ON CAMPUS A look at the area college sports scene

Thursday, January 31, 2013

Betting the Ivy League: Brown to rebound against Dartmouth

Here are Friday night's Ivy League men's basketball odds and selections:

at Harvard 13½ Yale

The Crimson struggled with Dartmouth mightily last week and needed overtime to knock off the Big Green, who were picked last in the league. While Harvard swept Yale last season, the Bulldogs are very talented and played well in last week's win over Brown. While Yale is still trying to figure out how to win games like this they should keep it under double-digits: Pick: Yale

at Princeton 14 Cornell
The Tigers could be the best team in the league this year, especially if Harvard's troubles with Dartmouth were a indication that the Crimson might not be that good. Still, 14 points is too much for the gritty Big Red. Pick: Cornell

Columbia 1½ at Penn
The Lions look to be a true contender in the league but they still have to prove that they can win on the road, especially at the Palestra. Pick: Columbia

at Dartmouth 2 Brown
Dartmouth was in control against Harvard but squandered a seven-point in the last minute only to lose in overtime. Brown has a veteran team with good scorers. It will struggle on the second half of the back-to-back games because it has no depth but the Bears can outscore the Big Green. Pick: Brown

Best bet: Brown

-- By Bill Cloutier

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Yale at Harvard
Where: Lavietes Pavilion, Cambridge, Mass.
When: Today, 7 p.m.
Records: Yale 7-12 (1-1 Ivy league); Harvard 10-6 (2-0)
Scouting Harvard: The Crimson opened Ivy play by sweeping Dartmouth but it didn’t come easy. In the first meeting in Hanover, N.H., Harvard trailed 43-42 at halftime but shot a blistering 60 percent from the field in the second half to escape with a 75-65 win. Two weeks later in Boston, the Crimson rallied from a seven-point deficit with 1:10 remaining in the second half to force overtime and then outscored the Big Green 20-15 in the extra period to win 82-77. Wesley Saunders (16.3 ppg.) leads the Crimson in scoring. Harvard leads the Ivy League in scoring offense (69.9 ppg.), field goal percentage (.478) and three-point field goal percentage (.403).
Scouting Yale: The Bulldogs begin a four-game Ivy League road trip after defeating Brown in overtime last week. Ten
players all saw at least 12 minutes of action in the game in Yale’s 76-64 win to rebound from a loss at Brown the week before. Austin Morgan (11.5 ppg.) continues to lead the Bulldogs in scoring. He was named the Ivy League co-player of the week after scoring 16 points in Saturday’s win. Freshman Justin Sears earned co-rookie of the week honors after leading Yale with 18 points and eight rebounds against the Bears. The Bulldogs lead the Ivy League in rebounding margin (+3.8) and offensive rebounds (13.0 per game) and are second in scoring offense (66.4). Harvard swept the season series last year. The Crimson has won three straight at Lavietes Pavilion. Yale’s last win there was an 87-66 decision in 2009.

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Monday, January 21, 2013

Quinnipiac moves up to No. 2 in the men's hockey poll

Quinnipiac jumped two spots to No. 2 in the latest poll, the highest the Bobcats have ever been ranked. Yale continues to climb the poll and is now ranked eighth. That's two schools, practically on the same street, ranked in the Top 10. Division I Men's Poll
January 21, 2013
Team (First Place Votes) Record Points Last Poll
1 Minnesota (48) 17- 3-4 998 1
2 Quinnipiac ( 2) 17- 3-3 920 4
3 Boston College 14- 5-2 913 2
4 New Hampshire 14- 5-2 857 3
5 North Dakota 13- 7-4 746 6
6 Miami 13- 6-5 700 8
7 Notre Dame 15- 9-0 640 5
8 Yale 11- 4-3 619 12
9 Western Michigan 14- 6-4 577 10
10 Denver 13- 8-4 545 7
11 Boston University 12- 9-0 479 9
12 Dartmouth 10- 6-2 456 11
13 Nebraska-Omaha 13- 9-2 358 13
14 Minnesota State 15- 8-3 356 14
15 Massachusetts-Lowell 13- 7-1 346 18
16 St. Cloud State 14-10-0 336 19
17 Niagara 14- 4-4 183 15
18 Cornell 8- 7-2 154 16
19 Union 11- 8-4 120 17
20 Wisconsin 9- 8-5 66 NR
Others receiving votes: Ferris State 39, Alaska 27, Providence 24, Northern Michigan 22, Holy Cross 10, Colgate 6, Robert Morris 3.

Read more:

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Yale's offense struggles in Ivy League opener

Here is my recap of Yale's Ivy League men's basketball season-opening loss at Brown.
The two teams play again this Saturday at New Haven.

PROVIDENCE, R.I. — After struggling offensively at the beginning of the season, the Yale men’s basketball team seemed to have things straightened out heading into Saturday’s Ivy League opener.
Not so fast.
Sean McGonagill led four Brown players in double figures with 20 points and the Bears cruised to a 65-51 win at the Pizzitola Center. The Bulldogs, who scored just 35 points in their second game of the season and only 47 in a game a week later, looked like they were back to square one. Greg Kelley led Yale (6-12) with 11 points and no one else scored in double figures for the Bulldogs, who shot just 33 percent for the game.
“(The offense) was stale and stagnant. Not enough energy,” Yale coach James Jones said. “We didn’t do a good job of moving. When you don’t move and you don’t set good screens you don’t run a good offense. We had tough shots all night and it’s hard to make tough shots.
Yale entered the game averaging 77 points over its last seven contests and twice topped 100 in the stretch. But nothing worked on Saturday.
“I’m extremely disappointed with our offense,” Jones said. “Brown packs it in on defense, so it wasn’t like they were denying us. We just failed to have enough energy to play the way we should.”
The most telling stat of all in Saturday’s debacle was that Yale didn’t record an assist for the game’s first 28 minutes, finishing with just four.
“It’s always tough to win a game when you don’t have an assist,” Yale senior guard Austin Morgan said. “We have to work on spreading the court and trying to look for each other. Ivy League basketball is different. You have to execute at a much higher level when the league starts.
“We were ready, but this is not what we envisioned.”
Yale’s offensive woes were so bad in the beginning of the second half that Jones could barely watch. He strolled to the end of the bench, then stood off the court with his arms folded in disbelief.
“I thought our guys came out a little tight,” Jones said. “One of the things about playing so many games on the road, you’d figure that our guys would have experienced it.”
Brown got 13 points from Matt Sullivan and 11 from Stephen Albrecht in beating Yale for the first time in the last six meetings.
“This is big for us,” McGonagill said. “It’s always huge to start the Ivy League with a win and we haven’t done that, so that made this game very important.”
Yale led only in the game’s opening minutes. Then Jones went to his second unit and they were outscored 11-4 as the Bears took a 17-13 lead. Brown never trailed again.
The Bears took a 33-24 lead into the half and then opened up a 21-point lead with 14:25 left to play. That’s the only time the Bulldogs showed some life. Kelley scored seven straight points in a 14-0 Yale run to cut the deficit to 49-42 with 9:50 to play.
But Yale couldn’t get the ball inbounds on its next possession and McGonagill ended the comeback bid with a difficult, fade-away 3-pointer in front of the Brown bench.
“You’re not going to hold them scoreless forever,” Jones said. “You want to make sure you can weather the storm and we didn’t do that.”
“That was a turning point in the game,” Morgan said. “He’s a great shooter and that was the biggest play of the game.”
Said Brown coach Mike Martin: “I expect that from Sean. He’s one of, if not the best guard in the league. I have all the faith in the world in McGonagill.”
Yale never got closer than eight the rest of the way and Albrecht put the game out of reach with back-to-back 3-pointers soon after. Brown hit 8 of 20 from beyond the arc while Yale finished 4-for-22.
The two teams meet again next week at the Lee Amphitheater. Brown, which has finished near the bottom of the league for the past several years, seems poised for a better finish. The Bears (7-8) have won three straight and beat Providence earlier in the season.

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Northeast Conference standings

Here are the latest Northeast Conference men's basketball standings. Suprising Bryant leads the way. For me, it's not much of a surprise that they lead the conference as I predicted they would be very good. Starting the season at 6-0, however, is a surprise.
Quinnipiac is in big trouble already. Without Garvey Young who has missed several games with an ankle injury, and now Dave Johnson, out with an undisclosed injury, the Bobcats are in a 4-way tie for eighth place in the conference.

Conference All Games
W L Pct. W L Pct.
Bryant 6 0 1.000 13 4 .765
Robert Morris 4 2 .667 12 7 .632
St. Francis (NY) 4 2 .667 8 9 .471
Sacred Heart 4 2 .667 6 11 .353
Wagner 3 3 .500 9 8 .529
LIU Brooklyn 3 3 .500 8 10 .444
CCSU 3 3 .500 7 10 .412
Mount St. Mary's 2 4 .333 7 10 .412
Fairleigh Dickinson 2 4 .333 7 12 .368
Monmouth (NJ) 2 4 .333 7 12 .368
Quinnipiac 2 4 .333 6 12 .333
St. Francis (Pa.) 1 5 .167 1 16 .059


Friday, January 18, 2013

Quinnipiac and Yale gameday capsules, Yale opens Ivy League play



Where: Sewall Center, Moon Township, Pa.

When: Today, 7 p.m.

Records: Quinnipiac (6-11, 2-3 Northeast Conference); Robert Morris (11-7, 3-2)

Radio: WQUN-1220 AM


Video: NEC Front Row

What to look for

Scouting Quinnipiac: The Bobcats' snapped a three-game slide with an overtime win at St. Francis (Pa.) on Thursday. Despite needing the extra session to knock off the Red Flash, who entered the game just 1-15, the win was desperately needed. Ike Azotam led all scorers with 22 points as the Bobcats played without starters Dave Johnson and Garvey Young. Saint Francis forced the overtime period with a 6-0 run in the final two minutes of regulation; but Quinnipiac was quick to answer in overtime. Zaid Hearst collected the first two points and the Bobcats went on a 14-4 run over the next four minutes of play. Quinnipiac's defense was terrific, holding SFU to just one field goal (1-6) in the added five minutes.

Scouting Robert Morris: The Colonials defeated Sacred Heart 66-62 on Thursday despite playing without two of its top scorers Velton Jones and Karvel Anderson due to injury. One of the conference's preseason favorites, RMU has won three straight after opening the NEC campaign with losses at Central Connecticut and Bryant. Jones suffered a head injury on a flagrant foul in last week's game at Monmouth and is questionable. Mike McFadden and Lucky Jones both scored 15 in Thursday's win.


Where: Pizzitola Center, Providence, R.I.

When: Today, 7 p.m.

Records: Yale 6-11, Brown 4-9


What to look for

Scouting Brown: The Bears (6-8) are playing well under the direction of fi rst-year head coach Mike Martin. Brown has won two straight and three of its last five, including wins over Providence and Niagara. The Bears feature the Ivy League's top two rebounders in Rafael Maia (8.4 rpg.) and Cedric Kuakumensah (8.1 rpg.) and two of the top four scorers - Matthew Sullivan (3rd, 15.0 ppg.) and Sean McGonagill (4th, 14.6 ppg.). Brown is second in the league in field goal percentage defense (.420).

Scouting Yale: The Bulldogs open the Ivy League schedule winners of two of their last three games. The Bulldogs have finished fourth or better in the Ivy League in each of the last 12 years. That didn't earn Yale much respect in the preseason Ivy League media poll, which projected a sixth-place finish for the Bulldogs. Yale, though, has a history of proving the prognosticators wrong. In five of the last seven years, the Bulldogs have finished higher than projected.

-- Bill Cloutier

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Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Wyoming's Martinez suspended for role in bar fight

More details have emerged about the fight led to the suspension of Wyoming senior guard Luke Martinez.  It also seems that the Cowboys' second leading scorer will not be returning to the team anytime soon.
Luke Martinez
An affidavit of probable cause obtained by the Casper Star-Tribune cites several witnesses who claim Martinez kicked a victim in the face during the Dec. 30 fight after teammate Derrick Cooke Jr. knocked the victim out with a punch.

One witness in the affidavit suggested Martinez took "a running start" of about 15 feet before kicking the unconscious victim in the head as he lay in the street in front of a bar in Laramie. A second witness said Martinez kicked the victim's head "like it was a football." The victim's brother told police the victim suffered multiple fractures of his jaw in the fight and had to have his jaw wired shut.
Police arrested Martinez on a charge of aggravated battery and assault on Sunday for his involvement in the fight, during which he also broke a bone in his hand. Cooke has not been arrested, perhaps because witnesses say he punched the victim to protect Martinez after the victim swung at his teammate first.
The negative publicity from the incident has tarnished what otherwise has been a sterling season for Wyoming. The Cowboys (14-1) were one of the final four unbeaten teams in the nation before falling at the buzzer to Boise State last Wednesday, and they rebounded with a road win at Nevada over the weekend.

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Monday, January 14, 2013

Quinnipiac moves up No. 4 in US College Hockey online poll

NCAA Division I Ice Hockey Poll

MINNEAPOLIS - The top 20 teams in the NCAA Division I men's ice hockey poll, compiled by U.S. College Hockey Online, with first-place votes in parentheses, records through Jan. 13 and previous ranking: Record Pts Pvs
1. Minnesota (47) 16-3-3 992 1
2. Boston College 13-4-2 924 3
3. New Hampshire (1) 14-4-2 875 4
4. Quinnipiac (2) 17-3-3 847 5
5. Notre Dame 15-6-0 829 2
6. North Dakota 13-6-3 714 7
7. Denver 13-6-4 667 9
8. Miami 12-5-5 623 6
9. Boston University 12-7-0 617 8
10. Western Michigan 13-5-4 598 10
11. Dartmouth 9-5-2 477 12
12. Yale 9-4-3 432 14
13. Nebraska-Omaha 13-9-2 359 13
14. Minnesota State 14-8-2 348 11
15. Niagara 13-3-4 242 17
16. Cornell 7-6-2 220 15
17. Union 10-7-4 219 16
18. UMass-Lowell 11-7-1 175 20
19. St. Cloud State 12-10-0 135 18
20. Colgate 11-7-2 118 19
Others receiving votes: Wisconsin 19, Providence 15, Robert Morris 15, Ferris State 12, Lake Superior 12, Holy Cross 5, Northern Michigan 5, Princeton 4, Colorado College 1, Michigan Tech 1.

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Northeast Conference standings

                         Conference games          All games
Bryant                       4 0 1.000                 11 4 .733
Wagner                      3 1 .750                   9 6 .600
St. Francis (NY)        3 1 .750                   7 8 .467
Sacred Heart             3 1 .750                   5 10 .333
Robert Morris           2 2 .500                   10 7 .588
Fairleigh Dickinson    2 2 .500                   7 9 .438
CCSU                      2 2 .500                  6 9 .400
Mount St. Mary's      1 3 .250                 6 9 .400
LIU Brooklyn           1 3 .250                 6 10 .375
Monmouth (NJ)        1 3 .250                 6 11 .353
Quinnipiac                1 3 .250                 5 10 .333
St. Francis (Pa.)       1 3 .250                 1 14 .067

A day in the life of Quinnipiac coach Tom Moore

Recently, our Chirs Hunn spent a day with Quinnipiac men's basketball coach Tom Moore.

Here is a link to the story:

“For every single one of them you’re nervous,” says Moore, sitting in a chair seeming a bit jittery. “It’s a different type of job than most people have. A banker could have a good or bad day and his or her boss knows. A landscaper has a bad day and they lose a customer or something. In this profession if you go out there and play terrible, it’s a reflection on me. It’s that fear of, and Bill Parcells said this too, you remember the bad losses more than the big wins. I certainly do. It gets to the point where winning is good just because it’s not losing. Those are the feelings you have about an hour or so before the game.”

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USC axes O'Neill

Here's the latest from USC according to AP:

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Kevin O’Neill was fired as Southern California basketball coach on Monday after 3 ½ years during which he failed to turn around a program weighed down by NCAA issues that preceded his arrival and a string of player injuries.
O’Neill had a 48-65 record, including 7-10 this season after going 6-26 last year.
Veteran assistant Bob Cantu will serve as interim coach while USC searches for a successor. Cantu took over for O’Neill during a Pac-10 tournament semifinal game in 2010-11 when the coach was suspended for an incident involving a booster. He has remained on the staff through four coaching changes and is the longest tenured assistant in the Pac-12.
Athletic director Pat Haden said it became evident to him that the program needed new leadership.
“Despite a nice road win in our last game, I felt it was best to make a change now, with most of the Pac-12 season still ahead of us, in order to re-energize our team,” he said.
The Trojans are 2-2 in the Pac-12 after a road split last weekend. They lost at Colorado before winning at Utah to snap a 14-game road skid. USC has lost nine of its last 13 games, which included a five-game skid.
“I enjoyed my four years at USC,” O’Neill said in a statement. “It is a special place. I enjoyed the people I worked with, the players I coached and our fans. I thank USC for allowing me to guide their program. I couldn’t be more proud to work anywhere.”
Last season, the Trojans were hard-hit by injury, leaving O’Neill with just six scholarship players who managed to keep the team in nearly every game.
Upon arriving at USC in June 2009, O’Neill had to deal with the fallout from an ongoing NCAA investigation and the departure of star O.J. Mayo, who played one season before leaving for the NBA. The next season he lost three starters and four of his top six players from the rotation.
Then came last season, when the Trojans were plagued by injuries, most notably to point guard Jio Fontan, who tore his ACL after scoring 57 points in two exhibition games during an exhibition tour in Brazil. Forward Aaron Fuller (shoulder) and big man Dewayne Dedmon (torn MCL) also went down with season-ending injuries at various points.
O’Neill came into this season feeling optimistic, having a full complement of 13 scholarship players who were healthy.
“It was hard for me to evaluate him as a head coach until this year when he had enough players and veterans to compete,” Haden said. “As the season progressed, it became evident to me that we needed new leadership.”


Thursday, January 3, 2013

Robert Morris pick to win the NEC, Quinnipiac tabbed for 7th

By Bill Cloutier

Quinnipiac tips off the Northeast Conference season tonight when it hosts St. Francis (N.Y.) in the first of two crucial contests this weekend. The Bobcats, who opened the season with high hopes of capturing its first conference title and an NCAA Tournament berth, struggled through the non-conference portion of its season.

Although nearly defeating UConn in the Paradise Jam Tournament earlier in the season the Bobcats are just 1-4 at home and lost to Maine last time out. Their halfcourt offense and foul-shooting remain major problems.

Here is a look at the predicted order of finish in the NEC regular season:

1. Robert Morris (8-5, current record): Always a title contender no player in the league is more clutch than Velton Jones. The Colonials have played in four straight NEC championship games. Led by up-and-coming coach Andy Toole, RMU is a lock to battle for the title once again and Jones could seize Player of the Year honors.

2. Wagner (6-5): The Seahawks lost coach Danny Hurley to Rhode Island but are still one of the top clubs in the conference coming off an impressive 25-6 campaign. Bashir Thompson is the youngest coach in the nation and he has had an uneven start to his tenure mixing lineups along the way but Wagner is talented and has perhaps more depth than anyone in the conference.

3. Long Island (5-7): The Blackbirds were the preseason favorite for their third straight NEC title but after losing reigning Player of the Year Julian Boyd to a season-ending knee injury their margin for error took a serious hit. Jamal Olasawere will have to shoulder an increased load and manage to stay out of foul trouble which has been his undoing in the past. LIU can't afford any other injuries on its way back to the NCAA and will be without its top three players for the first two games of the NEC season (Olasawere and C.J. Garner due to suspension and Boyd due to injury).

4. St. Francis (N.Y.) (4-7): Rugged power forward Jalen Cannon leads the enigmatic Terriers. Cannon is one of the few threats to Quinnipiac's Ike Azotam to win the NEC rebounding title. He is a rugged force in the paint with a deft touch. SFNY needs to find consistent scoring to battle for the title but are a menace with Cannon in tight games.

5. Bryant (7-4): This is the first year that the Bulldogs are eligible for the postseason and the timing couldn't be any better. Bryant won just one conference game last season and is wildly inconsistent but its starting lineup is solid offensively and that alone will lead to several wins. A fast start will get them in the postseason tournament and they've already won at Boston College and Lehigh.

6. Central Connnecticut State (4-7): The Blue Devils will be fun to watch led by high-scoring combo of Kyle Vinales and Matt Hunter. Suprisingly, however, CCSU is one of the worst rebounding teams in the country and if coach Howie Dickenman can't change that then no one can. It will be their downfall.

7. Quinnipiac (4-7): The Bobcats were picked fourth in the preseason poll but no one has stepped up consistently to help their struggling offense. Ike Azotam is sure to draw double- and triple-team defenses in the halfcourt set leaving the scoring burden to others. No team will work harder or rebound better but there's only so many games that coach Tom Moore can provide the difference.

8. Sacred Heart (2-9): The Pioneers have the league's best scorer in Shane Gibson and one its best pure point guards in Wallingford's Phil Gaetano. They don't have depth, however, and have struggled mightily in the preseason. Gibson has to have a huge year to keep coach Dave Bike's team in the playoff picture.

9. Monmouth (5-8): The Hawks, along with Quinnipiac, will move to the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference next season. Monmouth has the potential to crack the top eight and earn an NEC Tournament berth but they seem to lack the offensive firepower to go any further.

10. Mount St. Mary's (5-6): Junior guard Julian Norfleet will look to carry the Mount back into the top half of the league. After winning just six games in the NEC last year Jamion Christian takes over as head coach but MSM has not shot the ball nor rebounded well in non-conference action.

11. Fairleigh Dickinson (5-7): Kinu Rochford is the hottest name in the NEC coming off back-to-back 30-point performances. The Knights could finish much higher if Hartford-transfer Mustafaa Jones shoots well but history is against them.

12. Saint Francis (Pa.) (0-11): Sure the Red Flash have played difficult non-conference schedule but not only are they winless they really haven't even been competitive. Umar Shannon is a one-man team.

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