Tuesday, December 7, 2004
Written by Andrew Silver
WOMEN'S BASKETBALL OFF TO BEST START IN 13 YEARS
– Out of the gate with a 6-0 start, the Tufts University women's basketball
team is off to its best start since the 1991-92 season, where the team won seven
straight before picking up a loss. After winning their first two games of the
season to capture the Tufts Invitational title at home, the Jumbos have put
together four consecutive road wins to land themselves unbeaten through their
first six contests.
team's most recent victory was its closest game thus far, as they went on the
road Monday night and downed Wheaton (1-6) by a score of 67-60.
Tufts was led, as it has been all season, by junior guard Jessica
Powers (Massapequa, NY/Massapequa), whose 25 points in the win was her
is averaging 16.5 points per game to lead the Jumbos in that category, with
sophomore Valeria Krah (Mountain Lakes, NJ/Mountain Lakes) right behind also
averaging doubles figures at 14.3 points per game. Krah has averaged 18.7 points
per game in the team's last three games, including a team-leading and
career-high 19 in the team's November 30 win at Babson (70-55).
has also been a force defensively, averaging three steals per game, with Powers
and junior guard Julia Verplank (Zeeland,
MI/Zeeland) each averaging better than two thefts per game. Verplank, the
team's leading distributor with 3.5 assists per game, is also pacing the Jumbos
on the boards with six rebounds per game and is fourth on the team in scoring
with 8.8 points per game. Senior co-captain Allison
Love (Duxbury, MA/Duxbury), who also averages two steals per game, is second
on the team on the boards with 5.5 rebounds per game and scores 9.8 points per
game, third best for Tufts.
Jumbos has recieved an added boost from their newcomers this season. Sophomore
transfer Laura Jasinski (Leverett, MA/Amherst), who played at Wellesley
last year, averages 5.7 points and 5.2 rebounds per contest, including a
team-leading 12 points in the team's 82-25 rout of Johnson & Wales on
November 23, where she also grabbed five rebounds. Freshman forward/center Khalilah
Ummah (Litchfield, ME/Waynflete
School) also scored 12 that night and has been a welcome addition this
winter. First-years Ali Landes (Pacific
Palisades, CA/Windward School), Jenna
Gomez (Norfolk, MA/Noble & Greenough), and Julie
Mulinare (Atlanta, GA/Paideia) have all also seen action this season.
in her third season, Tufts coach Carla Berube has a 41-13 career record with the
Jumbos through this season. In her first two seasons, the team's season ended
with NESCAC Quarterfinal losses. Last year, it was an upset that ousted the
Jumbos, as Williams downed Tufts 73-52 at Counsens Gymnasium just one week after
Tufts visited Williamstown, MA, and won 59-37. While the team's unblemished
record is a strong start, Berube and the Jumbos certainly are focused on a
strong regular season followed by post-season success.
far this season, Tufts is outscoring opponents by a score of 77.5-47.0 this
season, a margin of 30.5 points per game. The 1991-92 team had two work
considerably harder, outscoring opponents by less than 20 points per game
(78.3-59.4), and the team's wins including tight contests against NESCAC
opponents Colby and Bowdoin, and Brandeis. The 1991-92 Jumbos, after winning its
first seven, finished the year only 15-6 when its season ended with an abrupt
77-44 loss to Babson in the ECAC Quarterfinals. The women's basketball team's
best start in history came the season before, when the 1990-91 Jumbos started
8-0 on its way to a 17-7 season that also ended with an ECAC Quarterfinal loss.
the Jumbos can win Thursday night at Suffolk, the team will match the 1991-92
mark and will be guaranteed to be undefeated heading into January. To match the
1990-91 start, the Jumbos will have to go through Southern Maine, currently
ranked No. 3 in the nation.
it starts NESCAC competition, Tufts will visit Bowdoin, last year's national
runner-up, on January 15. The Polar Bears are currently ranked No. 4 in the