MEDFORD – No. 6 Tufts women's basketball scored 28 unanswered points over the course of 9:48 between the second and third quarters to propel the Jumbos to a 72-51 NESCAC victory over Bates College on Saturday afternoon at Cousens Gymnasium.
|Janette Wadolowski netted eight points and grabbed five rebounds in her return to action|
With the win, the Jumbos are now 16-1 overall and 4-1 in conference play. Bates falls to 7-8 and 1-4 in the league with the loss.
Bates held a 15-14 lead at the end of the first quarter. Early in the second quarter the Jumbos and Bobcats traded baskets in what was a back and forth affair with multiple lead changes at the time. Then Bates junior Melanie Binkhorst made a layup with 6:03 left in the second to tie the contest at 21. In the final 6:03 of the quarter, the Jumbo defense stepped up holding the Bobcats scoreless the rest of the way and forcing six turnovers. Tufts' offense also got going during that stretch as they scored 21 points. The Jumbos' senior Jac Knapp started the run with a three-pointer and a jumper. Junior Erica DeCandido netted six points and dished out three assists in the second period. First-years Molly Ryan and Janette Wadolowski combined for nine points as Tufts took a 42-21 lead into the locker room.
Out of the locker room, the brown and blue didn't lose a step as they scored the first seven points of the third quarter, led by five points from Knapp and a Harrington layup. Bates first-year Ariana Dalia ended the Bobcat scoring drought with a three-pointer with 6:15 left in the third. Binkhorst scored four points over a two-minute stretch to get the Bobcats as close as 20 points . Harrington scored five of the Jumbos' final nine points in the third as they took a 58-34 lead into the fourth quarter.
In the fourth quarter, Bates outscored Tufts 17-14 led by five points from Binkhorst and a combined eight points from sophomore Taylor McVeigh and first-year Meghan Graff. Saide Otley scored a team-high five points in the fourth off a layup and a three-pointer for Tufts.
The action had been back and forth out of the gate as both teams scored seven points within the first five minutes of play. Dalia got off to a hot start with a layup and a three-pointer as the Bobcats led by as many as three points. Trailing 10-7 with 4:30 left in the first, the Jumbos scored the next five points off free throws from junior Cailin Harrington and Ryan, and a DeCandido layup. Bobcats senior Erika Lamere connected on her second three of the first quarter to push the lead back up to three. A pair of Wadolowski free throws were the final points of the first quarter, as the Jumbos trailed by one.
For the game, Tufts shot 27-57 and Bates was 18-55 from the floor. Both teams shot well from the foul line as the Jumbos were 12-16 and Bates was 9-12. The brown and blue pulled down 39 boards while the Bobcats recorded 32 rebounds. Each team moved the ball at a high rate as the Jumbos dished out 19 assists and Bates tallied 15. Tufts' defense forced 16 Bobcat turnovers.
Knapp netted a game-high 13 points with six made shots. DeCandido and Harrington were also in double figures with 12 and 11 points respectively. Ryan scored eight points and dished out a team-high four assists. Wadolowski and Otley combined for 15 points. Sophomore Emily Briggs grabbed seven rebounds. Nine Jumbos scored in the game.
Binkhorst scored a team-high 13 points, pulled down seven rebounds, and recorded a team-high four assists. Dalia was also in double digits with 10 points. First-year Mia Roy and Lamere scored nine and eight points respectively. McVeigh grabbed a game-high eight rebounds. Seven Bobcats scored in the contest.
The Jumbos play again on Tuesday when they host non-conference opponent WPI for a 7 pm tip off. Bates hosts Colby-Sawyer on Monday with a 7 pm start time.
Written By Athletic Communications Intern Bryan Costello