MEDFORD – The top-ranked and undefeated Tufts University women's basketball team hit a season-high for points in a 91-47 victory at home against Wheaton College on Wednesday night at Cousens Gym.
|Emily Briggs is averaging 16.3 points per game in the last three contests.|
The Jumbos will head into conference play Friday night with a 13-0 record. They had five players score in double figures tonight led by junior Emily Briggs with 19 points. Tufts shot 53.6 percent overall (37/69) including a scorching 20 for 33 (60.6 percent) in the first half.
Wheaton, led by 16 points from junior Mikayla Pucci, dropped to 4-8.
Tufts did not trail in the game after senior Sadie Otley opened the scoring with a three-pointer 38 seconds into the action. Wheaton was within 14-12 following a lay-up by freshman Bri Forbes at the four-minute mark of the first. However, the Jumbos had the margin up to 11 (25-14) at the end of the quarter with an 11-2 run. Briggs had nine of her points in the first 10 minutes, making all three of her shots and going 3 for 3 at the line.
Into the second quarter, a jumper by Lyons sophomore Sadie Shore made it 34-21 Jumbos with six minutes to play until halftime. However, the Jumbos scored the next 10 points – six by sophomore Sofia Rosa – to lead 44-21 with 3:20 on the second-quarter clock. They led 52-25 at the break and would be up by at least 24 points the rest of the way.
Tufts' margin hit 31 (61-30) on a lay-up by freshman Maggie Russell five minutes into the third, then reached 41 (73-32) on a three by junior Erin Poindexter-McHan with 90 seconds remaining in the third. They were up 75-32 heading into the fourth.
The Jumbo reserves played most of the fourth quarter with junior Angela Alibrani and Russell both scoring six points during the frame en route to the final 44-point margin of victory.
Briggs finished 7 for 10 shooting including 2 for 2 on threes and also blocked three shots. Senior co-captain Erica DeCandido registered 13 points, five rebounds and three assists. Rosa was again productive in 13 minutes off the bench with 12 points and six rebounds. Alibrandi (three blocks) and Russell (five rebounds) both finished with 10 points.
Alibrandi nearly double-doubled with a game-high nine rebounds, as Tufts once against ruled the boards with a 47-29 advantage. Otley led the Jumbos with six assists, while freshman Colby Shea recorded five as Tufts finished with 26 on their 37 baskets.
Senior Natalie Wind hit a pair of three-pointers for the visitors and finished with eight points. Freshman Brooke Harvey totaled six points and four rebounds, while Forbes recorded five assists.
The Jumbos play Wesleyan in their NESCAC opener at Cousens on Friday night at 7 pm. Wheaton is off until next Tuesday (Jan. 14) when they play at Connecticut College.