MEDFORD, Mass. – Senior captain Michela North scored a season-high 21 points, as the No. 1 Tufts University women's basketball team remained unbeaten during the 2016-17 season with a 70-58 victory over Colby on Saturday afternoon at Cousens Gym in Medford, Massachusetts.
|Lauren Dillon dropped 11 points, to go along with four steals.|
The Jumbos (12-0, 2-0 in NESCAC) scored 20 or more points in two quarters, as the team has now scored 70 or more points in five games this season. North showcased her skill set in the post and her ability to knock down the mid-range jumper, while going an efficient 9-for-12 from the floor in 28 minutes of action.
Junior captain and point guard Lauren Dillon chipped in with 11 points on 3-for-4 shooting from the field, including 2-for-2 from beyond the arc. The Wellesley, Massachusetts, native also showcased her instincts and quickness on the defensive end, totaling four steals.
The Mules (6-6, 0-2 in NESCAC) were led by a stellar performance from sophomore guard Katie McCrum, who erupted for a game-high 22 points. The Saco, Maine, native went 6-for-8 from 3-point range in 31 minutes. Other standout performances for the visitors included freshman guard Ainsley Burns (13 points, 6-for-8 shooting from the field), senior guard MK Caverly (nine assists) and senior guard Caitlyn Nolan (nine points).
The Mules were not intimidated playing against the top-ranked team in the country, as a layup by Caverly with 6:53 left in the first gave the visitors a 7-3 lead. A layup by senior captain and guard Josie Lee with 6:40 left in the first energized a 16-5 run by the hosts, as a pair of made free throws by freshman guard/forward Erica DeCandido (six points, seven assists, four rebounds) gave the Jumbos a 19-12 lead with 1:53 left.
The Jumbos' extended their advantage to 27-16 with 6:12 left in the half, as junior forward Melissa Baptista buried a trey on a nice feed by freshman guard Cailin Harrington. The Mules did not make the journey all the way from Waterville, Maine, to watch the Jumbos run away with the game in the first half, as the visitors cut the Jumbos' lead to 27-24 with an 8-0 spurt, concluding with a 3-pointer by Nolan with 1:47 left in the half.
Freshman guard Sadie Otley, who nailed two 3-pointers in the game, stepped confidently into a shot from beyond the arc with 1:34 left in the half and found the bottom of the net, giving the Jumbos a six-point lead with 1:34 left. Each team scored four points during the remainder of the half, as the Jumbos held a 34-28 lead at halftime.
Dillon nailed two crucial treys during a 41-second span late in the third quarter, as the hosts took a 48-39 lead into the final frame. The Mules trimmed the Jumbos' lead to seven, 48-41, on a layup by Burns with 8:46 left in the fourth, but the visitors were not able to get any closer down the stretch.
The Jumbos will be back out on the road this Wednesday, as the team will compete against Worcester State at noon in Worcester, Massachusetts. The squad will then resume NESCAC play with a 7 p.m. tilt at Middlebury on Friday.