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The Mass Media

The Mass Media

The Mass Media

Winter Sports Preview

Winter Sports Preview

Men’s Basketball (18-11) The UMass-Boston men’s basketball team is coming off of their best season ever highlighted by numerous accomplishment, both individual and as a team, and will look to build on their success as the team continues its development of a place in the national scene.  In addition to winning the first Little East Conference title in school history and qualifying for the Division III NCAA tourney for the first time since 1983, long-time coach and school athletic director Charlie Titus won his second LEC coach of the year award and super-guard Tony Barros (cousin of former BC and Celtics star Dana) garnered player of the year honors and was a first team all-conference selection.  Barros, who led the league in both scoring (20.8ppg) and steals (3.57spg) while also recording 5.8rpg from his shooting guard position, leads a team returning most of its core players in addition to a crop of freshman and sophomore transfers that Coach Titus calls the best in ten years.  In addition to Barros, the Beacons have arguably the best second option in the league in slashing junior small forward Amigo Paniagua (17.5ppg) who can create his own shot as well as anyone in the league and is also a force on the boards (7.8rpg).  The engine that makes this team go is A.J. Titus, a pass-first point guard (4.8apg) with remarkable levels of intelligence and court awareness, as can expected from the coach’s son.  The Beacons should also see significant improvement from versatile 6’5″ junior Mark Dorn who can play any position on the court but because of added depth at the center position will be playing his more natural position of power forward.  Overall the Beacons expect another successful season and, with some tournament experience under their belt, expect to make a run at at least another conference title and maybe all the way to a national championship. Women’s Hockey (15-9-1) The Beacons women’s hockey team is looking to build on a very successful season in which they qualified for the conference tournament for the third time in as many years and return a core of players that led the team to the second round of the tourney.  The team is led by one of the best forward tandems in the league in seniors Andrea Chiarletta and Melissa Belmonte.  Chiarletta (26-12-38), arguably the best scorer in the country in Division III, led the nation in scoring and points as a freshman and last year finished just .02gpg off of the national leader earning her a first-team all-conference selection.  Belmonte, one of the team’s captains, led the team in points and assists (15-25-40) but was robbed of a selection to the all conference team in a move that still has many of the members of the athletic department shaking their heads.  Rest assured she will come into this season with a chip on her shoulder and an added incentive to prove that she is one of the most dynamic playmakers in the northeast.  Beyond Chiarletta and Belmonte, the supporting cast of the Lady Beacons is stacked with young talent including sophomore phenoms forward Maria Guancey (6-13-19, all-rookie consideration) and sharpshooting defensewoman Erin Shepard (10-8-18 all-rookie selection at NEC), as well as the solid play of junior forward Casey Turner (15-10-25).  The only question mark for this team is the play between the pipes where after losing last year’s starter the role will be filled by freshman Amanda Bourque and Northeastern University transfer Jessica Sams, neither of whom has seen any ice time for UMB. Women’s Basketball (9-17) The Women’s basketball team should see dramatic improvement this year with a full season of play from 5’3″ shooting guard LaKeisha Tucker and the improved play of senior point guard Lydia Coverdale.  Tucker, a mid-season transfer from St. Anselm last season, came of the bench and scored 24 points in her first game.  This performance was a sign of things to come, as Tucker promptly moved to a starting role and led the team with 15.3ppg, numbers which should improve this year as she will start the entire season.   Tucker possess an inside/outside game unique for a guard of her size, exemplified by her 7.3rpg and 36% shooting from beyond the arc, both of which led the team.  Coverdale is a do everything point guard who fills up the box score averaging 11.7ppg, 4.5apg, 6.1rpg and 3.4spg (first in the conference).  As long as Coverdale can take care of the ball and captain Denise Ridge (also a captain of the tennis team) can stay healthy, this team should be a force to reckon with in the conference. Mens Hockey A perennial power the Men’s hockey team is coming of a down year, a situation that first year coach Peter Belisle hopes to quickly remedy.  Belisle comes to UMass after spending the last nine years as an assistant with Division I power University of Connecticut and hopes to bring some of those winning ways to Harbor Point.  The team returns last years second leading scorers in sophomore center Robert Carbone (4-6-10) and sophomore defenseman Billy Langmeade (4-6-10).