Northeastern Baseball: Here’s what you missed

Junior ace Aaron Civale got off to a hot start for the Huskies (Image Credit: GoNUathletics)
Junior ace Aaron Civale got off to a hot start for the Huskies (Image Credit: GoNUathletics)

by P.J. Wright

At last, spring is on its way back to Boston!

Jackets will turn into sweatshirts and then t-shirts; those colorful lawn chairs will once again occupy Centennial Common; frisbees will go back to infiltrating the airstream, and cups of coffee will convert into that of the iced variety – or at least the Dunkin’ double-cups will no longer be of service in order to keep your hands warm.

More importantly, however, Northeastern baseball will make its return to Parsons Field in 2016.

However, when the Huskies return home for the first time this year, they’ll already have 18 games under their belt.

While Northeastern students were out studying for midterms and readying for spring break, head coach Mike Glavine had his Huskies’ squad taking care of business on the road. NU kicked off the new season with a 6-5 record in out-of-conference play, a two-game improvement from their 4-7 starts in the 2014 and ‘15 campaigns.

We at WRBB understand that it’s not always easy to keep up with everything surrounding Husky baseball, so here’s a little recap of what you missed to get those juices pumpin’ before March 18’s home opener:

@ NO. 30 OKLAHOMA – Feb. 19-21 (4 games)

Feb. 19: W 3-2

Feb. 20: W 5-3, L 4-10

Feb. 21: L 4-13

The team traveled to Norman, Okla. to begin the new year, and the Huskies came out of the gates hot, defeating the 30th-ranked Oklahoma Sooners, 3-2, in the first game of a four-game set. It was the program’s first ever victory against a Big-12 opponent.

Aaron Civale got the ball for Northeastern on opening day and went for 7.1 strong innings, allowing just two earned runs on seven hits and eight strikeouts, a career-high for the junior hurler. Junior outfielder Pat Madigan drove home the game-winning run on an RBI single in the top of the seventh to seal the victory, and sophomore shortstop Max Burt went 3-for-3 with a run scored.

In Game 2, NU got their second victory against a Big-12 opponent in a 5-3 triumph, their first 2-0 start to a season since 2010.

Burt led the team in hits again, going 2-for-5 and an RBI. Junior Dustin Hunt and freshman Andrew Misiaszek led the charge on the mound as they combined for eight strikeouts while tossing 4.2 and 4.1 innings, respectively.

Northeastern dropped the final two games of the series in 10-4 and 13-4 losses, as the Sooner hitters combined for 21 hits in Games 3 and 4 to salvage a series split.

@ ABILENE CHRISTIAN – Feb. 26-28 (4 games)

Feb. 26: W 3-2

Feb. 27: L 0-1, L 3-4

Feb. 28: W 4-3

After stealing a couple of wins against a very good Oklahoma club, the Huskies split their second series in a row in four straight low-scoring affairs, with neither team eclipsing four runs in any of them.

Civale shone again for Northeastern in another strong, durable outing. The junior completed eight solid innings of two-run ball in a 3-2 victory in which NU hitters could only muster four hits.

The Huskies dropped Games 2 and 3 in a Saturday afternoon doubleheader, each by just one run in two impressive opposing pitching performances.

ACU’s Garrett deMeyere went eight innings, allowing just three hits to NU in the first game. Aaron Mason threw six strong frames in the second, despite giving up Northeastern’s only round-tripper of the season thus far to Madigan.

NU finished the series with a 4-3 win, tallying eight hits in the fourth and final game of the set.

Second baseman Keith Kelly reached base for the eighth straight game with a 2-for-4 showing, and the bottom three in the order (Nolan Lang, Josh Treff, Max Burt) combined to drive in all four runs.

@ Fort Myers vs. Boston Red Sox – Feb. 29 (1 exhibition game)

 Feb. 29: L 3-8

February’s exhibition contest between Northeastern and the Red Sox marked the 14th overall meeting between the two clubs and the 12th straight spring training matchup, dating back to 2004.

The Huskies lost to the Red Sox 8-3 in the seven-inning affair, shifting their record to 0-14 all-time against the professional ball club. However, the three runs were the most NU has ever scored against the Red Sox. Northeastern had tallied two runs on three separate occasions prior to this season.

(NOTE: Boston College is 0-24 vs. the Red Sox.)

Sophomore right-hander Brian Christian got the nod in Fort Myers and went for two innings, giving up four earned runs on three hits.

The Northeastern squad notched six hits off Red Sox pitchers on the afternoon, including a first-inning triple from redshirt senior catcher Josh Treff.

Treff was one of four NU hitters to go one-for-two, joining Cam Hanley, Charlie McConnell, and Nick Fanneron, who all recorded singles. Nolan Lang and Mike Piscopo each recorded hits in their only at-bats, and Piscopo also picked up a strikeout in his one inning on the hill.

RUSSMATT CENTRAL FLORIDA INVITATIONAL

CORNELL – March 5-6 (3 games)

March 5: W 6-0, L 5-7

March 6: W 11-0

Civale was masterful yet again in the first game of the March 5 doubleheader against the Big Red, going seven scoreless frames with only 5 hits allowed en route to this third win on the young season. NU improved to 3-0 in series-opening games this year.

Northeastern got off to a rocky start in Game 2 after allowing three runs in the first inning – a rare sloppy performance from Dustin Hunt on the mound, whose ERA was 1.13 going into the contest. He gave up five runs in five innings in this one, and the Huskies fell to Cornell 7-5.

Third baseman Nolan Lang had a good afternoon at the plate despite the loss, going 2-for-3 and reaching base on four of his five plate appearances.

The Huskies dominated in the rubber match of the three-game series in an 11-0 rout over the Big Red in seven innings.

15 Huskies came to the plate and eight players combined for Northeastern’s 10 hits. Second baseman Keith Kelly and third baseman Nolan Lang each went 2-for-3.

After two straight decisions that resulted in losses, senior James Mulry was brilliant, pitching six shutout innings and allowing just four Cornell baserunners.

UP NEXT: The Huskies travel to Pullman, Wash. to take on Washington State in a four game series, March 10-13.

Huskies Fall to UNCW in CAA Semifinals

Junior guard T.J. Williams (10) tallied 16 points in Sunday's loss, and will be a key cog next year. (Image Credit: GoNUathletics)
Junior guard T.J. Williams (10) tallied 16 points in Sunday’s loss, and will be a key cog next year. (Image Credit: GoNUathletics)

by Matthew MacCormack

In a lot of ways, the final game of Northeastern’s season mirrored the 2015-16 campaign as a whole.

Exactly one month ago, the Huskies were 12-13. The defending CAA champions were sitting at a paltry 8th in the conference, and the season looked lost.

Then Northeastern won five of its next six games, starting with a gritty 47-44 victory at Towson, and earned a bye in the CAA Tournament. And while Sunday afternoon’s 73-70 heartbreaker to UNCW in the conference semi-finals cut short any hopes of a CAA repeat, one can still appreciate the drastic mid-season turnaround.

The Huskies proved their resiliency again on Sunday. Despite trailing by 10 points with 1:14 remaining, NU clawed back to cut the Seahawk lead to one with 14 seconds to go, but the comeback effort fell short.

“We put ourselves in a hole in the second half. I thought we got kind of stifled a little bit on offense and UNCW really kind of turned it on and got some easy baskets and separated themselves from us,” Northeastern coach Bill Coen said post-game. “But I was very proud of our guys. They didn’t give up, they battled right to the end and we came within a couple seconds of really making it interesting.”

After a Husky steal, redshirt senior Quincy Ford tipped in his own miss to make it 70-69. UNCW sophomore guard Denzel Ingram was fouled on the ensuing inbounds, and pushed the lead to 72-69 with two free throws. 10 seconds remained.

NU couldn’t find an open three on the next trip down, and Ford was fouled on his way to the basket. Ford knocked down his first free throw to cut the lead to two, but was called for a lane violation after intentionally missing his second attempt.

“We had something drawn up where we had a couple three-point options, and they weren’t available,” Coen said. “Obviously we would’ve like to get a clean look at a three but short of that, we didn’t have any timeouts left and getting fouled and getting to the line was about as good as we could do at that point.”

The Huskies once again fouled on the inbounds. Seahawk junior Chris Flemmings missed his first free throw but sunk the second, giving NU one final chance, down 73-70 with 1.4 seconds to play. Senior forward Zach Stahl heaved a full-court baseball pass, and Flemmings swatted the pass out of bounds.

Fans at Royal Farms Arena in Baltimore held their breath as the officials reviewed the final play to see if any time remained after Flemmings’ touch. After a lengthy review, the men in stripes confirmed that time had expired, and the Seahawks squeaked by to a CAA Final matchup with Hofstra.

Ford led the Huskies with 21 points on five of 15 shooting, and eight of 10 from the charity stripe. Fellow senior David Walker chipped in 16.

Flemmings’ 21 points paced the Seahawks. Ingram added 14 points and a game-high eight assists.

The first half featured six ties and nine changes. T.J. Williams was the Huskies’ best offensive threat in the opening frame, as the junior guard consistently drove the lane and created contact. Williams hit six of seven free throws and scored 10 of his 16 points in the first half.

Back-to-back threes from senior guard Caleb Donnelly and Walker gave NU it’s largest lead, 32-28, with 3:06 to go in the half. The Seahawks responded with a 6-0 run to end the frame, highlighted by a tip-in and interior layup from freshman forward Devontae Cacok, to make it 34-32 at the half.

The Seahawks seized control of the game in the second half.

Stahl (11 pts, 13 rebs) knocked down two free throws to help NU regain a 40-39 lead with 16:31 to play. From there, UNCW mounted a 16-2 run, capped by a layup from forward Marcus Bryan at the 10:24 mark.

Flemmings hit a pair of threes during that stretch, and it seemed the Seahawks couldn’t miss. NU, meanwhile, missed all four of their shots and turned the ball over four times during the six-minute run, which left the score at 55-42.

Seahawk guard C.J Bryce helped the Seahawks take their largest lead of the game, 14 points, with a jumper a minute later.

The Huskies chipped away at the lead with little success, and Flemmings hit two free throws to make it 69-59 with 1:14 remaining.

Then, suddenly, as they did with their season, the Huskies flipped the script.

Walker scored four straight with a pair of free throws and a jumper, sandwiched in between a missed free throw by Craig Ponder.

The Huskies then stole an inbounds pass, which led to a Williams layup. Just like that, it was 69-65.

NU fouled Jordon Talley, who hit his first free throw but missed the back end.

Ford aggressively drove to the bucket on the next trip down, and was fouled on his way there. The senior calmly knocked down two freebies.

Up by three, UNCW frantically tried to inbound. The pass went to Ingram, but Stahl ripped the ball away. Ford missed an initial layup attempt, but tipped-in his miss, making it 70-69.

The game would get no closer.

“We just told each other; this is it. The last five minutes, the last three minutes, we needed stops and rebounds,” Ford said. “Unfortunately we were one or two possessions away.”

Ford and Walker walked off the court as two of the best players in program history. Walker’s 1,631 career points rank eighth in program history, and Ford is one spot behind with a career tally of 1,617.

Stahl and Donnelly also enjoyed stellar careers. Stahl reached the 1,000 point milestone late in the season, and Donnelly rose from a star on the club basketball team to play big minutes for a Division 1 basketball club.

The senior quartet helped lead NU to its first NCAA tournament in 24 years a season ago.

Next year, the Huskies will look to Williams and freshman center Jeremy Miller as centerpieces. Juniors Kwesi Abakah and Jimmy Marshall and sophomore Devon Begley may have the opportunity to start next season.

A strong freshman class that included Miller, forwards Anthony Green and Sajon Ford (Quincy’s younger brother) and guards Donnell Gresham Jr. and Brandon Kamga should have the chance to step up.

Walker, who owns the program record for minutes played, had some advice for the returning players.

“Work hard this offseason,” said the senior guard. “That’s where champions are made.”

 

Huskies Handle Tigers, Move on to CAA Semi-Finals

by Matthew MacCormack

Bill Coen can add fortuneteller to his already-loaded résumé.

“Heading into tournament time, your best players have to play well,” the Northeastern head coach said in Tuesday’s Colonial Athletic Association teleconference. “And I think the secret to it is you have to get production and performance from an unsung hero…Whoever is going to win it is going to have a storyline like that.”

Coen’s predictions held true, as seniors and All-CAA selections David Walker (First Team) and Quincy Ford (Second Team) combined for 30 second-half points to will the six-seeded Huskies to a 71-60 victory over No. 3 Towson in the CAA quarterfinals Saturday night.

Junior forward Jimmy Marshall, who averaged less than three points per game in the regular season, and junior guard T.J Williams (9 pts, 5 assts), each scored seven first-half points off the bench to keep the Huskies in it early.

“I thought Jimmy did a great job coming off the bench in a tight situation… he stepped in and gave us a big boost,” Coen said in the post-game presser. “T.J played really, really well and got into the lane, took care of the basketball for us and was able to find people for easy baskets. Both of those guys contributed greatly to tonight’s effort.”

For the second straight season, the Huskies will battle the UNCW Seahawks in the semi-finals on Sunday at 3:30. WRBB’s pre-game coverage will tip-off at 3pm on 104.9 FM.

Walker and Ford got off to cold starts, as the pair combined for just eight points on 3-11 shooting in the first twenty minutes. But the senior captains turned the tide in the second frame.

Walker (18 pts, 6 assts) hit a three with 17:04 to play that put Northeastern in the driver’s seat for good, and Ford (20 pts, 7 rebs) scored 11 straight points over a seven-minute stretch that gave the Huskies a nine-point lead with 2:10 remaining.

“Their presence on the court makes it so much easier for the other players to handle pressure situations and really perform at a high level,” Coen said. “I think we relied on or seniors tonight and both of these guys did a tremendous job.”

Two late threes from Towson sophomore guard Mike Morsell cut the lead to 64-58 under the two-minute mark, but the score would get no closer.

Junior forward William Adala Moto led the Tigers with 18 points and 12 rebounds. Morsell finished with 16 points and five boards.

The Huskies jumped out to a quick 6-0 lead, thanks to threes from senior guard Caleb Donnelly and freshman center Jeremy Miller.

NU’s three-point shooting is what ultimately tilted the game. The Huskies shot 8 of 17 (47%) from beyond the arc.

Morsell picked up two steals to key a 9-0 run for the Tigers, bringing the tally to 9-6 with 13:24 remaining in the first half.

The rest of the opening frame featured eight lead changes and three ties. Marshall and Williams each contributed a highlight reel dunk, and the off-the-bench scoring from the juniors allowed Northeastern to keep it close.

Towson went into the half with up 32-29, which tied their largest advantage.

NU battled valiantly on the boards against the Tigers, who were among the top rebounding teams in the country. Towson held a 18-13 rebounding edge in the opening frame, but each team corralled 15 boards in the second half.

Walker’s three early in the second half gave NU a 37-36 lead, and the senior connected from long distance again at the 12:12 mark to push the lead to 50-42.

A driving layup from Ford gave Northeastern’s its largest advantage of the evening at 58-46. After Morsell’s three cut the lead to six, Walker hit six straight free throws to ice the game.

“It’s such a great feeling that we’re clicking and things are starting to get a lot better at the best time of the season,” Ford said.

Miller missed the game’s final few minutes with a left knee injury. Coen said he’ll be ready to play against UNCW.

 

Northeastern Advances to Hockey East Quarterfinals With 4-3 Overtime Victory Over Maine

By: Josh Brown

BOSTON- The monkey is finally off of their back.

For the first time since 2011 Northeastern has won a playoff series, sweeping Maine with a 4-3 overtime victory.

On his final shot on net at Matthews Arena, senior captain Kevin Roy, one of the most storied players in program history, found the puck on his stick after a turnover in the Huskies attacking zone and fired a shot past Maine (8-24-6) goalie Rob McGovern (26 saves).

“We had a good fore-check throughout the weekend,” said Roy, “I think and we forced their defensemen to make mistakes and I think that’s what happened there. I just turned around and tried to get it on net and not get it blocked by the defenseman.”

Northeastern (18-13-5) will next head to South Bend, Indiana for a best-of-three quarterfinals series against Notre Dame.

“What a series,” said Northeastern coach Jim Madigan. “We were on the short end of this last year where I thought we played well and we lost two overtime games so it’s nice to win two overtime games.”

It looked like it was going to be a blowout after the first period, with Northeastern getting three goals in the opening frame.

First, with 5:09 left in the period, Eric Williams collected a Roy pass right off of a faceoff win, and sniped a shot from the blue line through traffic and into the back of the net.

Northeastern kept the momentum going just over a minute later courtesy of Nolan Stevens’ team leading 17th goal of the season. Battling in front of the net Stevens redirected a shot from the point past McGovern, beating him glove side.

The party continued for Northeastern just 48 seconds later when Roy picked up a loose puck along the halfwall, skated around the net and burned McGovern on a wrap-around.

Maine would not go down quietly though, fighting back in the second period while outshooting Northeastern 16-5.

The Black Bears were rewarded at the 11:44 mark of the period. On the power play due to a Colton Saucerman cross-checking penalty, junior Cam Brown crashed the net on a Will Merchant shot and banged the rebound home.

Using the momentum from their second period surge, the Black Bears got two more in the third to send the game to overtime.

Less than five minutes into the frame Cedric Lacroix received a pass from Andrew Tegeler below the right face-off dot and sent a wrister past Northeastern goalie Ryan Ruck (33 saves).

A couple minutes later Keith Muehlbauer collected a cross-ice pass from Brendan Robbins along the halfwall and beat Ruck for his first collegiate goal.

Despite not scoring since the first period and Maine controlling the tempo for a good portion of the latter 40 minutes, overtime saw each team get a multitude of opportunities before Roy scored the game-winner.

“It was outstanding,” Maine coach Red Gendron said of his team’s fight battling back from an early deficit. “We got down 3-0, we played pretty well prior to them getting a flurry there.”

“Then we battled back, and got two goals in the third period to tie the game, and we had several other chances to win it and we didn’t, and that’s hockey. But I can’t fault our hockey club in terms of effort, intensity, for the entire weekend not just tonight’s game, that’s just the reality of it.”

This article can also be found on USCHO.

 

 

 

Benning Overtime Goal Propels Northeastern to Game One Victory Over Maine

By: Josh Brown

BOSTON- A familiar aurora permeated the Matthews Arena air on Friday night for game one of the first round of the Hockey East playoffs.

Just six days ago Northeastern and Maine were involved in a bloodbath of a game that featured two all-out melees and a 7-1 Huskies drumming of the Black Bears to cap off a weekend sweep.

It was a bit closer this time around, with the sixth-seeded Huskies, unbeaten in 16 of its last 17 games heading into the weekend, needing an overtime goal from defenseman Matt Benning to fend off the eleventh-seeded Black Bears.

“Theirs familiarity,” said Northeastern coach Jim Madigan, “maybe a little more of a battle because you’ve seen the same bodies four games in a row, or will see it tomorrow for four games in a row. But at the end of the day we all have to maintain our control and play the game the right way because we’re trying to win a series.”

With Dustin Darou and John Stevens battling for the puck in the attacking zone, forward Zach Aston-Reese swooped in, picked up the puck, and dropped off a pass for the streaking Benning who one-timed it from between the hashmarks, beating Maine goalie Rob McGovern (29 saves) for the game-winner.

“[John Stevens] and [Dustin Darou] made good plays to keep that puck alive,” said Benning. “I was just trying to get the puck on net.”

“He has great vision,” Benning added about Aston-Reese, “he’s a high-end player. He has the ability to make those plays…I don’t know if it’s a roommate thing but me and him have always been on the same page, so great player.”

In addition to Benning, Northeastern (17-13-5) received goals from Stevens and Kevin Roy as well as 19 saves from freshman net-minder Ryan Ruck, but not before clawing back from a 2-0 deficit they faced after one period.

“It was a well-fought hard game,” said Northeastern coach Jim Madigan. “That was a quality win for us, (coming) back having been down 2-0. I just thought Maine made it difficult right from the beginning of the game. They were getting pucks in deep. They were early on winning some puck battles in our own zone and they were ready to play. It took us a little bit to get going…”

Despite being outshot 13-7 in the opening frame, Maine (8-23-6) got two goals just 17 seconds apart at the end of the period to head into the locker room with a 2-0 edge.

First, on the power play due to a Sam Kurker cross-checking penalty, Maine set up in their offensive zone, winning a puck battle below the goal line and moving it up to the point. Defenseman Dan Renouf then pulled back to shoot, instead opting to launch a pass down to the right faceoff dot for a waiting Cam Brown who one-timed it past Ruck.

Moments later Andrew Tegeler took a Nolan Vesey pass in Maine’s offensive zone, used his speed to get around a defender and fired a shot over the shoulder of Ruck.

The second period was started almost entirely with Northeastern in their own offensive zone, and the Huskies were rewarded at the 14:39 mark courtesy of Stevens’ ninth goal of the season.

Playing behind the net Aston-Reese put a wrap-around on net that McGovern saved, but unfortunately for the freshman Stevens was right out in front to poke the rebound home.

“We weren’t trying to hang on,” said Maine coach Red Gendron. “We started mismanaging (the) puck in the second period.”

The third period got going quickly for Northeastern, with senior captain Kevin Roy knotting the score up at two less then three minutes in.

With Maine’s Brian Morgan in the penalty box for slashing, Nolan Stevens fired a backhand pass across the crease to Roy who was rushing to the net. Fighting through a defender, Roy got prime positon and tipped it home.

The Black Bears came out strong in overtime, but were not able to get much on net before Benning scored the game-winner.

“The truth is we played pretty well for a lot of the game,” said Gendron. “But we need to be better tomorrow, end of story.”

Madigan is expecting another battle tomorrow night in game two.

“I told our guys expect tomorrow everything and the kitchen sink coming out our way because that’s a good hockey club.”

This article can also be found on USCHO.

The Jungle Book: Scouting the Towson Tigers

Coach Pat Skerry will lead the 3 seeded Tigers against the Huskies on Saturday night (Credit: Towson Athletics)
Coach Pat Skerry will lead the three-seeded Tigers against the Huskies on Saturday night (Credit: Towson Athletics)

by Matthew MacCormack

To call Northeastern’s season a “roller coaster ride” would be an understatement.

Just a few short weeks ago, the UNCW Seahawks waltzed into Matthews Arena and walked away with an easy 17-point victory. The Huskies were 12-13 with a 4-8 mark in the CAA, losers of seven of their last eight.

Oh, how things have changed.

The Huskies will enter this weekend’s conference tournament as one of the Colonial’s hottest teams. Head Coach Bill Coen and his squad went 5-1 to end the season, usurping the College of Charleston for the six-seed and clinching a first-round bye in Baltimore.

The extra day of rest is nice, yes, but the No. 3 Towson Tigers (20-11, 11-7 CAA) are a formidable foe for Saturday evening.

Coach Pat Skerry and likely All-Conference selection William Adala Moto will lead the surprise Tigers, who reached 20 wins for the second time in the past three seasons.

Read on for everything you need to know about Northeastern’s Saturday matchup:

Game Details

When: Saturday, March 5 @ 8:30 p.m.

Where: Royal Farms Arena; Baltimore, MD

Streaming: Listen live here on WRBB 104.9. Jake Fischer, Jeremy Leopold and Matthew MacCormack will be on the call

Scouting Towson

Strengths

The Tigers lead the CAA with an impressive +7.4 rebounding margin, which ranks in the top-25 nationally. Skerry’s squad enjoys taking things slow and relies on getting fresh shot-clocks, thanks to gobbling up the 7th most offense boards per game (14) in the country. They also excel at getting to the free throw line; they rank 6th nationally in free throws attempted and 14th in freebies made. Defensively, the Tigers are very stingy (66 ppg) and are able to switch on most ball screens.

Weaknesses

Spacing has been a problem, as the Tigers don’t have any knockdown three-point shooters and rank 9th in the conference in three-point percentage. They also lack a true floor general; Byron Hawkins is a young point guard who won’t wow with his distribution abilities. Skerry doesn’t have the luxury of a go-to-guy when the chips are down.

Previous Matchups

Northeastern and Towson split the season series:

Jan. 23 @ Northeastern (L 72-79): Quincy Ford missed the game after suffering an apparent head injury in the prior contest, a triple-OT loss to Hofstra. David Walker scored a career-high 32 points, but Towson patched together a 16-0 run that ultimately buried the Huskies. NU surrendered 28 points off 16 turnovers

Feb. 11 @ Towson (W 47-44): The Huskies ended their slide in an ugly, ugly win. NU nearly surrendered an 11-point second-half lead, but Towson struggled mightily from the field (31%). Northeastern’s 2-3 zone stifled the Towson offense, but the Tigers took advantage on the boards, corralling 20 offensive rebounds.

Players to Watch

PF William Adala Moto, Jr: A 6’6 forward from Cameroon, Adala Moto was third in the conference with 8.1 rebounds per game. He’s also a capable inside scorer, leading the team with a 13.7 ppg clip.

PG Byron Hawkins, So: This speedy, shoot-first point averages 13.6 points and 2.2 assists per game.

SG: Mike Morsell, So: Morsell’s 34-point outburst in a win over William & Mary shows his scoring potential. The 6’5 sophomore is very streaky, however, with 13.6 ppg and a 29% 3pt FG rate.

John Davis (10) has troubled the Huskies in both of their matchups this season (Credit: Towson Athletics)
John Davis (10) has troubled the Huskies in both of their matchups this season (Credit: Towson Athletics)

X-Factors

SF John Davis, Towson

Davis’ season-long averages seem ho-hum: 10.5 ppg, 5.6 rpg. But don’t let the season box score fool you; Davis can play, and he has the Huskies’ number this season. He has averaged 19 points and 10.5 rebounds, and shot 52% in two games vs. NU this season. At 6’5 with an array of post-moves, Davis is a more versatile version of Zach Stahl.

C Jeremy Miller, Northeastern

Miller is an exciting talent; a 6’10 stretch big with intriguing length and floor-spacing ability. But his Achilles Heel has been on the defensive end. Miller has found himself in early foul trouble in many games this season. Straying away from silly fouls will be crucial against Adala Moto and the other experienced Towson bigs.

Coen’s Corner

“Towson is plus seven on the glass. That is what they do and they really, really excel at. We were fortunate enough to get the win down there. I think we did some other things well during that game, but their offensive rebounding gives you concern because it gives them so many extra possessions. They are a physical group of guys, they are defensive minded, and they are an outstanding rebounding team. They present challenges on many different levels.”

–Bill Coen during Tuesday’s CAA Teleconference

Skerry’s Soapbox

“Our guys have tremendous respect for Northeastern, and quite frankly, I’m sure we’ll probably be an underdog going into the game. When you look at it, you’ve got to take away the three point shot. They have two first-team all-conference guys in [David] Walker and Quincy Ford and then they’ve got all types of other guys that shoot the ball and Zach Stahl’s been an unbelievable player…We’ve got to have good shot selection against the zone. They played us twice, with zone the whole game and we know they’ll play the zone again. The better the shot selection, the better the pace of the game and the more opportunities we’ll have to successfully rebound the basketball. It’s a monumental challenge. There’s not anyone that wouldn’t tell you Northeastern isn’t capable of winning this thing and it’s going to be a war on Saturday night.”

–Pat Skerry during Tuesday’s CAA Teleconference