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The Tufts Daily
Where you read it first | Wednesday, May 29, 2024

Basketball

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Basketball

Jumbos extend winning streak to four during homestand

Fresh off winning the Ramada Roundball Invitational two weekends ago, the fourth-ranked women's basketball team swept its two-game homestand this past week with a couple of resounding non-conference victories -- first against Hartwick College, then against Brandeis.At 2-0 Tufts was hitting its ...


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Basketball

Tufts goes undefeated in weekend games

After dropping the first two games of the season on the road, the Tufts men’s basketball team returned to the court this weekend with games on Friday night at home against Emerson and on Saturday at Wentworth Institute of Technology. The Jumbos prevailed in both contests, improving their season record ...


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Basketball

Jumbos still searching for first win of the season

The men’s basketball team opened its season this week with two away games at Johnson & Wales College on Saturday and Regis College on Tuesday. When the buzzer sounded at Regis, the Jumbos walked off the court with a loss for the second straight game. Although it has been a rough start for ...



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Basketball

Tufts begins season with tournament win at Ramada Invitational

The Tufts women's basketball team enters its season as the team to beat in the NESCAC, and in the entire northeast, coming off a season in which it reached the Final Four of the NCAA tournament. The Jumbos began the season competing in the Ramada Roundball Invitational at University of New England ...


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Basketball

Tufts looks to build on last season's Final Four success

This season, tri-captains Kelsey Morehead, Hayley Kanner and Hannah Foley will be returning for their senior years as anchors of the women's basketball team -- a team that is coming off of its most successful season in program history. The 2013-2014 Tufts team recorded an unprecedented 21-game ...



The Setonian
Basketball

Men's Basketball | Late-game slide leaves Tufts at a loss in conference opener

The Jumbos returned to campus from winter break healthier than they had been all season, ready to move past a stretch of three losses in four games and eager to charge full steam ahead into their conference schedule. So far though, all has not gone as planned. After their game scheduled for Jan. 4 at Newbury College was postponed until tonight, the Jumbos broke a 29-day hiatus when they played at Rhode Island College last Thursday. They lost, 56-55. Then, on Sunday, Tufts began NESCAC play at Middlebury, where the Panthers pulled away late and the Jumbos fell, with a final score of 80-66.Junior Ben Ferris, the Jumbos' leading scorer last year, returned from a hip injury to play his first two games of the season, and sophomore Stephen Haladyna, who was averaging 10 points in seven games this season, came back from a bout of mononucleosis. The band was back together.I guess it's pretty much like a new season for us," freshman point guard Tarik Smith, who played 15 minutes Sunday, said. "Now [Ferris and Haladyna] are both back and we have to adjust. The rotations are gonna be different and minutes are gonna be different. We're trying to figure that out on the fly."The newly-recovered guards both struggled from the field against Rhode Island College, and while Ferris played well in his Vermont homecoming at Middlebury, it was not enough. Now the Jumbos (6-6) have fallen to .500 for the first time all season, and, perhaps more importantly, they are 0-1 in conference play. "We're kind of approaching the rest of the season as, 'every game's important,' but the most important thing for us is NESCAC play," senior tri-captain point guard Oliver Cohen said. "Me personally, I'm looking at it like we're 0-1 right now." The Jumbos played well for about four-fifths of Sunday's game against the Panthers, holding a narrow lead most of the way. But in the final 8:31, Tufts failed to make a field goal and scored only two points to Middlebury's 20. A key factor was the Panthers' ability to silence freshman center Hunter Sabety down the stretch. Sabety dominated inside in the first half, scoring 16 points on 8-of-8 shooting. But he did not score for the rest of the game, attempting just one shot and missing four free throws. Unable to execute successful entry passes to Sabety, the Jumbos struggled in their half-court sets. They finished 5-of-21 (24 percent) on three-pointers, while the Panthers were 7-of-15 (47 percent) on threes. Tufts was also outperformed at the free-throw line, where they were 11-of-21 (52 percent) and Middlebury was 25-of-31 (81 percent)."Middlebury's a really good defensive team, so I guess they were able to impose their will on us defensively," Cohen said. "But we can't get away from our identity, which is running the ball, being up-tempo, getting out in transition."Tufts was the better team for much of the game thanks to a tenacious effort around the rim. The Jumbos led at halftime, 38-35, dominating the Panthers, 10-2, on the offensive boards. Sabety was scoring at will in the low post. Tufts continued to play well early in the second half, leading by as many as seven points with less than 15 minutes to play. Ferris did all he could to keep his team on top, scoring 13 second-half points, including Tufts' last eight points. But while the Jumbos shot 27 percent in the final 20 minutes, the Panthers shot 52 percent and staked a claim to the paint. Sophomore forward Matt Daley, coming off the bench for Middlebury, flipped the script on Sabety and the Jumbos. After scoring just two points in five first-half minutes, he scored 13 in the second half while helping keep Sabety at bay."In the first half we were looking inside a lot more to [Sabety] because he was playing really well," Smith said. "In the second half they began to double him whenever we would give the ball to him, and it was hard to enter the ball in. "I think that's the time where, as a point guard, I have to be more aggressive and make an effort to really get to the paint and create for others," Smith added. Ultimately, one statistic told the story: In the final 8 minutes and 31 seconds, Middlebury outscored Tufts, 20-2."In that time we pretty much just lost composure," Smith said. "We lost a couple calls, we missed a couple shots, and in that time Middlebury started making their shots. We pretty much folded with about five minutes left in the game.""You can't win games like that," Cohen said.Five Panthers reached double-figures in scoring. Senior Joey Kizel led the way with 17


The Setonian
Basketball

Men's Basketball | Jumbos finish fourth at Big 4 Challenge

Tufts lost both its games in the fifth annual New England Big 4 Challenge at Cousens Gym this past weekend, falling to Salem State on Saturday before losing to Brandeis in the consolation game on Sunday.Babson went on to beat Salem State 101-87 on Sunday afternoon to capture its first Big 4 title.The Jumbos finished the weekend with a 5-4 record on the season and a sour taste in their mouths. They led for almost the entire game against Salem State before the Vikings made a late push, and a last-second three-pointer by senior tri-captain guard Kwame Firempong hit the front rim to conclude an 81-78 defeat.Then, against Brandeis, Tufts again squandered a halftime edge. The Judges pulled away in the final minutes to win 90-82.It was a frustrating weekend for a team looking to head into the holiday break with some momentum. The players believe they need to increase their level of focus going forward.It's not an energy thing," senior tri-captain forward Andrew Dowton said. "I think early in the season we had a little trouble with that. We've worked that out. It's more a focus thing now."The Jumbos are still working to adjust as they play with an altered lineup due to injuries. Sophomore big-man Tom Palleschi was diagnosed with an enlarged aorta in the preseason and can no longer play basketball


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Women's Basketball | Tufts bows out of tournament in Final Four

NESCAC Champions. Liz Moynihan's shot. A Final Four berth. A season filled with highlights and accomplishments came to an end on Saturday, when the women's basketball team fell in the semi-finals of the NCAA Div. III Championship to eventual national champions FarleighDickinson-Florham University (FDU-Florham), 42-39. Three of the Jumbos' last four games had come down to the wire with resulting victories, but the Jumbos finished just short against the Devils, despite keeping the score close for most of the game. Tufts staged a comeback to derail FDU-Florham's attempt to pull away in the second half. The Devils held a 40-32 lead over the Jumbos with 8:30 remaining in the game after a basket from Devils sophomore forward Shalette Brown. Tufts' freshman forward Michela North, senior tri-captain forward Ali Rocchi and sophomore guard Emma Roberson all respond to close the margin to 40-38 with just over six minutes left on the clock. For the remaining time, offense seemed to come to a standstill. Both teams totaled just three points for the remainder of the game -- shooting a collective 1-of-8 from the field. With a layup from FDU-Florham's Brown and a North free throw, the score was 42-39 with 23 seconds remaining. FDU-Florham's junior forwards Brown and Kyra Dayon missed two free throws but secured each other's offensive rebounds following the misses, forcing the Jumbos to foul three times in as many seconds. After a timeout taken with 17 seconds left in the game, Roberson stole an inbounds pass to give Tufts a final chance to take the game into overtime. The Jumbos came up the court and called a timeout with nine seconds left to set up their last attempt. But the shot was off the mark, and the Devils advanced to the championship game. The would-be game tying shot was all too reminiscent of senior tri-captain guard Liz Moynihan's buzzer-beater against University of New England (UNE), which gave Tufts the win in the second round of the tournament. "It stings," junior forward Hayley Kanner said. "It still hurts. You don't really want to think about what could have been. You don't want to think about however many plays before that, however many missed layups [or] missed foul shots [happened], because at the end of the day nothing's going to change. But I'd be lying if I said I didn't replay the moment." The Jumbos held the Devils to just 1-of-17 from the field to start the game, but never managed to truly pull ahead. A 20-14 lead for Tufts with 2:38 left in the first half quickly disappeared, with FDU-Florham tying the score, 22-22, at the half. "I think that we played incredible defense," Moynihan said. "We played a team that averages 81 points per game and we held them to just 42 points. At the same time, it's hard to win a game, any game, when you're scoring 39 points." Both teams had sluggish scoring, with the Jumbos shooting 34.8 percent -- just 2-of-14 from distance -- and the Devils shooting just 27.6 percent on the night. The Devils outrebounded the Jumbos 40-33 overall, tallying 19 offensive rebounds to the Jumbos' eight, and notched 58 shot attempts to the Jumbos 46. "The Devils are a very athletic team, and they did a great job of getting their hands in the passing lanes," Moynihan said. "It was tough to even get open and they did a great job of pressuring us." The Jumbos were also undone by their turnovers -- 19 total -- which led to 18 points for the Devils. Dayon carried most of the offensive load for the Devils, scoring 17 of their 42 points on 8-of-18 shooting as the game's top scorer. North led the Jumbos with 13 points off the bench, going 5-of-7 for the night. Tufts' bench outscored FDU-Florham's bench 23-6. Friday night also saw the return of one of the Tufts' top scorers this season, junior guard Hannah Foley, who had injured her ankle against UNE and had missed the last two games. "Most of us felt like we should have won that game [against FDU-Florham], and that was the toughest part," Moynihan said. "There was a little bit of frustration, but that [frustration] decreased as the night went on, especially because we were celebrating [the birthdays of] Pat Cordeiro, our athletic trainer, and Shannon Curley, our Team Impact player." The Jumbos played for third place in a consolation match the next day against last year's NCAA Div. III runners-up, the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater, losing to the Warhawks 72-54. "It's the ultimate show of pride and character to play in the consolation match," Kanner said. "Both teams just lost their opportunity to win a national championship and you have to turn right around and play a game the next day. It's a testimony to the coaching staff and the captains, who sat us down and told us it's an honor to even be here." For the second straight night, North led the Jumbos with 14 points. She was a perfect 6-of-6 from the field and added six rebounds and three assists. Rocchi contributed eight points and six rebounds for the Jumbos. "There were three seniors on this team -- tri-captains Moynihan, Rocchi and Caitlin McClure -- and this was going to be our last game ever," Moynihan said. "The game [against Wisconsin-Whitewater] was also a very tough game and things didn't seem to be going our way. But, we rallied together as a team, which is very easy to do when you're playing on a team with your best friends." The bittersweet end to a whirlwind season didn't detract from what the team achieved this season, according to Kanner. "Two losses mean nothing to this team," Kanner said. "The countless experiences and memories are enough to last a lifetime, let alone make up for this end to a season. I think [making it to the semi-finals] has made us even hungrier. These past two games there might have been a little jitters being on the 'big stage' but coming back next year we now know that we can compete with these [top] teams." 



The Setonian
Basketball

Women's Basketball | Moynihan's buzzer-beater sends Tufts to Sweet 16

Senior tri-captain Liz Moynihan finished Saturday's NCAA Round-of-32 contest against the University of New England shooting 1 for 9 from the field. The one shot she converted was the game's most important: a 25-foot 3-point buzzer beater that gave her team a 57-54 overtime victory and catapulted the Jumbos into the tournament's Sweet 16 round next weekend.



The Setonian
Basketball

Women's Basketball | Tufts secures first ever NESCAC title

In a season filled with accomplishments, the women's basketball team reached its most impressive mileston yet Sunday by capturing the program's first ever NESCAC title and securing a perfect season in con- ference play with its 62-46 victory over second-seeded Amherst. Before advancing to Sunday's finals, Tufts first had to take care of business on Saturday in the semifinal game against a Trinity squad that had won six straight games. From the opening tip, the Bantams proved the game would be a fight to the finish. Tied at four points early in the game, Tufts went ahead 8-4 on back-to-back buckets from juniors Hannah Foley and Hayley Kanner. The teams traded baskets for much of the opening frame, with nei- ther squad able to assert any type of control over the contest. Freshman center Michela North's traditional three-point play with 9:13 remaining in the half gave the Jumbos a 21-15 edge, their largest lead of the half. But every time it looked like Tufts might pull away, Trinity had an answer. The Bantams orchestrated a 10-4 run of their own to knot the game at 25-25 with 4:22 left. The Jumbos then finished the half on a 6-2 spurt to head into the break with a slim 31-27 lead. Tufts struggled from beyond the arc all afternoon, shooting a dismal 0-11 from distance in the first half, while hitting only 2-8 in the second half. Tufts' poor 3-point shooting kept Trinity in the game, but Tufts' depth ultimately proved too much to handle. Desperately holding on to a tight 40-38 lead with 12:53 left, Tufts went on a 12-3 run over the next 8:49, sparked by five criti- cal points from sophomore reserve guard Emma Roberson. The short burst extend- ed the Jumbos' lead to eleven points and essentially put the game out of reach. Tufts finished the game strong on the defensive end and held off Trinity to secure a 57-47 victory, ensuring that Tufts would host another game on Sunday. The team had little time to revel in Saturday's victory before taking the floor Sunday against second-seeded Amherst in front of a packed house at Cousens Gym, with the NESCAC title on the line. "It was amazing playing in front of our fans," senior forward Ali Rocchi said. "It's definitely one of the perks of hosting the NESCAC tournament. Our fans are always extremely supportive and fun to play in front of." The Jumbos had hosted the Lord Jeffs back on Jan. 17, a contest that saw the Jumbos earn a hard-fought 63-65 victory. "I think getting to play them on our home court earlier in the year and having that win under our belt definitely gave us confidence that we could beat them," junior point guard Kelsey Morehead said. "It was a big win for us, but that was the middle of the season and we knew Amherst would be strong now," Rocchi added. "We scouted them in the little time we had and made sure to pay attention to the different personnel and little details for today's game." On Sunday, Amherst jumped out to an early 5-0 lead, silencing the home crowd in the early going. Looking for an offensive spark, head coach Carla Berube decided to put North in the game earlier than usual, and the move paid quick dividends. North finished with 14 rebounds and 10 points, including a layup that capped an 8-3 run and knotted the game at eight. The teams then traded baskets before Tufts, sparked by a 3-pointer and pair of free throws from Kanner, rallied off nine straight points to pull ahead 19-10 and take control of the game. The Jumbos finished the half shooting a lowly 29 percent from the field, but relied on their energy and defensive intensity to hold on to a 29-22 advantage at intermission. "Honestly, you don't really feel fatigue in the game because there's so much adrenaline, you have the crowds behind you and you're just in the moment," said Morehead, who played all 40 minutes of Sunday's contest. The Lord Jeffs hung around for much of the second half, but never got over the hump, clawing within eight twice before the Jumbos pulled ahead by double- digits again. Kanner led the Jumbos with a game-high 21 points, while Morehead, North and senior tri-captain Liz Moynihan each pitched in with ten each. But as has been the story for most of the season, the Jumbos' defense stole the show. Tufts held Amherst to 29 percent shooting from the field and outrebounded the visitors by four. Sunday's contest was retribution for Tufts' failures in its previous two conference final showdowns against Amherst in 2012 and 2008. With the NESCAC title under their belts, the Jumbos will now turn their attention to the NCAA tournament. Expectations are high. "We're still soaking in today's win, but we know what's ahead," Rocchi said. "I think it's exciting to have an automatic NCAA berth. At this point, we have a day off but we're right back at it on Tuesday with practice. We have a very talented group of girls, and we're excited by the opportunities we've had and will continue to have this postseason."  


The Setonian
Basketball

Men's Basketball | Overtime battle spells end for Jumbos

The seventh seed visiting men's basketball team played a near-perfect 40 minutes of regulation against second seed Williams at Chandler Gym in the NESCAC quarterfinals matchup on Saturday. The Jumbos, however, could not be perfect for all 45 minutes. 


The Setonian
Basketball

Women's Basketball | Jumbos through to NESCAC semifinals

As junior guard Hannah Foley went to the line to shoot two free throws, all memory of last year's quarterfinal loss to Bowdoin was erased. The women's basketball team routed Wesleyan 74-46 this past weekend, keeping their bid for their first ever NESCAC Championship alive.


The Setonian
Basketball

Men's Basketball | Haladyna takes home Player of the Week honors

 Following game-winning performances against Colby and Bowdoin last weekend that saw Tufts into the NESCAC playoffs, sophomore Stephen Haladyna was rewarded with NESCAC Player of the Week honors on Feb. 17. The sophomore was the first Jumbo to be recognized on the men's team this season, and the first to win the award since teammate Ben Ferris on Jan. 16, 2012.