|Freshman guard Oliver Cohen assisted on seven baskets for Tufts
MEDFORD - The Tufts University men's basketball team out-scored Wheaton College 32-12 over the final 10 minutes to earn a 79-70 comeback win in a non-conference game at Cousens Gymnasium on Tuesday night.
The Jumbos, who improved to 9-8, received 11 second-half points including a clutch three-pointer from sophomore guard Alex Goldfarb (New York, NY). Junior guard Amauris Quezada (New York, NY) had 10 points in the second half. Goldfarb and Quezada led Tufts with 13 points apiece overall.
Wheaton (6-11) was up by 15 (56-41) eight minutes into the second half and led 58-47 with 10 minutes left in regulation. The Lyons, who were led by senior Anthony Coppola's (Watertown, MA) game-high 24 points, shot 57.4 percent (27/47) from the floor. However, they turned the ball over 30 times.
Tufts held a slim advantage for most of the first 10 minutes of the game until Wheaton made a surge. The Lyons scored 13 consecutive points, five by junior Shawn Daily (Mount Vernon, NY), to take a 23-13 lead with 6:56 remaining until halftime. The Lyons would lead by six at the break (36-30) behind Daily's 11 points and five rebounds in the first 20 minutes. Wheaton shot 64 percent (16/25) in the first half. Freshman guard Oliver Cohen (Penn Valley, PA) had six points and six assists at intermission for Tufts.
Wheaton opened the second half with three-pointers by Brian Johnson (Roxbury, MA) and Coppola to lead 42-30. Tufts chopped the margin to six at 47-41 on Goldfarb's lay-up at 15:49, but Coppola had seven points during a 9-0 Wheaton stretch that gave them the 15-point lead.
With Wheaton leading 58-47 following a pair of Daily free throws at 10:15, the Jumbos slowly mounted their comeback. Six straight points by Tufts produced a three-point deficit (60-57) on Goldfarb's lay-up at 6:16. The Jumbos tied the score at 64-64 on a steal and lay-up by Quezada at 3:56.
The teams went back-and-forth until Goldfarb's three-pointer at 1:29 gave Tufts the lead for good at 71-68. Quezada and freshman guard Kwame Firempong (Inglewood, CA) combined to make seven straight free throws in the final minute and the Jumbos went on to their third straight win.
Junior Scott Anderson (Sudbury, MA) and Firempong also scored in double digits for Tufts with 12 points each. Quezada added six steals and four assists to his game. Cohen finished with nine points, seven assists and three steals.
Johnson totaled 13 points, five rebounds and three assists for Wheaton. Daily finished at 13 points, eight rebounds, two assists and two steals. Wheaton won the battle of the boards 34-22.
Tufts returns to NESCAC action on Friday night at Cousens against Connecticut College. Wheaton hosts Worcester State in non-league play on Thursday night.