Sophomore Scott Anderson had an All-Conference type of performance for Tufts
MEDFORD - The upstart Tufts men's basketball team secured the fifth seed in the upcoming NESCAC Championship with an exciting 66-62 victory against Bates College in the regular-season finale on Saturday afternoon at Cousens Gymnasium. The Jumbos out-rebounded Bates 52-27 in the game and were led by 16 points and 16 rebounds (11 offensive) from sophomore Scott Anderson (Sudbury, MA).
The Bobcasts had an early 8-1 start with three-pointers by sophomore Mark Brust (Duxbury, MA) and senior Nick Schmiemann (Weymouth, MA). The Bobcats did not trail in the first half, but an 8-2 Tufts run pulled the Jumbos to within two points (18-16) after a free throw by sophomore Alex Goldfarb (New York, NY) at the 6;35 mark. Junior Amauris Quezada (New York, NY) had a three during the run.
Bates led 32-28 at halftime, led by 11 points from senior Thomas Deegan (Weymouth, MA). The visitors were five of nine (55.6 percent) from three-point land in the first 20 minutes. Anderson's eight points and seven rebounds led the Jumbos at intermission. Tufts had a 25-13 advantage on the boards, including 10 at the offensive end. Sophomore Alex Orchowski (Cornwall, NY) had five rebounds to go with six points.
Tufts opened the second half with a 7-2 run to take their first lead of the game, 35-34, on a fast-break lay-up by Quezada. The Bobcats answered with a jumper by Brust to regain a 36-35 advantage, but an Orchowski lay-up at the other end put Tufts back ahead 37-36 with 16:50 on the clock. Tufts wouldn't trail again in the game, but never led by more than five points as the game wasn't decided until the final seconds.
The Jumbo lead was at 43-38 following a pair of free throws by junior tri-captain James Long (Norwell, MA) with 14:03 remaining. Bates would whittle the margin down to one point on several occasions, and they forced a 55-55 tie on a free throw by Deegan with 4:06 left. Long had a traditional three-point play for the Jumbos at 3:43 to make it 58-55. It would be a one-possession game the rest of the way.
After a free throw by Bates freshman Luke Matarazzo (Shelton, CT) pulled the visitors within 64-62 at 1:14, Tufts turned the ball over at the other end. Matarazzo drove to the hoop to attempt a game-tying lay-up for Bates, but Orchowski blocked the shot and grabbed the rebound. Freshman guard Oliver Cohen (Penn Valley, PA) sank two free throws at the other end to seal the victory for the Jumbos.
Tufts (13-11 overall, 4-5 NESCAC), who will travel to Trinity for the NESCAC quarterfinals next Saturday, got 12 points and 11 rebounds from Orchowski. Long was also very productive with 11 points and six rebounds. Quezada finished with eight points, five rebounds and four steals.
Bates (12-12, 3-6 NESCAC) earned the sixth seed in NESCAC's and will play at third-seed Amherst College next Saturday. The Bobcats were led by Deegan's 18 points on seven for eight shooting. Senior Alex Gallant (Bangor, ME) scored 10 points, while senior Brian Ellis (Braintree, MA) finished with nine points and five rebounds. Junior John Squires (Swampscott, MA) put up seven points and pulled down six boards.