MEDFORD – Sixth-ranked Tufts earned the three-seed in the NESCAC Women's Basketball Tournament following a 60-48 win over Trinity on Sunday afternoon at Cousens Gymnasium in their regular-season finale. Jumbo senior Jac Knapp recorded a team-high 13 points in the game, with nine of the 13 coming in the second half.
|Sadie Otley turned in eight points and three rebounds in Tufts' win|
With the victory, Tufts improves to 22-2 overall and 8-2 in the NESCAC. Following the loss, Trinity falls to 19-5 overall and 6-4 in conference play, placing them as the No. 4 seed in the NESCAC Tournament.
The Jumbos came out of the locker room at halftime with a 26-24 lead in a back-and-forth contest. Trinity scored five of the quarter's first nine points to get within one, led by an and-one layup from senior Courtney Erickson. Tufts senior Katie Martensen and sophomore Emily Briggs netted the four Jumbo points over that span. Tufts then scored seven unanswered points over the next two minutes, led by four points from Knapp and a three-pointer from first-year Molly Ryan. A pair of Erickson free throws got the Bantams as close as six points before Tufts' offense again netted seven unanswered points sparked by another Ryan three. Jumbo juniors Sadie Otley and Erica DeCandido also scored over that stretch. The final six points of the third came off free throws, four from Trinity and two from Tufts as the Jumbos took a 46-35 edge into the fourth.
From the opening tip, it was a physical affair and both teams applied pressure on the ball all game. In the first two minutes of the game, Erickson scored three points off a jumper and a free throw. The Jumbos then netted the next seven points off a three-pointer from junior Cailin Harrington, a layup from Knapp, and a jump shot from Martensen. Trinity responded with the contest's next five points to cut the Jumbo lead to one point. After a two-minute span with no points scored, Erickson recorded four points and led the Bantams to score six of the final 10 points of the frame as they took a 14-13 lead after one.
The Jumbo defense turned up the heat to open the second as they didn't allow a point over the first three minutes of the quarter. During that span, first-years Molly Ryan and Janette Wadolowski converted a pair of layups to take the lead back for the Jumbos. Trinity first-year Bailey Hyland sparked a 6-0 run as she connected on a jumper and a layup. Then, the Jumbos responded with a 7-2 run of their own in which Briggs, junior Lilly Paro, and sophomore Angela Alibrandi each scored to give the hosts a 24-22 lead. Over the final two minutes of the second, Trinity first-year Kaylen Campbell and Otley each recorded two points as the Jumbos took the 26-24 lead into the locker room.
The Jumbos outscored the Bantams 20-11 in the third quarter. Ryan had a team-high six points for Tufts and Erickson netted seven points in the third quarter for the Bantams. Tufts' defense held Trinity to 2-14 from the floor in the third.
Tufts' defense again set the tone early in the fourth quarter as they held the Bantams scoreless over the first four minutes of the frame. The Jumbos' captains Knapp and DeCandido combined to score the first nine points of the quarter to extend the lead to 20 points. The Bantams came back by going on an 11-2 run over a four-minute stretch to get to within 11 points with 1:18 left. During that run, Hyland recorded four points while Kabari, Erickson, and sophomore Allie Moran each netted points. DeCandido then converted on an and-one layup as the Jumbos would go on to win 60-48.
For the game, the Jumbos shot 22-51 and the Bantams were 16-48 from the floor. Tufts pulled down 38 rebounds and Trinity collected 27. The Jumbos dished out 16 assists and the Bantams recorded eight. Both defenses forced double-digit turnovers as there were 31 combined in the game.
Knapp was 5-11 from the field, had a team-high three steals, and dished out four assists. DeCandido was second on the team with nine points and also recorded four assists. Otley and Ryan each scored eight points apiece. Ryan pulled down a team-high five rebounds. The Jumbos had 10 players score in the contest.
Erickson netted a game-high 16 points and was an efficient 10-11 from the free throw line. Hyland was also in double-figures with 12 points and grabbed a team-high seven rebounds. Campbell and Kabari combined for 14 points. Six different Bantams scored in the game.
Officials seeds and pairings have not been announced yet, but it looks as though Tufts will play on Saturday when they host sixth-seeded Williams in the NESCAC Quarterfinals. Trinity also earned a home playoff game and will host fifth-seeded Middlebury in the NESCAC Quarterfinals on Saturday.
Written By Athletic Communications Intern Bryan Costello