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Wednesday, February 28, 2007

WEITZEN, PIERCE EARN NESCAC MEN'S BASKETBALL HONORS

NESCAC Second Team selection Jake Weitzen
 
2007 NESCAC Rookie of the Year Jon Pierce
 

MEDFORD -- Tufts University men's basketball leading scorers Jon Pierce (Belmont, MA/Phillips Exeter) and Jake Weitzen (New York, NY/Bronx HS of Science) have been recognized by the New England Small College Athletic Conference (NESCAC) today. Weitzen was named to the All-Conference Second Team and Pierce is the 2007 NESCAC Rookie of the Year.

Weitzen continued proved himself as one of the top all-around talents in the league, ranking among the top 15 in seven statistical categories. In 25 starts, he scored 14.6 points per game and averaged 7.2 rebounds per game. Those numbers are 11th and fifth, respectively, in the league. He is also ranked among NESCAC's best with a .516 field goal percentage, scoring on 143 of 277 shots during the course of the season, and in assists with 2.96 per game. His three-point shooting (36/86, .419) and rebounding at both ends is also among the NESCAC statistical leaders. The junior forward scored the 1,000th point of his career this season at Wesleyan on January 27. He was named NESCAC Player of the Week on December 4, the only Tufts player to get the award this season.

Pierce was a welcomed addition to the Tufts line-up after transferring from Drew University. Because he did not play for the Rangers last season, he was eligible for the conference rookie honor as a sophomore. He burst upon the scene with 26 points in his first game for the Jumbos against Lasell on November 17, and went on to lead the team with 16.5 points per game. That's currently third in the conference. Like Weitzen, Pierce is all over the place within the NESCAC statistics. His .517 field goal percentage (140/271), 5.3 rebounds per game, .735 free throw percentage (83/113) and 1.0 blocked shots per game are some of the top numbers in the league. He averaged 18.6 points in conference games, including 26 in wins against Trinity and Bowdoin.

The two NESCAC honors represent the best haul for the Jumbos since 2003. Pierce is the third Jumbo to win Rookie of the Year honors this decade, but the first since 2002.

The Jumbos had an up-and-down season, finishing 15-10 with wins over NCAA Tournament qualifiers Trinity, Williams and Keene State. However, the Jumbos also lost to Williams in the first round of the NESCAC Tournament.

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