Senior Vanessa Miller scored 20 points on seven for nine shooting

WILLIAMSTOWN - The Williams College women's basketball team overcame a seven-point deficit with 3:44 remaining and earned a 69-64 victory in overtime against Tufts in the quarter-final round of the NESCAC Championship on Saturday.

The Ephs (21-4), who defeated Tufts in overtime during the regular season also, will face top seed Amherst next Saturday in the NESCAC semis. Tufts (18-6), NESCAC's #5 seed, will await a potential NCAA Tournament berth.

With 3:44 remaining in regulation, Tufts was up 54-47 and was closing in on advancing to the semi-final round. Williams' Jill Greenberg hit a jumper in the lane to give the hosts a spark, and later Taylor Shea made a layup to bring Williams within 56-53 and 2:08 left on the clock. Coming out of a time-out, Tufts first year Ali Rocchi (Fairfield, CT) hit an elbow jumper to push the lead back up to five, but Greenberg came back and drilled a three.

On the next possession, Williams came up with a stop and then got the ball to Shea who spun and made the layup to tie the game at 58 with 30 seconds remaining.  After a time-out, Tufts ran down the clock to get the last shot and then miss a foul line jumper, sending the game into overtime.

Williams came out in overtime and scored the first four points, Chessie Jackson hitting a three to start things off.  Jumbo senior Colleen Hart (Needham, MA) came back and made a jump shot and then Williams fouled on the next two possessions and Tufts hit three of four foul shots to go up by one. With 2:12 left, Tufts called a time-out with the score tied 64-64. Williams shut Tufts out for the remainder of the game and hit five foul shots to win 69-64.

The game had got off to a scintillating start.  Both teams were on fire, as Tufts shot six for six from the floor and Williams shot three for four. Tufts gained the early advantage going up 12-7. Williams was able to tie it up at 16-16 with 12:21.  Williams did not score again until there was 5:40 left in the half.  Tufts went on an 8-0 run during this stretch making the lead 24-16. Shea final ended the drought with a layup assisted by Greenberg. With that assist, Greenberg broke the school record for assists with 380 previously held by Liz Creighton.

Tufts called a time-out with 3:04 left in the half and the score reading 24-22 in Tufts' favor.
To end the half, Tufts went on a 10-3 run lead by senior Vanessa Miller (Cincinnati, OH) who had two consecutive threes to send Tufts into the half up 34-25.

Shea finished the half with 10 points. Tufts was led by Hart, who scored eight of Tufts' first 14 points.  She  also finished the half with 10 points. Miller had 12 points in the first half for the Jumbos.

Williams was able to absorb the blow from Tufts at the end of the first half and returned one of their own going on a 12-0 run to start the second half highlighted by a Grace Rehnquist three from deep.  The score was 37-34 Williams with 12:40 left when Tufts junior Tiffany Kornegay (Carver, MA) ended the run a pair of foul shots. Tufts then went on a 6-0 run and was able to hold onto a narrow lead until the end.

Shea had 20 points and eight rebounds, leading the Ephs in scoring.  Miller had a spectacular game shooting seven of nine from the field and four for five from three. She had 20 points overall.  Tufts' other leading scorer was Hart, who had 18 points and six assists.

Game Statistics


Game release courtesy of Williams College