While NJIT has been enjoying their best season as Division I’s only independent team, and has begun the process to build a $100 million arena, it does not appear to have pressured any conference to take them in. Continue reading
Manhattan became the first team since Siena to cut down the nets for the second straight year in the MAAC. Here is a photo gallery of the Jaspers’ post game celebration, as they head to the NCAA tournament in back to back years for the first time since 2004.
Manhattan head coach Steve Masiello and the Jaspers drew up the perfect game plan, holding the lethal Gaels to under 70 points for just the fifth time this season. Ashton Pankey’s 21 point, 10 rebound performance earned him the MAAC tournament MVP honors. While Emmy Andujar’s 18 points and 11 rebounds helped carry the Jaspers and Donovan Kates delivered 13 points of his own. Manhattan becomes the first team to repeat as MAAC tournament champions since Siena won three straight from 2008 to 2010. Continue reading
Steve Masiello cut down the nets after his second straight MAAC title Monday night. But what a long, strange trip he took in between.
You can say what you want about Masiello, and plenty have over the last 12 months since Masiello took the head coaching job at South Florida, it was revealed he never got a degree, and the Jaspers eventually rehired him, but as far as coaching in big games, you have to say he’s been nothing short of brilliant.
This year’s CAA season was a rollercoaster from the start, but in the end the preseason favorite will be dancing. Northeastern earned its first NCAA tournament appearance since 1991 with a 72-61 win over William & Mary, thanks to the Huskies’ hottest shooting performance of the season.
Northeastern struggled to an 11-21 record last year in large part became it lacked outside shooting, but there were signs this season would be different right from the start. David Walker and T.J. Williams improved their accuracy, while newcomers gave the Huskies new options. Rookie Devon Begley shot 48% from long range off the bench, including big shots in Sunday’s win over UNC Wilmington. Caleb Donnelly, a walk-on who was playing club ball two years ago, hit 54% and scored in double figures in the semifinals and finals.
But the Huskies’ biggest addition was a familiar face — forward Quincy Ford, who missed most of the 2013-14 season after having back surgery. Ford shot treys in high volume at a 36% clip this season, pairing that with an ability to drive from the perimeter and use his 6’8” length inside. Behind Ford’s 22 points (including four threes), Northeastern led wire to wire in the championship game, making 12 of 20 three-pointers for an effective field goal percentage of 73%.
William & Mary was on the wrong end of a Northeastern explosion before — a 75-64 loss in February, in which the Huskies scored 1.44 points per possession. As in that game, the Tribe made the score close with a late rally — a 16-0 run to pull within six points I the final minute — but their hole was too deep.
The Tribe, famously, has never made an NCAA tournament, a streak that will extend at least one more year. Fate seemed to be in their favor after a last-second, double-overtime victory over Hofstra in the semifinals, but luck ran out against the Huskies’ shooting. 2,000-point scorer Marcus Thornton, who had 20 points and five assists Monday, will finish his illustrious career in the NIT.
Northeastern, meanwhile, will taste the Big Dance for the first time in a generation. With an experienced lineup, a balanced offense and a tendency to get hot, the Huskies could be a sneaky upset pick in March.
— CAA Basketball (@CAABasketball) March 10, 2015
— Northeastern MBB (@GoNUmbasketball) March 10, 2015
He wasn’t supposed to be here. Continue reading
Iona had plenty to be happy about on Sunday, as they broke the MAAC tournament record for three-pointers made in a game with 19 – it was previously 15 – and Isaiah Williams set the single-game record for three-pointers made with nine of his own. Continue reading
UAlbany survived and advanced, as head coach Will Brown said, the game was not pretty, but the Great Danes managed to make their third straight America East championship game with a two-point win over New Hampshire Sunday. Continue reading
The most heated rivalry in the biggest city in the country will once again take center stage in March as Iona and Manhattan battle for the MAAC title for the third consecutive year. Continue reading