of schedule.”
Rossomando is not counting on anything right now. Not No. 1 seeds or even sneaking into the playoffs.
“Last year we were No. 6 and lost the last game so I’m not counting on anything until Nov. 14 (when the final rankings are released).”
New Haven edged Bentley 45-38 last week.
“I wasn’t really happy with how we played last week but I give a lot of credit to the guys who’ve worked hard to pull it out,” Rossomando said.
The Chargers have gotten an MVP-type season from quarterback Ryan Osiecki. The Seymour native has thrown for 21 touchdowns and run for another six on the season.
“He’s really made a steady progression,” Rossomando said. “The first year the numbers were skewed because we were behind so much and had to throw the ball all the time, and last year our running game was so strong (it also affected his numbers). This year he’s done a great job of taking what the defense has given him and his numbers are solid.”
Across town at Southern Connecticut, the Owls have become have become a team not for the faint of heart.
Southern (6-2, 5-1 NE-10) has trailed in every game except its 61-0 win over Pace.
Last week the Owls had to rally back from a 12-point deficit with just 5 minutes remaining on the way to a thrilling 48-47 win against American International on its homecoming day.
Cavanaugh still has faith in its defense but the unit has surrendered just under 40 points a game over the past four games.
“We have leveled off lately,” Cavanaugh said. “What was making us a good defense is that we were opportunistic. We forced a lot of turnovers. Last week we forced a couple of fumbles which was key but we didn’t have any interceptions. We’ve got to get back to playing with more confidence and being more physical.”
Like any other football coach Cavanaugh preaches taking it one game at a time but he is hopeful that two more wins to complete the season will hand his team in the postseason.
“The only thing that we have control of is winning the last two,” he said. “It looks to me that certain teams that are ahead of us (in the rankings) have to play each other so that’s a plus for us.”
Southern has not made the playoffs since 2008 when it capped a streak of four straight years in the postseason.

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Sunday, October 23, 2011

Quinnipiac basketball players to appear in court Monday

A Connecticut judge is scheduled to take up the case of two Quinnipiac University basketball players charged with assault after an on-campus fight last month.
Senior guard James Johnson, the team’s leading scorer a year ago, and sophomore forward Ike Azotam have pleaded not guilty to misdemeanor assault charges. They are due back in Meriden Superior court Monday.
Each is accused of striking other students in the face early in the morning of Sept. 18.
Quinnipiac coach Tom Moore said both have received sanctions from the school and will be sanctioned further by the athletic department.
Neither Johnson nor Azotam attended the school’s Midnight Madness a week ago and both players could be suspended from either upcoming scrimmages or early-season games.
The player’s attorney, Thomas Lynch, says Azotam was misidentified by witnesses, and he’s hopeful those charges will be dismissed.

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Saturday, October 22, 2011

SCSU wins a wild one

rom staff reports
Kevin Lynch hit wide receiver Willie Epps for their third touchdown connection of the day with just three seconds left, as the Southern Connecticut State University football team completed a furious fourth quarter rally to defeat American International 48-47 Saturday at Springfield, Mass.
The Owls were trailing 47-35 with 4:59 remaining and had the ball back at their own 14 after forcing a fumble with the Yellow Jackets on the verge of going up by three scores.
From there, SCSU put together a 13-play, 86-yard drive over the next 3:28, culminated by a 5-yard strike from Lynch to Epps. However, the PAT was no good.
AIC recovered the ensuing onside kick and drove to the SCSU 30, but the Owls stopped the Yellow Jackets by inches on a 4th and 2 to get one more crack at it with 1:07 remaining. Southern Connecticut then marched 70 yards in seven plays with Lynch hitting Epps on a low strike with 3 seconds left to even the score at 47-47. Christopher Hazelton then added the PAT to provide the margin of victory.
Senior running back Rashaad Slowley finished with 141 yards on 30 carries and scored four touchdowns to set a new SCSU single-season mark. The old record was 25, set by Rashaan Dumas in 1998. Slowley now has 26 touchdowns (24 rushing, two receiving) on the year.
Lynch finished 25-of-39 for 430 yards and three touchdowns. He finished just 13 yards shy of the single-game yardage record that he established last year.
Epps had seven catches for 118 yards and three touchdowns, while Andre Privott totaled six catches for 169 yards and also had 86 return yards on the day.
Southern Connecticut improved to 6-2, 5-1 in Northeast-10 Conference play with the win, clinching their 11th straight winning season in the process. AIC is now 4-4, 3-3 in league play.
The Owls jumped out to a 7-0 lead with an effective opening drive. They needed only 2:37 to go 71 yards, and Slowley finished it off with a six-yard scoring run.
AIC scored the next 20 points of the first quarter, but the Owls closed to within six before the frame ended when Lynch found Epps on a 56-yard touchdown reception, followed by Hazelton’s PAT.
The Yellow Jackets then outscored the Owls by a 14-7 margin in the second quarter to carry a 34-21 lead into the break. Slowley’s second score of the day came with three seconds left in the half and helped cut the deficit to 13 at halftime.
Slowley’s third touchdown of the day and tying 25th of the year came early in the third quarter and got the Owls within six at 34-28. The Yellow Jackets quickly answered with a touchdown of their own, but failed on a two-point try, which kept the score at 40-28.
Slowley’s fourth of the afternoon and record-breaking 26th touchdown came with 1:15 left in the third quarter and trimmed the gap to 40-35 after three quarters.
AIC scored just seven seconds into the fourth quarter for a 12-point lead and held the double digit advantage for most of the frame before the furious Owls’ rally.
Sam-uel Johnson had a team-high 12 tackles for the defense, while Gavin Nelson and Jack Petion added nine each.

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Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Area basketball coaches gather on Wednesday

The Greater New Haven Chamber of Commerce Sports Council will host its third annual Courtside Chat event on Wednesday at the Wicked Wolf Tavern in New Haven. Albertus Magnus men’s basketball coach Mitch Oliver and women’s basketball coach Steve Schuler will join coaches from Quinnipiac, Southern Connecticut State, New Haven and Yale.
Register sports editor Sean Barker will serve as the moderator for the panel discussion.
The event will go from noon-1 p.m. and is free for GNHCC members and $10 for non-members. The cost includes lunch and the opportunity to win prizes. Visit or call 203-782-4342.

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SCSU getting ready for AIC

Despite some anxious moments, things seem to be headed in the right direction for the Southern Connecticut State football team. Defensive end Ikponmwosa Igbinosun intends on keeping them there.
The Owls, currently in second place in the Northeast-10 Conference, visit American International College on Saturday with their playoff hopes still very much alive. Southern (5-2, 4-1 NE-10) trails rival New Haven by a game in the conference standings.
SCSU rallied from another shaky start to defeat Bentley in a breath-taker last week. The Owls trailed 17-7 at the half and scored the next 24 points to take control of the contest with just a minute left to play.
But Bentley quarterback Bryant Johnson completed two Hail Mary passes in the last minute, but failed on the two-point conversion as Southern posted a 31-29 victory.
“We need to come out with more emotion,” Igbinosun said. “We were lucky to come out on top. It got crazy at the end. I think we might have lost a little focus and it has to start with the (defensive line).”
The victory kept the Owls clearly in the NCAA Division II playoff picture. The first regional poll will be released after Saturday’s games and it appears that if the Owls can run the table, they should be among the top six slots and earn a playoff berth.
AIC becomes the first of three straight crucial contests, and the game also completes the road portion of the Owls’ schedule. Southern has played just twice at Jess Dow Field this season.
“It almost seems like we’re never home,” SCSU coach Rich Cavanaugh said. “But that’s just the way it is. I’m pretty happy right now the way our guys have responded playing so many games on the road. Hopefully we’ve got one more good game in us.”
Igbinosun, a 6-foot-5, 285-pound defensive end from Rahway, N.J., said he’ll be glad when the road trips end.
“I’ll be glad to end the Peter Pan bus trips,” Igbinosun said. “But this last one is big. AIC is a great rivalry. We know they’re going to be ready to hit and coming at us.”
Igbinosun is a big reason why Southern ranks eighth in the nation in rushing defense. The senior leads the team with five sacks and six quarterback hurries despite being double-teamed much of the year.
“This is a very good conference for defensive linemen and Ike is right at the top of the list,” Cavanaugh said. “He’s had a great year all year and I don’t think he’s even had a bad practice. I can’t believe there’s not more flags thrown for holding on him because he is just playing awesome.
“He’s definitely falling right into line with any of the great defensive players we’ve ever had here.”
Cavanaugh is just as impressed with Igbinosun’s leadership on and off the field.
“This season has been almost picture perfect,” Igbinosun said. “I’ve worked as hard as I can and I’ve got some leadership over the team and I know that a lot of them are looking to play more than 10 games this year.”
Igbinosun will have his hands full this weekend. AIC leads the conference in rushing, averaging 189.6 yards a game. Southern leads the conference in rushing defense.
Contact Bill at 203-789-5653. Follow Bill on Twitter @BillCloutier. To receive breaking news first, simply text the word nhsports to 22700. *Msg & Data Rates May Apply. Text HELP for help. Text STOP to cancel.

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Sunday, October 16, 2011

SCSU wins wild one at Bentley

WALTHAM, Mass. – Trailing 17-7 at halftime, the Southern Connecticut State University football team tallied 24 consecutive points and hung on late for a 31-29 win over Bentley on Saturday afternoon in Northeast-10 Conference play. The Owls led 31-17 before the Falcons connected on a pair of Hail Mary touchdown passes in the final 30 seconds to close within two points. However, the two-point try was knocked away by the Owls, securing the victory.

The Owls are now 5-2, 4-1 in Northeast-10 Conference play. Bentley dropped to 4-3, 3-2 in league action.

Senior running back Rashaad Slowley (Mount Vernon, N.Y.) added three touchdowns (two rushing, one receiving) for the Owls to boost his season total to 22. He finished with 102 yards on the ground and added four catches for 73 yards. Quarterback Kevin Lynch was 18-of-28 for 244 yards for the game, but finished 13-of-18 for 188 yards and two touchdowns in the second half. Willie Epps (Norwalk, Conn.), Andre Privott (Middletown, Conn.) and Jayson Holt (Mount Vernon, N.Y.) all added three catches, with Epps also hauling in a touchdown that gave the Owls the lead for good.
Down by 10 to start the second half, the Owls took the opening kickoff and quickly marched 73 yards in just seven plays, spanning 2:29. Lynch hit Slowley on a 28-yard touchdown pass, and Christopher Hazelton (Bristol, Conn.) added the PAT to make it 17-14.

Southern Connecticut went ahead for good just 74 seconds into the fourth quarter when Lynch hit Epps on a 46 yard touchdown pass to make it 21-17 after the PAT.

Later in the quarter, Slowley punched in a two-yard run to extend the lead to 28-17 with 9:39 remaining. Hazelton would go on to add a 39-yard field goal to push the score to 31-17 with 2:17 remaining.

Bentley's Bryant Johnson then tried to engineer a stunning comeback, but it fell short. He hit Jeff Hill on a 37-yard Hail Mary with 29 seconds left, and then, after recovering an onside kick, found Hill again from 39 yards out to close within two with five seconds left. However, the Falcons would get no closer.
Bentley actually jumped out to a 10-0 lead in the game late in the first quarter. The Owls got on the board when Slowley scored on a one-yard run midway through the second quarter. However, the Falcons used a fake field goal that resulted in a touchdown pass to take a 17-7 lead at the break.

Southern Connecticut returns to action next Saturday when it faces AIC.

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Friday, October 14, 2011

Crudup back home to aid SCSU football

By Bill Cloutier
Assistant Sports Editor
NEW HAVEN — Dy’Onne Crudup is living proof that you can go home again.
After playing three seasons of Division I football at Temple, Crudup, a former standout at Hyde, is back in New Haven playing in his final season of eligibility at Southern Connecticut State.
Crudup and the Owls look to rebound from a 59-38 setback to rival New Haven a week ago when they play at Bentley on Saturday at 2 p.m. Both teams enter the game 4-2 overall and 3-1 in the Northeast-10.
Crudup opted to leave Temple after three solid seasons at wide receiver.
“It was great,” Crudup said. “I got my degree and I played three years. After my junior season they were going to change the offense so the coach was nice enough to let me go somewhere else to play another season.”
Crudup knew that place would be Southern. After hauling down 57 passes at Temple, the school was about to drastically change its offensive philosophy and Crudup’s role as a slot receiver was headed for a change.
Temple not only was bringing in a new offensive coordinator but had recruited highly-touted running back Bernard Pierce. Still, Crudup is proud of his time at Temple.
“When I got there we were coming off a 1-12 season,” he said. “My last game was the (Eagle Bank Bowl) game in Washington D.C. and that was the first bowl game that Temple had been in in 30 years. So we accomplished a lot and you can see they’re still going good.”
Now at Southern, Crudup is sometimes the third option in an offensive juggernaut. Playing alongside talented wideouts Willie Epps and Andre Privott and with super running back Rashaad Slowley in the backfield, Crudup has seen few balls come his way.
He’s not bothered by it.
“You’ve just got to wait your turn,” he said. “I’m getting a great opportunity as punt returned so I get my hands on the ball and on the offense, I’m just filling my role.
“I’m so happy to be back in New Haven and I’m playing for my mentors who helped me when I was in high school.”
Crudup, who grew up right around the corner from the SCSU campus and has known assistant coaches Walter Gibbs and Ron Lecointe for years, feels the Owls can bounce back from last week’s loss to the Chargers.
“If you look at that game we were in it right to the end,” Crudup said. “The score doesn’t look like we were that close but that was a tight game. I give New Haven credit. They’re playing really well but we’re a good team and we’ve turned the page to focus on Bentley.
“Bentley is good, too and they beat us last year so we have to be ready. Coach (Rich Cavanaugh) said that if we finish well we can still make the playoffs and you never know what’s going to happen with the other teams so we just have to take care of ourselves.”
Crudup has seven receptions on the year and is averaging 17 yards on his five punt returns. He is studying communications at Southern after earning a degree in Sports Management at Temple.
Crudup amassed over 4,000 total yards at Hyde, helping the Howling Wolves to two state titles. He was a quarterback, running back, punter, kicker and defensive back. He is willing to do anything to help the new Owls.
Bill Cloutier can be reached at Follow Bill on twitter @BillCloutier. To receive breaking news first, simply text the word nhsports to 22700. *Msg & Data Rates May Apply. Text HELP for help. Text STOP to cancel.

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Thursday, October 13, 2011

Papale named assistant at UMass-Lowell

Michael Papale, a native of Wallingford, Conn., and Souleymane Wane, a former standout player at the University of Connecticut, were named assistant coaches on the UMass Lowell men’s basketball team, head coach Greg Herenda announced Friday.
Papale will assist in all facets of the program, including recruiting, film exchange, weight training and academic support. Wane will also take part in all facets of the game, specifically academic support and working exclusively with UMass Lowell’s post players.
Papale and Wane join a River Hawk program which went 20-10 last season (14-8 in the NE-10, tied for fifth place) and advanced to the NCAA tournament for the third straight year and eighth time in 11 years. The River Hawks return 13 veterans and five starters from last year.
“I could not be more excited about joining Coach Herenda and his staff at UMass Lowell,” said Papale. “Coach has great experience at all levels of college basketball and has already been extremely successful in his first three years at the school. His combination of enthusiasm and knowledge of the game makes UMass Lowell the ideal place to start my coaching career.”
A student-manager at Quinnipiac from 2007-11, Papale assisted in film exchange, mailings, coordinated travel plans as well as hired and trained other student-mangers. He graduated with a degree in communication and minor in sports studies.
Over the last four years, Papale coached at several levels in the AAU circuit with both the Central Connecticut Hoop Stars and the New England Playaz. He served as the head coach for Central Connecticut’s U-17 team last year and helped lead it to a 35-14 record and a fifth-place showing at the AAU National Championship.
"Mike has already been a great addition to our staff,” said Herenda. “He is an extremely bright young coach who possesses tremendous maturity and poise well beyond his years. He has a very promising future and we are very lucky to have him start his coaching profession here with us at UMass Lowell."
Papale is a 2007 graduate of Sheehan H.S. in Wallingford, Conn., where he was a three-year varsity player and served as a student assistant his senior year after his career was cut short due to a heart condition. During his junior season he was nominated for the McDonald’s All-America team, a member of the New Haven Tip-Off Club team and earned second team all-state honors.
Papale is a volunteer and spokesperson for American Heart Association and Ryan Gomes’ Hoops for Heart Health Foundation.
He lives in Lowell, Mass.
Wane was a standout center on the University of Connecticut Basketball team from 1997-01 where helped the Huskies to the 1999 NCAA Championship and earned his degree in political science.
A native of Dakar, Senegal, Wane came to the U.S. in 1995 and attended Redemption Christian Academy in Troy, N.Y. before attending Connecticut in 1997. He peaked as a senior with the Huskies with averages of 4.6 points, 4.8 rebounds and 0.9 blocked shots in 20.4 minutes per game.

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Ryan Gomes on the NBA lockout and Hoops for Heart Health

I had the chance to talk to NBA star Ryan Gomes about the NBA lockout and his Hoops For Heart Health Foundation. Here are the videos:

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Monday, October 10, 2011

The killing of Chauncey Hardy

Here is our story on Chauncey Hardy, who was killed while playing pro basketball in Romania:

A day after Chauncey Hardy was attacked and killed at a bar in Romania, friends and family reflected on the former Xavier High and Sacred Heart University basketball star.
Hardy, 23, playing professionally for CSS Giurgiu in southern Romania, was severely beaten and died shortly after surgery Sunday in Bucharest.
Middletown’s Amari Spievey and Hardy were cousins. The two grew up playing and excelling at sports together, Spievey in football, Hardy in basketball.
Spievey, now a safety with the Detroit Lions, called his cousin “a happy, easy-going, talented, gifted person”.
“I never heard him raise his voice,” Spievey told the Middletown Press on Monday. “He taught me to let things go. Chauncey didn’t bother anyone. He had no enemies.”
A man was arrested Monday in the killing of Hardy, who prosecutors say was punched in the face by the boyfriend of a woman Hardy was with in a bar.
Ionut Adrian Tanasoaia surrendered to police and will be in custody for 29 days while he awaits trial. He is accused of beating up Hardy in a bar in the southern Romanian city of Giurgiu on Saturday night.
Hardy sustained severe head injuries and was in a coma when admitted to the hospital in Giurgiu, where he was celebrating a victory over rival Dinamo Bucharest.
Hardy was punched after he playfully put his cap on a woman’s head, prosecutors said. They added that the woman’s boyfriend objected to the gesture, and Hardy tried to show he didn’t understand Romanian. Tanasoaia then allegedly punched Hardy on the chin and he fell to the ground.
A preliminary autopsy revealed a massive hemorrhage and broken skull. Giurgiu county hospital spokeswoman Elisabeta Bene said Monday that doctors initially suspected Hardy was in a coma because he had been drinking. She said his condition deteriorated a few hours later and he was transferred to a hospital in Bucharest, 38 miles from Giurgiu.
“We are concerned by the violent circumstances surrounding the death of this U.S. citizen, and will pay close attention as the investigation progresses,” the public diplomacy department of the U.S. Embassy said in an email to The Associated Press.
Romania’s health ministry Monday ordered an inquiry to determine whether emergency procedures had been followed.
Hardy, who arrived in Romania in August, was a Register All-State selection at Xavier and went on to play guard at Sacred Heart from 2006 to 2010. He averaged 12.5 points in his last season.
“We feel tremendous sadness and loss for Chauncey’s family and those who were close to him,” Sacred Heart basketball coach Dave Bike said.
Spievey, who was limited in practice this week and didn’t play in Monday night’s game against the Bears with a hamstring injury, played on many of the same teams as Hardy growing up and was in awe of his ability as an athlete.
“I always felt he was gifted, that he was more athletic than me,” Spievey said. “When we played tag as kids I could never catch him. He was an amazing athlete. It was effortless. I owe so much to him because I learned so much from him.”


Sunday, October 9, 2011

Rusin leads Quinnipiac field hockey

Here is a look at Sunday's action involving area colleges:

Sophomore Jess Rusin scored twice to lead the Quinnipiac field hockey team to a 4-2 Northeast Conference win over St. Francis (Pa.) at Hamden Sunday.
Rusin is the first Bobcats player to reach the 10-goal mark in a season since 2006.
Amanda Danzinger and Megan McCreedy also scored for Quinnipiac (8-5, 2-0).
UConn 2, Virginia 1: Freshman Chloe Hunnable and midfielder Alicia Angelini lifted the Huskies to the victory with goals in the 57th and 68th minutes, respectively.
Yale 3, Northwestern 2: Senior Erin Carter scored the game-winner as the Bulldogs upset the Wildcats at Evanston, Ill.
Yale is now 5-6.
Quinnipiac 2, Robert Morris 1: At Hamden, Philip Suprise scored a goal and drew a penalty in the goalkeeper’s box in the 79th minute that led to the game-winning goal, as the Bobcats won their third straight Northeast Conference game
Cheshire’s Matthew Rothbart capitalized on the infraction and buried his first penalty kick opportunity of the season to lead Quinnipiac to a 5-4 overall record and a 3-0 NEC mark.
St. Francis (Pa.) 3, Quinnipiac 0: Despite a 16-12 shot advantage, the Bobcats lost this NEC contest at Hamden.
Quinnipiac is 3-6-1, 2-2.
Sacred Heart 3, Quinnipiac 0: Kimmee Roleder had 12 kills and nine digs for the host Pioneers in this NEC win at Fairfield.
Kayla Lawler had 13 assists for the Bobcats (2-17, 1-5).
Walter Camp honors
Oregon junior running back LaMichael James has been named the Walter Camp Football Foundation offensive player of the week.
James rushed for 239 yards on 30 carries and one score in a 43-15 victory over California.
It was James’ third consecutive 200-yard rushing effort.
Oklahoma senior defensive end Frank Alexander was honored on defense.
Alexander had six tackles, three sacks, forced a fumble and recovered a fumble in a 55-17 victory over Texas.

Saturday, October 8, 2011

Thoughts on New Haven's win over SCSU

After Southern loss to New Haven 59-38 on Friday night, I asked SCSU defensive back Steven Teague what was the difference.
He talked about a couple of missed assignments and then gave New Haven a lot of the credit.
"They're a good team," Teague said. "(Ryan Osiecki's) a good quarterback."
You can say that again.
Osiecki was clearly the difference in the contest and he was picture perfect on his deep balls.
New Haven stayed away from the middle of the field probably trying to avoid SCSU's great linebacker corps. And they threw over the top of Southern's fantastic secondary where the taller UNH receivers made the grabs.
It was a fantastic show by Osiecki and his receivers.
"We're a good team, too," Teague added. "And we'll be back to prove it."

Here was Saturday's game story:

NEW HAVEN — For three quarters the only thing bigger than the hype were the numbers on the scoreboard.
Two teams, separated by a mere couple of miles, displayed the promise of the region’s top Division II programs in a tense battle royale.
But when it was all said and done New Haven quarterback Ryan Osiecki turned a game of “Anything you can do, I can do better” into his personal highlight reel.
Osiecki threw for 423 yards on a precision-like 29-for-37 effort, including three touchdowns, and ran for another score as New Haven rallied from a 13-point second-half deficit to clobber Southern Connecticut State 59-38 at Jess Dow Field Friday night.
While the conference implications were heightened by the heated rivalry, which was reflected in a pre-game scuffle well before kickoff, it was the Chargers who took a stranglehold on the Northeast-10 Conference lead and gained an inside track to an NCAA playoff berth.
No. 21 New Haven improved to 5-1 overall and 3-0 in the conference with its second straight win in the series while Southern falls to 4-2 and 3-1.
New Haven leads the battle for the Elm City Trophy 15-6-1.
“We watched a lot of film on them,” Osiecki said. “As an offense and when it comes to passing, we feel like when we’re clicking we’re extremely hard to stop. It doesn’t matter who we’re playing.
“These are the best games to be a part of. To come out and go back and forth, that’s football. That’s why I love playing it.”
The 12 touchdowns in the game was a new conference record and the majority of them came from the New Haven side. Southern took a 30-17 lead scoring on its first possession of the second half but New Haven went on to outscore them 42-8 the rest of the way to turn a taut affair into a rout.
The turnaround was stunning.
“Osiecki was outstanding,” SCSU coach Rich Cavanaugh said. “We could have played better and I thought our kicking game let us down but Osiecki played so well. You really have to give them credit. We had protection problems with our offensive line but their defensive line played really well.
“We couldn’t sustain anything in the second half and we had to match their scoring. We didn’t do it.”
Osiecki threw a flurry of passes for over 30 yards on the night hitting his tall receivers on deep routes as they towered over the smaller but talented SCSU secondary. Jason Thompson finished with
See UNH, B3
seven catches for 179 yards and Demetrius Washington-Ellison had four catches for 84 yards.
“(Their height) definitely helps,” Osiecki said. “But they’re just complete receivers.”
Said New Haven coach Pete Rossomando: “I think they may have been a little banged up in the secondary. We had Jason Thompson, who just caught fire and Ryan really liked some things out there. We were able to protect him.”
New Haven also got two touchdown runs from tailback Mike DeCaro. Subbing for the injured Victor Jones, DeCaro returned the opening kickoff 90 yards for a touchdown and then scored on runs of 2 and 7 yards in the fourth quarter to put the game away.
Osiecki, who had two of New Haven’s four turnovers in the first half with two interceptions, connected with Thompson on touchdown passes of 29 and 12 yards. But it was his 17-yarder to Washington-Ellison in the corner of the end zone at the 11:38 mark of the fourth quarter that gave New Haven the lead for good.
Southern led the game 30-17 early in the third quarter after Rashaad Slowley capped a quick drive with a 22-yard run. Slowley finished with three touchdowns and ran for 184 yards on 24 carries.
“They’re a run, play-action team and it helps when you can make them one-dimensional at times, which wasn’t easy,” Rossomando said. “Slowley is a heck of a running back. He broke a lot of tackles. But we contained him enough that we were able to make plays and get Lynch out of his comfort zone.
“We like to play better defense. But they’re a good offense. They have a good quarterback and their receivers are outstanding. So we knew we were going to have to score some points to win.”
SCSU quarterback Kevin Lynch was battered by the blitzing New Haven defense. Lynch was inaccurate at times and hurried most of the other and threw for 220 yards on 15 of 36 passing. In the wild affair in front of a crowd of 4,204, Lynch threw just one touchdown pass, an 18-yarder to tight end Jerome Cunningham.
It was a forgettable night for the senior signal-caller. Twice Lynch fumbled the ball on sacks and Robert Hill returned one of the fumbles 48 yards for a score that gave New Haven a 31-30 lead. In all Lynch was sacked five times and forced to pull the ball down and run with it on several other occasions.
Osiecki made it 38-30 with a 12 yard keeper late in the third quarter. Southern responded with Slowley’s third touchdown of the game on a 10-yard run and Lynch dove into the end zone to tie the game at 38 with the two-point conversion.
Contact Bill Cloutier at 203-789-5653. Follow Bill on twitter @BillCloutier

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Sunday, October 2, 2011

New Haven falls in soccer twinbill

Here are the results from Sunday's area college games:

Assumption 2, New Haven 0: Kelsey Imondi scored twice for the Greyhounds in this Northeast-10 Conference victory at West Haven.
New Haven (5-4, 4-4) was outshot 11-5.
UConn 2, DePaul 1: Danielle Schulmann scored twice for the Huskies (5-5-2, 2-2-2) in this Big East win at Chicago.
Bentley 2, New Haven 1 (2OT): Joseph D’Antonio scored for the Chargers in this NE-10 loss at West Haven.
Steven Gennuso had an assist for New Haven (0-7-2, 0-6).
New Jersey Tech 2, Quinnipiac 1 (OT): Ola Ogunjobi scored for the Bobcats in this loss at Newark, N.J.
Machel Baker had an assist for Quinnipiac (3-4).
Syracuse 3, UConn 0: Senior outside hitter Jordan Kirk recorded her 1,000th career kill in a 27-25, 25-18, 26-24 Big East loss to the Orange at Storrs.
Kirk finished with 13 kills and became just the 12th Husky to reach the milestone. UConn is 8-9, 0-4.
Long Island 3, Quinnipiac 0: Senior setter Kayla Lawler dished out a team-high 20 assists in a 25-15, 25-21, 25-13 Northeast Conference loss at Hamden.
Olivia Grattan had six kills for Quinnipiac (2-15).
UConn 1, Yale 0: Sophomore forward Maria Elena Bolles scored for the visiting Huskies in this non-conference win at New Haven.
Sarah Mansfield posted her fifth shutout of the season for UConn (10-1). It was the sophomore’s 11th career shutout. The Yale (4-5) offense came into the game ranked sixth in the country in scoring.
Quinnipiac 23, Marist 7: Stephanie Hasher tallied 10 points for the Bobcats in their home-opener at Hamden.
Jacqueline Lilly and Allison Gnys each totaled five points for Quinnipiac (2-2).
Pittsburgh junior running back Ray Graham was named the Walter Camp Football Foundation offensive player of the week.
Graham rushed for 226 yards on 20 carries and two touchdowns as the Panthers upset then-No. 14 South Florida 44-17. Graham added four receptions for 42 yards.
Air Force senior linebacker Brady Amack was honored on defense.
Amack totaled 23 tackles (11 solo) and one sack as the Falcons defeated Navy 35-34.

Slowley scores 4 more in SCSU win

Rashaad Slowley rushed for 236 of his career-high 288 yards in the second half and scored four touchdowns as the Southern Connecticut State football team rallied from a two-touchdown halftime deficit for a 38-24 win over Assumption in Worcester, Mass., on Saturday.
The Owls (4-1 overall, 3-0 NE-10), who have won four straight, outscored the Greyhounds 31-3 in the second half.
Slowley started things early in the second half with a 71-yard touchdown run on the second play after the break.
On the ensuing Assumption possession, Michael Escobar intercepted a Greyhounds’ pass that the Owls turned into three points on a 33-yard field goal by Christopher Hazelton.
Assumption (1-4, 0-3) countered with a field goal to restore the lead to seven points, but the Owls’ defense kept the Greyhounds off the scoreboard the rest of the day.
Slowley scored on a three-yard run with 4:46 left in the third quarter to tie the score at 24.
The game was still in doubt late in the fourth, but the Owls assembled an 11-play, 83-yard drive over 4:48 that culminated on a five-yard run by Slowley.
Defensive back Kamal Mgaresh put the game out of reach with a 53-yard interception return to make it a 38-24 final.
SCSU quarterback Kevin Lynch finished 20 of 38 for 213 yards. Willie Epps and Andre Privott each had six catches for 95 and 58 yards, respectively.
Davel Campbell led the defense with nine tackles.

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