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The Tufts Daily
Where you read it first | Tuesday, September 26, 2023



Extra Innings: 2023 World Baseball Classic preview

It’s been six years since we last had a World Baseball Classic, but it’s finally back. The MLB’s attempt to make the baseball equivalent of the World Cup will fall well short of the most popular sporting event in the world in terms of viewership, but I still believe the WBC is an amazing showcase of just how far a humble game that began in the United States has grown. And, as I’ve said before, the MLB should be doing everything it can to promote it. 


Women’s basketball attacks NESCAC play with offensive dominance led by Maggie Russell’s 40-point performance

Junior forward Maggie Russell cemented herself as one of the all-time greats of Tufts women’s basketball, scoring 40 points in the team’s 75–61 victory over Bowdoin in the first round of NESCAC tournament play. The Jumbos faced off against the Polar Bears in Cousens Gymnasium for their second matchup of the year, and after a tight first half, the Tufts offense stepped on the gas pedal and never let up. Russell’s 40-piece topped her previous career high of 33 points, which she set against Bates earlier this season, and she now stands in second place in school history for most points in a single game, a record set by Ellie Strobel’s 44 points in 1994.


The Final Whistle: Napoli and Real Madrid draw first blood

It was the perfect start. A slight hesitation allowed Mohamed Salah to pounce on Thibaut Courtois’ poorly controlled attempted clearance, burying the ball beyond the Belgian goalkeeper. 2–0 Liverpool. White shirts stood in disbelief as Anfield erupted in euphoria. Perhaps the catalyst for a much-needed resurrection for what has been a poor season for the Reds. Darwin Núñez’s first, a cheeky flick, had given Liverpool an early lead, and for a moment it seemed like Anfield’s magic was at work again. But if there’s anything stronger than Liverpool’s historic record at home it is Real Madrid’s ability to recover from a deficit.


Keeping up with the 617: Diamond in the rough

While the rest of Red Sox nation struggles to grapple with a tumultuous offseason that left more questions than answers, a few prospects within the system are flying under the radar. Specifically, starting pitcher Brayan Bello isn’t garnering enough attention, considering his second-half breakthrough in 2022. While Bello’s debut displayed signs of rookie growing pains, he quickly recovered and pitched a formidable second half. With throwing tools that mirror Red Sox great Pedro Martinez, Bello has an All-Star selection ceiling coming into 2023.


Men’s hockey clinches playoff spot with four-game winning streak 

The Tufts men’s ice hockey team had a stellar weekend, capping off the regular season with two wins at home. It extended its win streak to four games in a row heading into postseason play. Entering the Friday matchup, the Jumbos’ record sat at 8–13–1 overall and they held a conference record of 5–10–1. With a win in the first game, Tufts clinched a playoff spot.


Men’s basketball upsets Middlebury in NESCAC playoffs with double-overtime win

In what might be the most exciting game of the season so far, Tufts traveled to nationally ranked Middlebury College for the second time with one thing on its mind: revenge. With the 72–56 January loss to the Panthers still fresh in their minds, the Jumbos came out and played one of their best games of the season, getting their revenge on the Panthers with a gritty 89–80 double-overtime win in the first round of the NESCAC playoffs.


Sports and Society: Buying championships

Sports are about money. Nobody understands that better than owners, whose money is the principal currency of competitiveness. Two of them, Golden State Warriors owner Joe Lacob and Boston Red Sox owner John Henry, recently gave interviews to The Athletic about funding their respective enterprises, the former approaching dynastic status and the second in panic mode. Let’s see what they had to say.


Men’s basketball splits with Wesleyan and Trinity, sets up playoff date with Middlebury

Coming off of a three-game win streak that culminated with a dominant 37-point victory over Colby-Sawyer, Tufts entered the weekend with confidence but awareness of the challenges ahead. A win in Friday’s away game at Wesleyan would’ve guaranteed the Jumbos a home game in the first round of the NESCAC playoffs and likely a more favorable matchup — if such a thing exists in the tough, hard-fought conference. Meanwhile, Saturday’s matchup against Trinity held the potential to serve as a momentum builder going into the postseason as well as an opportunity to secure the best seed possible in the NESCAC tournament. 


Women’s swimming sets records en route to victory at 2023 NESCAC Championship Meet

In 2022, Tufts won their first-ever NESCAC Women’s Swimming and Diving title, which ended Williams’ streak of seven consecutive titles. Tufts capped off their best-ever season in 2021–22 by winning their first-ever NCAA titles in women’s swimming — won by Claire Brennan taking first in the 200-yard freestyle and by a team of Mary Hufziger (LA’22), Abby Claus (EG’22) and current seniors Brennan and Katelin Isakoff in the 800-yard freestyle relay. However, a question remained: Was 2021–22 a small bump in the road for Williams, or was Tufts an emerging superpower that toppled a NESCAC dynasty?


Women’s squash comes out of NESCAC finals with runner-up title

Entering the competition seeded No. 2, Tufts women’s squash emerged from the NESCAC Championship this past weekend as the runners-up to Trinity College in their second straight final. After a hard-fought battle, the No. 1 seed and now 16th consecutive league title holders, the Bantams, were able to secure the win with a 9–0 performance over the Jumbos. 


Extra Innings: Thoughts on the MLB’s 2023 rule changes

Given that I was disappointed when a new collective bargaining agreement in 2022 forced the National League to adopt the designated hitter, it shouldn’t come as a surprise that I’m not the biggest fan of the rule changes that the MLB is introducing for 2023. And yet, like the universal DH, I understand why the league is making them. 


Undefeated at home, women’s basketball enters the NESCAC as the No. 1 seed

Cousens Gym witnessed some thrilling basketball this weekend as Tufts extended its winning streak to six with triumphs over NESCAC opponents Wesleyan and Trinity. First, the Jumbos took on the Wesleyan Cardinals in what turned out to be a comfortable victory with several standout performances. Sophomore guard Sofia Gonzalez led the scoring with 17 points while junior forward Maggie Russell racked up 14 points, 10 rebounds and a career-high six assists. Sophomore forward Caitlyn O’Boyle registered 14 points and nine rebounds. 


The Final Whistle: A renaissance in Naples

While most will remember Diego Maradona in the iconic sky blue and white of Argentina, some might recall his time in Italy, where the Argentine magician wore a darker shade of blue. A symbol of hope for a suffering city, Maradona brought life to Naples, taking Napoli from near relegation to its first-ever Scudetto in 1987 and adding another in 1990. In the post-Maradona era, however, Italian football slipped back into its usual three-horse race between Juventus and the two great Milan clubs. Since 2002, only these three sides have shared the glory of Italian football, a period which included eight consecutive titles for Juventus. This season, however, the familiar script of Italian football has taken an unexpected twist with the renaissance of Napoli.


Women’s basketball freezes opponents, increases win streak to 4

Despite record-low temperatures outside, Tufts women’s basketball stayed hot on the courts in Maine, securing two road victories over conference opponents Colby and Bowdoin. The Jumbos returned from the trip on a four-game winning streak, building crucial momentum as the end of regular season approaches and they gear up for NESCAC tournament play.


The Wraparound: Rebrand needed for NHL All-Star Game

If you didn’t tune into the 2023 NHL All-Star Weekend, hosted Friday and Saturday in Sunrise, Fla., you missed seeing Maple Leafs forward Mitch Marner dress up as Miami Vice’s Sonny Crockett on a breakaway challenge, the hard-nosed Tkachuk brothers perform a beach-themed on-ice skit and the “Great 8” Alex Ovechkin’s 4-year-old son, Sergei, offer a glimpse into his hockey future.