Ohio State thrashes Northeastern, 80-55

Columbus, Ohio — It didn’t take long to realize that the Northeastern Huskies’ men’s basketball team was overmatched in Sunday afternoon’s PK 80 Invitational game at Value City Arena.

Ohio State (4-0) jumped out to a 15-2 lead in the first five and a half minutes, and the Buckeyes never trailed en route to a 80-55 thumping over visiting Northeastern. Junior forwards Jae’Sean Tate (24 pts, 10-10 FG) and Keita Bates-Diop (19 pts, 7 rebs) dominated Northeastern inside, as the Buckeyes posted a +11 rebounding margin. The Huskies fell to 2-2 after Friday’s loss at Stanford — also a part of the Invitational.

“I thought the difference in the game was clearly their front line and their physicality,” Northeastern Head Coach Bill Coen said.

“They were able to wedge their way in around the basket, either for rebounds or post position. We really had difficulty keeping them off their spots.”

Donnell Gresham was the lone bright spot for the Huskies, poring in a career-high 16 points on 4-8 shooting from three. The redshirt sophomore guard topped his previous best of 15, which he logged in Friday’s loss at Stanford.

Tate set a school record for most shot attempts without a miss, and he terrorized NU all night long. The 6’4 forward scored 11 of the Buckeyes’ first 13 points, helping OSU build a commanding lead in the opening minutes.

“That’s big, especially at home just getting the crowd into it,” Tate said.

“In that moment, you’re just blacked-out, playing hard… I’m just worried about the job at hand.”

Things got worse once Bates-Diop got on the board. The 6’7 forward hit a free throw to put the Buckeyes 19-7 with 11:32 to go in the first half, and then scored nine of the next 11 Buckeye points to stretch the lead to 30-9. Overall, ohio state shot 63% from the floor in the opening 20 minutes. Northeastern hobbled into the half with a 47-17 deficit, buoyed by 11 points from Gresham.

The second half got better, as Northeastern outscored Ohio State, 38-33, in the second frame. Sophomore wing Shawn Occeus and redshirt junior point guard Vasa Pusica combined for 17 points after being held scoreless in the opening 20 minutes.

“They responded well at half time with some grit and we’ll try to take that moving forward,” Coen said.

“When things aren’t going well, you find out who’s going to lay down and quit and who’s going to go out there and compete. I certainly wasn’t pleased at all with the first half effort. Maybe we were a little intimidated, maybe we were a little jet-lagged — whatever it was there’s no excuse for that.”

Up next for the Huskies is another pair of PK 80 Invitational  games in Nashville, Tennessee. NU will take on Utah State at 3:30 pm on Friday before a battle with Furman at 3:30 p.m. on Saturday. Matt MacCormack and Josh Brown will have the call.

Three-goal third period pushes Boston College to 4-1 win over No. 12 Northeastern

By: Josh Brown

BOSTON- Same situation. Different result.

Trailing 1-0 after two periods to Boston College on Saturday night at Matthews Arena, Northeastern was hoping for some of the same magic that propelled them to a 2-1 come-from-behind victory over Vermont just a night prior.

But the Eagles scored three goals in a span of less than three minutes to lead them to a 4-1 win over Northeastern.

The win improves the Eagles (8-5-1, 8-1-0) to 5-0-1 in their last six games at Matthews Arena.

Freshman Cayden Primeau got the start in net for the Huskies (7-4-1, 5-2-0), saving 26 shots on the evening.

BC struck first at 19:49 courtesy of an even strength goal from Jesper Mattila. Battling in front of the net, the sophomore redirected a rocket past Primeau.

Northeastern peppered Eagles goalie Joe Woll (27 saves) with 13 shots in the second period, but the sophomore was able to keep Northeastern off the board. Primeau stopped all three shots that he saw in the middle frame.

Both squads came out firing in the third period, but neither was able to find the back of the net until Graham McPhee slotted a puck home on the power play at 9:16. Ron Grecco and Julius Mattila quickly followed up with two goals off quirky bounces to put the Eagles up 4-0.

John Picking answered with his first collegiate goal at 16:41, but it was too little too late.

Northeastern will have 10 days off for Thanksgiving before traveling to Hartford on November 28th for a Tuesday night tilt against UConn. WRBB will have complete coverage, with pregame coverage beginning at 6:45 p.m.

 

Third period rally leads No. 12 Northeastern to 2-1 victory over Vermont

By: Dan McLoone

BOSTON – The high-scoring offense wasn’t firing on all cylinders on Friday night for No. 12 Northeastern, but the Huskies were able to produce just enough goals to earn a 2-1 comeback win over Vermont at Matthews Arena.

Freshman Alex Esposito opened the scoring 1:14 into the first period for the Catamounts (3-8-1, 1-4-1 Hockey East), corralling a rebound in the crease off of a Derek Lodermeier shot and sending it home for his first career goal.

The Huskies (7-3-1, 5-1-0 HE) had numerous chances to tie it, but were unable to capitalize on two power play opportunities and rang post four times on the evening. Dylan Sikura and Garrett Cockerill both returned to the lineup to boost the offense, but Vermont netminder Stefanos Lekkas (25 saves) made the Huskies work for goals all night.

With 9:10 left in the third, the Huskies  offense finally broke through. Matt Filipe got a stick on a shot from Ryan Shea along the blue line and deflected it past Stefanos Lekkas to tie the score.

NU kept up the persistent offensive pressure down the stretch and were finally rewarded. Dylan Sikura led Jeremy Davies with an entry pass into the offensive zone, and Davies skated in from the right side before slotting a shot into the bottom right corner of the net with 2:12 left to give the Huskies a 2-1 lead. The defense stood strong down the stretch, as freshman netminder Cayden Primeau made 20 saves on the night to preserve the win.

With the win, the Huskies move snap a five-game winless streak against Vermont and move to 5-1 in Hockey East play for the first time since 1985. They will look to continue the strong start when Boston College visits Matthews Arena on Saturday night. Puck drop is scheduled for 7 p.m. with coverage beginning on 6:45 p.m. on WRBB.

 

Northeastern Falls to Stanford 73-59

by Kyle Williams

PALO ALTO, Calif. — Donnell Gresham Jr. had 15 points, and Bolden Brace added 13 as the Northeastern University Huskies fell to the Stanford Cardinal. Michael Humphrey and Isaac White had 17 points each for Stanford, and Reid Travis chipped in 16.

NU started the game shooting poorly, finishing the first half 4-18 from beyond the arc and 10-31 overall. Anthony Green provided 4 points and 5 rebounds – 3 offensive – in the first half to keep the game close; Northeastern ended the half with a +2 rebounding margin, including +3 offensive. Vasa Pusica was a non-factor, shooting only 1-6 from the field. Reid Travis was a big presence inside for the Cardinal, with 10 first half points. Stanford went up by as many as 12, but Gresham closed the half with a 30-footer off of one foot to cut the lead to single digits.

Stanford came out hot in the second half, building a 17-point with ten minutes left in the game. Northeastern cut the lead to 3 following a 17-2 run, highlighted by a barrage of threes from Gresham and Brace. Brace hit two straight from beyond the arc, followed by a three and a transition three point play from Gresham. Tomas Murphy hit another 3 before a layup by Gresham cut the lead to 57-55. Isaac Whitehead came down and drained a three, and followed that up with a layup for the Cardinal, who never let the Huskies get that close again down the stretch. After falling down 9 points, Oscar Da Silva hit the dagger for Stanford, a three that stretched the lead to 71-59 with a minute to play.

The Huskies ended the game shooting under 40% from the floor and under 30% from three. Stanford shot over 50% both from the field and beyond the arc. The loss drops the Huskies to 2-1 on the season. They’ll play Ohio State in Columbus on Sunday.

MBB coasts over Wentworth in home opener, 83-49

by Michael Petillo

BOSTON — Northeastern rode a balanced attack to a comfortable 83-49 win in their home opener Sunday afternoon against Wentworth at Matthews Arena. Four Huskies reached double digit points on the day and every player on the roster played at least 13 minutes.  Sophomore guard Shawn Occeus came off the bench to lead the team with 12 points, including three makes from three-point range.  On the Wentworth side, senior forward Jason Ganley notched 17 to lead all scorers and chipped in three rebounds in the loss.  Looking ahead for Northeastern, they travel across the country to face Stanford next Friday at 6 p.m. before heading to Columbus to take on Ohio State on Sunday at 2 p.m.

Occeus and Coach Bill Coen dish on the win in the postgame presser:

Three third period goals propels UMass Lowell to 4-2 win over No. 13 Northeastern

By: Josh Brown

LOWELL – The Hockey East undefeated streak ends at four.

Tommy Panico scored two third period goals and Nick Master added another to lead UMass Lowell to a come-from-behind 4-2 win over No. 13 Northeastern on Saturday night at the Tsongas Center.

Cayden Primeau got the start in net for Northeastern (6-3-1, 4-1-0), making 26 saves on the evening. The freshman goalie took two shots to the head throughout the course of the game, but was able to remain in net.

Northeastern took a 1-0 lead when sophomore defenseman Jeremy Davies beat UMass Lowell (5-7-0, 2-6-0) netminder Christoffer Hernberg (33 saves) five-hole on the power play. The goal was Davies’ first on the season.

Lowell answered with a power play goal of its own at the 17:44 mark in the first period. Sophomore Tyler Lohin took a feed from Kenny Hausinger and roofed it over Primeau’s shoulder.

The second period was a back-and-forth affair that ended with a Nolan Stevens power play goal with just under four minutes remaining. The senior captain cleaned up a rebound off an Adam Gaudette shot and guided it into the back of the net.

Lowell started the third period with a burst of energy, scoring two goals in the first six minutes of the frame. Tommy Panico tied the game up at two before Nick Master gave the River Hawks a lead that they would ultimately hold on to.

Despite a flurry of chances for both teams throughout the game’s final 14 minutes, the only other tally was a Panico empty net strike with 49 seconds remaining in the game.

Northeastern will next take the ice on Friday when they host Hockey East foe Vermont. WRBB will have complete coverage, with pregame analysis beginning at 6:45 p.m.

Gaudette, Griffin lead No. 13 Northeastern to 6-1 beatdown over No. 15 Boston University

By: Dan McLoone

BOSTON – A sold-out crowd showed up to the No. 13 Northeastern men’s’ ice hockey game on Homecoming weekend, and the Huskies did not disappoint. The Huskies completed a series sweep of No. 15 Boston University with a 6-1 blowout win at a raucous Matthews Arena on Friday night, extending an unbeaten start to the season in Hockey East play.

Nolan Stevens opened the scoring for the Huskies (6-2-1, 4-0-0 Hockey East) three minutes into the game, firing a puck over the shoulder of BU goalie Jake Oettinger. Adam Gaudette doubled the lead 3:17 later, wristing home a shot from the slot.

Trailing 2-0 heading into the second period, the Terriers (4-6-1, 2-3-1 HE) wasted little time cutting into the lead. Patrick Harper made it 2-1 just 42 seconds into the period, skating coast-to-coast with the puck and firing home a shot from the blue line.

It was all Northeastern from there, as Gaudette reclaimed a two-goal cushion for the Huskies at the 16:30 mark, poking home a shot from Zach Solow (3 assists) on the power play that bounced off the boards behind the net and into the crease.

Lincoln Griffin made it 4-1 6:39 into the third period, deflecting home a power play shot from the blue line off the stick of Solow. Griffin added his second goal of the night seven minutes later, beating Oettinger to a 50-50 puck in the offensive zone and sending it into an empty net to make it 5-1.

That second goal spelled the end of the night for Oettinger, who was pulled in favor of Max Prawdzik after making 16 saves on 21 shots. On the other side of the ice, freshman Cayden Primeau was solid in net for the Huskies, making 33 saves on 34 shots.

The Huskies weren’t done there, as they continued to pile on following a 10-minute misconduct call on Patrick Curry with just 14 seconds left in the game. In the ensuing man advantage, Trevor Owens threw a shot on net from the blue line that Bobby Hampton redirected home for NU’s third power play goal of the game and a 6-1 lead.

The win was the first home victory over BU since 2012 for the Huskies, snapping a five-game stretch. It also marks the first series win against the Terriers since the 2000-01 season, and gives NU two straight victories over BU for the first time since 2012-13.

Northeastern will now focus on a quick turnaround, as the team travels North to Lowell to take on the UMass Lowell Riverhawks on Saturday night. Puck drop is scheduled for 7 p.m.with full coverage beginning at 6:45 p.m. on WRBB.

 

CAA Preview: Northeastern Basketball

nuHead Coach: Bill Coen (12th season)

Last Season: 15-16 (8-10, 6th in CAA); lost to Towson in CAA Quarterfinal

Projected Finish: 6th

Preseason All-Conference Selections: G Devon Begley (Honorable Mention), F/C Jeremy Miller (Honorable Mention)

 

 

Losses:

  • G T.J. Williams (21.4 ppg, 5.3 apg, 4.7 rpg; CAA Player of the Year)
  • F Alex Murphy (14.0 ppg, 5.8 rpg)

Newcomers:

  • G Vasa Pusica (transfer from San Diego University)
  • G Derrick Cook (Langston Hughes/Fairburn, Ga.)
  • G Myles Franklin (Villa Park/Brea, Calif.)
  • F Tomas Murphy (Northfield Mount Hermon/Wakefield, R.I.)
  • F Jason Strong (Westminster Academy/Coconut Creek, Fla.)

by Matthew MacCormack

 

The 2017-18 season ushers in a new era of Northeastern Huskies’ basketball; life after T.J.

Point guard T.J. Williams exploded onto the scene last season, averaging 21/5/5 en route to a no-brainer selection as CAA Player of the Year. Williams went from averaging just 7 ppg in his junior season to being the undisputed focal point of the Husky offense as a senior.

But Williams in black and red is no more. The dynamic guard is on to the greener pastures of the NBA G-League. Gone, too, is Alex Murphy, a 6’8 combo forward who led the team in rebounding (5.6 rpg) and was the second leading scorer (14.1 ppg).

Therein lies the biggest question of the 2017-18 campaign; who will step up to replace this production?

The returning cast is, in a word, inexperienced – seven of the Huskies 12 active players are either freshman or sophomores.

Devon Begley an All-CAA Defensive selection and Preseason Honorable Mention, is the team’s only senior, and remains as the lone holdover from the 2014-15 Husky squad that won the CAA and nearly upset Notre Dame in the first round of the Big Dance. Begley posted a career-high 9.7 ppg last season, and found his niche as a 3-D wing and occasional playmaker. It’s possible Begley takes a Williams-like leap and becomes an All-Conference caliber player, but don’t count on it.

Around Begley are a cast of three juniors that will likely determine the Huskies’ success this season. Redshirt junior guard Vasa Pusica could find himself with plenty of ball-handling duties. The 6’5 Pusica averaged 8.5 points and 4 rebounds a game in his freshman year at U San Diego, and led the team in assists. The Huskies are thirsty for a playmaking point, and Pusica has the opportunity to deliver.

Center Anthony Green made huge strides on the defensive end last season, and the 6’10, 252 pound behemoth is a nice interior piece to build around.

Questions abound around 6’10 F/C Jeremy Miller. Miller entered Northeastern as a three-star recruit: an intriguing mix of size, length and shooting ability. After averaging 8.3 ppg and 3.9 rpg as a freshman, Miller regressed last season, largely due to an 11-game absence thanks to a knee injury suffered in a win at Michigan State.

Although Miller didn’t receive a medical redshirt, his classmate Donnell Gresham did. “Red” Gresham was a solid contributor in his freshman season, but missed all but four games with a hand injury suffered against LIU-Brooklyn. The redshirt sophomore has a good chance to earn a starting role, and is a great complementary ball-handler and spot-up shooter (42% from three in his freshman year).

Last year, a trio of freshman – G Bolden Brace, F Shawn Occeus and F Max Boursiquot – all saw extended playing time as injuries mounted later in the season. All three will have an opportunity to solidify their roles this season. Occeus is an athletic wing who flashed plenty of potential last season. Boursiquot is a do-it-all, undersized (6’5) four-man who profiles as a fantastic role player moving forward.

The most intriguing of the three, however, is Bolden Brace. The 6’8 sophomore has a sweet shooting stroke, and showed on multiple occasions last season that he can carry an offense. Brace dropped 20+ in back-to-back games in early February at William & Mary and James Madison, and then tied the school’s all-time record with 10 threes in a 40-point performance at Elon. If Brace can take a step as a playmaker, he might be something special.

Of the crop of four freshman, bigman Tomas Murphy is the most likely to play a large role this season. With his older brother Alex graduated, the 6’8 Tomas has a chance to earn big frontcourt minutes. Murphy was rated as a four-star recruit by ESPN. Players of that caliber rarely enter the CAA – you can thank the Murphy family’s close ties with coach Coen for this one.

Bottom Line: The media picked Northeastern to finish 6th in the CAA in the preseason poll, and that seems fair. Williams’ graduation leaves a massive hole in the playmaking department, but there’s a chance a more equal-opportunity offense opens things up for the young Huskies. Uncertainty is the name of the game here, and the development of players like Pusica, Miller, Gresham and Brace will likely determine how the season goes. If all goes right, the Huskies will be in the middle of the pack in the CAA, and the young guys will get plenty of time to hone their skills for the future.

 

CAA Preview: College of Charleston Cougars

charlestonHead Coach: Earl Grant (4th season)

Last Season: 25-10 (14-4, 2nd in CAA); lost to UNCW in CAA Finals

Projected Finish: 1st

Preseason All-Conference Selections: G Joe Chealey (First Team; Preseason CAA Player of the Year), F Jarrell Brantley (First Team), G Grant Riller (Second Team)

 

 

Losses:

  • G Payton Hulsey (4.6 ppg; transferred to Florida Atlantic)
  • F Chevez Goodwin (2.3 ppg; transferred to Wofford)
  • G Erik Goldbach
  • F Terrance O’Donohue

Newcomers:

  • C Samba Ndiaye (Sunrise Christian Academy/Theis, Senegal)
  • G Brevin Galloway (redshirted last season)
  • F/C Osinachi Smart (redshirted last season)
  • G Trent Robinson (walk-on)
  • F Jermaine Blackmon (walk-on)

by Matthew MacCormack

It’s looking more and more like the CAA is Charleston’s conference to lose this season. The Cougars return their top six scorers from a 25-win team that lost in single digits to UNCW in the CAA Championship back in March.

Sweet-shooting senior guard Joe Chealey is the conference’s pre-season Player of the Year after dropping 17.5 points per game in his junior season. Junior forward Jarrell Brantley may have been Chealey’s chief competition for that preseason honor; the Swiss army knife averaged 14.2 ppg and 8.5 rpg last season en route to All-First Team preseason honors. It’s crazy to think that microwave-scoring guard Grant Riller, who whipped up 13 ppg as a freshman last year, is the third option on offense.

Oh, and don’t forget that Charleston had the conference’s top scoring defense (63.4 ppg) last season, thanks to the defensive prowess of Earl Grant, the CAA’s reigning Coach of the Year.

Add up all those pieces, and it comes as absolutely no surprise that the Cougars garnered 38 of the 40 first-place votes in the conference’s preseason media poll. The Cougars are the most talented squad in the CAA – and it’s not even close.

Earl Grant has established himself as a phenomenal defensive coach. The Cougars have led the conference in points allowed for the past two seasons, and each time the next best team was at least five points behind.

Both Brantley and senior guard Cam Johnson made the CAA All-Defensive team last season. At 6’7, 250 pounds, Brantley has the size to bang down low and the quickness to switch onto crafty guards. Johnson is as elite a perimeter defender as you’ll see in the conference.Despite his lack of size, guard Marquise Pointer is a bulldog. The rest of the roster is lined with length, including forwards Nick Harris (6’10) and Jaylen McManus (6’7) whose wingspans would make even Giannis Antetokounmpo blush.

The offensive balance for Charleston should be intriguing. Chealey is a classic go-to scorer; he scored 20+ a whopping 14 times last season — including all three games in the CAA Tournament – while shooting 39% from three. He also shot 82% from the free throw line on 7.2 attempts per game.

Complementing Chealey is the inside-out game of Brantley. The massive forward does most of his scoring on the block and from midrange, but he shot 37% on 84 three-point attempts a season ago.

Riller, meanwhile, is a gunner. As a freshman, Riller racked up eight games with 20+ points. His 33% three-point clip should only improve.

Losing Payton Hulsey and Chavez Goodwin to transfers leaves the Cougar’s bench a little more inexperienced than Grant might’ve liked. Senior Evan Bailey is a nice spot-up shooter off the pine. Redshirt freshman guard Brevin Galloway and F/C Osinachi Smart will likely have to play some important minutes. The team’s only freshman, center Samba N’Diaye, provides some depth in the frontcourt.

Bottom Line: All of the pieces are there for Charleston to lead the CAA wire-to-wire. UNCW lost a handful of talented pieces, and no other side seems poised to make “the leap.” Expect Chealey and Brantley to be legitimate Player of the Year candidates, and for Riller to continue filling it up. It’d be a surprise if the Cougars aren’t hoisting the CAA trophy in early March.