DWC ready for mid-term exam against D-I Wildcats
NASHUA – Every year the Daniel Webster College men’s basketball team likes to take on the challenge of playing a Division I team.
This year, while taking on that challenge, they decided to stay a little closer to home.
The Eagles, off to one of their best starts ever at 7-1,will travel to Durham on Wednesday to take on the University of New Hampshire Wildcats at 7 p.m. in Lundholm Gym.
It is the first and, obviously, the last meeting between the two, with DWC set to shut its doors in May after being absorbed by Southern New Hampshire University. But the sixth Division I game for the Eagles in the last five years is clearly a mismatch, as the Wildcats, 7-4 on the year, have improved their program in the last couple of years under coach Bill Herrion. Set to be aired live on ESPN 3, it’s the first of two straight in-state games as they visit Dartmouth on New Year’s Eve at 2 p.m.
They have three scorers in double figures, Jaleen Smith (16.6), Tanner Leissner (15.5) and Daniel Dion (12.3). While they lost to the likes of West Virginia 100-41, the Wildcats shocked Temple 57-52 in the presason NIT opener.
But for the Eagles, this is an experience they didn’t want to pass up.
"I know everyone who plays wants to be on a scholarship level at some point in their basketball life," DWC coach Donald Morris, Jr. said. "This is a chance to get a taste of what it’s like."
As Morris said, the Eagles in the past have played the Ivy League likes of Dartmouth and Brown in the past, and the plan was to originally play Dartmouth again this year. But there was a coaching change in Hanover, and the game was squelched. The Eagles then had set their sights on playing Columbia University, and that seemed possible, but the opportunity to play UNH, Morris, Jr. said, was better logistically.
"It’s close," Morris, Jr. said. "But it’s obviously going to be a little bit different. The Ivy League is a little bit different, there’s some limitatons. The kids at UNH are all scholarship players.
"Going into it, you always want to compete," Morris, Jr. said. "That’s the way we’ve always approached it. If it gets too out of hand, we’ll get everyone in the game so they can get the experience."
Marquise Caudill leads the Eagles with 13.1 points a game, followed by Jared Harrington (10.9) and Angelo Adon (10.4). After this game the Eagles, who average 78.9 points a game, don’t play until Jan. 5 when they visit New England College.
The Eagles and Nashua’s Ray Farmer enjoyed a milestone when Farmer eclipsed the 1,000 point mark in the team’s last game vs. Fisher, a 76-69 win.
Farmer fittingly becomes the 12th and final 1,000 point scorer in the program’s history.
"This is going to be the last year, let’s make it worth it," Farmer said a couple of weeks ago. "I’ve been here for a long time. I love this place. … I’m one of the older guys, it’s a natural thing for me to look to be a leader, I’m here if guys look to me for advice."
And now Farmer, a local product, is part of DWC history.
Tired of the cold? Then you probably wish you were part of the Rivier University women’s basketball team’s contingent. The Raiders will take off after Christmas to play a pair of games in Puerto Rico.
At 3-4 overall (1-1 GNAC) and winners of their last two, the Raiders will face Berry College on Wednesday, Dec. 28 and then Wisconsin-Platteville on Thursday, Dec. 29.
Berry, a Division III school located just north of Rome, Ga., is 5-5 on the year, averaging 61.8 points a game. Kristin Rampersad leads the Vikings at 12.7 points a game.
Wisconsin-Platteville is 3-6 overall but averages 68.9 points a game. Sophomore Morgan Horstman leads the Pioneers with 13.8 points a game, the only scorer in double figures but there’s plenty of depth. One player who will stand out is 6-4 sophomore Allis Prestegaard, who averages 9.8 points, 5.4 rebounds and 4.3 blocks a game.
Meanwhile, Rivier has played well of late. Nashua’s Caitlyn Perry and Kaylee Kacavas are tied for the team lead in scoring with 16.7 points a game for the Raiders, with recent 1,000-point scorer Savanah Butterfield next at 15. ppg and 10.4 rebounds a game.
It’ll be back to reality for the Raiders when they host Albertus Magnus on Saturday, Jan. 7 at 3 p.m.
The 1-11 DWC men’s hockey team played Lebanon Valley tough but lost 6-4 in its final game before the semester break. The Eagles are back in action on Jan. 6 at Castleton State at 7 p.m.
The Eagle women recently picked up their first win of the season (1-8), 84- 79 over Thomas College thanks to Kayla Free’s 21 points. DWC starts the second semester at Bay Path on Jan. 7.
Don’t look now but the Rivier men’s volleyball season starts Jan. 14 at home vs. Fanshawe College.