This Week in Tufts Athletics: December 7 - 13

MEDFORD – With the semester wrapping up, things are getting a little quieter with Tufts athletics, but Jumbo teams will still be in action this week.  Men’s basketball will host Plymouth State on Tuesday night at Cousens Gym.  Women’s basketball will face off with Bridgwater State at home right after the men’s game on Tuesday and will then travel to Wheaton on Thursday.  Men’s hockey wraps up their first semester schedule with a trip to Bowdoin and Colby this weekend.

For links to live stats, video and all results, please visit:

MEN'S HOCKEY: Friday at Bowdoin & Saturday at Colby

Friday at Bowdoin at 7 pm: LIVE STATS
Saturday at Colby at 3 pm

--The Tufts men’s hockey team plays in one of the most competitive conferences in the country, so this weekend will be big for them, just like most weekends are.  The Jumbos hosted No. 15 Williams and Middlebury this past weekend in their home opening weekend, but weren’t able to pull out a win, losing to Williams 2-0 and falling to Middlebury 3-2 after the Panthers scored three third period goals to take the come-from-behind win.

--Things will be just as challenging this weekend, as the Jumbos travel up to Maine to take on Bowdoin on Friday and then further up to take on Colby on Saturday afternoon.  This will be the Jumbos fifth and sixth conference games of the year, and will wrap up their first semester schedule as they next play after the first of the year.

--First up will be Bowdoin, a team the Jumbos split with last year.  The Jumbos won the first meeting, 4-3, in overtime at the Malden Forum.  The Polar Bears came back and won the second time the two teams played, 4-0. The Polar Bears hold the advantage in the series, 12-4-2, dating back to 1999.  

--Off to a 2-4-1 start so far this season, the Polar Bears have picked up wins over UMass-Boston and most recently, Colby.  They have fallen to Williams, University of New England, Endicott and Colby, and tied with Middlebury the opening weekend of the season.

--The Polar Bears haven’t had that much trouble scoring this year, as they have only been held off the board one time this year.  And that was a 3-0 blanking at Colby, where they came back to beat Colby 4-2 the next day. Rookies Cody Todesco, Sebastian Foster and Austin Ricci are the leading scorers with three, two and two goals, respectively.  Sophomore Camil Blanchet has also added three goals to the scoring this year.  Todescho has six assists to add to his three goals this year, to give him a team leading nine points. Twelve different Polar Bears have tallied a score this year.

--In goal, sophomore Peter Cronin has played a majority of the minutes, with a 2-2-0 record this year.  He has started fives games for the Polar Bears and owns a .881 save percentage with a 3.00 goals against average.  Rookie Nathan Colannino and junior Mark Schiller have also both started a game between the pipes for the Polar Bears, but they lost both of those contests.  

--After the contest with Bowdoin, the Jumbos will travel up to Waterville to take on Colby on Saturday afternoon.  The Jumbos beat the Mules both times the two teams played last year and both times the score was 4-1 in the Jumbos advantage.  But, the Mules still own the advantage in the series, 10-7-2, dating back to 1999.

--Colby is off to a 2-3-1 start so far this season, picking up wins over Endicott and Bowdoin.  They have fallen to Williams, Middlebury and Bowdoin and played to a 1-1 tie with UMass-Boston in late November.   Rookie Nick O’Connor and junior Devin Albert are the leading goal scorers for the Mules, with two scores each this season.  Seven others have scored once this season.  Junior Jack Burton is the point leader, tallying four assists so far this season.  

--While the scoring has been a bit spread out for the Mules, with no clear leader in that category, goal tending is a completely different situation.  Sophomore Emerson Verrier has played every single minute in between the pipes for the Mules this season.  With a .947 save percentage and an 1.82 goals against average, Verrier has been an anchor of the Mules defense this season.  

WOMEN'S BASKETBALL: Tuesday vs. Bridgewater St. & Thursday at Wheaton


Tuesday vs. Bridgewater State at 7:30 pm: LIVE STATS / VIDEO
Thursday at Wheaton at 7 pm: LIVE STATS

--The women’s basketball team had an up and down week last week, topping University of New England at the beginning of the week, but falling to NESCAC-rival Bowdoin on Saturday.  In the most recent national poll the Jumbos were ranked No. 3, while University of New England was No. 10 and Bowdoin had dropped out of the poll after being ranked No. 7 but was still receiving votes and was close to breaking back into the poll.

--Against UNE sophomore Melissa Baptista was the leading scorer with 12 points while junior Michela North helped with ten.  Senior Emma Roberson was the leader against Bowdoin, turning in 18 points with five rebounds and a steal and a block.  The Jumbos struggled to score against Bowdoin, shooting just 31% and turned the ball over 20 times.  But, they will look to turn that around this week with contests against Bridgewater State and Wheaton.

--First up will be the Bears of Bridgewater, paying a visit to Cousens Gym on Tuesday for a 7:30 pm contest. The Jumbos topped the Bears last year, 67-33, when North turned in 19 points.   The Jumbos hold the advantage in the series, 4-0, dating back to 1999.  The first time the two teams played was during the 2011-12 season.

--The Bears are off to a 2-5 start this year, with the wins coming over Regis to open their season and Wesley during The Cave Classic in late November.  Most recently, the Bears fell to Amherst 72-33 this past Saturday.

--Chanelle Melton is the offensive leader for Bridgewater, averaging 14.9 points per game, adding 17 steals through seven games this year and averaging 5.4 rebounds per game.  Jennifer Whyte has helped with 9.6 points per game and Jennie Lindland is averaging 8.4 points per game with 5.1 rebounds per game.

--After the contest with the Bears the Jumbos will turn their focus to Wheaton.  When the two teams played last year, the Jumbos pulled off a 71-42 win at home in Cousens Gym.  This year the Jumbos will hit the road and travel to Wheaton looking to knock off the Lyons. The Jumbos hold a good advantage in the series, 13-2, dating back to 1999.  The last time the Jumbos lost to the Lyons was back in the 2006-07 season.

--The Lyons, who were receiving votes in the most recent poll, are off to a 5-2 start this season.  The two losses have come to Williams and Springfield.  The Lyons will face off with New Jersey City before taking on the Jumbos this week, hoping to be 6-2 when the Jumbos pay a visit to Norton.

--Kiley Shoemaker is averaging 17.7 points per game for the Lyons, adding 9.9 rebounds per game with 19 blocks through seven games, for a 2.7 blocks per game average.  Behind her, Rebecca Arnone is averaging 14.1 points per game with 2.7 assist per game and 4.6 rebounds per game.  


MBBALL: The men’s basketball team is coming off a great weekend, topping Salem State and No. 11 ranked Babson to win the New England Big Four Challenge.  Sophomore Vincent Pace turned in 25 points both days and senior tri-captain Ryan Spadaford hit a three-pointer with two seconds left on the clock in overtime to upset Babson in the championship game on Sunday.  The Jumbos will look to carry that momentum into Tuesday, when they face off with Plymouth State.

The Jumbos won when these two teams faced off last year, 84-78.  The Panthers are off to a perfect, 8-0, start this year, most recently topping Rhode Island College, 75-63, this past Saturday.  But, the Panthers haven’t played a single team in the national rankings, while the Jumbos have played at least two.  The Panthers have a slight edge in the series, 7-6, with the first time the two teams played being during the 2002-03 season.

Curtis Arsenault is the offensive leader for the Panthers so far this season, averaging 17.4 points per game and 5.5 rebounds per game.  Jack Preston is adding 16 points per game with 8.0 rebounds per game and 1.6 blocks per game. Uche Nwokeji is also helping with 13.4 points per game and 7.8 rebounds per game.

The game with the Panthers will be the last for the Jumbos until after Christmas.  The Jumbos will break for finals and the holidays and will be back in action on December 29 when they travel to compete in the Cal Lutheran Invitational.



Vincent Pace, Sophomore, Men’s Basketball

Sophomore Vincent Pace had a phenomenal weekend for the Jumbos, scoring 25 points against both Salem State and No. 11 ranked Babson in the New England Big Four Challenge this weekend.  On Saturday against Salem State, Pace scored 25 points, adding three rebounds three assists and a steal.  In the championship game on Sunday, Pace led the Jumbo scorers yet again with 25 points, adding six rebounds, four assists, three steals and three blocks.  For his performance he was named the Tournament MVP as the Jumbos won the tournament for the second time since it started back in 2009.  Pace was also the Jumbos leading scorer on Tuesday with 20 as the Jumbos were edged by local-rival WPI.

Lauren Banner, Sophomore, Women’s Squash

Sophomore Lauren Banner won in all three of the Jumbos matches on a busy Saturday.  Banner opened up with a three-game win in the sixth position against St. Lawrence’s Cristina De La Vega, 11-4, 11-5, 11-6.  Banner then went on to play in the fifth position against Dickinson, topping Alanis Perez in three games, 11-8, 11-7, 13-11.  Banner picked up her third three-game win against Haverford, when she topped Grace Fioramonti-Gorchow in the third position, 11-3, 11-3, 11-5. The Jumbos fell to St. Lawrence, 6-3, and Dickinson, 6-3, but did earn a 9-0 win over Haverford.

The women’s basketball team picked up a key win over University of New England on Monday night in Cousens Gym.  In the game featuring two of New England’s nationally-ranked teams the Jumbos earned a 55-43 win over the Noreasters.  Sophomore Melissa Baptista led the Jumbos with 12 points, 12 rebounds and three blocks.

Men’s basketball had a huge weekend, winning the New England Big Four Challenge, topping No. 11 ranked Babson, 83-80 in overtime, on Sunday in the championship game.  Sophomore Vincent Pace scored 25 points in the championship game, and 25 points in the Jumbos 90-77 win over Salem State on Saturday.  For his performance over the weekend he was named the tournament MVP.  Junior Ryan Spadaford hit a three-pointer with two seconds left in overtime on Sunday to top Babson in dramatic fashion.

Seniors Maggie Chapman, Alexandra Jamison and Dakota Sikes-Keilp were announced as 2015 Longstreth / NFHCA All-Region selections this past week.  Chapman and Jamison were first team honorees, while Sikes-Keilp earned second team honors.





MSWIM: The men's swim team got solid performances from many Jumbos this past weekend, finishing third at the MIT Invitational out of a competeing six teams.  Jumbos Kingsley Bowen, Anthony DeBenedetto, Aaron Idelson and Michael Winget all recorded NCAA marks for the Tufts men’s swimming and diving team on the second day of the MIT Invitational. Winget and Bowen did so in the 100 backstroke while DeBenedetto did so in the 200 butterfly.  Idselson placed first out of ten in the one-meter diving on Saturday.  His 446.55 was over the 425 NCAA Qualifier.

This weekend the men will wrap up the first semester portion of their schedule as they travel to Wesleyan on Friday for a tri-meet with the Cardinals and WPI.

WSWIM: Freshman Colleen Doolan of the women’s swimming and diving team was two-tenths of a second off the NCAA B qualifier in the 200 butterfly eveny on Saturday at the MIT Invitational.  Doolan’s time of 2:07.80 in the finals was 0.22 off the 2:07.58 B cut.  Fifth at the MIT meet, Doolan improved up on her 2:08.44 that won the Middlebury Invitational on November 21.  She is already the second fastest woman in Tufts history in the event.  In three-meter diving, junior Kylie Reiman’s 351.60 score placed fourth at the meet, Tufts best finish through two days.  The Jumbos ended up finishing ninth out of nine competing teams in the three day invitational.

The women will compete this weekend in their final meet of the first semester as they travel to Weslyan to compete in a tri-meet with the Cardinals and WPI.