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Women’s Basketball | Tufts rallies in second half at Emmanuel, avoiding upset effort to improve to 19−0

Published: Thursday, January 24, 2013

Updated: Thursday, January 24, 2013 08:01

It was an anxious Wednesday night for No. 6 Tufts, who traveled to Emmanuel College for a key non−conference matchup.

Facing a team that went as far as the Elite Eight this past season, the Jumbos trailed by two at the break, allowing the Saints to shoot a gaudy 46 percent in the first half.

But the Jumbos came out in the second half with renewed vigor, opening on a 12−2 run and only allowing the Saints to score four points in the first eight minutes.

The result was a 19th straight win for Tufts, 61−48, and the retention of their perfect season.

Early on, it looked like Tufts was destined to repeat their thrashing of Emmanuel last season, when they won 73−35 at Cousens Gymnasium.

The Jumbos kept the Saints from scoring for four minutes to begin the game, and led by as much as seven before a 12−2 run gave Emmanuel its first lead of the night.

The Saints were dominant in the paint, posting a plus−seven rebounding margin in the first half, and Tufts was lucky that they didn’t trail by more at the break, as Emmanuel missed four free throws that could have created a comfortable margin.

Things went from bad to worse in the opening minutes of the second half.

Sophomore Hannah Foley, the team’s leading scorer both for the season and on the night to that point, picked up her third foul and was forced to the bench less than three minutes in.

She’d return around the 10−minute mark, only to pick up another foul almost immediately.

With their go−to scorer sidelined, the rest of the team stepped up.

Senior co−captain forward Bre Dufault finished with 13 points and seven rebounds on 5−of−9 shooting, and at times it seemed she could hit from anywhere on the court.

Sophomore point guard Kelsey Morehead was able to get by her defender with a head fake and drive the lane at will, scoring 12 points on 6−of−7 shooting, including her own 6−0 run to put the game out of reach in the second half. Morehead also had four steals, and the team finished with 13 as a group.

Having staved off the Saints’ upset bid, the Jumbos will be rewarded with one of their easiest weekends on the NESCAC calendar, a single−header at Bates on Saturday.

The Bobcats are just 3−3 in conference and 9−8 on the season, though they do post the NESCAC’s fourth−best scoring offense.

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