Women's Basketball Takes 59-40 Non-Conference Win Over Babson

MEDFORD - Sophomore Melissa Baptista scored 15 points and junior Michela North added a double-double of 13 points and 17 rebounds as the #14 Tufts Women's Basketball team posted a 59-40 non-conference win over Babson College Tuesday night at Cousens Gym.

Freshman Jacqueline Knapp had four of Tufts' 23 offensive rebounds

The Jumbos won their fourth in a row to improve to 9-2 overall. Tufts scored 26 points off 27 Babson turnovers and had 18 points come from 23 offensive rebounds. The hosts also received seven points, six rebounds, four steals and two assists from senior tri-captain Emma Roberson.

Babson dropped its second straight after a five-game winning streak to fall to 7-4. The visitors were led by 10 points, five rebounds and two steals by junior Giovanna Pickering. Junior Taylor Russell grabbed 10 rebounds while adding six points and senior Kristen Ferola finished with six points and five rebounds.

The Beavers scored the game's first eight points, four by Pickering. The Jumbos didn't make their first hoop until Baptista's jumer 3:47 into the action. Two Pickering free throws had Babson up 12-4 at the 5:08 mark, but the Jumbos closed to within 14-11 by the first intermission.

Tufts turned things around with a 12-3 second quarter to take a 23-17 halftime lead. Babson did not make a field goal in the period, scoring only on three free throws. Baptista had five points in the second to lead Tufts. A three-pointer by senior Maura Folliard at 6:37 gave Tufts a 16-14 lead that they would not relinquish.

Taylor's lay-up pulled Babson within 28-21 early in the second half. However, the Jumbos would score nine of the next 10 points to surge to a 37-22 lead on Baptista's bucket at 5:18 of the third. Sophomore Lauren Dillon had a three-pointer during the stretch for Tufts. The Jumbos led by 11 (42-31) heading into the fourth.

Ferola and sophomore Brenna LeGacy scored the first two baskets of the fourth for Babson trimming the Jumbo lead to single digits at 42-34. However, Tufts tallied the next six to lead 48-34 on Folliard's jump shot at 4:22 and the hosts would lead by double figures the rest of the way. The Jumbos closed with a 9-0 run which made the final score look more lopsided than the game really was.

The Jumbos open NESCAC play at Bowdoin on Friday night at 7 pm. The Beavers host Smith in a NEWMAC contest on Saturday at 1 pm.

Game Photos by Kelvin Ma / Tufts