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Monday, December 4, 2006

WEITZEN NAMED NESCAC MEN'S BASKETBALL PLAYER OF THE WEEK

MEDFORD -- The Tufts University men's basketball team was off to a 50-50 start entering last week with a 2-2 record. The Jumbos built some momentum, posting victories over Springfield College and MIT. Junior forward Jake Weitzen (New York, NY/Bronx HS of Science) was the leader of the team's surge statistically, and today he was named the New England Small College Athletic Conference's (NESCAC) Player of the Week.

Weitzen averaged 18 points per game for the week with stellar shooting. He hit on 13 of 20 field goal attempts (65 percent), four of six three-pointers (66.7 %) and all six of his free throws during the week. The 6'3", 265-pounder also grabbed seven rebounds per game and handed out four assists.

A junior who is poised to score his 1,000th career point this season, Weitzen did his best work of the week down the stretch in the second half at MIT. The Jumbos trailed 57-47 with nine minutes left in the game, but Weitzen's 10 points during the remainder of the half helped them tie the score at 63-63 to send the game to overtime. His three-pointer with 2:58 remaining knotted the score at 61-61. He then assisted on a lay-up by teammate Brian Kumf (Milford, MA/Milford) with 54 seconds left in what would be the final basket of the second half.

Weitzen finished the MIT game with 21 points, 10 rebounds and three assists. He hit seven of 14 shots (two threes) and was a perfect five for five from the line.

Against Springfield on Tuesday night, Weitzen contributed to a 77-61 romp with 15 points and four rebounds in 16 minutes played. He did not miss a shot in six attempts, including two three-pointers.

For the season, Weitzen is averaging 16 points and 6.7 rebounds per game. Last week broke a mild shooting slump, and he currently has a .486 field goal percentage (35/72) that includes 11 for 22 on threes. He's missed only three of 18 free throws for a .833 mark. His 20 assists are third on the team.

Weitzen earns his first NESCAC Player of the Week award for the Jumbos, who advanced to the NCAA "Sweet Sixteen" last season. He was a major contributor to that squad, averaging 15 points and 5.4 rebounds while hitting .474 of his three-point attempts (46/97).

Tufts is 4-2 heading into games against Keene State (Dec. 6), Clark (Dec. 9) and Plymouth State (Dec. 12) to finish the first semester.

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