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The Tufts Daily
Where you read it first | Tuesday, March 5, 2024

Men's basketball splits weekend games at Swarthmore

The men's basketball team split the first two games of the season at this weekend's Equinox Classic in Swarthmore, PA, losing 77-60 to the host Garnet Tide Friday before bouncing back to take out Haverford 75-53 on Saturday.

On Saturday, both teams started off slow offensively, with Tufts holding a slim 23-22 lead with 2:16 remaining in the first half. But the Jumbos got things moving as the half drew to a close, scoring the next 14 points in a run that stretched through halftime. Tufts maintained a double-digit lead through the remainder of the game, shooting a blistering 56.7 percent in the second half to extend the margin to as high as 18.

Junior guard Mike McGlynn led the charge for Tufts, scoring 18 points on 7-11 shooting, including four out of five from three-point range. The Jumbos hit seven of 18 three-point attempts (38.9 percent) on the day, a large improvement over Friday night's game, when the team shot just 15.4 percent from downtown.

Senior co-captain Bobby MacMannis was perfect from the floor, going 5-5 for 11 points. Junior Jim Wilson was the only other Jumbo in double-digits, with ten points, to go along with four rebounds and an assist.

Despite losing a majority of their inside presence to graduation, the Jumbos held their own on the boards. Tufts out-rebounded Haverford 34-31, with 13 different players pulling down at least one. The Jumbos also controlled the ball well, turning it over just 12 times compared to Haverford's 26.

In Friday's game against Swarthmore, Tufts was hurt by stone-cold shooting from the floor, as the team hit just seven of 31 shots (22.6 percent) in the first half. The team trailed by 14 at the break, and despite better shooting in the second frame (12-28, 42.9 percent) could not close the gap, losing 77-60.

The Jumbos' attempts to get things going on the outside resulted in an abysmal 4-26 from behind the arc on the night, and junior Brian Shapiro and sophomore Phil Barlow combined to go just 4-21 from the floor, including 2-13 on three pointers. The two led the team with ten and 11 points, respectively, but most of their scoring came from the free-throw line. Shapiro also committed six of the team's 18 turnovers.

Coach Bob Sheldon did get a chance to see some of his new talent in action, however, as 17 of the team's 18 players got playing time in the game. Freshman center Craig Coupe, the team's largest player at 6'7", 225, led the way, scoring ten points on 4-7 shooting. He also pulled down a game-high seven rebounds in 22 minutes in his first collegiate appearance. Fellow freshman Reggie Stovell also grabbed seven boards, while McGlynn and Wilson each had seven points.

The Jumbos open their home schedule Sunday at 7 p.m., hosting Salem State in their first game on the new floor in Cousens Gym.