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Women’s Basketball | Jumbos take revenge on Anchorwomen, turn focus to mammoth NESCAC weekend

Published: Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Updated: Wednesday, January 30, 2013 01:01

In a scrappy, physical affair which both teams were lucky to get out of without serious injury, Tufts women’s basketball avenged a blowout loss to Rhode Island College this past season with a 52−35 win on Tuesday night.

“Almost all of us who were on the team last year remember that game,” sophomore point guard Kelsey Morehead said. “Even though it was a different team, we still knew what happened last year, so I think we had that a little bit in the back of our minds.”

It was a difficult night for the Jumbos against a team willing to give every bit as much effort as they were. Sophomore Hayley Kanner, whose height advantage the Anchorwomen could not match, was forced out of the game for large chunks of time due to foul trouble, while classmate and team scoring leader Hannah Foley managed just two points, tied for her season low, on 0−for−5 shooting.

With her teammates struggling, Morehead picked up more of the offensive responsibility, finishing with 13 points, including a pair of second−half 3−pointers, the only two Tufts hit on the night, which put the game away.

“Day to day, different teams play us differently,” Morehead said. “Today, they seemed to leave me a lot more wide open because they didn’t want to let Hayley get the ball, or [graduate student co−captain Kate Barnosky], or [Foley], because all of them have been playing very well.”

Stifling defense helped Tufts out to a 28−14 lead. But Rhode Island College slowly clawed its way back, relying heavily on freshman forward Vandell Andrade’s ability to create second and even third−chance opportunities. Even while matched up against the much taller Kanner, she finished the game with eight offensive rebounds and 15 rebounds total.

“From last year, we know that Rhode Island College is a team that is going to get after it, and that is exactly how they played today,” Morehead said. “I don’t know if we were as prepared for it, but we did finally fight back. They crashed the offensive boards a lot harder, and really forced us to box out every time.”

The Jumbos eventually found their footing, and started trading baskets with the Anchorwomen. With the slow tempo of the game, time simply ran out for Rhode Island College, giving Tufts its 21st straight win.

With its final non−conference game out of the way, Tufts must focus its attention on a key road NESCAC doubleheader this weekend. On Friday, the Jumbos travel to Hartford, Conn. to take on a Trinity Bantams side with a 4−2 NESCAC record and a lot of confidence before the game of the season, a trip to Amherst to take on the No. 4 Lord Jeffs.

“We know that as much as we want to look at Amherst, we know we can’t look at all past Trinity, because they are playing really well too,” Morehead said. “It’s going to be a very challenging weekend.”

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