|Sophomore Collier Clegg hit five of her eight three-point attempts
MEDFORD - Sophomore Collier Clegg (Evanston, IL) scored a game-high 18 points and junior Tiffany Kornegay (Carver, MA) double-doubled with 14 points and 10 rebounds as the Tufts University women's basketball team posted a 67-53 victory over Bates College in their NESCAC finale on Saturday afternoon at Cousens Gym.
Tufts, who out-scored Bates 34-21 in the second half, earned the fifth seed in the upcoming NESCAC Championship. The Jumbos (17-5, 5-4 NESCAC) will play fourth-seed Williams College in the quarterfinals next Saturday.
Bates (17-7, 5-4 NESCAC) is the sixth seed and will play in-state rival and third seed Bowdoin in the NESCAC quarterfinals next Saturday. The Bobcats were led by 14 points and four assists from junior guard Lauren Dobish (Chambersburg, PA) at Tufts.
A tightly contested first half ended with the Jumbos leading 33-32. Bates scored the first five points of the second half to go up 37-33 on a three-pointer by Dobish. However, a 7-1 Tufts surge propelled the hosts to a 40-38 advantage when Clegg nailed one of her five three-pointers. The teams went back-and-forth over the next few minutes until the Jumbos took command.
With the game tied at 42, Tufts scored 11 of the next 12 points during a six-minute span to open up a 53-43 lead with 5:23 on the clock. Bates senior tri-captain Christine McCall (Lowell, MA) scored a lay-up to make it 53-45, but again the Jumbos went on an 11-1 run to take an 18-point, 64-46 lead at 1:15. In all, the Jumbos out-scored the Bobcats 22-4 from the 11:49 mark until there was 1:15 remaining.
Defensively, Tufts held Bates to 21.2 percent shooting (7/33) in the second half. Tufts out-rebounded the Bobcats 29-23 in the second half after they were trounced on the boards 21-9 during the first half. Clegg had 12 points and four rebounds in the second half for Tufts.
The largest margin of the first half had been five points for Bates, which led 20-15 after a lay-up by sophomore Allie Beaulieu (Swampscott, MA) at 11:17. The Jumbos were able to turn that into a 29-25 advantage on Kornegay's three-pointer with 4:40 on the clock. After Bates went back ahead by three (32-29), Jumbo senior Colleen Hart's (Needham, MA) jumper was the second straight Tufts basket and the hosts took a 33-32 lead into the locker room as neither team scored in the final 2:42 of the first half.
Tufts finished the game eight of 15 (53.3 percent) on three-pointers. Hart, coming back from an injury, had nine points and six steals, while Kornegay added six assists to her game. The Jumbos had 14 steals off 25 Bates turnovers.
The Bobcats had seven three-pointers in the game (five in the first half), including four by Dobish. Beaulieu was the only other Bates player to score in double digits with 10 points. Sophomore Brianna Hawkins (South Portland, ME) was solid with nine points and seven rebounds. The Bobcats won the battle of the boards 44-38. Junior Annie Burns (Topsfield, MA) had six assists.