MEDFORD – The #1 ranked and undefeated Tufts University women's basketball team (12-0) had four players score in double figures during a 79-62 victory over SUNY Polytechnic Institute on Monday afternoon at Cousens Gym.
|Sadie Otley added a team-high eight rebounds and four assists to the victory.|
Playing in a rare weekday matinee, Tufts was led by 14 points from both junior Emily Briggs and sophomore Molly Ryan. Senior co-captain Erica DeCandido and sophomore Sofia Rosa both scored 12 points. Tufts shot it at 47.7 percent (31/65) for the game.
The Wildcats (3-6) challenged the Jumbos as sophomore Molly Burdick scored a game-high 21 points and senior Taylor Aybar added 10 points, six assists and five steals. Sophomore Sophie Wittenbeck added 13 points for the visitors, who also shot well at 41.8 percent (23/55).
Aybar and Wittenbeck combined to score SUNY Poly's first 12 points as the Wildcats took a 12-8 lead seven minutes into the opening quarter. However, a three-pointer by Jumbo senior co-captain Lilly Paro kick-started an 11-0 run to end the period with Tufts leading 19-12. Five different players contributed to the stretch.
Tufts added to its run by scoring the first eight points of the second quarter, including threes by senior Cailin Harrington and junior Erin Poindexter McHan. A lay-up by Briggs made the Jumbo stretch 19-0 overall and they led 27-12 three minutes into the second stanza.
Back-to-back hoops by Wildcat senior Jaida Washington pulled the guests within 11 (27-16), but Tufts spurted again with 10 straight points this time to lead 37-16 with five minutes remaining until halftime. Threes by Paro and Ryan highlighted the run. Tufts had seven trifectas overall in the game.
SUNY Poly showed fight and got the margin back down to 11 twice, including 42-31 on a lay-up by Burdick with 38 seconds left in the half. She led the 15-5 Wildcat run with eight points. Ryan had a lay-up at the buzzer to put Tufts ahead 44-31 at intermission.
DeCandio scored six points during a 12-4 stretch that Tufts opened the second half with to lead 56-35. The Jumbos were able to keep the margin in the high teens and led 63-46 heading into the fourth. Tufts led comfortably through the fourth, with the Wildcats only getting as close as 15 points twice.
Tufts again posted a huge rebounding margin of +25 (49-24) with five individuals grabbing five or more led by Otley's eight. DeCandido finished with seven. The Jumbos are +12.2 for the season, which is a top 20 mark in the NCAA Division III statistics.
Ryan added six assists to the Tufts attack while Otley and Harrington had four each. For the Wildcats, Washington finished with 10 points, four rebounds, two steals and a block.
Tufts moves along in its four-game home-stand to open the new year with a Wednesday night game (7 pm) against Wheaton (Mass.). SUNY Poly continues its Boston area visit by playing MIT tomorrow afternoon at 4 pm.