|Sarah Barton '08 sparked a late surge to close the gap against Tufts.|
MEDFORD, Mass. -- The No. 17 nationally ranked Tufts University women's basketball team established a big early lead against Bates College and held off the Bobcats to score a 66-57 victory in a non-conference game between the two NESCAC schools on Saturday afternoon at Cousens Gym. First-year point guard Colleen Hart scored 18 points to lead Tufts, which improved to 12-0 overall.
Tufts scored the first 10 points of the game and led 28-8 at the eight-minute mark. Hart had seven points early as the Jumbos looked like they might run away with it. However, the hosts went cold quickly and would not score again in the half. Bates, which had more air balls than field goals made in the early going, closed the half with an 11-0 run to narrow the margin to just nine points (28-19) at the break. A three-pointer by first-year Maggie DePoy (Chicago, Ill.) got it started at 7:36, and senior Matia Kostakis (Andover, Mass.) finished it with her second basket of the stretch in the final seconds.
Bates got within seven points, 40-33, on a three-pointer by senior Sarah Barton (Portsmouth, N.H.) five minutes into the second half. The Jumbos responded strongly with a 10-0 run that gave them a 50-33 advantage on a pair of free throws by junior Katie Tausanovitch at 12:17. Sophomore Vanessa Miller led the charge with five points, including a three-pointer.
Tufts pushed the lead to 18, 54-36, on a lay-up by sophomore Julia Baily at 8:50. The Bobcats battled back down the stretch, bringing the deficit to single-digits (56-47) with an 11-2 spurt that included seven points at the free throw line.
After a Tufts layup by junior Kim Moynihan put the hosts up by 11 (58-47), Bates made it a two-possession game behind Barton. She had a three-point play at 1:40 and a three-pointer with 40 seconds remaining to make the score 60-55 Tufts. Another Barton jumper had Bates within 62-57 with 27 seconds on the clock, but Hart, one of the best free throw shooters in the country, and Tausanovitch iced the win at the line.
Moynihan and Tausanovitch both scored 14 points to aid the Tufts attack, while senior co-captain Khalilah Ummah grabbed 14 rebounds to go with five points and four blocks. The Jumbos were 6 for 10 from three-point range, with Moynihan draining three.
Barton scored 13 of her team-high 15 points in the second half for Bates, which dropped to 8-4. Senior Meg Coffin (Westford, Mass.) added 11 points, nine rebounds and three blocks. Junior Val Beckwith (Woburn, Mass.) finished with 10 points and eight boards.
Tufts had a slight 45-41 edge in rebounds, and neither team shot the ball well with both percentages under 40.
-- Tufts University Sports Information