|NESCAC Defensive Player of the Year Vanessa Miller returned to the floor for Tufts
SPRINGFIELD - The Tufts University women's basketball team surrendered its fewest points in a game since November 19, 2004 with a 45-29 victory against Keene State College on Sunday night at the Hampton Inn West Springfield/Naismith Classic hosted by Springfield College.
Tufts, which led 24-14 at the half, improved to 7-1 with their sixth straight victory. They were led by 14 points from senior guard Colleen Hart (Needham, MA). The Owls (3-6) were paced by 14 points from Courtney Cirillo.
The Jumbos will now play RPI in the tournament final on Monday at 7 pm. The Engineers defeated host Springfield 59-56 in the other first-round game. Springfield will play Keene State at 5 pm in the consolation.
Keene State finished just nine for 40 from the field (22.5 percent) and turned the ball over 28 times. They were just four for 21 (19 percent) in the first half. Their 29 points were the fewest by a Tufts opponent since Bryn Mawr scored just 23 points in November 2004. The Jumbos did not shoot the lights out either on Sunday night, hitting 19 of 59 attempts (32.2 percent).
Tufts welcomed the return of veterans Vanessa Miller (Cincinnati, OH) and Kate Barnosky (Huntington Station, NY) to the line-up. Both missed the first semester of action. Miller scored nine points and grabbed a team-high 10 rebounds while playing 26 minutes. Barnosky contributed three points in 23 minutes. Junior Tiffany Kornegay (Carver, MA) finished with five points, eight rebounds and four steals.
Meghan Farrell had a game-high 13 rebounds for the Owls.
Trailing 6-4 early, Tufts scored 17 of the next 19 points to take control of the game with a 21-8 lead at the 9:19 mark in the first half.