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The Tufts Daily
Where you read it first | Monday, February 26, 2024

Men's basketball claims winning record heading into final stretch

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A Tufts men's basketball player goes up for a hook shot in Cousens Gymnasium.

This past weekend, Tufts men’s basketball took on Trinity and Connecticut College, ultimately coming out on top with two NESCAC wins. On Friday, the team defeated the Trinity Bantams 61–38 and on Saturday, they beat the Connecticut College Camels 67–50. Their record now stands at 10–9 overall and 5–2 in conference play.

Against Connecticut College, the teams exchanged points for the first half, ending the half with the Camels ahead 31–29. Tufts faced difficulty against Connecticut College's elite 2-3 zone defense which leads the NESCAC in steals per game. This resulted in the Jumbos giving up eight first-half turnovers. In the first half, Tufts made 13 of their 18 free throws.

After some adjustments were made defensively at halftime, the Jumbos came out in the second half and held the Camels to only 19 points while they put up 38 points. Tufts shot 42.9% from the 3-point range in the second half, contributing to their success offensively.

Earning his second double double of the weekend, senior co-captain and center Luke Rogers scored 18 points and contributed to 11 rebounds. Junior guard Dylan Thoerner, graduate student guard Brennan Morris and sophomore guard Casey McLaren all finished with over 10 points.

Against Trinity, Tufts scored 31 while holding Trinity to only 11 points in the first half. The win was an overall team win with three players scoring double digit points in the game. Thoerner led the Jumbos in points, scoring 12, while Rogers and Morris were not far behind, scoring 11. Rogers also greatly contributed to this win by adding 10 rebounds, giving him a double double in the game.

In the first half, Tufts won the first half by a large margin dominating in the paint and cruising to a 31–11 lead. Trinity put up a fight in the second half, scoring 27 points to Tufts' 30. Despite the Bantams' efforts, the Jumbos were already significantly ahead because of their impressive defensive performance in the first half. 

"Hopefully we can carry that defensive intensity to the rest of our season," Thoerner wrote in an email to the Daily.

After a slower start at the beginning of their season, the Jumbos have found their stride just in time for the end of the season and postseason. Currently ranked No. 4 in the NESCAC, the team believes they have the caliber to win the league in playoffs.  

“We dealt with a lot of injuries and guys being out during the first part of the season. Now we all are finally getting healthy and starting to click at the right time," Thoerner wrote. "Our goal is to win the NESCAC, get a bid to the NCAA tournament, and make a deep run."

The Jumbos look to extend their winning record on Tuesday, Feb. 8 on the road at Colby.