Sunday, January 7, 2018

South Carolina Upstate Spartans 87 at NJIT Highlanders 98 (NCAA Basketball, A-Sun) - January 6, 2018


This year, the NJIT Highlanders opened a new wellness and events center, suitably named the NJIT Wellness and Events Center. It replaces the Fleisher Center, where I attended a historic game back in 2015 (it was the first NCAA game to use the 30-second shot clock, which is now standard). The new venue made NJIT the only school in the area that I had not seen the active hoops arena, so I had to get there sometime, and chose the coldest day of the winter to do so. As an aside, it is ridiculous how the 24-hour news cycle hypes winter storms like they never happened before. Yes it snowed a lot, and yes it is cold, but these are not new occurrences, and certainly not deserving of three-hour breaking news specials.



Anyway, the WEC is located right next to the Fleisher Center on NJIT's campus and easily walkable from Newark Penn Station, though on a day like today, the light rail was worth the $1.60 to save 20 minutes outside. Exiting at the Warren Street/NJIT stop, you will find the WEC right there, with the main entrance at the corner of Warren and Lock. Before entering, I took a brief walk around to snap some exterior shots. The building looks quite nice and dominates a significant portion of the city block, but much of the interior is still under construction. Eventually, it will contain a fitness center, indoor turf area, pool, and extra courts for intramural activities.



Returning to the main entrance, you will walk up a long hallway to get to the box office. The windows on the left look into a large room below which I expect will be a gym or something, but is now mostly empty.



Tickets here are $10 for the upper bowl, which is all you need. In fact, you might be able to get in for free. After purchasing my ticket, I went through the door into the gym, looking for someone to scan or tear the ticket. But there was nobody there. I could have just walked in! But that would have not allowed me to secure the hard ticket that matters so much, so I have no regrets.



The new court seats 3,500 and was built to compete with other mid-major basketball venues, which it does very nicely. I was quite impressed with the layout, but there is still some work to be done on the overall building.



There are reserved box seats lower down on both sides of the court, and each end zone has single seat benches without a back, along with a couple of rows of box seats, as you can see below. There is an upper section of metal benches on one side of the court, which is general admission. I was doing some phone reporting at this game, so sat there and had the entire area to myself.



The concourse is carpeted and encircles the entire seating bowl, though there is nothing to see. A small concession stand is in one corner, but I just saw chips and soda on offer.



The picture below is taken from near the top of the GA section on the far side of the court. As mentioned, it was very cold on this day, and the NFL playoffs were on, so paid attendance was only 618, without actual turnout about half that.



Overall, the WEC is an excellent facility that still needs a bit of work. As a sports venue, it also needs some improvements, particularly in concession variety. Still, if you are a stadium chaser, this one is worth the trip to Newark if you are in NYC during hoops season.

The Game

The Highlanders were opening their Atlantic Sun schedule with the South Carolina Upstate Spartans enjoying their visit to frigid New Jersey.



The Spartans got out to a 14-7 lead, but Shawndale Jones scored 8 straight for NJIT and then assisted on a three from Zach Cooks as the Highlanders took an 18-14 lead and never trailed after that. A late three from Jones made it 44-39 at the half, and when NJIT started the second stanza on a 9-2 run, the game was pretty much over. USC Upstate tried fouling a lot down the stretch, but Shyquan Gibbs made 6 consecutive free throws and Cooks added a pair late as NJIT won easily 98-87.



This was a fast-paced game with excellent shooting from both schools, with NJIT going 31-59 (52.5%) including 12-23 (52.2%) from beyond the arc. NJIT only committed 6 turnovers as well, and showed that the combination of protecting the ball and shooting well is hard to beat.

Notes

The Highlanders were independent until last season, when they joined the A-Sun, which has teams in the Florida, Georgia, Tennessee, and South Carolina. The Spartans are actually leaving the conference for the Big South, no doubt caused by having to fly to New Jersey in January. They will be replaced by North Alabama, who are transitioning from Division II.

I was also hoping to see Division III Newark-Rutgers, who had a game two hours after this one completed. I had planned to go to McGovern's, an old Irish Pub near both schools, but it was closed for no obvious reason. I tried another nearby bar, which was also inexplicably closed, so with no place to grab a bite, I headed back home rather than hang out in Newark for two hours. Venue 770 will have to wait.

Best,

Sean

Monday, January 1, 2018

2018 Schedule

Tue, Jan 2 NHL Barclays Center, Brooklyn, NY Boston Bruins 5 at New York Islanders 1 11,878
Sat, Jan 6 NCAA Basketball, A-Sun NJIT Wellness and Events Center, Newark, NJ South Carolina Upstate Spartans 87 at NJIT Highlanders 98 618
Mon, Jan 8 NBA Barclays Center, Brooklyn, NY Toronto Raptors 114 at Brooklyn Nets 113 (OT) 13,681
Sat, Jan 13 NCAA Basketball, Division III Hunter College Sportsplex, New York, NY College of Staten Island Dolphins 89 at Hunter College Hawks 76 214
Thu, Jan 18 NCAA Basketball, NECPeter Aquilone Court, Brooklyn, NY Mount St. Mary's Mountaineers 73 at St. Francis Brooklyn Terriers 81 385
Sat, Jan 27 NCAA Basketball, A-Sun NJIT Wellness and Events Center, Newark, NJ Lipscomb Bisons 86 at NJIT Highlanders 79 (OT) 662
Sat, Feb 3 NCAA Basketball, Ivy League Jadwin Gymnasium, Princeton, NJ Brown Bears 102 at Princeton Tigers 100 (OT) 2,163
Tue, Feb 6 NBA Barclays Center, Brooklyn, NY Houston Rockets 123 at Brooklyn Nets 113 15,064
Tue, Feb 13 New York Open Nassau Coliseum, Uniondale, NY Results ~300
Mon, Feb 19 NHL Barclays Center, Brooklyn, NY Minnesota Wild 5 at New York Islanders 3 15,342
Sat, Feb 24 NCAA Basketball, CAA Daskalakis Athletic Center, Philadelphia, PA UNC Wilmington Seahawks 83 at Drexel Dragons 82 1,094
Sat, Feb 24 NCAA Basketball, Ivy League The Palestra, Philadelphia, PA Harvard Crimson 71 at Penn Quakers 74 6,586
Thu, Mar 1 NCAA Basketball, Big Ten Tournament Madison Square Garden, New York, NY Iowa Hawkeyes 71 vs Michigan Wolverines 77 (OT) 13,815
Sat, Mar 3 NCAA Basketball, NEC Tournament, Semifinal Steinberg Wellness Center, Brooklyn, NY Fairleigh Dickinson Knights 77 at LIU Brooklyn Blackbirds 78 1,212
Tue, Mar 6 NHL Madison Square Garden, New York, NY Winnipeg Jets 3 at New York Rangers 0 18,006
Sun, Mar 11 MLS Yankee Stadium, Bronx, NY LA Galaxy 1 at NYCFC 2 26,221
Thu, Mar 15 NHL Barclays Center, Brooklyn, NY Washington Capitals 7 at New York Islanders 3 10,740
Sat, Mar 17 MLS Yankee Stadium, Bronx, NY Orlando City FC 0 at NYCFC 2 18,584
Sun, Mar 18  NBA G League Nassau Coliseum, Uniondale, NY Greensboro Swarm 96 at Long Island Nets 123 2,644
Thu, Mar 22 NHL Barclays Center, Brooklyn, NY Tampa Bay Lightning 7 at New York Islanders 6 10,354
Sat, Mar 24 AHL Place Bell, Laval, QC Charlotte Checkers 5 at Laval Rocket 3 6,757
Sat, Mar 24 NHL Bell Centre, Montreal, QC Washington Capitals 6 at Montreal Canadiens 4 21,302
Mon, Mar 26 NHL Barclays Center, Brooklyn, NY Florida Panthers 3 at New York Islanders 0 10,951
Fri, Mar 30 NHL Barclays Center, Brooklyn, NY Toronto Maple Leafs 5 at New York Islanders 4 13,018
Wed, Apr 4 National League Citi Field, Queens, NY Philadelphia Phillies 2 at New York Mets 4 21,328
Thu, Apr 5 NHL Prudential Center, Newark, NJ Toronto Maple Leafs 1 at New Jersey Devils 2 16,514
Wed, Apr 11 MLS Yankee Stadium, Bronx, NY Real Salt Lake 0 at NYCFC 4 18,603
Fri, Apr 13 OHL Playoffs, Round 2, Game 6 K-Rock Centre, Kingston, ON Barrie Colts 1 at Kingston Frontenacs 2 5,132
Sat, Apr 14 AHL Yardmen Arena, Belleville, ON Utica Comets 1 at Belleville Senators 3 3,502
Tue, Apr 17 American League Rogers Centre, Toronto, ON Kansas City Royals 3 at Toronto Blue Jays 11 18,645
Tue, Apr 17 CONCACAF Champions League, Final, First Leg BMO Field, Toronto, ON Chivas Guadalajara 2 at Toronto FC 1 29,925
Sun, Apr 22 American League Yankee Stadium, Bronx, NY Toronto Blue Jays 1 at New York Yankees 5 43,628
Thu, Apr 26 American League Yankee Stadium, Bronx, NY Minnesota Twins 3 at New York Yankees 4 40,758
Sun, Apr 29 MLS Yankee Stadium, Bronx, NY FC Dallas 1 at NYCFC 3 22,115
Tue, May 1 American League Target Field, Minneapolis, MN Toronto Blue Jays 7 at Minnesota Twins 4 (10) 16,245
Wed, May 2 American League Target Field, Minneapolis, MN Toronto Blue Jays 0 at Minnesota Twins 4 16,420
Thu, May 3 National League Citi Field, Queens, NY Atlanta Braves 11 at New York Mets 0 26,882
Sun, May 6 Eastern League NYSEG Stadium, Binghamton, NY New Hampshire Fisher Cats at Binghamton Rumble Ponies ppd.
Mon, May 7 International League NBT Bank Stadium, Syracuse, NY Scranton/Wilkes-Barre RailRiders 8 at Syracuse Chiefs 3 2,043
Tue, May 8 AHL Playoffs, Round 2, Game 4 Oncenter War Memorial Arena, Syracuse, NY Toronto Marlies 2 at Syracuse Crunch 1 4,369
Tue, May 15 MLB Interleague Citi Field, Queens, NY Toronto Blue Jays 2 at New York Mets 12 28,967
Wed, May 16 MLB Interleague Citi Field, Queens, NY Toronto Blue Jays 12 at New York Mets 1 28,400
Sat, May 19 MLS Yankee Stadium, Bronx, NY Colorado Rapids 0 at NYCFC 4 21,494
Wed, May 23 South Atlantic League, Game 1 SRP Park, North Augusta, SC Charleston RiverDogs 0 at Augusta GreenJackets 4
Wed, May 23 South Atlantic League, Game 2 SRP Park, North Augusta, SC Charleston RiverDogs 3 at Augusta GreenJackets 2 2,895
Fri, May 25 International League BB&T Ballpark, Charlotte, NC Indianapolis Indians 1 at Charlotte Knights 2 8,762
Wed, May 30 MLB Interleague Oriole Park at Camden Yards, Baltimore, MD Washington Nationals 2 at Baltimore Orioles 0 20,370
Thu, May 31Carolina LeagueFrawley Stadium, Wilmington, DEFrederick Keys 5 at Wilmington Blue Rocks 23,111
Wed, Jun 6 MLB Interleague Citi Field, Queens, NY Baltimore Orioles 1 at New York Mets 0 30,366
Sat, Jun 9 MLS Yankee Stadium, Bronx, NY Atlanta United 1 at NYCFC 1 25,628
Thu, Jun 14 AHL Playoffs, Calder Cup Championship, Game 7 Ricoh Coliseum, Toronto, ON Texas Stars 1 at Toronto Marlies 6 8,818
Thu, Jun 21 American League Yankee Stadium, Bronx, NY Seattle Mariners 3 at New York Yankees 446,658
Sun, Jun 24 MLS Yankee Stadium, Bronx, NY Toronto FC 1 at NYCFC 2 23,930
Thu, Jun 28 CFL McMahon Stadium, Calgary, AB Ottawa Redblacks 14 at Calgary Stampeders 24 23,454
Fri, Jun 29 CFL Commonwealth Stadium, Edmonton, AB BC Lions 22 at Edmonton Eskimos 41 29,940
Tue, Jul 3 MLB Interleague Rogers Centre, Toronto, ON New York Mets 6 at Toronto Blue Jays 8 24,010
Wed, Jul 4 MLB Interleague Rogers Centre, Toronto, ON New York Mets 6 at Toronto Blue Jays 3 26,038
Mon, Jul 9 National League, Game 1 Citi Field, Queens, NY Philadelphia Phillies 3 at New York Mets 4 (10) 24,139
Sat, Jul 14 Formula E Brooklyn Street Track, Brooklyn, NY New York City E-Prix ~20,000
Mon, Jul 23 National League Citi Field, Queens, NY San Diego Padres 3 at New York Mets 2 21,731
Tue, Jul 24 National League Wrigley Field, Chicago, IL Arizona Diamondbacks 5 at Chicago Cubs 1 40,869
Fri, Jul 27 American League Guaranteed Rate Field, Chicago, IL Toronto Blue Jays 10 at Chicago White Sox 5 20,524
Sat, Jul 28 American League Guaranteed Rate Field, Chicago, IL Toronto Blue Jays 5 at Chicago White Sox 9 29,442
Sun, Aug 5 New York-Penn League Dutchess Stadium, Wappinger Falls, NY Brooklyn Cyclones 5 at Hudson Valley Renegades 6 3,770
Wed, Aug 8 National League Citi Field, Queens, NY Cincinnati Reds 0 at New York Mets 8 24,287
Thu, Aug 9 New York-Penn League Richmond County Bank Stadium, Staten Island, NY Lowell Spinners 5 at Staten Island Yankees 2 (10) 4,243
Fri, Aug 17 National League Nationals Park, Washington, DC Miami Marlins 2 at Washington Nationals 8 37,106
Sun, Aug 19 MLS Audi Field, Washington, DC New England Revolution 0 at DC United 2 20,198
Thu, Aug 23 National League Citi Field, Queens, NY San Francisco Giants 3 at New York Mets 1 25,584
Mon, Aug 27 American League Yankee Stadium, Bronx, NY Chicago White Sox 6 at New York Yankees 2 41,456
Thu, Aug 30 US Open Billie Jean King Tennis Center, New York, NY Vondrosouva def. Bouchard, Nishikori def. Monfils ~60,000
Fri, Aug 31 US Open Billie Jean King Tennis Center, New York, NY Babos/Mladenovic def. Gibbs/Santamaria, Anderson def. Shapovalov ~50,000
Tue, Sep 4 US Open Quarterfinals Billie Jean King Tennis Center, New York, NY Sevastova def. Stephens, Del Potro def. Isner ~40,000
Thu, Sep 6 US Open Men's Doubles Semifinals Billie Jean King Tennis Center, New York, NY Kubot/Melo def. Albot/Jaziri, Bryan/Sock def. Cabal/Farah ~2,000
Sat, Sep 8 MLS Yankee Stadium, Bronx, NY DC United 1 at NYCFC 1 28,239
Sun, Sep 9 NFL MetLife Stadium, East Rutherford, NJ Jacksonville Jaguars 20 at New York Giants 15 77,992
Wed, Sep 12 National League Citi Field, Queens, NY Miami Marlins 0 at New York Mets 13 20,423
Sun, Sep 16 NCAA Soccer Pier 5, Brooklyn Bridge Park, Brooklyn, NY Howard Bison 1 at St. Francis Brooklyn Terriers 3 426
Mon, Sep 17 NFL Soldier Field, Chicago, IL Seattle Seahawks 17 at Chicago Bears 24 61,735
Sun, Sep 23 Atlantic League, Liberty Division Championship, Game 5 TD Bank Ballpark, Bridgewater, NJ Long Island Ducks 3 at Somerset Patriots 2 (10) 3,862
Thu, Sep 27 National League Citi Field, Queens, NY Atlanta Braves 1 at New York Mets 4 24,824
Sun, Sep 30 NFL Lucas Oil Stadium, Indianapolis, IN Houston Texans 37 at Indianapolis Colts 34 (OT) 57,716
Sat, Oct 6 AHL Blue Cross Arena, Rochester, NY Charlotte Checkers 4 at Rochester Americans 2 3,076
Sun, Oct 7 NFL New Era Field, Orchard Park, NY Tennessee Titans 12 at Buffalo Bills 13 68,202
Sun, Oct 14 NFL Paul Brown Stadium, Cincinnati, OH Pittsburgh Steelers 28 at Cincinnati Bengals 21 60,594
Sun, Oct 21 J2 League NHK Spring Mitsuzawa Stadium, Yokohama, Japan Omiya Ardija 1 at Yokohama FC 1 9,680
Mon, Oct 29 V.League Ota City General Gymnasium, Tokyo, Japan JT Thunders 2 at Suntory Sunbirds 3 3,000
Sat, Oct 27 Bledisloe Cup Nissan Stadium, Yokohama, Japan Australia 20 vs New Zealand 37 46,143
Sun, Oct 28 B.League Aoyama Gakuin University Gymnasium, Tokyo, Japan Yokohama B-Corsairs 73 at Sun Rockers Shibuya 77 2,277
Sat, Nov 3 B.League Funabashi Arena, Funabashi, Japan Sun Rockers Shibuya 83 at Chiba Jets 85 (OT) 4,831
Mon, Nov 5 JRA Horse Racing Funabashi Race Track, Funabashi, Japan Results ~2,000
Thu, Nov 8 NYRA Horse Racing Aqueduct, Queens, NY Results ~1,500
Sat, Nov 10 NCAA Soccer, Ivy League Rocco B. Commisso Soccer Stadium, New York, NY Cornell Big Red 2 at Columbia Lions 1 (OT) 633
Mon, Nov 12 NHL Madison Square Garden, New York, NY Vancouver Canucks 1 at New York Rangers 2 17,100
Sun, Nov 18 NFL MetLife Stadium, East Rutherford, NJ Tampa Bay Buccaneers at New York Giants 13:00
Sat, Dec 1 NCAA Basketball Christl Arena, West Point, NY Fairfield Stags at Army Black Knights 13:00
Sat, Dec 1 NCAA Hockey, AHA Tate Rink, West Point, NY Canisius Golden Griffins at Army Black Knights 16:05
Tue, Dec 4 NHL KeyBank Center, Buffalo, NY Toronto Maple Leafs at Buffalo Sabres 19:00
Sat, Dec 8 AHL Wells Fargo Arena, Des Moines, IA Grand Rapids Griffins at Iowa Wild 19:00
Sun, Dec 9 NCAA Women's Basketball Hilton Coliseum, Ames, IA North Dakota Fighting Hawks at Iowa State Cyclones 12:00
Thu, Dec 13 NCAA Basketball Municipal Auditorium, Kansas City, MO UW Milwaukee Panthers at UMKC Kangaroos 18:00
Sat, Dec 15 NCAA Basketball Allen Fieldhouse, Lawrence, KS Villanova Wildcats at Kansas Jayhawks 11:00
Sat, Dec 15 NCAA Basketball Bramlage Coliseum, Manhattan, KS Georgia State Panthers at Kansas State Wildcats 19:00
Sun, Dec 23 NFL MetLife Stadium, East Rutherford, NJ Green Bay Packers at New York Jets 13:00
Tue, Dec 25 NBA Madison Square Garden, New York, NY Milwaukee Bucks at New York Knicks 12:00
Fri, Feb 1, 2019 NHL Little Caesars Arena, Detroit, MI Toronto Maple Leafs at Detroit Red Wings 19:30