Men's Basketball Advances to Big 4 Final with Win over Host Salem

Recap courtesy of Salem State

SALEM - Sophomore Vincent Pace led the way with 25 points as the Jumbos of Tufts cruised to a 90-77 victory over the Vikings of Salem State in the second game of the 2015 New England Big Four Challenge Saturday.

Vincent Pace's career-high 25 points led the Jumbos

The Jumbos improve to 4-2 and will take on #11 Basbon College in the championship game of the New England Big 4 Challenge tomorrow at 3:00 pm. Babson defeated Brandeis 75-65 earlier in the day and are gunning for their third straight Big 4 title.

Jumbo tri-captain Tom Palleschi got to work early as the big man scored 10 points in the opening half, including six points in the first five minutes that allowed Tufts to jump out to a 17-6 lead. Zach Hurynowicz led Salem State (4-3) with 13 points in the half as he shot 3-5 from beyond the arc.

The Vikings had trouble stopping the drive, as the Jumbos scored an easy 22 points in the paint. Tufts also found success from the field as they shot 50 percent, including an Everett Dayton trey ball that propelled their lead to 30-20 with six minutes left in the half. The Jumbos took their largest lead of the contest, 42-29, into halftime after a made layup from Palleschi.

Tufts' dominance continued in the second half as they maintained a double-digit lead the entire way. The Jumbos' defense forced 18 turnovers in game which was converted into 17 points. Offensive rebounding provided the difference as Tufts scored 18 points on second chances.

The Jumbos took a 57-40 lead after a 7-0 run with 14:42 on the clock. Salem State couldn't find an answer for Tufts in the paint as they scored 42 points while also making 23 free throws. Bryan Martinez-Rodriguez knocked down a pair of free throws for the Vikings that cut the deficit to 13, providing a 90-77 final.

Hurynowicz led Salem State with 21 points while Billy Muse scored 14 points. Palleschi finished with 20 points and 11 rebounds for Tufts while Stephen Haladyna contributed with 15 points.