NU outlasts Elon in double-OT thriller

By: Matthew MacCormack

Elon, N.C — The Northeastern bench looked barren prior to tip-off Thursday night.

Junior Devon Begley (wrist) and sophomores Donnell Gresham (wrist) and Jeremy Miller (knee) were all back in Boston with injuries. Senior Alex Murphy (the team’s second leading scorer) was a late scratch from the trip, for what the team called “personal reasons.”

Losers of nine of their last 11, NU  was down to just seven players.

It was going to take something extraordinary for the Huskies to upend Elon at Alumni Gymnasium, where the Phoenix toted a 9-3 record.

Extraordinary was just what they got.

Freshman Bolden Brace dropped 40 points, including a school-record 10 threes, to guide Northeastern to a 105-104, double-overtime victory. Elon sophomore Tyler Seibring (30 points, 12 rebounds) hit a fallaway jumper at the end of regulation to force overtime, but missed a similar look as time expired in the second overtime to seal the deal for the Huskies(15-14, 8-9 CAA).

“I’ve been at Northeastern for 11 years now,” head coach Bill Coen said post-game. “Given the circumstances and the numbers, That was as good a win to cobble together that I’ve been associated with.

Brace joins NU legends J.J. Barea and Reggie Lewis as the only Huskies to reach the 40-point mark in a game. The freshman had 28 of the Huskies’ 43 points at the half, including a seven of 10 clip from beyond the arc.

“It’s the best feeling in the world,” said Brace, who played all 50 minutes. “When you see the ball go through the basket that many times in one game, there’s no feeling like it.”

Senior T.J. Williams posted the program’s first triple-double since 2006 with a tremendous 26-point, 10-rebound, 12-assist effort. Sophomore big man Anthony Green chipped in a double-double (11 points, 11 rebounds) before fouling out late, and senior Jimmy Marshall (15 points) and freshman Max Boursiquot (13 points) also hit double figures.

NU topped 100 points for the first time in the Bill Coen era (2006-present).

We have about 5 guys back home, we almost have more guys back home than we do here,” Coen said.

“The way guys stepped up and guys are in different roles, and in a very difficult place to win, against a team that’s playing as well and anyone in the CAA; I just couldn’t be prouder of that group in the locker room.”

The Huskies will battle UNCW on Saturday in Trask Arena. Jeremy Leopold and Matt MacCormack will have the call, with pre-game coverage starting at 1:45 p.m. Follow the link for our exclusive stream: http://www.wrbbsports.com/listen-live/.

 

Aston-Reese hat trick leads Northeastern to senior night victory over Connecticut

By: Dan McLoone

BOSTON – In the last regular-season home game for Northeastern, the Huskies took a big step in securing at least two more games at Matthews Arena with a 4-1 win over UConn on Saturday night.

On Senior Night, the Huskies honored their nine-man senior class of Zach Aston-Reese, Brendan Collier, Mike Jamieson, Sam Kurker, Will Messa, Tanner Pond, Ryan Rosenthal, Jake Schechter and John Stevens with a pregame ceremony before completing the weekend sweep of UConn.

Northeastern (15-12-5, 8-9-3) continued with its proclivity for finding the back of the net in the first period, surviving an early rush from UConn and potting three goals in the opening frame. Aston-Reese got the scoring going just four minutes into the game, firing a shot past UConn (10-14-8, 6-10-4) netminder Rob Nichols. The senior assistant captain doubled the lead three minutes later, tapping home a beautiful pass from Nolan Stevens on the doorstep to make it 2-0.

Adam Gaudette made it 3-0 with eight minutes left in the first period, tying a Northeastern record with his 14th power play goal of the season. UConn got one back just two minutes into the second period, as Maxim Letunov picked up his seventh goal of the season.

Aston-Reese completed the hat trick with three minutes left in the second period, firing a shot from the blue line that bounced off of Nichols’ chest and into the back of the net. The tally gave Aston-Reese his third hat trick of the season after previously potting a treble against Michigan State and Clarkson.

UConn tried to mount a comeback in the third period, but the Northeastern defense held strong, finishing the weekend seven for seven on the penalty kill. Ryan Ruck made all the stops he needed to in net, finishing the evening with 24 saves.

With the win and New Hampshire’s loss to Boston University, Northeastern moved up to eighth place in the Hockey East standings and now controls its own destiny heading into the final week of the regular season. The Huskies will look to secure a first-round home playoff series when they travel to Maine to take on the Black Bears for two games. Puck drop is scheduled for 7:30 p.m. on Friday and 7 p.m. on Saturday, with pregame coverage of both games starting 15 minutes earlier on WRBB.

Charleston tops NU for Huskies’ third straight loss on Senior Day

By: Matthew MacCormack

BOSTON —  The Huskies hung around for a while, but Charleston got superstar performances from their top three players and rode hot shooting to a 85-71 victory over Northeastern on Saturday afternoon at Matthews Arena. NU seniors Jimmy Marshall, Alex Murphy and T.J. Williams played their final games at Matthews on Senior Day.

The trio of Joe Chealey (29 points), Jarrell Brantley (21 points) and Grant Riller (21 points) combined to score 86% of Charleston’s points. Incredible three-point shooting outputs from Chealey (6 of 8) and Riller (5 of 9) opened up the high post for the 6’7 Brantley, who also posted seven rebounds.

For the game, Charleston shot 63% from the floor and 50% from three.

“They played a terrific game,” said head coach Bill Coen.  “They have an inside-outside balance that’s tough to deal with.”

Williams’ 18 points led the way for NU. After a layup from Max Boursiquot (10 points) knotted the game at 48 with 13:57 to play, Charleston’s three stars pushed the game out of reach. The lead ballooned to as large as 17.

“[Charleston] kept us on a string today. And I thought they played on a championship level.”

Marshall, Murphy and Williams all got the start, and were honored pre-game for Senior Day festivities.

“It’s been great just to be able to be out there with a great group of guys that I can call my brothers,” Williams said. “Building those relationships is what it’s all about.”

Kurker scores two as Northeastern shuts out UConn

By Josh Brown

HARTFORD – On a night with crucial Hockey East points on the line, the battle of the Huskies went to the boys from Boston for the seventh consecutive time.

If Ryan Ruck was Batman, earning his first shutout of the season on a 20-save effort, then Sam Kurker was Robin. The senior netted his second and third goals of the season to propel Northeastern (14-12-5, 7-9-3) to a 3-0 win over Connecticut.

A relatively lifeless first period saw the teams combine to put just 13 shots on net, with none finding the back of the net.

Kurker got it going for the Huskies at the 12:52 mark of the second period, tracking down a loose puck in the slot and roofing it over the shoulder of UConn goalie Adam Huska (30 saves). Adam Gaudette added support just under five minutes later, notching his 22nd goal of the season.

That would be more than enough for Northeastern, who held off a relatively disjointed UConn attack down the stretch before Kurker netted an empty-net goal to seal the deal.

The teams will be back in action on Saturday night, when Northeastern honors its eight seniors in the last regular season home game of their careers. Josh Brown and Dan McLoone will be on the call beginning at 7:15 p.m.

Despite Williams’ 33, Huskies’ comeback fall short to UNCW

BOSTON — A herculean 27 point second half effort from T.J. Williams wasn’t enough to overcome a 20-point halftime deficit and the Northeastern Huskies fell at Matthews Arena to the UNCW Seahawks, 66-65 on Thursday night.

A 14-14 game at 9:23 in the first half quickly unraveled for the Huskies as a 15-4 Seahawk run led to a 39-19 Northeastern deficit at the half. Chris Flemmings led the surge for UNCW, scoring 20 points on 9-12 shooting in the first period of action.

“We have spurts where we play at a really high level and spurts like the first half where we really didn’t play at a high level,” said Northeastern head coach Bill Coen.

On the offensive end for Northeastern, nothing was falling. The Huskies shot just 26% (7-27) from the field and 18% (2-11) from deep.

The halftime message must have resonated because they came out of the locker a different team. Williams led the charge, getting to the rim and the line at will, scoring 24 of his 27 from the paint and the stripe. Williams ended the game with 33 points, a new career high.

“I thought [Williams] played a tremendous game today, extremely competitive and fought right to the buzzer against a really, really good Wilmington team,” said Coen

On the defensive end, the Husked tightened things up in the second half, holding UNCW to just 27 points on 21% shooting and just 9% from deep.

What kept the Seahawks afloat in the second half was a dominating performance on the offensive glass, led by Devontae Cacock, who had six offensive rebounds, all in the second half.

“They got a ton of offensive rebounds,” said Coen. “We needed to do a better job in that area to really finish off our defensive possessions.”

Up by three, with five seconds left, UNCW head coach Kevin Keatts elected to foul Williams and put him at the line instead of give the Huskies a chance to tie the game with a three. Williams went 1-2 from the line and two free throws on the other end from Denzel Ingram gave the Seahawks a four-point lead. A three from Williams at the buzzer wasn’t enough and the Huskies dropped back-to-back games at Matthews for the first time this season.

For the Seahawks, this win puts them at 23-5 (11-3 CAA) and keeps them a game up on College of Charleston in the CAA. For Northeastern, they fall to14-13 (7-8 CAA) and just one game away from missing out on a first round bye in the CAA tournament.

“It’s not like we haven’t been here before,” said Williams. “We know what it takes to win and I feel like we just have to put it together and get a W.”

Northeastern’s next game is senior night at Matthews Arena when they take on the College of Charleston Cougars on Saturday at 1pm. Coverage begins at 12:45 on 104.9FM or wrbbsports.com/listenlive.

Sikura plays hero again as Northeastern downs No. 11 Boston College, takes third in Beanpot

By: Dan McLoone

BOSTON – It may not have been in the game they wanted it, but Northeastern picked up a win on the second Monday in February.

For the second year in a row, the Huskies (12-12-5) earned a victory in the Beanpot consolation game. Dylan Sikura netted what proved to be the game-winner with just 43 seconds left and Adam Gaudette added an empty-netter to earn a thrilling 4-2 victory over Boston College (18-11-2).

The Eagles got the scoring started with 2:29 left in the first period, as David Cotton deflected a shot from the right dot past Ryan Ruck for a 1-0 lead. Freshman Matt Filipe, a Lynnfield native who never forgot his roots, tied up the game in the second period. He then gave the Huskies the lead seven minutes into the third period, giving him two goals in a tournament he grew up watching.

Nursing a 2-1 lead down the stretch, the Huskies gave up the equalizer to Colin White with 6:31 left to play. The Eagles then appeared to take the lead with just 1:13 remaining, but the goal was waved off after official review found BC guilty of goaltender interference on Ryan Ruck, who finished the evening with 30 saves.

Given new life, the Huskies responded. Sikura played hero for the umpteenth time this season, taking a pass from Zach Aston-Reese in the high slot and firing it past Joe Woll to give Northeastern a 3-2 lead with 43 seconds to go. Gaudette added an insurance tally 15 seconds later, pouncing on an errant pass and slotting it into the empty net to give Northeastern the 4-2 win.

The win gives the Huskies their second consecutive bronze finish in the Beanpot, and also hands BC head coach Jerry York his first last-place finish in the four-team tournament since he became coach.

The Huskies will return to the ice this weekend when they play a home-and-home with UConn. Northeastern will travel to Storrs for a 7 p.m. game on Friday before Uconn comes to Matthews Arena for a 7:30 p.m. puck drop on Saturday. Complete coverage of both games will be provided by WRBB, with pregame slated for 15 minutes before puck drop.

 

Offense stalls late as Huskies fall to Hofstra

BOSTON — It took 12 ties and 12 lead changes to separate Northeastern and Hofstra at Matthews Arena Saturday night, but the Husky offense faded down the stretch and Hofstra escaped with a 74-64 road victory.

Northeastern falls to 14-12 overall and 7-7 in the CAA.

T.J. Williams led the way with 21 points, six rebounds and six assists. Alex Murphy chipped in 13 points and seven boards, albeit on 5-16 shooting from the field. The Huskies struggled from three, hitting six of their 27 attempts from deep for 22% clip.

“When we had good shots, we didn’t make shots,” Head Coach Bill Coen said post-game. “For us, we really need to make threes and we didn’t make enough tonight.”‘

Justin Wright-Foreman was sensational for the Pride (13-14, 5-9 CAA), pouring in 25 points on 7-11 shooting. Brian Bernardi (17 points) and Eli Pemberton (13 points) also hit double figures.

After a jumper from Murphy tied the game at 60 with 4:39 to play, the Huskies went scoreless for four minutes, as Hofstra mounted a 10-0 run to put the game away. The Huskies missed all seven of their shots and lost three turnovers in the scoreless stretch. Williams ended the drought  with a layup to bring the score to 70-62 with 33 seconds left, but by then the game was out of reach.

Next up, Northeastern will host conference-leading UNCW at Matthews Arena on Thursday. Jeremy Leopold and Matt MacCormack will have the call on WRBB.

John Stevens returns as Huskies top UMass

By Josh Brown

BOSTON- With points at a premium with only a handful of league games remaining, Northeastern received production from a cast of familiar faces en route to a 6-2 win over UMass Amherst on Friday night.

Leading the way for the Huskies (12-12-5, 6-9-3) was Nolan Stevens and Zach Aston-Reese, who both netted two goals in the winning effort. Aston-Reese also picked up his 50th point of the season, the first Husky to reach the milestone since the 1989-1990 season.

It did not take long for Northeastern to get on the board, with Nolan Stevens finishing off a tick-tack-toe bing-bang-boom sequence just 16 seconds in to give NU the early lead. The Huskies would continue to pile on in the first, getting goals from Dylan Sikura, Adam Gaudette and Stevens again to take a 4-0 lead and subsequently knock UMass goalie Ryan Wischow (8 saves) out of the game.

Despite Jake McLaughlin beating Huskies goalie Ryan Ruck (25 saves) with just 1:20 left to go in the first and Griff Jeszka scoring one less than three minutes into the second, that would be the closest the Minutemen (5-22-2, 3-13-1) would get.

Looking to pad his Hobey Baker resume, Aston-Reese would score two special teams goals – one shorthanded and one on the power play – to seal the deal and send the Huskies home with a 6-2 win.

Northeastern will be back in action Monday afternoon when they take on No. 7 Boston College in the Beanpot consolation game. Pregame coverage begins at 4:15 p.m.

Brace’s buzzer-beater leads NU over Charleston, 73-72

By: Matt MacCormack

Freshman swingman Bolden Brace hit a fall-away, put-back jumper at the buzzer to give Northeastern a 73-72 victory over College of Charleston in a thrilling contest at TD Arena on Thursday night.

After trailing 37-21 at the half, Northeastern hit another gear in the second frame, outscoring the Cougars 52-35 after the break. Charleston scored 11 points off of 9 NU turnovers in the first half, but NU cleaned things up in the second half, turning the ball over just three times.

Four players scored more than 14 points for the Huskies, and senior forward Alex Murphy led the way with 19 points and eight boards. Senior center Anthony Green tallied a 14 points and 10 rebounds for his first career double-double.