Tufts 66            Bates 59

At Medford
Saturday, January 25, 2003

Game Statistics

MEDFORD Junior Erin Buckley (East Sandwich, MA) scored a game-high 20 points with 14 rebounds and four blocks to lead the Tufts women's basketball team to its biggest win in years, 66-59, against Bates College in NESCAC action at Cousens Gym on Saturday afternoon.

Freshmen got the job done down the stretch for Tufts. With the game tied at 59-59 entering the final minute, Tufts freshman Jessica Powers (Massapequa, NY) nailed a huge three-pointer to put the Jumbos up 62-59 with 58 seconds left. Classmate Julia Verplank (Zeeland, MI) then stole the ball and converted a lay-up with 45 seconds on the clock for a 64-59 Tufts advantage. Another steal by Verplank and her two free throws with 25 seconds to play sealed the victory.

The Jumbos improved to 12-2 overall (2-1 NESCAC) with their first victory over Bates since 1995. The Bobcats had won seven straight in the series, including last year's meeting by 40 points. Bates, which was led by 17 points, 10 rebounds, three blocks and five steals from sophomore Olivia Zurek (Arlington, MA), dropped to 9-5 overall and 1-2 in the league.

Buckley had 12 points and nine rebounds in the first half as the Jumbos surged to a 35-27 lead at the break. Zurek was her equal for Bates, netting 13 points and pulling down seven boards. Tufts was able to maintain a slim advantage for most of the second half, and led by eight (59-51) after a lay-up by Buckley with 4:51 remaining.

The Bobcats then scored the next eight points to tie the game at 59-59 on a lay-up by sophomore Heather Taylor (Nobleboro, ME) at 1:50. Senior Lisa Golobski (Methuen, MA) had four points during the run. It was the first tie in the game since 15:02 of the first half when the score was 4-4 after a slow start by both teams. Tufts had led from that point until Taylor's basket. Powers and Verplank got the lead back for good for the Jumbos, who have won 12 of their last 13 games under first-year Head Coach Carla Berube.

Powers added 17 points, five rebounds and five assists to the Tufts effort, while Verplank finished with 10 points and seven rebounds. Golobski had 10 points and seven rebounds for the Bobcats. Tufts earned a 50-38 margin in rebounds, and won despite turning the ball over 28 times. They held Bates to 33.8 percent shooting (25/74), including a 3 for 21 day by Bobcat star Carla Flaherty (Gorham, ME).