Men’s Basketball | Game postponed to Sunday as Jumbos look to finish out regular season in style
Published: Friday, February 8, 2013
Updated: Friday, February 8, 2013 11:02
Because the Jumbos have clinched the fourth seed and home−court advantage in the first round of the NESCAC tournament, the men’s basketball team’s game on Sunday against Hamilton is meaningless on paper. Its importance, however, goes far beyond the win−loss column.
Tufts enters its matchup against the Centennials having won nine of its last 10 games dating back to Jan. 11, and with the playoffs looming, team members are stressing the significance of continuing their momentum. “Although we can’t fall in the standings, it’s important that we come out and make a statement this Friday so we can head into the tournament with some good momentum,” senior guard Alex Goldfarb said. “Last season we dropped the 3 games prior to the NESCAC playoffs and it definitely played a part in our first round loss.”
But Sunday afternoon’s contest against Hamilton will have a major impact on the Centennials’ playoff seeding. With two wins this weekend and losses from Wesleyan and Bates, Hamilton could clinch the fifth seed in next weekend’s tournament — which would mean a rematch with the Jumbos at Cousens Gymnasium.
While the Jumbos haven’t faced off against Hamilton yet this season, they know it would be a hard−fought game given the outcome’s importance in the playoff picture.
“I know that [Hamilton is] a tough team who is just coming off a big conference win against Wesleyan,” Goldfarb said. “They’re fighting for a good playoff spot so they’re going to come here Friday with a must win attitude.”
The postponed contest will also serve as Senior Night, an opportunity for the Jumbos to celebrate the contributions that their three seniors — Scott Anderson, Matt Lanchantin and Goldfarb — have made in their careers in brown and blue.
Anderson has been among the most valuable players on coach Bob Sheldon’s roster this season, averaging 12.7 points and 5.2 rebounds per game, while Lanchantin’s post presence and Goldfarb’s 3−point prowess have proven to be crucial off the bench.
All three are four−year players who have played significant roles on the court throughout their career. With their time at Tufts winding down, Senior Night provides an opportunity to commemorate their efforts and dedication in the ascending Jumbos basketball program.
“Going into senior night is pretty surreal,” Goldfarb said. “It’s been great to watch our record improve every season since I’ve been here, and be a part of a program that has gone from not making the NESCAC tournament to a playoff favorite. I’m just thankful that this Friday won’t be my last home game and that we locked in a home playoff game in the first round.”