Pace's 37 Lead No. 14 Men's Basketball to 94-81 NCAA Second Round Win Over St. John Fisher

PITTSFORD, N.Y. -  Behind a career-high 37 points from junior Vincent Pace the No. 14 Tufts men's basketball team downed St. John Fisher 94-81 on Saturday night in NCAA Tournament Second Round action to advance to the Sweet 16.

Eric Savage turned in 16 points off the bench for the Jumbos

The Jumbos improve to 22-6 with the win and will face Babson in Sweet 16 action on Friday night. St. John Fisher sees their season come to an end with a 23-6 mark.

Both the Jumbos and the Cardinals traded points to open the game, and the game was very close for most of the first half of the first half. The Cardinal's Tyler English made a layup to tie the contest at 15, and then Sammy Robinson and Ryan Keegan both added two points each to give the home team the 20-15 advantage.  The Jumbos answered with two from freshman Eric Savage to cut the lead to four, 20-16, with just under 11 minutes remaining in the half.

The Cardinals were ahead, 24-16, with just under ten minutes remaining in the half, but the Jumbos went on a 12-0 run to take the lead back. Pace turned in a layup and then after a stop on the Cardinal end he drained a three to bring the Jumbos within three, 24-21. Senior tri-captain Tom Palleschi then added two points of his own to bring the Jumbos within one, 24-23, with just under eight minutes left in the half.  Less than a minute later junior KJ Garrett dunked to give the Jumbos the 25-24 advantage. Freshman Eric Savage then made a three to give the Jumbos the 28-4 advantage with just over six minutes left in the half. The Jumbos would hold on to that lead and take the 42-35 advantage into the break.

The Cardinals came out of the half and after the two teams traded points the Cardinals got two from Alex Sausville, Ryan Henderson and Ryan Keegan to cut the Jumbos lead to one, 44-43 just about two minutes into the second half.  But the Jumbos answered with two from Pace, followed by two from Palleschi, and then Pace made two free throws to give the Jumbos the 50-45 lead with 16:45 left in the game.  

The Cardinals would not give up though, and after a three from Michal D'Amico brought them within four, 54-50, Keegan made a layup and was fouled, and he swished the free throw to bring the Cardinals within one, 54-53. Keegan would tie the game at 56 with 12:56 left in the game, but Pace drained a three to give the Jumbos the 59-56 advantage with 12:25 left.  

The Jumbos added a breakaway two as Smith passed the ball up the court to a wide open Savage, who made the layup to give the Jumbos the 61-56 advantage with just over ten minutes left in the game. On their next possession nearly the same thing happened as Smith passed the ball up to Garrett who came through with the dunk to give the Jumbos the 63-56 advantage.  Shortly after freshman Eric Savage added two more, and the Jumbos were up 65-56 with ten minutes left in the game. They held on to that lead to pick up the 94-81 win.

Pace finished with a game-high 37 points and added six rebounds.  Smith finished with 17 points and seven assists and Savage turned in 16 points and nine rebounds off the bench for the Jumbos.  Palleschi totaled 12 points and four rebounds.

For the Cardinals Ryan finished with 33 points and 11 rebounds and Tyler English added 14 points and eight rebounds. Robinson finished with 14 points off the bench for the Cardinals.

The Jumbos will face off with Babson at a time and location to be determined in Sweet 16 action of the NCAA Tournament next weekend.