The NEC Awards Those Responsible for the Madness this Past March

From the Mount’s surprise run to the NEC Men’s Championship Game to…  LIU Brooklyn becoming the first team in league history to secure a third straight title to… the Quinnipiac women delivering the school’s first-ever NCAA bid to…  Robert Morris’ NIT game against Kentucky, this past March was as action-packed as ever in the Northeast Conference.

The most-active folks last month weren’t the student-athletes on the court, but the rabid fans of the NEC.

Fans packed the league’s venues, flooded social media outlets, and stoked the madness that has become synonymous with March.

In this Overtime! Blog post, we honored the Best of the Best when it comes to fan participation.

Through various contests and promotions, fans had opportunities to secure a NEC Prize Pack.  The lucky recipients are listed below.


Overtime! #NEC13 Sixth Man Award Winner
Founded in 2012, the Overtime! Sixth Man award goes to the No. 1 fan of the NEC Tournament as chosen by the Overtime! Blog staff.  Attendance to games, Social Media Activity and Submitting Photos are the ways to score points in this contest.

Robert Morris may have come up short in the NEC Tournament semifinal round, but the Colonials’ early exit wasn’t enough to stop Ethan Woy.


Congratulations @WoyRMU15, you are the #NEC13 Sixth Man!

We’ve collected some of @WoyRMU15’s Tweets and posted the in the gallery below…


For being named the #NEC13 #SixthMan, @WoyRMU15 will receive a Grand Prize pack that consists of:

– $100 in American Express Gift Cards
– Official NEC Hoodie Sweatshirt
– 2 NEC Tournament T-shirts
– NEC Tournament Program
– NEC Blanket


The NEC asked its fans to provide the sights of March by sending their photos over Twitter and Instagram.  The Overtime! Blog staff sifted through the pile of images it received and pulled out six of them, which the staff felt best projected #NECPride.  The captions and descriptions that accompanied the photos were weighed heavily in the selection process.

The contest will give YOU the chance to whittle these six photos down to one #NEC13 winner.  Beginning on Tuesday April 30 at 5:00 pm EST, the NEC will conduct a fan vote on its Facebook page.  Fans will have until Monday night, May 6 at 11:59 pm to log onto the NEC’s Facebook home and “like” the photo they think is best.  The photo that accumulates the most “likes” during the voting period will be the winner.  The person who submitted the winning photo will receive a #NEC13 Grand Prize Pack.

The #NECPridePix Grand Prize Pack consists of:

– $100 in American Express Gift Cards
– Official NEC Hoodie Sweatshirt
– 2 NEC Tournament T-shirts
– NEC Tournament Program
– NEC Blanket

The six photos are displayed in the gallery below, but to vote for your favorite, you must log onto Facebook and visit the Northeast Conference page.

#Final6 – Browse the Photos


#Final6 – The Culprits
Here’s a list of the “tweeps” responsible for the #NECPridePix #Final6.  The NEC school they resprent is in parentheses ( ).

@im_auric (Mount St. Mary’s)

@Annajdelatorre (Robert Morris)

@Just_E_Nough (Robert Morris)

@TheTimWhite (Bryant)

@DC_redneck (Mount St. Mary’s)

@duck_duck_roos (Saint Francis U)

Forecasting the #NECElite
Below are the winners of our “Forecasting The #NECElite” Contest.  Particpants were asked to predict the 2013 All-NEC major award winners via Twitter.  Only two perfect submissions were received.

2013 #NECElite MBB Champion
Nelson Castillo (Hillside, NJ)
COY: Tim O’Shea (BRY), ROY: Shivaughn Wiggins (MSM), DPOY: Kenneth Ortiz (CCSU), MIP: Earl Brown (SFU), POY: Jamal Olasewere (LIU) #NECElite

2013 #NECElite WBB Champion
Joseph Irace (Oceanport, NJ)
POY – Artemis Spanou, DPOY – Felicia Barron , ROY – Ashley Ravelli, COY – Tricia Fabbri @NECSports #NECElite

Each winner will receive an #NECElite Prize Pack that consists of:

– $50 in Ruby Tuesday giftcards
– NEC Tournament Tee-Shirt
– NEC Tournament Program
– NEC Blanket

Relive Those Memorable March Days with ‘#NECPride: Moon Magic’ Documentary Short

What is #NECPride?

That question was answered this past March in Moon Township, PA.

It was a 48-hour period like no other.  From the moment the matchup was announced, the Robert Morris campus transformed into the focal point of the college basketball world.

The chance to host Kentucky – the winningest program in NCAA history – in the Postseason NIT may have been a stroke of good fortune, but Robert Morris took full advantage of the opportunity.

When the nationally-televised game ended in dramatic fashion with the Colonials on top, it took on even greater significance, both within the RMU community and throughout the Northeast Conference.  As a single unifying event, it had no equal. The Conference became ONE on the night of March 19, flush with #NECPride.

NEC Front Row is proud to present its first documentary short, #NECPride: Moon Magic, recounting the events of the two-day period that will forever live in Robert Morris and NEC lore.


The Twitter Effect
As it does with any headline-grabbing event these days, Twitter erupted with reaction over the Robert Morris-Kentucky matchup.  Here are some of the great tweets we captured back in March.  A number of them our featured in “#NECPride: Moon Magic.” 

Aftermath of the NIT Bracket Announcement  


GameDay Tweets (Pregame)  


VICTORY Evokes More #NECPride  


NEC Front Row Documentary Short
#NECPride: Moon Magic


– Apri 29, 2013 –

Your Weekly Overtime! ‘Twitter Take 5’

Following your favorite NEC athlete or sportswriter on Twitter is an enjoyable experience, but can also become an overwhelming one.

With so many people to follow and so much information to digest, it isn’t always easy to manage. Hence, the Overtime! Blog’s Twitter Take Five, a new weekly feature that selects five of the most intriguing/significant Tweets from across the NEC and presents them to our fans right here on the Official Blog of the Northeast Conference.

Weekly ‘Overtime!’ Twitter Take Five is BACK

Following your favorite NEC athlete or sportswriter on Twitter is an enjoyable experience, but can also become an overwhelming one.

With so many people to follow and so much information to digest, it isn’t always easy to manage. Hence, the Overtime! Blog’s Twitter Take Five, a new weekly feature that selects five of the most intriguing/significant Tweets from across the NEC and presents them to our fans right here on the Official Blog of the Northeast Conference.



Tweet No. 5 – Barry Allen, Statistician/Baseball Fan/Freelance Writer


Baseball statistics guru Barry Allen sent this tweet out when Bryant had won only 18 in a row.  Well, one day later, Steve Owens’ Bulldogs thumped defending America East champion Stony Brook, a program that advanced to the 2012 NCAA College World Series.  Next up for Bryant, a visit to the defending NEC champion Sacred Heart Pioneers for a four-game weekend set.

Tweet No. 4 – Jamie Church, Asst. Dir. of Athletic Communications, Fairleigh Dickinson


In case you haven’t been following, we will quickly recap what Jamie is referring to in the brilliant tweet above.  On March 19, Robert Morris hosted a postseason NIT men’s basketball game against defending NCAA champion Kentucky, and ended Big Blue Nation’s season with a 59-57 triumph on national TV.  Then, Quinnipiac, a NEC core member since 1998 when it stepped up into the Division I ranks, made the Frozen Four in men’s ice hockey and advanced through to the national title game against Yale.  Finally, it was has become an annual ritual for the two-time NEC champion FDU Knights, Michael LoPresti’s team contested the eight-team NCAA Bowling championship bracket for the ninth time in 10 years.  Although it came up just shy of another Final Four appearance, FDU was able to bounce Sam Houston State from the tournament and put forth valiant efforts against Vanderbilt and UMES.


Tweet No. 3 – Velton Jones (All-NEC Guard), Robert Morris & Julian Boyd (All-NEC Forward), LIU Brooklyn


We’ve always known Velton Jones to be a classy competitor throughout his time at Robert Morris, and once again the hard-nosed, heavily-decorated guard shows why he is beloved.  Upon finding out that Julian Boyd of rival LIU Brooklyn was officially granted a sixth year of eligibility from the NCAA, Jones reached out to his fellow all-NEC performer and prompted the following exchange.  Thanks to Velton and Julian for a real-life example of #NECPride.


Tweet No. 2 – Amy Huchthausen, Commissioner, America East Conference


In the wake of Monday’s bombings at the Boston Marathon, folks across the nation have come together in support of the victims and the NEC is no exception.  Thanks to the America East staff and Commissioner Amy Huchthausen for passing along this photo of two New England-based rivals joining hands in a sign of solidarity.  It didn’t matter that the Bryant Bulldogs hail from the Northeast Conference, while the Terriers are the pride of America East, because, in  the end we are all human beings.


Tweet No. 1 – Nicole Trudell, Bowler, Sacred Heart


Trudell has found herself engaged in a number of intense battles against FDU on the lanes, but on this day, the Sacred Heart Pioneer was rooting for her NEC rivals.  Not only was this former NEC Rookie of the Year following the Knights throughout NCAA Tournament competition, but when FDU suffered elimination in a heart-breaking loss to UMES, Trudell shared the kind words above.  Finding joy in the success of your peers is a huge part of this thing we call #NECPride.

NEC Teams up with Hershey for #SweetGetaway Contest at Spring Championships

Attend a Northeast Conference Championship event this spring and follow it up with a free vacation at Hershey Entertainment and Resorts in Pennsylvania.  Could that be a double dip you’re interested in?

The Northeast Conference and “The Sweetest Place on Earth” have teamed up to make your spring as sweet as can be.

In conjunction with longtime corporate partner Hershey Park, the NEC is offering a chance to win big at its spring championships. 


The formula is simple and all who attend an event are eligible…

1) Attend one (or all) NEC Spring Championship event(s). 

2) Make sure you are wearing NEC apparel or a piece of clothing that displays the logo of your favorite NEC school.

3)  Snap a photo of yourself, or a freind, cheering on your favorite team at the event.

4)  Tweet/Instagram the photo @NECsports, using the hashtag #SweetGetaway.  (You must include the hashtag to be eligible).

5)  The top 6 photos from the spring championship season (as chosen by the Overtime! Blog staff) will advance to the final voting round.  The photos will be displayed on Facebook, and the one that receives the most “likes” during the voting period (June 3-10) will win the Grand Prize.  Photos finishing in second, third, and fourth place will also receive a prize.


Prize List:
Grand Prize (1)

$100 Hershey Entertainment & Resorts gift card PLUS…

• 2 nights accommodations at The Hershey Lodge (one room, for up to 4 people)

• 2-day admission passes to Hersheypark for 4 people

• 4 passes to the Hershey Trolley Works Tour

• 4 passes to the Create Your Own Candy Bar  attraction at Hershey’s Chocolate World


First Prizes (3)

4 one-day Hershey Park passes


2013 NEC Spring Championship Schedule
Apr. 18-21:
M & W Tennis, Mercer County Tennis Center (West Windsor, NJ)
Apr. 26-28: Women’s Golf, LPGA International (Daytona Beach, FL)
Apr. 26 & 28: Women’s Lacrosse, High Seed’s Home Facility (TBD) 
May 3-5: Men’s Golf, LPGA International (Daytona Beach, FL)
May 2 & 4: Men’s Lacrosse, High Seed’s Home Facility (TBD) 
May 4-5: M & W Outdoor Track & Field, Kessler Field (West Long Branch, NJ)
May 9-11: Softball, High Seed’s Home Facility (TBD) 
May 23-26: Baseball, FirstEnergy Park, (Lakewood, NJ)



The Hottest Team in NCAA Division I Baseball Calls the Northeast Conference Home

One day after Bryant broke a 2-2 tie in the ninth to even the series, Ohio State came back to post a 6-4 win in the rubber match.

Twenty-nine days and 18 games have passed since that March 17 setback in Columbus, and the Bulldogs have yet to lose again.

Accounting for a remarkable run, the likes of which the NEC has not seen this Millennium, Bryant has reeled off 18 consecutive victories. 

Steve Owens’ Bulldogs will take the nation’s longest active win streak into Stony Brook on Tuesday, April 16, meaning that if Bryant is to continue its tear, it’ll have to do so against a team that made it through to the 2012 NCAA College World Series.

There will be one nationally-ranked team on the field at Stony Brook on Tuesday, but it won’t be the defending America East champion Seawolves. 

It’ll be the men wearing Black & Gold.

Becoming the first team in Northeast Conference history to accomplish the feat, Bryant cracked the Collegiate Baseball News National Top 30 Poll this week.

The No. 30 team in America has yet to lose at home (13-0) this season and currently sits atop the NEC standings with an unblemished 12-0 league record.

But how is this private school from Rhode Island, a place not known for its baseball-friendly clime, doing it?


For those who have followed Bryant’s transition from the Division II ranks into the Division I Northeast Conference, the Bulldogs’ current success should not come as a surprise.

Although they did not gain postseason eligibility until the current 2013 campaign, Bryant began competition in the NEC for the 2010 season and the Bulldogs immediately established themselves as a force to be reckoned with.  They went 33-21 during that maiden voyage, including a 24-8 league record that landed them the NEC regular season championship.

They won 30 games overall in 2011 and settled for a fourth-place finish before returning to the top of the NEC standings in 2012.

Currently owning a 23-9-1 record, Bryant is on track for its fourth consecutive 30-win season as a NEC member.

While the Bulldogs’ lineup has its share of mashers led by decorated senior Kevin Brown, the common denominator of the past four seasons has been Bryant’s PITCHING.

Proving the old baseball adage to be accurate, the Bulldogs had the lowest team batting average in the NEC last season, but still won the regular season conference crown thanks to the strength of their arms.

Bryant topped the NEC in team ERA (3.05) last year, as was the case two years prior when the Bulldogs captured the 2010 league title.

The Bulldogs’ rotation of Peter Kelich, Kevin McAvoy, Craig Schlitter, John Healy and Joe Michaud have been awesome thus far in 2013, and the bullpen, which is anchored by Sal Lisanti and Trevor Lacosse, has been equally as brilliant.

The unit once again leads the NEC in team ERA (2.86).  With its staff pitching to a 2.30 ERA during the 18-game win streak, the Bulldogs have allowed four runs or more on just three occasions and have scored in double-digits six times.

Bryant has posted non-conference victories over Boston College (ACC), Brown (Ivy) and Rhode Island (Atlantic 10) during the course of the streak and hopes to add an America East member to that list come Tuesday.

“We don’t want the streak to end, so we are going to keep battling every time we get behind,” said Schlitter who captured the NEC Pitcher of the Week award for his one-hit complete-game shutout of Quinnipiac on April 14.

“It all has to do with luck and big hits at the right time. We are playing really well right now.” 

As for what’s next?

“We are trying to be the Stony Brook of this year,” said Schlitter.


Brown Delivers
Senior Kevin Brown, who is a former NECBL Summer All-Star, is hitting .491 (27-for-55) with six doubles, two triples, three home runs, 24 RBI and 22 runs scored over Bryant’s current 18-game winning streak.  Brown has walked 22 times and struck out just thrice since March 17.


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More Evidence NEC’s Home to America’s Best when It Comes to NCAA Bowling

For the first time in four years, the NCAA Bowling Tournament will commence without multiple Northeast Conference members in attendance. 

Fairleigh Dickinson, a former two-time National Champion, is the NEC’s lone representative in the eight-team championship bracket, but there is still plenty of evidence to suggest that the Knights’ home conference is the best in the nation.

Once again, the Northeast Conference is home to more than 30 percent of the nation’s All-Americans.  With FDU anchor bowler Danielle McEwan headlining the list, five NEC student-athletes were honored as NTCA All-Americans on the eve of the 2013 NCAA Championship.

For the second year in a row, McEwan earned the organization’s top individual honor.  The two-time Team USA Trials Champion again added the NTCA Division I Bowler of the Year award to her bulging trophy case.  The three-time Northeast Conference Bowler of the Year became only the second bowler in history, joining former Vanderbilt great Josie Earnest, to twice win the prestigious NTCA accolade.

Sacred Heart anchor Jackie Carbonetto stood alongside McEwan on the First Team in 2012, but settled for a second team selection this time around.

Doubling FDU’s All-American representation, sophomore Liat Vizenfeld made her way onto the Second Team.  The Israeli-born bowler’s selection allowed the Knights to continue a rather remarkable streak.  In all five years the Northeast Conference has sponsored a bowling championship, charter member FDU has been home to multiple All-Americans.


PHOTO: FDU’s Liat Vizenfeld (L) and Danielle McEwan (R)

In 2012, McEwan (First Team) and Joely Carrillo (Third Team) accounted for FDU’s representation.  One year earlier, four of FDU’s five starters earned All-America status – McEwan (First Team), Tracy Ganjoin (First Team), Joely Carrillo (Third Team), Sara Litteral (Third Team).

Seniors Kelly Daunno (New Jersey City) and Samantha Morlack (Adelphi) rounded out the NEC’s All-America representation by claiming spots on the Third Team.  The former earned all-NEC first team honors in March, while Morlack settled for a second team selection.

Morlack, however, led her team in capturing the NEC’s ultimate prize.  The senior anchor and her Adelphi teammates completed a perfect 4-0 run to capture the 2013 NEC Tournament title at New Jersey’s Parkway Lanes on March 25.

Morlack, who filled 89 percent of frames bowled and converted 92 percent of her non-split spare attempts, was named the NEC Tournament MVP by a vote of the league’s head coaches.  She averaged 19.66 pins per frame at the two-day tournament, whose entire eight-team field was ranked in the latest edition of the NTCA Top 20 Poll.


2013 National Tenpins Coaches Association All-Americans (from NEC)
Danielle McEwan (Fairleigh Dickinson), NTCA Player of the Year, All-America First Team
Jackie Carbonetto (Sacred Heart), All-America Second Team
Liat Vizenfeld (Fairleigh Dickinson), All-America Second Team
Kelly Daunno (New Jersey City), All-America Third Team
Samantha Morlack (Adelphi), All-America Third Team


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