JUMBOS CLINCH HOME COURT PLAYOFF GAME WITH WIN AT WILLIAMS
COLLEGE WOMEN'S BASKETBALL FINAL SCORE
Tufts 59 Williams 37
At Williamstown, MA
Saturday, February 14, 2004
WILLIAMSTOWN -- The Tufts University Women's Basketball team took another big step in its rebuilding process by clinching a home-court berth into the upcoming NESCAC playoffs with a stunningly sound 59-37 victory at Williams College on Saturday afternoon. Sophomore guard Jessica Powers (Massapequa, NY) led the charge with 16 points, while the defense held the Ephs to just 23.8 percent (15/63) shooting.
Tufts (17-5, 7-2 NESCAC) now awaits their tournament placement. Tied for second with Bates and Wesleyan, the Jumbos could end up second, third or fourth. Williams (18-6, 5-4) finished fifth in NESCAC and will play on the road in the first round.
The Jumbos were able to open up a lead against Williams late in the first half. A three-pointer by senior tri-captain Maritsa Christoudias (Saddle River, NJ) gave Tufts a 21-13 lead at 4:26. Williams was able to cut the margin to five points at halftime, 23-18, thanks to a three-point play by Maggie Miller with 27 seconds left on the clock.
Tufts blew open its lead by scoring 17 of the first 19 points in the second half to lead 40-20 on a three-pointer by Powers at 13:45. Powers and fellow guard Julia Verplank (Zeeland, MI) each had six points during the run, with four of Verplank's coming at the free throw line. Williams would not get closer than 15 points the rest of the way.
Verplank added 12 points to the Tufts attack, including an 8 for 8 performance at the line. Tufts hit on eight three-pointers, including four by Powers and a 3 for 3 day by Christoudias (11 points).
Miller scored more than half of Williams' points with a game-high 19. Meghan Stetson pulled down eight rebounds.
Incomplete Tufts record can not verify this fact, but it is believed to be the first Tufts win in Williamstown since the middle 1980s.