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Beanpot Preview: BC the favorite as it aims for five-peat

02.02.14 at 12:28 pm ET
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Johnny Gaudreau is looking to lead BC to its fifth straight Beanpot title. (John Quackenbos/BC Athletics)

Johnny Gaudreau is looking to lead BC to its fifth straight Beanpot title. (John Quackenbos/BC Athletics)

For a long time, Boston University dominated the Beanpot. The Terriers won the 62-year-old tournament 29 times in its first 57 years. From 1990 to 2009, they won 15 out of 20. Their fans began to call it the BU Invitational, and they had good reason to.

The last four years have been a different story, though. Now it’s Boston College in the driver’s seat. The Eagles have won four straight Beanpots, a feat that’s only been accomplished two other times — BU won four straight from 1970 to 1973 and six straight from 1995 to 2000.

Entering this year’s tournament, BC (19-4-3) is once again the favorite. The Eagles are 11-0-1 in their last 12, they lead Hockey East by eight points, and they rank second in the Pairwise rankings that are used to determine the NCAA tournament field. They lead the country in scoring by a wide margin (they’re averaging 4.38 goals per game, while second-place Quinnipiac is at 3.68) and they rank sixth in scoring defense.

Leading the way offensively is the undersized but immensely talented Johnny Gaudreau. The 5-foot-8, 159-pound winger leads the nation in goals (23), points (51), points per game (1.96) and plus/minus (+32). Linemate Kevin Hayes (19g, 26a) ranks in the top three in all those categories, but his status for the Beanpot is in question after he left Friday night’s game against Providence with a hip pointer and did not return.

Hayes would be a big loss, but even if he can’t go, the Eagles will still be heavily favored when they take on archrival BU (8-14-3) in the second game of Monday’€™s opening round (8 p.m., WEEI 850 AM). The Terriers have struggled mightily in their first year under new coach David Quinn. They’re 1-8-2 since the start of December, and they currently sit in 10th place in Hockey East. They’re last in the conference in team defense and they have the third-worst shot differential per game in the country (-11.04).

If there’s a reason for the Terriers to be optimistic, it’s that they just played a competitive game against BC two weeks ago. After an even first, it looked like that game was going to turn into the blowout it was expected to be when the Eagles went up 3-1 and then 5-2. But the Terriers battled back, cut it to 5-4, and then had a few chances to tie the game before Gaudreau sealed it for BC with an empty-netter. Read the rest of this entry »

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Harvard routs Penn; UMass falls at St. Joseph’s

02.01.14 at 11:46 pm ET
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Laurent Rivard hit 6-of-9 3-pointers and finished with 20 points to lead Harvard to an 80-50 rout of Penn on Saturday night at Lavietes Pavilion.

Harvard (17-3, 4-0 Ivy League) broke open a tight game midway through the first half when it ran off 12 straight points. The Crimson finished the period on a 27-4 run to take a 44-23 lead. Penn (4-13, 1-2) was unable to mount a threat in the second half.

Kyle Casey scored 15 points and grabbed 11 rebounds for Harvard, which knocked off Princeton a night earlier and is the only remaining Ivy team without a loss in league play.

– In Philadelphia, Halil Kanacevic scored 18 points to lead St. Joseph’s to a 73-68 victory over No. 21 UMass.

Derrick Gordon scored 21 points for the Minutemen (17-4, 4-3 Atlantic-10), who rallied from a 16-point halftime deficit and tied the game on a Chaz Williams 3-pointer with 1:23 remaining. That capped a 14-1 run for UMass, which shot 59 percent in the second period.

After the teams traded free throws, Chris Wilson put St. Joe’s (15-6, 5-2) up with two from the line with 30 seconds remaining. On UMass’ ensuing possession, Gordon drove the baseline and turned over the ball. The Hawks then closed out the game with three free throws in the final 12 seconds.

Williams amassed 16 points, 10 assists, five rebounds and three steals for the Minutemen, who have lost three of their last four games.

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Boston College lets one slip away at Notre Dame; Boston University falls in OT

02.01.14 at 7:09 pm ET
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Eric Atkins scored 24 points, including a 3-pointer with two seconds left in overtime that gave Notre Dame a 76-73 victory over visiting Boston College on Saturday afternoon.

Atkins had a chance to win the game with less than a second left in overtime, but he missed 1-of-2 free throws, sending the game to an extra session.

BC had a 66-63 lead with 16 seconds left in regulation before Garrick Sherman scored to get the Irish within a point. BC’s Olivier Hanlan then missed the front end of a 1-and-1. While Atkins was driving in an attempt for the go-ahead basket, Hanlan was called for a reach-in foul.

Ryan Anderson had 21 points and six rebounds for BC (6-15, 2-6 ACC). His two free throws with 35 seconds left in OT tied the game before Atkins’ heroics. Lonnie Jackson scored 15 points and Joe Rahon netted 13.

Arlington native Pat Connaughton had 17 points and nine rebounds for Notre Dame (12-10, 3-6).

– In other action Saturday afternoon involving Boston-area schools, Mackey McKnight hit a layup with less than a second remaining in overtime to lift visiting Lehigh over Boston University, 82-80.

D.J. Irving scored 25 points for the Terriers (15-8, 8-2 Patriot), who squandered a 15-point halftime lead. Dom Morris scored 17, including a free throw that tied the game at 80 with nine seconds left.

Tim Kempton scored 18 points for Lehigh (12-11, 5-5) and McKnight tallied 16.

Tony Wroblicky scored 18 points and American made the plays down the stretch to take a 63-57 victory over Holy Cross in Washington.

Malcolm Miller scored 14 points for Holy Cross (12-10, 6-4 Patriot), which was within two points at 55-53 with just over a minute to play. American’s Jesse Reed (13 points) then hit a layup, and on HC’s ensuing possession Darius Gardner (12 points) knocked away the ball and scored on a layup to make it a six-point game.

American (14-7, 10-0) is on an 11-game winning streak.

Akeem Williams scored 16 of his 19 points after the break, rallying UMass-Lowell from a 13-point halftime deficit to a 62-55 victory over visiting Binghamton.

Antonio Bivins added 13 points for the River Hawks (6-14, 5-4 America East), who opened the second half on a 19-2 run.

Jordan Reed and Yosef Yacob each scored 14 points for Binghamton (4-19, 1-8).

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Boston College, Holy Cross to renew football rivalry

01.31.14 at 12:14 pm ET
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Boston College will host Holy Cross at Alumni Stadium in the 2018 and 2020 seasons following a 32-year break in their longstanding football rivalry.

The teams met 82 times between 1896 and 1986. BC has faced Holy Cross more than any other opponent in school history and leads the series 48-31-3, including a 56-26 victory in 1986.

“This will be a renewal of one of the oldest and greatest traditions of college football in New England,” Boston College director of athletics Brad Bates said. “For many years, this was ‘the game’ for alumni and fans of both schools, and I am delighted that we are able to renew ‘€“ for at least two years ‘€“ this spirited and long-standing rivalry.”

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Harvard announces Kenyatta Smith out for remainder of season

01.31.14 at 12:09 pm ET
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Harvard junior center Kenyatta Smith, who played in his first game of the season Sunday at Dartmouth, broke a bone in his right foot during practice the following day and will be out for the rest of the season, the school announced Friday.

Smith, who sat out the team’s first 17 games with an injury to the same foot, played just two minutes in Sunday’s game.

Last season, Smith averaged 5.8 points, 4.3 rebounds and 2.1 blocks per game for the Ivy League champions. Smith recorded 10 points, seven rebounds and two blocks in the Crimson’s upset of third-seeded New Mexico in the NCAA tournament.

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BC rolls past Va. Tech; No. 21 UMass falls at St. Bonaventure

01.29.14 at 10:21 pm ET
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Joe Rahon

Joe Rahon

Joe Rahon hit 5-of-8 3-pointers and scored 20 points to go along with six assists as Boston College cruised to a 76-52 victory over Virginia Tech on Wednesday night at Conte Forum.

Ryan Anderson added 18 points, eight rebounds and five blocked shots for the Eagles (6-14, 2-5 ACC). Patrick Heckmann contributed 14 points off the bench and Olivier Hanlan scored 11 points.

Jarell Eddie had 23 points and 10 rebounds for Virginia Tech (8-12, 1-7).

BC led 46-33 at the half and opened the second period on an 8-0 run. The Eagles held the Hokies to 19 points in the second half.

The win was BC’s second-largest in ACC play. Both of BC’s league wins this season have come against the Hokies.

– In Olean, N.Y., Youssou Ndoye scored 11 of his 12 points in the second half to help St. Bonaventure knock off No. 21 UMass, 78-65.

Trey Davis scored 18 points for the Minutemen (17-3, 4-2 Atlantic-10). Chaz Williams was kept in check by a swarming St. Bonaventure defense, as he shot just 3-for-10. Williams finished with 11 points and six assists and fouled out with 1:39 left.

Charlon Kloof scored 14 points for the Bonnies (13-8, 3-4), who snapped a 24-game losing streak against ranked opponents spanning 14 years. The St. Bonaventure crowd stormed the court after the game.

St. Bonaventure, which led 26-25 at the break, took the lead for good with 18:47 left on a jumper from Matthew Wright. UMass was within two points with 8:46 remaining after a dunk by Raphiael Putney, but the Bonnies then embarked on an 11-3 run, capped by consecutive driving baskets by Dion Wright.

D.J. Irving scored eight of his 22 points in overtime as Boston University blew a 22-point second-half lead but managed to turn away Army, 86-81, at Agganis Arena.

Irving went 12-for-12 from the free throw line, including 8-for-8 in OT. Also for BU (15-7, 8-1 Patriot), Cedric Hankerson scored 19 points and Malik Thomas netted 18, including a 3-pointer to start the OT.

Read the rest of this entry »

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Hockey East Power Rankings: BC on top; Lowell, UNH battling key injuries

01.27.14 at 8:53 pm ET
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The Beanpot is a week away and everyone in Hockey East has completed more than half of their league schedule, so this is a perfect time for some power rankings as we gear up for the stretch run.

1. Boston College (18-4-3, 11-1-1 HE)
Every other spot in these rankings is debatable, but the top one is not. The Eagles are 10-0-1 in their last 11, and they’€™re six points clear of the field in the league standings. The top line of Johnny Gaudreau, Bill Arnold and Kevin Hayes has combined for a ridiculous 26 goals and 41 assists in their 11 games playing together. Gaudreau is riding a 20-game point streak and leads the country with 50 points (22g, 28a), while Hayes has a 12-game point streak and ranks second with 45 points (19g, 26a). Both should be Hobey Baker finalists, and Gaudreau is the odds-on favorite to win the award right now.

2. UMass-Lowell (16-7-2, 6-4-1 HE)
I hesitate to put the River Hawks this high given their injury situation, but after watching them demolish Providence on Saturday night, I can’€™t really justify putting them any lower. The injury situation is that four key players — forwards Scott Wilson and Ryan McGrath and defensemen Zack Kamrass and Jake Suter — got hurt Friday night, and all four missed Saturday’€™s game. Coach Norm Bazin didn’€™t provide any information on the injuries, but it sounds like Kamrass and Suter are more day-to-day, while Wilson and McGrath could potentially miss a significant amount of time. Lowell’€™s strength is its depth rather than its stars, but losing two of its top six scorers would obviously be a pretty big blow.

3. Providence (15-6-5, 7-5-1 HE)
The Friars just haven’€™t looked right in the second half, as they’€™re now 3-4-2 since Christmas. Part of that has been the surprisingly subpar play of Jon Gillies — the usually excellent netminder has an .886 save percentage in six games since returning from the World Junior Championships. The offense has struggled, too, as the Friars have scored two goals or fewer in six of their last eight games. They had scored five-plus in the two games prior to Saturday’€™s loss, though, so that might give them something to build off. Read the rest of this entry »

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Chaz Williams leads No. 13 UMass in rout of Fordham

01.26.14 at 7:09 pm ET
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Chaz Williams scored 18 points and dished out eight assists as 13th-ranked UMass jumped out early and never let up in a 90-52 blowout of Fordham on Sunday in Amherst.

Playing before a sellout crowd of 9,493 fans, the Minutemen (17-2, 4-1 Atlantic-10) bounced back from Wednesday’s loss at Richmond with a dominant effort. All 11 players in uniform scored for UMass, including 13 points each from Raphiael Putney and Trey Davis.

Fordham (8-11, 1-5) jumped out to a 7-0 lead, but UMass responded with a 20-2 run to take control. The lead was 16 at the break (40-24), and the hosts opened the second period with a 17-0 run that included 3-pointers from Putney, Sampson Carter and Williams.

UMass shot 51.6 percent from the field, including 13-of-27 from 3-point range. Fordham shot just 30.5 percent.

“Especially coming off the loss the last game, we wanted to come out in the game and feel like we were getting our swagger back and feeling like we were playing UMass basketball,” Williams told reporters afterward. “We didn’t feel like we were doing what we were doing.”

– In Hanover, N.H., Laurent Rivard scored 15 points and Harvard rolled past Dartmouth, 80-50.

Brandyn Curry and Siyani Chambers added 14 points apiece for the Crimson (15-3, 2-0 Ivy), who shot 65.9 percent, including 10-of-14 from 3-point range (a school-record 71.4 percent for a minimum of 10 attempts).

Connor Boehm and Malik Gill scored 16 points each for Dartmouth (7-9, 0-2), which trailed by 17 at the half, 37-20.

– In Lowell, Daniel Dion scored 20 points to lead New Hampshire to a 61-32 victory over UMass-Lowell.

Chris Pelcher added 13 points and 14 rebounds for UNH (5-15, 3-4 America East).

Antonio Bivins scored 12 points off the bench for the River Hawks (5-14, 4-4), who trailed 25-17 at the half and struggled even worse offensively after the break. UMass-Lowell finished the game shooting just 12.2 percent (6-of-49).

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Northeastern, BU, Holy Cross post wins

01.25.14 at 10:10 pm ET
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Demetrius Pollard scored 25 points, including 6-of-8 3-pointers, and dished out six assists to lead Northeastern to a 70-57 victory over Hofstra on Saturday in Hempstead, N.Y.

Scott Eatherton added 18 points and seven rebounds for the Huskies (7-14, 4-3 CAA).

Dion Nesmith scored 18 points for Hofstra (7-13, 3-2).

The Pride opened the game with a 12-2 spurt, but NU closed the period on a 10-4 run, capped by a Pollard three-point play, to get within three at 33-30. The Huskies trailed by six with 15 minutes left but scored 10 straight, with a Pollard layup giving them their first lead of the night. They then pulled away down the stretch.

Maurice Watson Jr. had 12 points, eight rebounds and five assists, and he had a late steal and layup to stem a Bucknell comeback as Boston University held on for a 64-61 victory in Lewisburg, Pa., for its seventh win in eight games.

Dom Morris had 12 points and nine rebounds, and John Papale also scored 12 points for BU (14-7, 7-1 Patriot), which led by 16 points at the break (32-16) and by 20 with eight minutes remaining in the game. Bucknell then embarked on a 28-9 run to close to within a point, 59-58, with 19 seconds remaining after a 3-pointer by Chris Hass.

After two free throws from Papale made it a three-point game, Watson came up with a steal and fastbreak layup for a five-point cushion with seven seconds remaining. Hass then hit another trey, but Papale hit 1-of-2 from the line with 1.4 seconds left and BU’s defense denied Bucknell a final shot at the basket.

Cameron Ayers scored 23 points for the Bison (9-10, 4-4).

– In Annapolis, Md., Justin Burrell scored 17 points, including seven straight during a clinching 11-0 run late in the game, to lead Holy Cross to a 67-52 victory over Navy.

Dave Dudzinski had 16 points and nine rebounds for the Crusaders (11-9, 5-3 Patriot), who never trailed. HC led by nine points at the half and extended the lead to 20 at 67-47 with just under two minutes left after the late run.

Worth Smith scored 19 points for Navy (7-12, 2-6).

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UMass rally falls short at Richmond; BU suffers first league loss

01.23.14 at 6:41 am ET
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UMass’ rally from a nine-point deficit fell short when Chaz Williams‘ 3-point try went long, and Richmond escaped with a 58-55 home victory over the 13th-ranked Minutemen on Wednesday night.

Sampson Carter scored 15 points and Cady Lalanne had 10 points and 13 rebounds for UMass (1-2, 3-1 Atlantic-10).

Kendall Anthony scored 21 points for Richmond (13-6, 3-1).

The Spiders led by seven points with 3:43 left, but Carter hit a 3-pointer and Lalanne had a dunk to get the Minutemen within two with 38 seconds remaining. Richmond’s Cedrick Lindsay (11 points) hit a free throw, but Trey Davis dropped in a floater with 11 seconds left to make it a one-point game, 56-55.

After two more free throws from Lindsay with 10 seconds left, Williams missed the potential game-tying trey from the top, and UMass suffered its first road loss of the season. The Minutemen were just 2-of-14 from behind the arc.

– In Washington, Jesse Reed scored 20 points on 8-of-9 shooting and American shot 71 percent in winning the battle between undefeated Patriot League teams with an 86-56 rout of Boston University.

Maurice Watson Jr. had 15 points and five steals for the Terriers (13-7, 6-1 Patriot), who shot just 32 percent from the field and allowed a season high in points.

American (11-7, 7-0) led by 10 points at the half, 37-27, and went on a 14-3 run midway through the second period to pull away.

– In Easton, Pa., Justin Burrell scored 15 points, including two key free throws with 19 seconds remaining, as Holy Cross edged Lafayette, 59-58.

The Crusaders (10-9, 4-3 Patriot) led 59-56 after Burrell’s free throws. Scott Bryce hit two from the line for Lafayette (4-14, 0-7) to return the the margin to one, and, after HC’s Anthony Thompson missed the front end of a one-and-one, the Leopards had a chance to win. However, Nick Lindner was not able to hit a jumper with two seconds left.

– In Towson, Md., David Walker hit a 3-pointer with three seconds remaining to give Northeastern a 57-54 victory over Towson.

Scott Eatherton led the way for the Huskies (6-14, 3-3 CAA) with 19 points and nine rebounds, while Zack Stahl had 10 points and nine boards.

Marcus Damas scored 21 points for Towson (12-7, 3-1), which had rallied from a 10-point deficit with 6:17 remaining to tie the game at 54.

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