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Mariners riding a wave
• Mitchell College hosts Daniel Webster today in an early-season showdown between the top two men's basketball teams in the New England Collegiate Conference. Senior forward Joshua Ford is the conference's marquee player, ranking first in points (25.9) and rebounds (13.2) per game for the Mariners (5-3, 2-0), who are riding a five-game winning streak. Daniel Webster (9-0, 2-0) is off to a surprising start after being picked to finish sixth in the conference's preseason poll.
• Samantha Ryan, a freshman guard from Waterford, has appeared in nine games, starting five, for the women's basketball team. Ryan is averaging 4.7 points and 4.2 rebounds per game.
Tracking the Bears
• The Coast Guard Academy women's basketball team is on pace for its first winning season since 2007-08. The Bears are off to an 8-1 start overall and 4-1 in the New England Women's and Men's Athletic Conference. The Bears rely on a balanced attack, as leading scorer Torie Sutherland (14.1 points) is one of four players averaging in double figures. Senior Kaitlin Ward (10.8), junior Brittney Zimmerman (10.7) and sophomore Meghan Fornaro (10.6) are the others. They rank second in the conference in scoring (66.7) and scoring defense (55.4).
• Connecticut College senior Matt Vadas received New England Small College Athletic Conference player of the week honors for men's basketball. He scored 30 points in a 96-87 win over Coast Guard on Saturday. In the last three games, he's averaged 30 points and six rebounds and set a school record for career 3-pointers. He is 36 points shy of 1,500 career points. Vadas ranks third in the league in scoring at 20.6 points per game. The Camels have won five of their last six games to improved to 6-4 overall. They need just two wins to surpass last year's victory total.
"We continue to ask a lot of him and get a lot from him," coach Tom Satran said. "He's having a great season so far."
Around the region
• Two current UConn women's soccer players and a future Husky will play in the upcoming Under-20 CONCACAF Championship, which starts Thursday in the Cayman Islands. Rachel Hill will compete for the USA's U-20 national team and Liana Hinds of Hartford is a member of the Trinidad and Tobago team. Redshirt sophomore Toriana Patterson, who will join the UConn program in the spring, is a returning defender on the Jamaica team.
• UConn coach Nancy Stevens earned her first national coach of the year honor from the National Field Hockey Coaches Association after guiding the Huskies to their third national championship, a Big East regular season and tournament title and a 21-4 record last fall. Stevens is the fifth UConn coach to receive a national coach of the year award, joining Geno Auriemma (women's basketball), Jim Calhoun (men's basketball), Ray Reid (men's soccer) and Len Tsantiris (women's soccer).
• St. Michael's College senior Alexa Long of Waterford became the 20th player in the women's basketball program history to grab 500 career rebounds in a 61-59 upset of No. 22 Stonehill last week. Long had 10 points and eight rebounds in that game. Long leads the Purple Knights in points (16.0), rebounds (10.6), blocks (13), field goal percentage (49.3) and minutes played (32.5).
• Fitch High School graduate Lexis Foster is a freshman center on the Eastern Connecticut State University women's basketball team.
• Senior forward Josh Hohfelder, a Fitch graduate, has started all 10 games for the Salve Regina men's basketball team, averaging 8.1 points and 4.0 rebounds.
- Gavin Keefe