SEASON ENDS IN LOSS TO BATES IN NESCAC FIRST ROUND
COLLEGE WOMEN'S BASKETBALL FINAL
NESCAC Tournament First Round
Bates 61 Tufts 37
At Lewiston, ME
Saturday, February 18, 2005
LEWISTON, ME -- Seeded seventh in the NESCAC Tournament and presented the challenging task of facing the #1 team in the nation, the Tufts University women's basketball team lost 61-37 at Bates College in the first round of the conference playoffs at Alumni Gymnasium on Saturday. The Jumbo season ends with a 14-10 record.
Senior Olivia Zurek (Arlington, MA) led Bates with a game-high 22 points and seven rebounds. Sophomore Meg Coffin scored 13 with five boards. The Bobcats (23-1) are ranked No. 1 in the D3hoops.com national poll and No. 2 in the USA Today/ESPN Top 25 Coaches' Poll. Due to a conference loss to Bowdoin College, their only loss, Bates is the #2 seed in the tournament.
Junior Jessica Powers (Massapequa, NY) and sophomore Valerie Krah (Mountain Lakes,
NJ) both scored 10 points for Tufts. Junior Julia Verplank (Zeeland, MI) pulled down a game-high nine boards.
Tufts shot just 27.5 percent (14/51) and turned the ball over 30 times.
Bates never trailed in the game. A three by Krah and a jumper by Jumbo co-captain Erin Connolly (Syosset, NY) to close the first half pulled Tufts within 25-18 at halftime and they were in the game. Tufts didn't score for the first six minutes of the second half and Bates was up 40-18. The Bobcats led by as many as 24 in the second half.
Bates will play No. 3 Williams next Saturday at Bowdoin in the semifinals next Saturday. The 14-10 finish is the third straight over .500 for Tufts.