NEC Hoops Happenings (Dec. 22 update)

Four of six men’s games on the Dec. 22 slate are regular season re-matches from last year.

… Mount St. Mary’s travels to Savannah State after topping the Tigers, 68-63, at Knott Arena last November.

…  Quinnipiac will look to post a win over Niagara for the second year in a row with the Bobcats having beaten the MAAC member during last December’s meeting in Western New York.

… Looking to improve upon its league-best 9-3 overall record, Robert Morris heads to Youngstown State in the next chapter of the regional rivalry.  In what was head coach Andy Toole’s first season at the helm, the RMU Colonials defeated the Penguins, 90-60, at “The Chuck.” One key question for the Colonials will be the status of swingman Russell Johnson who suffered a broken nose the last time out against Hampton.

… Monmouth hosts I-195 rival and MAAC member Rider at The MAC on Thursday night.  King Rice’s Hawks are heating up of late and will look to atone for last year’s 74-54 loss in Lawrenceville.

Central Connecticut has faced a pair of Big Ten opponents (Michigan State, Northwestern) as part of its tough non-conference schedule in recent weeks, and now Howie Dickenman’s bunch will take on an Atlantic-10 member.  The Blue Devils host LaSalle at Detrick on Dec. 22, looking to improve upon the 3-2 record NEC teams have posted against A-10 opponents this year.  Robert Morris is responsible for two of t he NEC’s three wins vs. the A-10, having taken down LaSalle and Steel City rival Duquesne.

Here’s a running log of the NEC vs. A-10 series this season…
Past Results
Sat 11/19/11 – Sacred Heart 58 Richmond 83
Fri 11/25/11 – Robert Morris 51 La Salle 44
Tue 12/06/11 – Robert Morris 64 Duquesne 60
Sat 12/10/11 – Fordham 65 Monmouth 80
Sat 12/17/11 – Quinnipiac 67 Massachusetts 72

Upcoming Games
Thu 12/22/11 – La Salle at Central Connecticut
Fri 12/23/11 – Saint Francis (PA) at Saint Bonaventure
Fri 12/30/11 – Central Connecticut at Massachusetts


Central Connecticut’s triple scoring threat should receive a good test on Thursday night.  Ken Horton (22.5 ppg), Kyle Vinales (20.6) and Robby Ptacek (19.1), all amongst the top-35 scorers in the nation, will go up against a stingy LaSalle defense that allows 63.1 points per contest.

Sacred Heart could not pull off the upset at Boston College last night, but it was still a memorable evening for veteran Pioneer Shane Gibson.  The guard, who scored 25 points in 27 minutes during the 83-73 setback, became the 173rd player in NEC history to break the 1,000-point barrier for his career.

Wagner and its former Big East point guard head coach Dan Hurley play at Pittsburgh on Friday, Dec. 23.  The Seahawks and Panthers will tip off at 8:00 pm and the game can be seen live on ESPNU and ESPN3.

Here are some highlights from Wagner’s season thus far…

Robert Morris has added some firepower to its arsenal when it welcomed transfer forward Mike McFadden into the rotation.  The 6-foot-8, 220-pound power forward from Newark, NJ has averaged 12.0 points and 5.0 boards over his first two appearances.

Central Connecticut women’s basketball dropped a pair of tightly-contested decisions to Hofstaa and Auburn at the Hofstra Holiday Classic out in Hempstead on Dec. 21 & 22.  Meanwhile, the Blue Devils’ head coach Beryl Piper was featured on as part of the league’s Title IX 40th Anniversary Celebration.  Read Piper’s Passion: A Conversation on the Past, Present and Future of Central Connecticut Women’s Hoops.

Robert Morris women’s basketball outlasted Akron at “The Chuck” yesterday and is now a perfect 3-0 against teams from the Mid-American Conference.  The Colonials also own wins over Kent State and Central Michigan.  Meanwhile, NEC teams are a combined 5-0 vs. the MAC.

Postgame Reaction from Colonials’ win over Akron…


Highlights from the game…


After two games on Dec. 22, one of being Central’s afternoon setback to Auburn at the Hofstra Tournament, NEC women’s hoops goes on hiatus until Dec. 28.




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