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Hockey East playoff picture entering final night of regular season

02.28.14 at 11:29 pm ET
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Here is what happened Friday night:

-UMass-Lowell clinched second place with its 1-0 overtime win at Vermont.

-Despite losing to Boston University, 4-1, Northeastern clinched a first-round bye by virtue of Vermont losing.

-Vermont was eliminated from bye contention after losing to Lowell.

-Thanks to BU’s win over Northeastern, the order of the bottom three teams is set. BU is ninth, UMass is 10th, and Merrimack is 11th.

-Providence beat Maine, 4-2, but both can still finish anywhere from third to sixth.

-New Hampshire suffered a surprise 4-2 loss to Merrimack and now sits alone in sixth, meaning it needs to help to get home ice and/or a bye.

So here is where things stand entering the final night of the regular season:

-Northeastern, Providence, Maine and New Hampshire are battling for the final two home ice spots. One of the latter three will miss a bye and host a first-round single elimination game.

-Northeastern can clinch home ice with a win or tie against BU, or with a UNH loss or tie.

-Providence can clinch home ice with a win or tie against Maine. Even if it loses, it can still get a bye if UNH loses or ties.

-Maine needs to win to get home ice. Without a win, it can clinch a bye with a tie and a UNH tie or loss, or with a UNH loss.

-UNH can clinch home ice with a win and a Northeastern loss. It can clinch a bye with a win, or with a tie and a Maine loss.

-Vermont finishes sixth a win and a UNH loss, eighth with a loss and a Notre Dame win or tie, seventh with anything else.

-Notre Dame finishes seventh with a win and a Vermont tie or loss, or with a tie and a Vermont loss. It finishes eighth with anything else.

Boston University retires Jack Parker’s No. 6

02.28.14 at 9:26 pm ET
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Jack Parker's No. 6 now hangs next to Travis Roy's 24. (WEEI)

Jack Parker‘s No. 6 now hangs next to Travis Roy’s 24. (WEEI)

Jack Parker never liked the idea of retiring numbers. He wanted current players to be able to wear numbers that had been worn by great players in the past. Above each locker in the Boston University dressing room, there was always a list of the players that had worn that number in the past, so each player would know his number’s history.

The only number Parker ever agreed to retire was 24, the number Travis Roy wore for one shift on Oct. 20, 1995, before suffering a devastating injury that rendered him a quadriplegic.

So when Parker, who retired last March after 40 years as BU’s head coach, found out in the spring that the school wanted to retire his number, he had some mixed emotions.

“It’s going against my rule to have this done,” Parker quipped to the Agganis Arena crowd of 5,577 Friday night during a ceremony to retire his No. 6, which he wore as a BU player from 1965-68 as an homage to his favorite athlete, Bill Russell.

But as Parker noted in another one of his wisecrack one-liners, “The reality is we’re still going along with the same rule, because we’re not retiring my number because I was a great player.”

Nope. Parker’s number is now hanging from the Agganis rafters because of everything he did once he returned to his alma mater. As athletic director Mike Lynch pointed out, Parker has had a hand in every other banner that’s in the arena. Read the rest of this entry »

Harvard routs Cornell, expands on lead in Ivy

02.28.14 at 9:09 pm ET
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Siyani Chambers scored 15 points to lead Harvard to a 72-47 rout of Cornell on Friday night at Lavietes Pavilion and move the Crimson one step closer to their third straight NCAA berth.

Harvard (23-4, 10-1 Ivy) opened up a two-game lead in the league over Yale (14-11, 8-3), which suffered a 57-46 loss at Princeton. Each team has three games remaining in the regular season, including a matchup against each other next Friday night in New Haven, Conn.

Brandy Curry scored 12 points and Kyle Casey added 10 for Harvard, which led 34-18 at the half and never let the lead get under double digits in the second 20 minutes.

Darryl Smith scored 14 points for Cornell (2-23, 1-10).

 

Boston College WR Alex Amidon to attempt career as Navy SEAL

02.28.14 at 11:36 am ET
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After he graduates in May, Boston College wide receiver Alex Amidon will pursue a career as an United States Navy SEAL instead of attempting to become a professional football player.

The Eagles made the announcement Thursday evening during BC’€™s 2014 recruiting dinner.

The 2012 All-Atlantic Coast Conference wide receiver holds BC’€™s single-season record for receptions with 78 and receiving yards with 1,210. He accomplished both of those feats as a junior. During his senior year, he was named to the All-ACC third team by both media and coaches.

Over the course of his four-year career as an Eagle, Amidon had 191 receptions for 2,800 yards and 15 touchdowns in 46 games.

CBSSports.com lists Amidon as the No. 54 receiver in the 2014 draft.

Read More: Alex Amidon,

BC falls to Pitt; UMass holds off URI

02.26.14 at 10:21 pm ET
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Talib Zanna scored 21 points to lead Pittsburgh to a 66-59 victory over Boston College on Wednesday night at Conte Forum.

Olivier Hanlan hit 10-of-15 shots and scored 25 points for BC (7-21, 3-12 ACC). Patrick Heckmann hit 3-of-4 3-pointers and scored 15 points.

Lamar Patterson contributed 16 points and five assists for Pitt (21-7, 9-6), which outrebounded BC 32-18.

The Panthers led by nine at the break, 35-26, and scored the first five points of the second half to take a 14-point lead. BC used an 8-0 run to close the gap but could get no closer than four the rest of the way.

– In Amherst, Chaz Williams scored 16 points as UMass beat Rhode Island, 70-67.

Trey Davis added 13 points off the bench and Sampson Carter netted 11 for the Minutemen (22-5, 9-4 Atlantic-10), while Derrick Gordon contributed nine points and 10 rebounds.

Gilvydas Biruta scored 17 points and Xavier Munford added 16 for URI (12-17, 4-10).

UMass, which held a 41-28 advantage on the boards, had a one-point lead at the break and extended it to nine in the second half.  URI battled back and took a 60-56 lead with 4:46 left after a three-point play by Jarrelle Reischel.

UMass then embarked on an 8-2 run, capped by two Cady Lalanne free throws that gave the Minutemen a 64-62 lead with 2:44 left. After two free throws from T.J. Buchanan tied the score, Gordon put UMass ahead for good on a layup with 1:36 remaining. E.C. Matthews made 1-of-2 from the line with just over a minute left to get the Rams within one.

After turnovers by both teams, Williams hit two free throws with 24 seconds left to put the Minutemen up three. After a URI miss, Davis hit two from the line with three seconds left for a five-point cushion. Matthews hit a layup at the buzzer to account for the final scoring.

– In West Point, N.Y., John Papale scored 19 points off the bench and sparked a second-half rally as Boston University edged Army, 71-70.

Maurice Watson Jr. added 16 points for the Terriers (21-9, 14-3 Patriot), who remain a game ahead of American in the league standings.

Kevin Ferguson had 20 points and 10 rebounds for Army (13-15, 9-8).

BU trailed by 10 at the half, 33-23, Papale’s 3-pointer keyed a 13-4 midway through the second half as the Terriers took control. Army used a late 7-2 run, fueled by five points from Kyle Wilson (15 points) to tie the game at 66 with two minutes remaining.

Watson put BU ahead to stay with a free throw with 1:30 left. Both teams then went cold until Watson was fouled and made two from the line with 21 seconds left. Dylan Cox hit two free throws for Army with 17 seconds left, but Papale answered with two of his own two seconds later.

Cox hit a layup with eight seconds left and, after a BU turnover, Army had a chance to win but Wilson’s jumper was off the mark and time ran out.

– In Baltimore, Malcolm Miller had 20 points and eight rebounds to lead Holy Cross to a 65-52 victory over Loyola (Md.).

Eric Green and Anthony Thompson added 12 points apiece for the Crusaders (10-18, 5-12), while Malachi Alexander contributed nine points and 10 rebounds.

Franz Rassman scored 15 points for Loyola (10-18, 5-12), which led by three at the half, 30-27, and was tied at 37 after a Rassman layup with 15:23 remaining. Both teams then went cold, with HC ending the drought first on a Green 3-pointer four minutes later that put the visitors ahead to stay. A Rassman 3-pointer at the midway point of the period got Loyola with a pair, but HC then went on an 8-1 run and never looked back.

Hockey East playoff picture entering final weekend of regular season

02.25.14 at 10:15 pm ET
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OK, so the final weekend of the regular season this year won’t be quite as exciting as the final weekend last year, when four teams still had a shot at the top spot entering the weekend and we ended up with a de facto regular-season title game between UMass-Lowell and Providence on the final night. Not having a race for the final couple playoff spots (everyone makes the tournament this year) takes away some drama, too.

But there is still a lot at stake this weekend. Boston College has already locked up the regular-season title, but there are still six teams battling for the remaining three home ice spots and remaining four first-round byes.

Just to give you a refresher on the new Hockey East playoff format:
-The top five teams get a first-round bye.
-The remaining six teams play a single-game elimination round on March 7-8 (6 vs. 11, 7 vs. 10, 8 vs. 9), with the higher seed hosting each game.
-The field is then reseeded for the following weekend’s quarterfinals, with the top four teams hosting best-of-three series.
-The semifinals will be Friday, March 21, at TD Garden.
-The championship game will be Saturday, March 22, at TD Garden.

Before we get started, a stick tap to the fine folks at Hockey East for sending out updated playoff pictures that make a post like this much easier than it would be otherwise.

1. Boston College (16-1-2 Hockey East, 25-4-4 overall)
Points: 34
Max: 36
Possible seeds: 1
Remaining games: vs. Notre Dame

BC clinched the regular-season title and No. 1 seed two weekends ago. The main points of interest here are streaks. The Eagles have a 19-game unbeaten streak (17-0-2), and one more win or tie would make it the longest unbeaten streak in Jerry York‘s 20 years at BC. It would also tie the legendary 1992-93 Maine team for fewest losses in a Hockey East season. In other streak action, Johnny Gaudreau’s point streak stands at 28 games. He’s been held without a point just once all season, and his 63 points are 12 more than anyone else in the country. Read the rest of this entry »

BU upended by Bucknell; Holy Cross rolls

02.23.14 at 6:39 pm ET
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Boston University entered Sunday’s game against Bucknell at Agganis Arena with a chance to secure at least a tie for the Patriot League title, but the visitors had other ideas, rallying for a 63-53 victory.

Nathan Dieudonne scored 13 points for BU (20-9, 13-3), which saw its league lead over American dip to one game. Maurice Watson Jr. added 12 points, six assists and five steals for the Terriers, who had won five straight and 13 of their last 15.

BU had a 36-29 lead with 11 minutes to play but was outscored 34-17 the rest of the way. Cameron Ayers scored 11 points for Bucknell (14-13, 9-7) and started the game-deciding run with a pair of free throws. D.J. MacLeay hit a 3-pointer with 7:53 left to put the Bison ahead to stay, 40-38.

Bucknell shot 53 percent in the second half and outrebounded BU 46-27 for the game, led by Brian Fitzpatrick‘s 12 boards.

– In Worcester, Dave Dudzinski had 22 points and 10 rebounds to lead Holy Cross past Navy, 74-57.

Anthony Thompson added 17 points for the Crusaders (17-11, 11-5 Patriot), who took a 20-point lead in the first half, led 34-19 at the break and never let Navy get closer than 10 points the rest of the way.

Thurgood Wynn scored 14 points for Navy (9-18, 4-12).

Harvard posts historic win at Princeton; BC routed at Miami

02.22.14 at 10:01 pm ET
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Brandyn Curry scored 17 points as Harvard posted its first win at Princeton‘s Jadwin Gym since 1989 and completed its first-ever season sweep of traditional Ivy League powers Penn and Princeton with a 59-47 victory over the Tigers on Saturday night.

Siyani Chambers had 13 points and eight assists while Steve Moundou-Missi contributed 11 points, 10 rebounds and four blocks for the Crimson (22-4, 9-1 Ivy), who had lost 24 straight at Princeton.

T.J. Bray scored 17 points for the Tigers (15-8, 3-6), who did not go down without a fight. Princeton led by five at the break, 29-24, and again by five at 37-32 with 13:19 left after a Bray layup. Harvard then closed the game on a 27-10 run.

Princeton was within three with 6:16 left after a Spencer Weisz 3-pointer, 46-43, but the Tigers did not score again until a Bray free throw with 43 seconds left, after Harvard had run off 11 straight points.

Harvard had not won at Jadwin Gym since Feb. 3, 1989. The Crimson had not swept a road series vs. Penn and Princeton since the 1984-85 season and had never swept the season series vs. the two southernmost Ivy League schools in its history. Harvard, which routed the Quakers on Friday night, beat Penn and Princeton at home on Jan. 31 and Feb. 1.

The Crimson move a half-game ahead of Yale for first place in the league, with the Bulldogs playing at Columbia on Sunday afternoon.

Boston College was unable to carry over the momentum from Wednesday’s upset of top-ranked Syracuse, as the Eagles were routed by host Miami, 69-42.

Rion Brown scored 22 points for the Hurricanes (14-13, 5-9 ACC).

Patrick Heckman scored 15 points while Olivier Hanlan netted 11 for BC (7-20, 3-11).

Miami led by five points at the half, 27-22, and opened the second period with a 14-6 run. BC got no closer the eight the rest of the way.

– In Williamsburg, Va., Marcus Thornton hit 5-of-7 3-pointers and scored 25 points as William & Mary posted an 81-67 victory over Northeastern.

T.J. Williams scored 16 points for NU (9-20, 6-9 CAA), which trailed by nine points at the half, 33-24, and by eight with just over six minutes to play. The Tribe (17-10, 9-5) then blew open the game, leading by as many as 18 points down the stretch.

William & Mary shot 53 percent from the field, including 43 percent from behind the arc (10-for-23).

– In Durham, N.H., Akeem Williams scored 25 points and made a three-point play with 34 seconds left to lift UMass-Lowell to a 58-52 victory over New Hampshire.

Antonio Bivins added 10 points and seven rebounds for the River Hawks (9-18, 7-8 America East), who led by a point at the break, 24-23. With the game tied at 27, Williams had two layups and an assist as part of a 9-0 run. However, UNH (6-21, 4-10) battled back and took a lead at 50-49 after a 7-0 run capped by a Daniel Dion 3-pointer with 49 seconds remaining.

Williams put UMass-Lowell ahead to stay on a layup and free throw 15 seconds later. He added two more free throws with 30 seconds left for a four-point cushion. After Chris Pelcher (10 points, 12 rebounds) hit a layup to draw UNH within a pair, Williams hit a free throw with 16 seconds left to make it 55-52. Following a UNH miss, Bivins hit two from the line with seven seconds left to cap the scoring.

UMass rallies past VCU; Harvard routs Penn

02.21.14 at 9:58 pm ET
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Chaz Williams had 20 points and five assists, and he closed out the game by making 4-of-4 free throws and coming up with a key steal as UMass posted an 80-75 victory over VCU on Friday night in Amherst.

Also for UMass, (21-5, 8-4 Atlantic-10), Derrick Gordon scored 16 points, Trey Davis had 13 points and four steals, Cady Lalanne collected 10 points and nine rebounds, and Sampson Carter had nine points and 10 rebounds.

Treveon Graham had 10 points and eight rebounds for VCU (20-7, 8-4).

Neither team had an impressive shooting night, with UMass missing all eight of its 3-point tries and finishing at 42 percent from the field, and VCU shooting 39 percent overall and 28 percent from behind the arc. The visitors also had an off night at the free throw line, hitting just 10-of-22 (45 percent).

VCU broke open a tight game and built a nine-point lead late in the first half before settling for a five-point cushion at the break, 39-34. UMass took its first lead of the second half with 13:47 left on a Williams layup that made it 50-49, but VCU soon restored its five-point advantage.

With UMass trailing 67-62 and 6:36 remaining, Williams started a 10-2 run with a jumper. Davis put the Minutemen ahead to stay with a layup with just over four minutes left, making the score 70-68.

The UMass lead was one at 76-75 before Williams hit two free throws with 16 seconds left. At the other end, Williams snuck up on Briante Weber while was driving the lane and stole the ball. He was fouled and hit two more free throws to close out the scoring.

With the win, UMass moves into a three-way tied for third place in the A-10 with the teams it beat in its last two games, George Washington and VCU.

– In Philadelphia, Siyani Chambers had nine points and 10 assists to lead Harvard to an 83-63 rout of Pennsylvania.

Steve Moundou-Missi scored 14 points and Laurent Rivard netted 13 for the Crimson (21-4, 8-1 Ivy), who remain tied with Yale for first place in the league. Harvard had 13 steals, led by Brandy Curry with four.

Fran Dougherty scored 15 points for Penn (6-16, 3-5), which had 20 turnovers, compared to eight for Harvard.

Read More: Chaz Williams,

Boston University holds off American; Holy Cross falls to Lafayette

02.19.14 at 10:04 pm ET
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Dom Morris had 16 points and seven rebounds as Boston University established a firm hold on first place in the Patriot League with a 71-62 victory over American on Wednesday night at Agganis Arena.

Maurice Watson Jr. added 13 points and seven assists for the Terriers (20-8, 13-2), who avenged an 86-56 loss to the Eagles on Jan. 22.

Tony Wroblicky had 13 points and seven rebounds for American (15-11, 11-4).

The visitors took a 10-point lead in the first half, but BU closed the period on an 8-0 run to close to within 32-31. The Terriers used a 10-2 run, including a Cedric Hankerson 3-pointer, to take an eight-point lead midway through the second half, and the lead was never less than five points the rest of the way.

– In Worcester, Seth Hinrichs scored 21 points to lead hot-shooting Lafayette to a 76-64 victory over Holy Cross.

Dave Dudzinski had 17 points and 11 rebounds for HC (16-11, 10-5 Patriot), which trailed by five points at the break.

Lafayette (9-17, 5-1o) led by five points at the break and extended the lead to 12 points at 54-42 with 11:19 left. Holy Cross went on a late 14-4 run but could get no closer than eight.

Lafayette’s starting backcourt of Nick Lindner (17 points) and Joey Ptasinksi (16 points) combined to shoot 7-for-10 from behind the arc.

– In Lowell, Mark Nwakamma scored 16 points as Hartford posted a 75-68 victory over UMass-Lowell.

Akeem Williams had 18 points and six assists for UMass-Lowell (8-18, 6-8 America East).

Hartford (14-14, 8-5) shot 57 percent from the field.

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