March 1, 2008

Elms Holds Off Lesley, 72-65 in NAC Men's Title Game

CHICOPEE, MA,  – Elms College junior guard Aswad Thomas (Hartford, CT) netted a game-high 17 points was named Tournament Most Valuable Player (MVP) to help the Blazers earn a thrilling 72-65 win over Lesley University in the championship game of the North Atlantic Conference (NAC) Men’s Basketball Tournament on Saturday afternoon at the Maguire Center.

With the win, Elms College (22-6) earned its fourth consecutive NAC Tournament title, and with it, the conference’s automatic qualifier into the upcoming NCAA Division III Championship.

The Blazers, who tied the school-record with their 22nd win, also set a new NAC record for most men’s basketball tournament titles.

Lesley, which was making its first appearance in the NAC Tournament final following victories over Castleton and Husson, finished 12-16 overall.

With the game tied at 57-57 and 3:31 remaining, Lesley senior guard Joe Chatman (Boston, MA) drained a pair of free throws to give the Lynx the lead.

Elms College sophomore guard Juan Galdon (Holyoke, MA) answered with a 3-pointer on the ensuing possession to put the Blazers back on top 60-59.

Following a defensive stop by the Blazers on Lesley’s next possession, junior forward Joe Esile (Milford, CT) converted a layup, Galdon recorded a steal on the ensuing inbound and dished out to senior guard Randy Hite (Hartford, CT), who drained a deep 3-pointer to cap off an 8-0 run that gave the Blazers the lead for good at 65-59.

Hite, who was also named to the NAC All-Tournament team, matched his season-high with 14 points that included 4 of 5 shooting from 3-point range.

Chatman gave a spirited effort for the Lynx, as he finished with a team-high 16 points and a game-high six assists in 39 minutes.

Senior guard Mark Stevens (Las Vegas, NV) netted 12 points on 4 of 6 shooting from 3-point range, freshman guard Jon Cruz (Haverhill, MA) scored 11 points and junior forward Malcolm Andrews (Medford, MA) added 10 points to all finish in double figures for the Lynx in the losing effort.

Elms College will now await its seeding in this week’s NCAA Division III Championship, which will be announced on Monday, March 3 at 12:00 p.m.

ALL-TOURNAMENT TEAM

MVP: Aswad Thomas (Elms College)
Randy Hite (Elms College)
Joe Chatman (Lesley)
Mark Stevens (Lesley)
Trey Jacobs (Becker)
Sheraud Lee (Husson)
2007-08 NAC Men's Basketball Championship    
Quarterfinals - Tuesday, February 26 at higher seeds    
(WEST 4) Johnson State 82
at (EAST 1) Husson 85
 
(WEST 3) Castleton 55 at (EAST 2) Lesley 76
 
           
(EAST 4) Me.-Farmington 65 at (WEST 1) Elms 79  
(EAST 3) Maine Maritime 61 
at (WEST 2) Becker 74  
           
Semifinals - Friday, February 29 at Elms    
Becker 53
at
Elms 78  
Lesley 63
vs. Husson 55  
           
 Championship - Saturday, March 1 at Elms    
Lesley
65 at
Elms
72  

CHICOPEE, MA, Feb. 29, 2008 – Elms College junior guard Aswad Thomas (Hartford, CT) registered game-highs with 19 points and five assists, and the Blazers used a big run over the final eight minutes of the first half to pull away to a 78-53 win over Becker in Friday night’s North Atlantic Conference (NAC) Men’s Basketball Tournament semifinals at the Maguire Center.

With the win, Elms College (21-6) advanced to its fourth straight NAC Tournament title game and will face Lesley University on Saturday, March 1 at 2:00 p.m.

Lesley (12-15) advanced to its first-ever NAC Tournament championship game with a 63-55 win over Husson (17-10) in Friday night’s other semifinal.

Elms College and Lesley met just once in the regular season as the Blazers posted an 83-58 road win over the Lynx on February 13.

The winner of Saturday’s game will earn the NAC’s automatic qualifier into the upcoming NCAA Division III Championship.


February 29, 2008

Defending Champion Elms Drops Becker 78-53

Thomas dropped in 16 of his points in the opening 20 minutes for the Blazers, who erupted for a 22-8 run over the final 7:32 to build a commanding 49-31 lead at intermission.

Elms College, which forced Becker into 30 turnovers, held huge advantages in both points in the paint (38-24) and points off turnovers (36-11).

Senior forward Nate Hawes (New Hope, MN) finished with 13 points in just 16 minutes and junior guard Ellis Jones (Roxbury, MA) added a season-high 12 points off the bench as the other two Elms College players to reach double figures.

Freshman center Trey Jacobs (Lexington Park, MD) posted team-highs with 14 points and nine rebounds, and freshman guard Kevin Miranda (Brockton, MA) added 13 points for the Hawks, who finished 13-14.

A win by Elms College on Saturday would tie the school-record for wins in a season (22 set in 2005-06) and also set a new conference record for most tournament championships.


February 29, 2008

Lesley Downs Husson 63-55 to advance to NAC title contest

Senior guard Joe Chatman (Boston, MA) poured in a game-high 21 points, including 12 of 12 shooting from the free throw line to lead Lesley to its second win over Husson in 14 days.

The Lynx held a decisive 45-31 rebounding advantage and limited the Eagles to just 25.9-percent shooting (7 of 27) in the first half to take a 27-22 halftime lead.

Senior guard Mark Stevens (Las Vegas, NV) recorded the game’s only double-double with 18 points and 11 rebounds, and freshman center Jesus Trejo (Methuen, MA) added six points and a game-high 12 rebounds in the winning effort.

Despite committing 21 turnovers, Lesley connected on 20 of 24 free throws and held the Eagles to 30.6-percent shooting for the game.

Senior guard Sheraud Lee (Bridgeport, CT) scored a team-high 17 points, including three 3-pointers, sophomore guard Brock Bradford (Kenduskeag, ME) finished with 13 points and sophomore forward Matt MacKenzie (Warren, ME) added 12 points to all finish in double figures for the Eagles in the loss.

 


February 26, 2008

 

Three-time Defending Champion Elms to Host NAC Men's Basketball Semifinals

Elms College, the three-time defending NAC Tournament champions, advanced past UMF 79-65 in the quarterfinal round of the NAC Championship. The Blazers will now host to the NAC Tournament semifinal and championship games on Friday, February 29 and Saturday, March 1. Elms will host West division rival Becker who were 74-61 winners over Maine Maritime.

East division top seed Husson survived a scare from West division fourth seed Johnson State. The Eagles rallied from a six point halftime deficit to edge the Badgers 85-82.  Husson was led by Brock Bradford’s game-high 36 points. The Eagles will play Lesley in Friday’s semifinal. The Lynx defeated Castleton 76-55 behind Mark Steven’s 21 points. Semifinal winners will meet Saturday at 2pm at Elms. The winner receives an automatic berth into the NCAA Championship

2007-08 NAC Men's Basketball Championship    
Quarterfinals - Tuesday, February 26 at higher seeds    
(WEST 4) Johnson State 82
at (EAST 1) Husson 85
 
(WEST 3) Castleton 55 at (EAST 2) Lesley 76
 
           
(EAST 4) Me.-Farmington 65 at (WEST 1) Elms 79  
(EAST 3) Maine Maritime 61 
at (WEST 2) Becker 74  
           
Semifinals - Friday, February 29 at Elms    
Becker   at
Elms   6:00 PM
Lesley   vs. Husson   8:00 PM
           
Championship - Saturday, March 1 at Elms    
Semifinal Winners   2:00 PM














Elms Zips Past Maine-Farmington, 79-65 to Advance to NAC Tournament Semifinals

 

CHICOPEE, MA, Feb. 26, 2008 – Elms College sophomore point guard Juan Galdon (Holyoke, MA) netted a team-high 15 points and the Blazers’ defense forced 30 turnovers en route to a 79-65 win over the University of Maine-Farmington in the quarterfinals of the North Atlantic Conference (NAC) Men’s Basketball Tournament on Tuesday night.

With the victory, Elms College (20-6), the three-time defending NAC Tournament champions, extended its win streak to 11 straight games and will now host to the NAC Tournament semifinal and championship games on Friday, February 29 and Saturday, March 1. The Blazers will play in the Friday night’s first semifinal at 6:00 p.m. against an opponent to be determined.

Maine-Farmington, which lost its third straight game, was eliminated from the tournament and finished 11-15. The Blazers roared out to a 10-0 lead in the game’s opening 3:15 and led by as many as 17 (22-5) just 7:46 into the first half. Maine-Farmington, though, responded with a 22-9 run over the next 6:34 to cut the deficit to 31-27. A pair of jumpers by senior guard Randy Hite (Hartford, CT) over the next 60 seconds extended the Blazers’ lead to 35-27. Following a pair of free throws by Maine-Farmington sophomore center Josh Tanguay (Gorham, ME), the Blazers answered with a 6-0 run and built a 41-31 lead at intermission.

Senior forward Isaac Hutchinson (Oakland, ME) helped keep the Beavers close, as he scored all 14 of his points in the first half on 6 of 8 shooting from the field. The Blazers scored 20 of their points in the first half off 17 Maine-Farmington turnovers. The Beavers trailed 51-40 following a 3-pointer by senior guard Matt St. John (Wayne, ME) with 13:47 remaining in the second half before the Blazers used an 18-9 run over the next 7:00 to put the game out of reach. St. John dropped in a game-high 17 points on 6 of 13 shooting, including 5 of 9 from 3-point range as the only other player to reach double figures for the Beavers in the losing effort.

For the game, Elms College held advantages in both points in the paint (42-20) and points off turnovers (35-9). Junior guard Aswad Thomas (Hartford, CT) and junior forward Malakie Berry (Enfield, CT) both finished with 12 points apiece for the Blazers. Thomas also added a game-high six assists. Tuesday night’s victory also gave Elms College its fourth consecutive 20-win season.


Husson Rallies to Defeat Johnson State 85-82 in NAC Quarterfinal

 

East Division top seed Husson College defeated West division fourth seed Johnson State College in a North Atlantic Conference Quarterfinal game, 85-82.  With the win Husson advances to the semifinals that will be held at Elms College.

Leading the way for the Eagles was Brock Bradford who scored a game-high 36 points, which included a perfect 10-10 from the foul line.  Bradford also grabbed six rebounds and dished out five assists.  Sheruad Lee contributed 14 points and Matt MacKenzie added 11 points.  John Foley led the Badgers with 23 points and 11 rebounds.  Bobby Shedd scored 19 points and grabbed 10 rebounds.

Husson College went 1-12 from behind the arc in the first half to fall behind Johnson State 39-33.  Johnson State came out of the locker room in the second half and extended their led to as many as 12 points.  The Eagles chipped away the rest of the game and used big three point shots at the end by Bradford and Lee to push them over the top.


 Lesley Moves Past Castleton 76-55 to Advance in NAC Quarterfinals

CAMBRIDGE, Mass. – In a North Atlantic Conference quarterfinal match up between Castleton State College and Lesley University, the Lynx defeated the Spartans 76-55 to move on to the semifinals to be played on Friday February 29, 2008.

Lesley’s top scorer was senior captain Mark Stevens (Las Vegas, Nev.) who scored 21 points on 9-of-17 from the field including 3-of-6 from beyond the arc.  Seventeen of his 21 points came in the first half.  Stevens also added eight rebounds and three assists in the winning effort. 

Also in double-figures for the Lynx were guards Joe Chatman (Boston, Mass.) and Zach Rocha (New Bedford, Mass.) who had 11 and 10 points, respectively.  Chatman had a game-high eight assists, as well as two rebounds and two steals.  Rocha, in just 16 minutes on the court, was 4-of-6 shooting from the floor and hit two of his three three-point attempts.  

The Spartans’ Richard Reilly (Manassas, Va.) had a team-high 14 points and also finished with five rebounds, two assists, and two steals as he played the entire 40 minutes.  Junior guard Josh Howe (Randolph, Vt.) was the only other Castleton player in double-digit points as he netted 10 points in the loss.  He also contributed by grabbing seven rebounds and tallied an assist and a steal. 

Lesley kicked off the first two minutes of the game with a 10-0 run capped off by a Jesus Trejo (Methuen, Mass.) lay up.  Trejo also had a solid game for the Lynx as he finished with seven points, 10 rebounds, three blocks, and a steal.  Lesley increased their lead and went into halftime up 42-26.

In the second half, the Spartans offense was revived thanks to senior forward Chris Young (Narragansett, R.I.) who scored all nine of his points in the half.  The lead was cut to just seven with 13:07 remaining in the game, but the Lynx were able to step up their defense.  Time expired and Lesley was able to walk away with a home playoff victory. 

With the loss, Castleton State College finishes their 2007-2008 season with a record of 15-11 (8-6 NAC).  The win improved Lesley’s standing to 11-15 (9-5 NAC) and helped them move on to face another quarterfinal winner on Friday evening. 


Pairings Announced for NAC Men’s Basketball Championship

For the third season in a row, Husson and Elms earned the top seeds in their respective divisions in the upcoming North Atlantic Conference Men's Basketball Tournament following completion of the regular season conference play. The top four teams from each division qualify for the NAC Championship. Seeds cross over for the quarterfinal round with the top two teams in each division hosting a first round contest.Teams are reseeded entering the semifinals.

Three-time defending champion Elms (19-6 overall, 11-2 NAC) will host East division fourth seed Maine-Farmington (11-14 overall, 7-6 NAC) when tournament play begins this Tuesday, February 26. The Blazers got past the Beavers 60-57 when the two squads met this season in Farmington. West second seed Becker (12-13 overall, 8-5 NAC) will be home against Maine Maritime (10-13 overall, 7-6 NAC). Becker earned the right to host a quarterfinal contest by virtue of a tiebreaker over Castleton.

Husson earned the East division top seed with a 10-3 mark in conference play and will host Johnson State (9-16 overall, 4-9 NAC). East division second seed Lesley (10-15 overall, 8-5 NAC) will host West division third seed Castleton (15-10 overall, 8-5 NAC).

Predetermined tiebreaking procedures were used to seed teams with identical conference winning percentages. Quarterfinal games will be played at the higher seed on Tuesday, February 26. Teams are then re-seeded entering the semifinal round based on similar seeding criteria. The top seed will host both semifinal contests on Friday, February 29 at 6:00 and 8:00 p.m. and the championship on Saturday, March 1 at 2:00 p.m. for the NAC title. Game times are subject to change. The NAC Champion receives an automatic berth to the NCAA Division III Championship.

2007-08 NAC Men's Basketball Championship    
Quarterfinals - Tuesday, February 26 at higher seeds    
(WEST 4) Johnson State   at (EAST 1) Husson   7:30 PM
(WEST 3) Castleton   at (EAST 2) Lesley   7:00 PM
           
(EAST 4) Me.-Farmington at (WEST 1) Elms   6:00 PM
(EAST 3) Maine Maritime   at (WEST 2) Becker   7:30 PM
           
Semifinals - Friday, February 29 - [teams are reseeded]    
#1 seed vs. #4 seed   6:00 PM
#2 seed vs. #3 seed   8:00 PM
           
Championship - Saturday, March 1    
Semifinal Winners   2:00 PM


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