Womens Basketball | Jumbos even record with rout of Brandeis
Barnosky’s 17 points lead the way for Tufts
Published: Monday, November 28, 2011
Updated: Tuesday, November 29, 2011 02:11
The women's basketball team beat the Brandeis Judges on Sunday afternoon, 59−44, improving its overall record to 2−2. After getting off to a slow start and losing their first two games, the Jumbos have now earned two straight victories, both by double−digit margins.
The first half against Brandeis was a back−and−forth battle, with neither team able to secure a comfortable lead until the Jumbos broke the tie by going on a 7−0 run in the final 2:14 of the first half. Tufts did not look back from its 27−20 halftime advantage as the Jumbos maintained that edge through the final buzzer.
"I think going into Brandeis we knew it would be a struggle and it wouldn't be pretty ball. It wasn't pretty, but we converted," junior co−captain Bre Dufault said. "Defensively, we made stops when we needed to and we hit our free throws at the end of the game."
Leading the charge for the Jumbos were senior co−captain forward Kate Barnosky — who finished with a game−high 17 points and three assists — and sophomore guard Caitlin McClure, who chipped in with 12 points, including 2−of−3 from downtown, two rebounds and two steals. On the defensive end, senior guard Tiffany Kornegay had three steals and six defensive rebounds.
Barnosky, who is coming off of several major knee surgeries, has been instrumental to both the Jumbos' offense and defense, topping the team with 12.5 points and 7.8 rebounds per game, while often matching up with much taller opponents in the post. The senior expects to continue to improve throughout the season, as she catches up on the time she missed.
"I'm getting back into the swing of things while I'm getting better from my injury," Barnosky said. "The team is running the plays better and getting better looks for me and for everyone."
"KB [Kate Barnosky] has really stepped up for us," Dufault said. "She's been hitting a lot of big shots and outworking her opponent all game long,"
Another key to the Jumbos' recent victories has been the continued improvement of their underclassmen, most notably McClure and freshmen point guard Kelsey Morehead and center Hayley Kanner. Morehead, a starter, leads the team with 4.5 assists per game, while Kanner gives the Jumbos some much−needed height and shot blocking ability in the paint.
"They've all stepped into big roles right away," said Barnosky of the underclassmen. "They are very consistent and intense and bring it hard in practice everyday. Kelsey has been an awesome point guard for us."
Looking ahead, the Jumbos take on Salem State in Cousens Gym on Tuesday night before traveling to Weston, Mass., to take on Saint Joseph's in the first round of the Regis College Invitational on Friday night.
The Salem State Vikings enter Tuesday night with a 1−2 record. They are led by senior forward Breanna Comeau, owner of a team−high 13.7 points and 6.0 rebounds per game, and freshman guard Rachael Carter, who has contributed 10.3 points per game. In order to succeed, the Jumbos must keep their energy high while executing efficiently on the offensive end.
"We all need to have the same approach," Dufault said. "We just want to keep our energy high. It all starts on the defensive end. We want our defense to fuel our offense.
Although they've had success the past two games, the team stresses that it must work hard and continue to improve every day. While their conference games do not start until after the calendar turns to 2012, the non−conference games are a vital component in their national and regional rankings, as well as for a potential NCAA bid in March.
"We are working harder and getting better, but we are still working the kinks out," Barnosky said. "Everything is pretty new so we have to keep improving to play what coach calls ‘Jumbo basketball.'"