Women's Basketball Overcomes Camels for 56-47 NESCAC Victory

MEDFORD – Tufts out-scored Connecticut College 15-0 in the final 5:12 of regulation to take an exciting 56-47 victory over the Camels in a NESCAC women's basketball game Saturday afternoon at Cousens Gym.

Melissa Baptista helped Tufts to the win with five fourth-quarter points

Visiting Connecticut College, who had defeated the Jumbos 61-55 in a non-conference game earlier this season, led 47-41 when sophomore Mairead Hynes layed one in. However, the Jumbos started applying defensive pressure and the Camels turned the ball over 10 times in the final five minutes while not scoring.

Sophomore Melissa Baptista scored five straight points giving the Jumbos a 48-47 lead at 3:22 of the fourth. Sophomore Lauren Dillon scored the final eight points with a three-pointer and five free throws to provide the nine-point final margin. 

Dillon finished with a double-double of 13 points and 10 assists as Tufts won its 10th in a row. The Jumbos, ranked 10th by D3hoops, are now 15-2 overall and 6-0 in the league.

The Camels, led by a game-high 15 points and 12 rebounds from freshman Payton Ouimette, dropped to 14-3 and 4-2 in NESCAC.

Connecticut College led for the majority of the game until Jumbo junior Katy Hicks hit a huge three at the end of the third quarter to tie the score at 39-39. A free throw by Michela North early in the fourth put Tufts ahead (40-39) for the first time since 5:43 of the first quarter. A three-point play by senior Willa McKinley, a three by freshman Kylie Caouette and Hynes' lay-up had the Camels up six halfway into the fourth, but Tufts would dominate down the stretch.

The Jumbos led 4-2 early, but a 7-0 Camels run put them in front 11-4 on a free throw by Ouimette. She had five points during the spurt. The Jumbos were able to close the margin to 13-8 by the end of the first quarter, with junior tri-captain Josie Lee connecting on back-to-back lay-ups.

A lay-up by senior tri-captain Emma Roberson had the Jumbos within 15-12 at 6:55 of the second quarter. However, the Camels would go on a 10-2 run to lead by 11 (25-14) after a pair of free throws by Hynes at the two-minute mark. She had eight points during the stretch for Conn. Tufts would finish the half with five straight points though, including a turn-around jumper by senior Michelle Wu as time expired to pull the hosts within 25-19.

Hynes had eight points and four rebounds at the break for the Camels, while Ouimette was at six points with seven rebounds. Four Jumbos had four points at the break, including Baptista who paired them with seven rebounds.

The Camels led by as many as seven in the third quarter (36-29) after a pair of free throws by Ouimette at 4:14. The Jumbos closed the quarter outscoring Conn 10-3 including seven points by junior Michela North and Hicks' late bomb which tied the score.

The Jumbos won on a day when they shot 32.3 percent (20/62) overall, 15.8 percent on threes (3/19) and 50 percent (13/26) at the line. They were also out-rebounded 46-36. They did force 28 Camel turnovers leading to 22 points. 

Baptista added nine points with 10 rebounds and four steals for the Jumbos, while North tied Dillon for team-high scoring honors with 13 points. She also had seven rebounds. Roberson added five points, four rebounds and four steals.

Hynes finished with 10 points and eight rebounds for the visitors. McKinley added eight points while freshman Natalie Baum had fives in points and rebounds.

Tufts ends its five-game homestand with non-conference action against Emmanuel on Tuesday night at 7 pm. Connecticut College next hosts Wesleyan on Saturday at 3 pm.