MEDFORD, Mass. – The Tufts University women's basketball team secured their second win of the weekend, 67-56, over Wesleyan University. It was Senior Day for the Jumbos (18-2, 5-1 NESCAC) as they celebrated Melissa Baptista, Lauren Dillon, Gina Doyle, and Jennie Mucciarone, their four seniors.
|Gina Doyle was one of four seniors honored today and contributed seven points in the win.|
This senior class has made it to three straight NCAA Final Fours, two straight NCAA Championship games, compiled a 105-12 overall record, and a 34-2 NESCAC record. And on their day, each senior contributed to the win.
Baptista finished as the team's leading scorer with 14 points, seven rebounds, and two blocks. Dillon had nine points, five rebounds, and four assists. Doyle added seven points, going 2-for-5 from three-point range, and Mucciarone finished with five points, two rebounds, and two steals.
Katie Martensen contributed eight points, nine rebounds, and three blocks for the Jumbos and Jac Knapp chipped in with eight points, four assists, and two steals. Olivia Gorman of the Cardinals (13-6, 3-4 NESCAC) led all scoreres with 20 points, four steals, and three rebounds, while Tara Berger had 12 points, nine rebounds, and four blocks. Maddie Bledsoe grabbed a game-high 13 rebounds.
The first half was a back and forth contest, with both teams leading for stretches. Doyle hit a three to start the game off on a high-note, but Wesleyan's aggressive full-court pressure gave the Jumbos issues at times, not allowing them to set up their offense as early in possessions as they would have liked. The Cardinals were able to keep it close with this style of play. Trailing by two at the end of the first quarter, Knapp was able to sink two layups to flip the script and give the Jumbos the two-point lead going into the second quarter.
At the end of the second quarter, this time down by one, Angela Alibrandi hit a jumper to go up by one and on the next possession, Dillon hit a three-pointer to wrap up the half with a 30-26 lead. Gorman led the charge for the Cardinals in the first half with 10 points. Wesleyan outrebounded the Jumbos in the first half, 28-16, with 10 offensive boards, which allowed them to keep themselves in the game. Bledsoe led both teams with nine rebounds.
In the second half, Tufts began to break through Wesleyan's pressure and started finding more openings. Baptista got going in the third quarter with six points and helped the Jumbos create a ten-point lead going into the final frame.
With about six minutes left in the game, Baptista blocked a shot, got the rebound, took it the distance, hit a jumper, and was fouled to put Tufts up by 15. After that, the game was never in doubt.
The Jumbos were able to even out the rebounding in the second half, finishing the game with 40 to Wesleyan's 48. Gorman added ten more points to her first half total for an impressive day.
Tufts plays at home again on Monday against Babson and Wesleyan will travel to Rhode Island College on Tuesday.
Written by Curtis Stoychoff, Athletic Communications Intern