STATEN ISLAND, N.Y. – Five different players scored in double-digits and the Tufts men's basketball team opened up play at the 17th Annual Tournament of Heroes with a 92-78 win over Gwynedd Mercy on Friday evening. The Jumbos were led by 19 points and six rebounds from junior captain Eric Savage.
|Eric Savage led the Jumbos with 19 points on Saturday evening|
With the win the Jumbos improve to 5-5 overall this year. The Griffins are now 8-5 after the loss. The Jumbos will play the winner of the Bates and College of Staten Island game on Saturday at 3 pm for the tournament championship, while the Griffins play the loser in the consolation game at 1 pm.
The two teams traded points early and the Griffins took an early five-point lead thanks to a three from Matt Sommers and then a layup from Donaven Spencer. But, the Jumbos answered with a layup and a three from Savage to tie things at 12 about six minutes into the game.
With things locked at 15 about a minute later, a three from sophomore Will Brady gave the Jumbos the lead. The game was back and forth for the next five minutes, and a three from Sommers brought the Griffins within four, 30-26, with 8:36 left in the half. The Jumbos responded with a layup from Savage, and after a Savage free throw, the Griffins got a layup from Courtney Cubbage.
The Jumbos answered with a jumper from junior Pat Racy, and on the next possession Brady came up with a steal and Morris converted with a layup to give the Jumbos a 37-28 advantage with just over six minutes left in the half. Less than a minute later freshman Tyler Aronson added a three and the Jumbo lead was up to 12 with just over five minutes left in the half. The Jumbos held on to that lead and took a 46-35 advantage into the break.
The Griffins were able to get back into the game in the second half. Down by 13 with 17:14 left in the game Cubbage started the comeback with a layup and was fouled and made the free throw to bring his team within ten, 54-44. The two teams traded threes and then Cubbage turned in another layup, followed by a layup from Rich Dunham to bring the Griffins with six, 57-51, with just over 15 minutes to go. Another layup from Dunham cut the Jumbo lead to four.
The two teams traded points and with the Jumbos ahead by three, 62-59, the Griffins got back-to-back layups from Somah Slewion to take a one-point lead, 63-62, with just under ten minutes left in the game.
Two free throws from sophomore Max Oppenheim gave the Jumbos the lead again and then a layup from classmate Luke Rogers increased the lead to three, 66-63. Morris made two free throws to increase the lead to five, and then another layup from Rogers put the Jumbos ahead by seven with 7:36 left in the game. Back-to-back threes from sophomore Justin Kouyoumdjian and Brady put the Jumbos ahead by 13 with 6:30 left in the game. They were able to hold on for a 92-78 win.
Savage led the Jumbos with 19 points and six rebounds, and he also added five assists. Sophomore Eric DeBrine totaled 15 points. Rogers and Morris each finished with 14 points and Rogers added nine rebounds to his night. Kouyoumdjian turned in 12 points.
The Griffins were led by 19 points and five rebounds from Dunham. Sommers finished with 17 points and Cubbage and Clayton Wolfe each added 11 points. Wolfe also had a team-high six rebounds and six assists.
Both teams are back in action on Saturday. The Jumbos play in the tournament championship game at 3 pm against the winner of the game between Bates and the College of Staten Island. Gynedd Mercy plays the loser of that game at 1 pm on Saturday in the tournament consolation game.