MEDFORD - Junior Michela North scored 15 of her game-high 17 points in the first half as the #10 Tufts Women's Basketball team won its ninth in a row, 64-42, against Wesleyan Friday night in NESCAC action.
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The Jumbos improve to 14-2 overall and remain unbeaten in the league at 5-0. Wesleyan has lost eight of its last nine and stands at 7-9 overall and 1-4 in NESCAC.
North had nine points in the first quarter, but Wesleyan kept it close trailing 17-14. The visitors had an early 9-6 lead on a three by freshman Tara Berger, and the game was tied 11-11 at the four-minute mark. North had four of Tufts' final six points as the hosts gained a slight edge.
Tufts would out-score Wesleyan 14-4 in the second. The Jumbos were up 12, 26-14, on a lay-up by sophomore Melissa Baptista at 4:24 of the second quarter. However, the Cardinals had the next two baskets and were down just eight (26-18) following freshman Olivia Gorman's hoop at 1:34. The Jumbos closed the quarter with five straight points, including an and-one by North with 0.9 showing to put Tufts up 31-18 at the break.
North was six for 10 from the field for her 15 first-half points. The Jumbos out-rebounded Wesleyan 23-15 in the first 20 minutes, including five by Baptista. Berger's four points off the bench was tops for Wesleyan at the break. The teams combined for 24 first-half turnovers, 13 by Wesleyan.
Tufts would pull away with a 10-0 run early in the third quarter to lead by 22 (41-19) with 6:38 on the clock. Sophomore Lauren Dillon drilled a three and senior tri-captain Emma Roberson had a traditional three-point play during the stretch. Wesleyan would get as close as 17 points, 44-27, on a lay-up by sophomore Maddie Bledsoe, but Tufts led by 21 at the end of the third (51-30). Berger scored seven in the third quarter for the visitors.
The Jumbos kept Wesleyan at a distance throughout the fourth, as freshman Jacqueline Knapp scored six in the period for Tufts. Senior Kaylie Williams had five fourth-quarter points for Wes.
North had a double-double as she grabbed 10 rebounds. She also blocked three shots. Baptista added nine points with five rebounds to the Tufts win. Dillon finished at six points with three assists, while senior tri-captain Nicole Brooks posted five points with three steals. Senior Maura Folliard blocked three shots for the Jumbos while scoring five points.
Berger's 14 led Wes in scoring while she also tied for the team-high with six rebounds. Williams also had six boards to go with eight points. Bledsoe added four points and five rebounds for the Cardinals, as did junior Brenna Diggins. Wesleyan shot just 28 percent (14/50), but did earn a 24-16 edge in rebounding for the second half.
Both teams play tomorrow as Tufts hosts Connecticut College at 3 pm and Wesleyan plays at Bates also at 3 pm.