Grammy-award winner Nelly to headline Spring Fling, with EDM and indie rock openers to start off the show. The Daily may think it’s a little “uninspired,” but check out a video of the announcement here and decide for yourself!
Tomorrow afternoon, the women’s basketball team will take on No. 1 Amherst in what is undoubtedly their biggest game of the season to date. A win would all but lockup the NESCAC regular season title and home field advantage throughout the conference championship. But a loss could drop the Jumbos to as low as third, leaving them squarely on the NCAA tournament bubble and facing a far tougher first-round conference opponent, the likes of Connecticut College, Wesleyan, or even Colby.
Unfortunately for Tufts, a win won’t be easy to come by against arguably the nation’s best team. Riding a 39-game winning streak, the Lord Jeffs lead the nation with a scoring margin of 31.8 points per game. They do it with the country’s 10th-best scoring offense, 2nd-best scoring defense and 5th-best rebounding margin. They also block the 3rd-most shots per game and have a dangerous combination of inside and outside talent.
The Jumbos are no slouches themselves, and have risen to the top of the NESCAC on the back of Div. 3’s third best defense. They are a scrappy group of quick defenders, and their ability to force turnovers while allowing fewer than any team in the country has them in the Top 15 in turnover margin.
But in the Jumbos’ ugly 62-41 loss to Rhode Island College on Monday, just their second since Nov. 20, we saw a less attractive side of the team. Tufts shot 23.2 percent from the field, including 1-of-18 from beyond the arc. They missed everything from jumpers to uncontested layups, and trailed by as much as 25. Their offense has been a concern all season, and it finally caught up to them this week.
So what can the Jumbos do to turn the tide and pull the upset in front of a rocking Cousens Gymnasium? Read more after the jump. Read more of this article »
Embattled former athletic director Glenn Hedden, fired after 22 years on the job shortly after NCAA investigators showed up in April, claimed that women’s hoops coach Michele Sharp, a history professor and two of Hedden’s superiors created a fake class for nine Cougars, changed grades so an all-New Jersey Athletic Conference guard could maintain eligibility with a 2.0 GPA (D’Alessandro doesn’t actually name the player in his column, but based on the fact that she “torched [Amherst] for 28 points in an 85-82 Kean victory,” it doesn’t take much to figure it out), and engaged in other forms of academic fraud.
According to D’Alessandro, Hedden tried to do the right thing and encouraged his officials to self-report, but got canned isntead:
Hedden says he reported these violations to the NCAA both early and midway through the season, each time making the internal recommendation to suspend the player, while reminding school officials that a self-report would be seen more favorably by the folks in Indianapolis.
And then there’s D’Alessandro’s absolute obliteration of the Kean administration. In response to a PR statement from the University, which took two days to e-mail and failed to capitalize “Hedden” and “May,” D’Alessandro wrote:
Perhaps this is the kind of inexactitude one expects from a place that takes so many liberties with letters.
The Star-Ledger got its hands on the 19-page wrongful termination suit, filed by Hedden under the Conscientious Employee Protection Act, and apparently some of the allegations, if true, are “are going to look very bad once the NCAA releases its report this summer.”
D’Alessandro speculates that the Kean administration, based on e-mails turned over to the NCAA, will go the predictable route in defense of letting Hedden go:
But it’s clear [executive VP Phil] Connelly and the university will claim — spoiler alert — that Hedden’s charges are the specious accusations of a disgruntled employee whose own oversight was lacking.
Remember, Tufts’ women’s basketball team lost to the Cougars in the NCAA Tournament second round at Kean, 75-56, on March 6, 2010. The aforementioned star player had 13 points on 4-for-11 shooting in 30 minutes. Additionally, Amherst’s loss to Kean on Jan. 11 this year was the Lord Jeffs’ only defeat of the season. They went on to win the NCAA Tournament, while Kean was bounced by third-place Christopher Newport in the Sweet Sixteen.
Stay posted for more information on the alleged NCAA violations by one of the nation’s premier Div. III women’s basketball programs, one that’s reached the Elite Eight in three of the past four seasons.
The women’s basketball team threw in the proverbial towel late yesterday afternoon, with some members of the team even emptying out their lockers for the season. This comes after the team reportedly received word that the most recent regional rankings would be changed to keep NESCAC rival Bates ahead of the Jumbos, all but assuring that the squad would fail to earn an at-large bid to the NCAA tournament for the first time since 2007.
After a tumultuous, up-and-down season, Tufts has found itself No. 9 in the Northeast regional rankings, the sixth-highest-ranked NESCAC team on the list. Because NCAA rules state that a team lower in the rankings cannot be picked for the tournament before a team above them, the selection committee would have to take an unprecedented six NESCAC teams. The previous record was five, set just this past season.
Of course, the Jumbos have put together a strong resume for a team so lowly ranked. The team has scored victories over both Bowdoin (No. 2 in the Northeast) and Bates (No. 8). They also only have suffered one bad loss, a 15-point drubbing at the hands of unranked Trinity. Outside of that game, every loss has come to one of the top seven teams in the region.
But if their body of work is not enough to grant them entry to The Dance, they will surely look back at their two matchups with Williams, the region’s fourth-best team. Twice have the Jumbos taken the Ephs to overtime, and twice they have come up short. In January, Williams prevailed on a buzzer-beating tip-in that seemingly defied physics, while just last week Tufts surrendered an eight-point lead with just four minutes to go in regulation. A win in either game would have likely propelled the Jumbos in the tournament.
Though things look grim, with one player putting the team’s chances of making NCAAs at no higher than 1 percent, there is still hope. Last year’s Northeast No. 9 — Southern Maine — earned an at-large bid, and all 10 teams in the Northeast regional rankings made the tournament. But for now, the Jumbos have cleared out their locker room, and will be left praying that they will be given one final chance to prove themselves.
This is Elephants in the Room, a new element showcasing the unseen side of some of Tufts’ finest athletes. It’s similar to the Pop Culture Grid of “Sports Illustrated,” except with 65 percent more pachyderm. In the hot seat this week are freshman Liz Moynihan of the women’s basketball team, junior Alex Orchowski of the men’s basketball team, junior Donnie Simmons of the football team and freshman Michaela Sinrod of volleyball. Enjoy their answers to this week’s Elephants in the Room.
The 18th point came anti-climatically, on the back end of two free throws at the 5:19 mark in the second half. Zeroed in, senior guard Colleen Hart drained the shot, and cemented her place atop the women’s basketball all-time scoring list at Tufts.
But there was no time for fanfare, no opportunity to halt the Jumbos’ Saturday tilt against SUNY New Paltz at Cousens Gym to celebrate and honor Hart. There was a game that still had to be played — and won.
Thanks to Hart’s game-high 21 points, Tufts took down the visiting Haws, 69-57. It was sixth victory of the season for a team that, in recent years, has grown accustomed to emerging on the winning side of things. Such stability comes, in no small part, because of Hart.
The tri-captain entered Saturday’s game needing 17 points to tie Teresa Allen’s mark of 1,257 points, set back in 1989. For a brief spurt in the first half, it appeared as though Hart would reach the record easily. Beginning with 16:05 left in the opening 20 minutes, Hart hit a 3-pointer, two free throws, a slicing up-and-under transition layup and another 3, bringing her within eight points of history. A pull-up jumper, another layup in transition and a jumper on a fast break left Hart two points shy of surpassing Allen. When Kahsyrah Bryant was whistled for a reach-in, the record was all but secure.
Senior Colleen Hart will get her first legitimate crack at the women’s basketball all-time scoring record today when the Jumbos tip-off against New Paltz St. at Cousens Gym today at 2 pm. Hart is currently second on the list, just 17 points behind Teresa Allen. Allen’s mark of 1,257 points has stood since she broke it in 1989.
Against the Hawks, Hart enters as the reigning NESCAC Player of the Week and the conference’s leading scorer at 17.7 points per game. Surprisingly, the 5-foot-4 guard is also ranked eighth in the conference with 6.8 rebounds per game.
But it is her scoring prowess that will be on display today against New Paltz, as she hopes to officially stake her claim to one of the program’s highest honors. To do so, she needs 18 points against the Hawks. In six games this season, Hart has scored at least 18 points three times. In the season-opener versus New Paltz in 2009-10, the Jumbos fell in double-overtime on the road, 80-78. Hart, however, exploded for 31 points on 11-of-18 shooting from the field, including a 6-for-9 mark from beyond the arc. Tufts has not faced New Paltz any other times in Hart’s prolific career.
On Thursday, Daily sports editor Ethan Sturm wrote a piece profiling Hart’s dedicated work ethic as well as the gunner mentality that has made her into what coach Carla Berube calls the greatest player she has ever coached.
Today’s contest will be Hart’s last shot at the record before winter break. The Jumbos will be off for the holidays, returning for the Naismith Classic on Jan. 2-3 at Springfield. This is also Tufts’ last home game before Jan. 6 when the Jumbos host Regis (Mass.) College.
The Daily will be live at Cousens Gym from tip-off this afternoon. You can track Hart’s progress to the record on the Daily’s Twitter at @TuftsDailySport. If Hart breaks the record toady, the Daily will be on hand for postgame video interviews as well as exclusive clips of the ceremony.
The Daily looks ahead to the women’s basketball team’s matchup against Amherst this weekend. Given the contentious history between the two teams, as well as each’s place in the D3hoops.com national poll — Amherst at No. 1, Tufts at No. 10 — Saturday’s game is one of the most highly-anticipated regular season basketball games in school history.
With the women’s basketball team’s victory over Middlebury on Jan. 16, eighth-year coach Carla Berube earned her 138th career victory and passed Sharon Dawley atop the program’s all-time wins list. Prior to Tufts’ game against Colby Friday evening in Cousens Gym, the team took a moment to recognize Berube’s achievement, presenting her with flowers and a framed picture.
“It’s a testament to Tufts and the quality student-athletes that want to come here,” Berube said. ”I was lucky when I stepped into this building and still lucky with who I’m surrounded by, not only student-athletes, but also the support from the university and the staffs that I’ve had along the way.
“It’s just the beginning of the journey,” she continued.
It’s that time of the year again. The time when teams hit the floor, rivalries ignite, and nonsensical mascots abound. This Friday marks the official start of the NESCAC basketball season, and in preparation of the opening weekend, the Daily introduces a three-part series previewing conference play. With just over 24 hours until tip-off time, Sports Editors Sapna Bansil & David Heck, in this third installment, take a look at the conference’s 10 teams on both the men’s and women’s sides.