Knapp Leads Women's Basketball to NESCAC Championship, Collects Player of the Week Honors

MEDFORD – After guiding the Tufts women's basketball team to redemption wins over Amherst and Bowdoin on their way to winning their third NESCAC Championshiop in program history, senior co-captain Jac Knapp was named the New England Small College Athletic Conference (NESCAC) Player of the Week.  This is the third time Knapp, who also scored her 1,000th career point this weekend, has garnered the conference honor this season. 

Knapp came up big when it counted this weekend. In the NESCAC Championship game against No. 1 and top-seeded Bowdoin, she scored 25 points and joined the 1,000th point club in a 75-69 Jumbo win.  Knapp sealed the win for Tufts as she made four late free throws that helped her rack up 15 fourth quarter points.  The Jumbos went into the fourth quarter with a one point advantage, 52-51 over the Polar Bears, and Knapp's strong fourth quarter led the Jumbos to their third NESCAC Championship.  

To get to Championship Sunday the Jumbos picked up a 47-46 semifinal win over second-seeded Amherst.  The senior turned in five points, three rebounds and two steals in that game.  The match up between the Jumbos and the Mammoths was a defensive battle between the top two defense in the NESCAC and Knapp often hounded Amhert's opposing guards, helping the Jumbos force 22 Mammoth turnovers. 

Knapp averaged 15.0 points, 1.5 rebounds and 1.5 steals per game in the two wins. The Jumbos are now 25-2, on a six game winning streak and will host NCAA First and Second Round games in Cousens Gym this weekend. She earned NESCAC Player of the Week honors on February 11 for her efforts against Babson and Trinity and on December 10 for her contributions in non-conference contests against Bridgewater State and the University of New England.

The guard continues to run an offense that is averaging the most points per game in Head Coach Carla Berube's tenure at 73.9 points per game, which is the second most points per game in the NESCAC.  The Jumbos also take care of the ball as they have the third-best assist to turnover ratio in the country with their 1.32 mark. Knapp averages team-highs in points with 13.6 and minutes with 29.6 per game. She has also been the Jumbos sharp-shooter from beyond the arc with a team-leading 41 made three-pointers. During Tufts six game winning streak, Knapp has been in double-figures five times and averaged 17.0 points per contest during that stretch. She also has a knack for finding her teammates as she is second on the team with 3.1 assists per game on a team that averages 16.4 per game.

The brown and blue often look to turn their defense into offense and they hold opponents to only 48.5 points per game, which ranks second in the NESCAC. The Jumbos force opponents into tough shots and to speed up their thought process as opposing teams shoot only 33.2 percent from the floor. Knapp records 1.7 steals per game, which is second on the teams as she often full-court presses guards and uses active hands to make a play on the ball. Tufts forces 19.0 turnovers per contest, which gives their offense more opportunities to push the ball and get more shots.

The Jumbos next game will be on Friday when they host Western New England in the First Round of the NCAA Tournament.

 

Written By Athletic Communications Intern Bryan Costello