Knapp's Career-High 26 Helps Women's Basketball Top UNE, 85-59, on Saturday Afternoon

BIDDEFORD, Maine- Behind a career-high 26 points from senior co-captain Jac Knapp, the No. 6 Tufts women's basketball team remained undefeated with an 85-59 victory over the University of New England on Saturday afternoon at the Harold Alfond Forum.

The Jumbos are now a perfect 8-0 with one more first semester game on the schedule. University of New England falls to 4-6 with the setback. 

Harrington scored eight points in Saturday's 85-59 win

Jumbo first-year guard Molly Ryan scored the contest's first points with a midrange jumper. Junior guard Ashley Coneys came right back down the court and made a layup for the Nor'easters first points. Tufts sophomore Emily Briggs and Nor'easter junior Sadie Nelson traded buckets as the game was tied 4-4 with 8:01 remaining in the first. The brown and blue's first-year Sophia Rosa came in off the bench and contributed right away with four unanswered points to help spark a 7-0 run.  Junior guard Jocelyn Chaput ended the Jumbo run with a pair of free throws for UNE to cut the lead to five, 11-6, with 5:11 remaining in the first quarter. Rosa and Coney combined for the game's next eight points, as each scored four over a three minute span. Tufts ended the first quarter on an 8-4 run, led by Briggs who hit a jump shot and a buzzer beating layup to help the Jumbos take a nine point lead, 23-14, after the first quarter of play. 

The Jumbos scored the first six points of the second quarter, and Briggs continued her quick start as she scored four of those.  Coneys put in a layup to end that Tufts run, and sparked a Nor'easter six-point run over the next two minutes. Tufts junior Erica DeCandido scored six of the games next eight points to help the Jumbos extended their lead to 17. Coneys would then score the Nor'easters next five points with a layup and a three pointer to cut Tufts lead to 14 points with 3:13 left in the half.  Junior guard Caitlin Harrington netted eight points in the second quarter as the Jumbos took a 43-25 lead into the locker room.

In the first half, the Jumbos shot 48.6% while holding the Nor'easters to 27.6% from the floor. The University of New England outrebound the Jumbos by a 19-18 margin in the first 20 minutes. Tufts distributed 10 assists to the Nor'easters five. The brown and blue's defense forced 13 turnovers and recorded six steals.

Knapp hit a jumper from Harrington as the brown and blue scored the first four points of the third quarter. Coneys and Chaput each turned in a pair of free throws as the Jumbo lead was cut to 18 points with 7:22 remaining in the third. Junior guard Lily Paro buried a three pointer from Knapp and as they went on a 5-2 run over a 30 second span. Knapp followed that up by going on her own run scoring five unanswered with a three pointer and a jumper. The Nor'easters continued to get to the foul line at a high rate in the third as Coneys and sophomore guard Madalyn Sanborn each made a pair of free throws over a two minute span. Paro helped the Jumbos push the lead to 22 with a three and an assist in the last few minutes of the third and the Jumbos took a 66-44 advantage into the fourth. 

In the fourth quarter, Knapp scored the first three points from a layup and a made free throw. Sophomore guard Elyssa Nicholas came back with three points of her own for the home team from Chaput with 8:36 remaining. Briggs, Knapp and DeCandido all scored for Tufts as they went on a 6-3 run over a minute time span. Nicholas and Knapp traded three pointers in the middle of the fourth with 4:34 left and the Jumbos picked up an 85-59 win.  

For the game, Tufts went 32-74 and the University of New England was 16-55 from the field. Both teams knocked down five three pointers. The Nor'easters went 22-27 and the Jumbos were 16-18 from the foul line. Tufts outrebounded the Nor'easters 40-38. The brown and blue dished out 20 assists on their 32 made field goals. Both defenses played well as there were a combined 38 turnovers.

The brown and blue were led by Knapp who finished with a game-high 26 points. Briggs and DeCandido each scored in double figures with 16 and 12 points, respectively. Rosa and Harrington also chipped in eight points each. Knapp and DeCandido each dished out five assists. DeCandido led the team pulling down eight rebounds. There were 11 different Jumbos who scored.

The Nor'easters got a team-high 21 points from Coneys. Chaput also scored in double figures with 11 points. Nicholas and Nelson put in seven and six points, respectively.  First-year Allie Goodman grabbed a team-leading seven rebounds. The Nor'easters had nine players score in the game.   

Tufts will return to the court on Tuesday at 7 pm when they host a non-conference match against Emerson. The University of New England will next play on Thursday, January 3 as they will host Gordon at 5:30 pm in a CCC contest.


Written By Athletic Communications Intern Bryan Costello