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: 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.

CAA Preview: Towson Tigers

towsontigersHead Coach: Pat Skerry (7th season)

2016-2017 Record: 20-13 (11-7 CAA)

Projected Finish: 2

Preseason All-Conference Selections: G Mike Morsell (Second Team), G Deshaun Morman (Honorable Mention)

 

Key Additons

  • G Travis Ingram (I.C. Norcom, Suffolk, Va.)
  • G Jeffrey Prophete (Fort Lauderdale, Sunrise, Fla.)
  • G Quinton Drayton (Bowie/Bowie, Md.)

Key Losses:

  • F William Adala Moto (12.8 ppg, 6.6 rpg)
  • F John Davis (11.8 ppg, 7.6 rpg)

by Kyle Williams

For better and for worse, Towson was the quintessential CAA basketball team last season. They were competent, but not great; they had talent, but not an overwhelming amount; and they won, but they won ugly. Lead by William Adala Moto and John Davis, the Tigers grit-and-grinded their way to a third place finish and the semifinals of the CAA conference tournaments.

This season will be one of change for Towson. Their imposing frontcourt is no more, with Adala Moto and Davis both gone. They were largely responsible for Towson’s league leading rebounding numbers, averaging 14.2 rebounds per game, including 4.3 offensive. The success of this team was largely predicated on these second chance opportunities and playing stifling interior defense; that is no longer the case. The Tigers find themselves guard-heavy, and will have to rely more on scoring from the perimeter. Mike Morsell returns as the de-facto leader of this team, averaging a team best 13.4 points per game. He will be joined in the backcourt by returning CAA all-defense point guard Deshaun Morman, who averaged 10 points and 2 assists per game, along with 1.5 steals, good for fourth in the conference. While he is a great on ball defender, his distribution numbers have to go up for this team to compete. Without reliable big men to clean up the paint, ball movement will be more important for this team to score, and Morman is a key to that. He’ll have to feed Morsell, along with returning shooters Eddie Keith II and Jordan McNeil (42% and 36% from beyond the arc, respectively) for Towson to keep up with the top teams in the conference. Down low, the Tigers will have to rely on Alex Thomas and Justin Gorham for buckets, and although they won’t come close to matching the frontcourt production from last year, they are big bodies to clog the paint and help keep Towson among the top defenses in the conference.

This offseason, Towson added some depth to their guard rotation by brining in a triumvirate of recruits. Travis Ingram is explosive and showed good finishing in transition, and should be able to take advantage of the turnovers this defense forces. Quinton Drayton is a long guard at 6’5 and showed good rebounding instincts for a guard. The most intriguing of their young guards is Jeffrey Prophete; he can finish at the rim, has decent passing vision, and has some range to his jump shot. If he can develop into a secondary ball handler for this team, it provides a much needed second dimension to the offense.

This year’s Towson team feels wildly variable. On the one hand, they lost their two best players and a big part of their identity with them. However, Pat Skerry is a damn good coach, and has pulled this team back from much worse. Towson has been quietly consistent in his tenure, winning more conference games in the last five years (42) than anyone else in the CAA over that period of time. They are always near the top of the conference in scoring defense (1st last year), and that should continue. There is an infrastructure in place that can help this team to at least reach 0.500 in conference play regardless of circumstance.

Bottom Line: Towson is a team no one in the CAA is going to want to play come January. They play hard, defend well, and somehow make just enough shots to win. They excel at the so-called “rock fights” the CAA is partially known for, and there will be nights when they grind people to dust. This team has a higher floor than others in the conference because of their defensive scheming and general style of play; their offense is the x-factor that will determine the course of their season. Morsell is really good; if Morman takes a step forward as a passer and at least one of their freshman hit, then this could be a team fighting for a top 4 spot. As it stands right now, expect Towson to play a lot of semi-unwatchable games and finish in the middle of the conference.