Friday, April 1, 2016

HIGH 5 OF THE WEEK: Local college hoopstars earn postseason accolades

It was a great year for local college hoop players.
There was Walter Wright (Wilby) helping get Montana to the brink of the NCAA Tournament, Mike Mallory (Holy Cross) having another banner year at Southern Connecticut State, and Kevin Love (Bristol Eastern) winning rookie of the year at Lyndon State College. For the women, former Holy Cross standouts Angelica Ariola and Briana Bradford turned in strong senior seasons. Here's a look back at their college hoops accolades, and more:

University of Montana athletics
The junior transfer was named honorable mention for the All-Big Sky teams after posting a solid first season with the Griz. Wright was the team's second-leading scorer (13.2 points per game) and top assist man (152). He also tied for the team lead in steals with 34.
Montana went 21-12 and appeared in the College Basketball Insider tournament, where it lost to Nevada. The Griz came within one game of an NCAA Tournament bid. Montana lost in the Big Sky Conference championship game against Weber State.
Wright seemed pretty comfortable in his first Division I season, so there's a definite possibility of more good things on the horizon for this former Wilby standout.

Southern Connecticut State
University athletics
A junior, Mallory earned Northeast-10 All-Conference First Team honors after a terrific season. All Mallory did was start all 30 games for SCSU and lead the team in scoring at 23 points per contest. Mallory led the team in assists (136) and 3-pointers made (95). The Owls went 22-8 and lost to Saint Thomas Aquinas College in the Division II NCAA Tournament.
Mallory's most memorable game of the season came at Bentley, a 113-111 double overtime win for SCSU on Jan. 30. Mallory played 46 minutes, scored 47 points, grabbed eight rebounds and dished out four assists in a crazy win for the Owls. Before that, Mallory had 42 points in game on Nov. 24.
After the season, Mallory was named to the D2CCA All-Region First Team, NABC East-District First Team and First Team All-ECAC. Division II Bulletin chose Mallory as an honorable mention All-American for his efforts.
Mallory still has a year left with SCSU. Running mate Desmond Williams -- the former Torrington standout and Northeast-10 Player of the Year -- will be gone, but the Owls, who will be led by second-year head coach Scott Burrell, will still be dangerous.

Lyndon State College athletics
Love earned North Atlantic Conference Rookie of the Year honors at Lyndon State in Vermont. Love played in 18 games, averaging 10.4 points (third on team) and 5.9 rebounds (second) per game. Love scored 21 points twice during the season.
On Feb. 15, it was announced that Love had earned Rookie of the Week honors. All Love had done was drop 21 points and 15 rebounds in a win over New England College. In the other game of the week against Johnson State, also a win, Love had 16 points, four rebounds, four blocks, three assists and a steal.
The Criminal Justice major looks to do more big things for the Hornets in his upcoming seasons. 

Roger Williams University athletics
The former Holy Cross star had a solid senior season at Roger Williams University.
Ariola was named to The Commonwealth Coast Conference's First Team after leading the Hawks in points (12.5) and assists (2.6) per game. She played in 26 of her team's 27 games, starting all of them. Ariola was second on the team in foul shooting (81.5 percent), and she led the team in minutes played per game at 33.3.
Roger Williams finished in a three-way tie for second place in the CCC at 13-5. The Hawks finished the season with a record of 17-10.

University of New Haven athletics
The senior and former standout from Holy Cross had a solid final season with the University of New Haven. Bradford led the Chargers in scoring and ended up second overall in the Northeast-10 in that category. Bradford was named to the Northeast-10 Conference First Team, along with D2CCA Second Team All-East Region. Bradford also earned an All-American Honorable Mention nod from Division II Bulletin. 
She scored in double figures in each of her team's 28 games this season and averaged 18.8 points per contest. She also led the team in assists (73) and free throws made (134). Bradford was also the team leader in 3-pointers made (53). Bradford started all 28 games and played 36.9 minutes per contest.
New Haven went 15-13 and lost in the conference semifinals. 

Information compiled from the team websites of each school. 

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