MIDDLETOWN, Conn. – Senior Jac Knapp turned in 23 points to help the No. 6 Tufts women's basketball team pick up a 71-48 win over Wesleyan on the road on Saturday afternoon.
|Briggs netted eight points and grabbed six rebounds on Saturday|
With the victory Tufts is now 19-1 overall and 6-1 in NESCAC play, and have pushed their winning streak to seven games. Wesleyan falls to 11-8 and 3-4 in conference action.
The Jumbos used a strong first period where they outscored the Cardinals 16-4 to build a lead they would hold on to. Freshman Molly Ryan opened up scoring with a three for the Jumbos. The Cardinals answered with a jumper from senior Tara Berger. Over the next six minutes the Jumbos scored 11 unanswered points with seven of those points coming from Knapp. Tufts junior Erica DeCandido and sophomore Emily Briggs also connected on layups during that stretch. The Cardinals tried playing various different defenses during the Jumbos run, but the brown and blue adjusted well. Wesleyan first-year Caleigh Ryan and Tufts junior Sadie Otley scored the final four points of the first as the Jumbos owned an impressive 16-4 lead. The brown and blue held Wesleyan to 1-16 from the floor in the frame.
Tufts came out strong to start the second quarter scoring six of the first nine points with baskets from Knapp, sophomore Angela Alibrandi and freshman Janette Wadolowski. The Cardinals came right back with a 9-2 run of their own over the next three minutes to cut the Jumbo lead down to eight with 4:01 left in the second. During that stretch, Wesleyan got points from five different players. Wadolowski then netted a layup and a jumper as Tufts scored the next six points to push the lead back up to 14 points. Berger and senior Olivia Gorman both connected on layups in the final two minutes of the second as the Cardinals trailed 30-20 at the half. The Cardinals outscored the Jumbos 16-14 in the second quarter.
Out of the half, the brown and blue continued attacking the basket and got to the line as DeCandido, junior Cailin Harrington and Knapp each converted a pair of free throws for the Jumbos first six points of the frame. Gorman drilled a three-pointer and senior Chynna Bailey netted a free throw to get the Cardinals to within 10 points with 7:36 left in the third. Tufts continued to drive to the hoop as they scored six of the contest's next eight points off two layups from Briggs and one from Ryan. Gorman netted five points within a 30 second time-span to cut the Jumbo lead to 13 points with 4:05 left. The brown and blue would then pull away as they ended the third on a 14-3 run in which six different Jumbos scored to push the lead to 58-34. During the run, the Jumbos converted four free throws and five two-point field goals. The Cardinals outscored the Jumbos 14-13 in the fourth quarter led by four points from Berger. In the final frame, Knapp connected on five more free throws as the Jumbos collected a 71-48 win.
For the game, Tufts shot 22-55 and Wesleyan was 17-68 from the field. The Jumbos converted 26 of 30 free throws while the Cardinals made 9 of 16. The brown and blue collected 50 boards while Wesleyan tallied 37 rebounds. Tufts dished out 11 assists to the Cardinals eight. Both defenses applied on-ball pressure as there were a combined 39 turnovers.
Knapp netted a game-high 23 points and was an efficient 15-16 from the foul line. Wadolowski also scored in double figures with 11 points. Briggs and Ryan combined to score 15 points. DeCandido was active all day and had team-highs 10 rebounds and four assists. The Jumbos had eight players score in the game.
Gorman scored a team-high 15 points with six made field goals. Berger grabbed a game-high 11 rebounds and chipped in 10 points for a double-double. Bailey recorded a game-high four steals and collected eight rebounds. The Cardinals also had eight players scored in the contest.
Tufts will play again on Friday when they host No. 4 Amherst for a 7 pm tip off. Wesleyan hosts non-conference opponent MIT on Tuesday with a 7 pm start time.
Written By Athletic Communications Intern Bryan Costello