#14 Women's Basketball Holds Off Colby for 2nd NESCAC Win

Recap courtesy of Colby College

WATERVILLE, ME - The 14th-ranked Tufts University women's basketball team used size and their best quarter of the game to pull out a 54-45 win over Colby College in NESCAC play Saturday at Wadsworth Gymnasium.

Melissa Baptista hauled in 12 rebounds with four blocks

Tufts moves to 11-2 overall and 2-0 in the conference, while the Mules are 8-4 overall and 1-1 in the league.

The Jumbos have six players on the roster at 6-foot or taller, while Colby has no players that size. Tufts had a 48-30 advantage on the boards, including 22 offensive rebounds, and the Jumbos blocked nine shots.

The Mules, though, played hard and only trailed 35-34 heading into the final quarter. Colby held the Jumbos to 27.3 percent shooting in the first half to take a 23-20 lead into halftime.

Tufts made a concerted effort to get the ball inside in the fourth quarter to 6-2 forward Michela North and 6-0 forward Melissa Baptista. The Mules then lost center Haley Driscoll to an ankle injury for about four minutes of the fourth quarter before she was able to get back in the game.

North finished with a double-double of 18 points and 14 rebounds to go along with three blocked shots. Baptista added 12 rebounds, a game-high four blocked shots, and scored five points. Baptista also had two of her three assists in the fourth quarter on kick-outs to Emma Roberson and Lauren Dillon for key 3-point field goals. Roberson had 10 points, five assists, and five rebounds. Dillon added nine points and four assists.

Desi Smith led Colby with 17 points, 6-for-7 shooting from the foul line, five rebounds, and a pair of steals. Carylanne Wolfington chipped in 11 points, while Mia Diplock scored seven and had three steals. Driscoll had a team-high six rebounds.

Tufts did the job defensively in the fourth quarter, holding the Mules to two free throws in the final 5:06 of the contest. Diplock scored inside with 5:06 remaining to give the Mules their final lead at 43-42.

The Jumbos went ahead for good on Baptista's assists to Dillon and Roberson on 3-point shots. Dillon put Tufts ahead to stay at 45-43 with her trey with 4:24 remaining and Roberson nailed her three for a 48-43 margin with 2:39 to go. The Jumbos went 6-for-8 from the foul line in the final 53 seconds to pull away.

Colby also had a scoring drought to start the game, going nearly seven minutes without a point. The Jumbos led 8-0 before Smith hit 1-for-2 at the foul line with 3:08 left in the first quarter.

The Mules had a terrific third quarter offensively and defensively, scoring 18 points and making it difficult for the Jumbos to get good shots. Colby took its first lead at 21-18 on a 3-point shot by Smith with 1:39 to intermission.