Morris Drains Game-Winner as Men's Basketball Picks Up 86-84 Win Over Middlebury

MEDFORD – Sophomore Brennan Morris sunk the game-winning jumper with just six seconds left on the clock to help the Tufts men's basketball team pick up an 86-84 win over visiting Middlebury on Saturday afternoon in Cousens Gym. 

Brennan Morris' jumper with six seconds left won the game

With the win the Jumbos improve to 8-9 overall and 2-2 in NESCAC play.  Middlebury is 12-5 overall and 2-2 in conference games after the setback. 

The Jumbos had a five-point lead with 2:39 left in the game but the Panthers took advantage of two free throws from Max Bosco and then one free throw from Eric McCord to come within two, 84-82, with 1:10 left in the game.  McCord then tied the game at 84 with a layup with 36 seconds left in the game.  But, on the Jumbos next possession sophomore Justin Kouyoumdjian hit Morris with a pass and Morris sunk the jumper to give the Jumbos the two-point advantage.  The Panthers inbounded the ball to Bosco who traveled down the court and got off a jumper that did not fall.  

To start the game off the two teams traded baskets and the lead changed four times in the first four minutes of play.  A layup from Morris put the Jumbos ahead, 8-7, about four minutes into the game.  Kouyoumdjian sunk a three to take the Jumbo lead to four and then junior captain Eric Savage added a jumper to give the Jumbos a 13-7 lead with 14:32 remaining in the half.  

Down 15-9 the Panthers got a layup from Alex Sobel and then another from Jack Farrell.  Then a layup from McCord tied the game at 15 about halfway through the first half.  Over the next seven minutes or so the two teams traded baskets and the game was tied seven times.  With things locked at 31 the visitors got a jumper and then a layup from Matt Folger.   That was followed by a three from Bosco that put them up 38-31 with 1:27 left in the half.  The Jumbos answered with a three from Morris, but the Panthers took a 42-36 lead into the break. 

The Jumbos came out of halftime ready to go and tied the game at 42 thanks to a layup from sophomore Luke Rogers, a jumper from freshman Tyler Aronson and then a jumper from Rogers.  The Panthers took the lead again and held on to that for a bit.  Ahead 58-57 with 12:24 left in the game the Panthers got a three from Joey Leighton, and then a free throw from Bosco and a jumper from Perry Delorenzo to take a 64-57 lead with 11:04 left in the game.  

Down 68-62 with 8:29 to go Savage made a layup for the Jumbos, and then freshman Carson Cohen sunk a three to bring the Jumbos within one, 68-67. A layup and then a made free throw from Cohen about a minute later gave the Jumbos a 70-68 advantage.  The Jumbos followed that with another three-point play coming from a layup and made free throw by Savage.  Then a dunk from Rogers gave the home team the 75-68 lead with 5:30 left.  

Bosco cut the lead to four with a three for the Panthers.  After the teams traded free throws, Aronson put the Jumbos ahead by seven, 80-73, with 4:21 left.  Bosco was clutch, and came up with another three and a made free throw to cut the Jumbo lead to three.  Down 84-79 with 1:38 the Panthers made the comeback and tied things at 84 with 36 seconds left on the clock.  But, then Morris turned in his clutch jumper to give the Jumbos the 86-84 win. 

The Jumbos had five players score in double digits, with Morris' 17 points lead those scorers.  Rogers finished with 16 points, nine rebounds and four blocks.  Aronson added 15 points, five rebounds and four assists.  Cohen also finished with 15 points, adding six rebounds and four assists.  Savage added 14 points, three rebounds and four assists.  Kouyoumdjian was the other Jumbo to turn in points, adding nine of those, along with four rebounds and six assists. 

For the Panthers McCord was the leader with 19 points and 12 rebounds.  Bosco finished with 17 points and four assists.  Folger scored 16 points, pulled down 13 rebounds and added three assists.  Kornaker and Farrell each scored nine points, and Farrell added eight rebounds.

The Jumbos play again on Saturday when they travel to Bates for a 3 pm tip off.  Middlebury travels to Albertus Magnus on Tuesday for a 7 pm start.

Watch Brennan Morris hit the game-winning shot ..