Tufts 60            Smith 57

At Medford
Saturday, January 11, 2003

Game Statistics

 MEDFORD The Tufts Jumbos continued to take care of business down the stretch in close games with a 60-57 victory over a much-improved Smith College team in New England women's basketball action on Saturday afternoon. The victory was the sixth in a row for Tufts since they lost their season opener. That is the program's longest winning streak since 1998.

Freshman Jessica Powers (Massapequa, NY) led the Jumbos with 18 points and three steals, while sophomore Allison Love (Duxbury, MA) contributed 14 points. Junior Dasen Woitkowski (Pittsfield, MA) had 13 points and eight rebounds for the visitors, who also received a 12-point, 7-rebound, 3-block effort from freshman Shelley Harrison (Reston, VA).

Tufts closed the first half with a 12-2 run to lead 30-23 at the break. They then scored the first four points of the second half to hold the largest lead of the game, 11 points, at 34-23 on a jumper by Powers at 17:47. The momentum changed abruptly at that point, with the visiting Pioneers scoring the next 10 points to pull within one, 34-33, after two free throws by Woitkowski at 12:41. Smith had six of those 10 points at the free throw line, four by Woitkowski.

The Jumbos maintained a slim advantage over the next three-plus minutes, but Smith earned a 43-43 tie on a layup by freshman Lisa DiTuro (Dayton, NJ) at 9:09. The Pioneers took their first lead of the second half, 48-45, on a Woitkowski three-pointer at 5:58. Tufts responded with three by Powers on its next possession to tie it, then she had a steal and layup to give the Jumbos a 50-48 lead at 5:20. They would not trail again, but the game wasn't over until the final seconds.

Smith trailed by three points entering the final minute, and had the ball with the same deficit upon calling a time out with 27 seconds to play. A Smith turnover and the steal by Tufts junior Maritsa Christoudias (Saddle River, NJ) with five seconds to play preserved the win.

Among the six straight wins by Tufts, it was their third straight that they pulled out in a close encounter. The Jumbos are now 6-1 under first-year head coach Carla Berube. Junior forward Kate Gluckman (Morrisville, VT) finished with 12 points and six boards. The win was Tufts' fourth straight over Smith in the series.

Smith out-scored Tufts, 34-30, in the second half, but lost their second straight and fell to .500 (5-5) overall. Junior Amanda Wenczel (Hamilton, NJ) had 13 points and three assists.