JUMBOS BEAT COLBY FOR ECAC NEW ENGLAND CHAMPIONSHIP

MEN'S COLLEGE BASKETBALL FINAL SCORE
ECAC New England Division 3 Championship Game
Tufts 74    Colby 73

at Waterville, Me.
Sunday, March 5, 2000

Tufts (21-6) 38 26 10 = 74
Colby (19-7) 29 35 9 = 73

Tufts: Bobby Mpuku 3-10, 0-0, 9; Lee Neugebauer 0-0, 0-0, 0; Dan Flaherty 4-7, 1-2, 9; Paul Smith 4-4, 0-0, 11; Tom Bernier 6-9, 1-1, 13; Fred Pedroletti 2-7, 1-2, 5; Mike Andrews 6-12, 0-0, 14; Brian Shapiro 3-9, 2-3, 10; Bobby MacMannis 1-1, 1-2, 3; Totals 29-59, 6-10, 74.

Three-Pointers (10-19): Smith 3-3, Mpuku 3-6, Andrews 2-3, Shapiro 2-6, Flaherty 0-1.
Rebounds (36): Flaherty 8, Pedroletti 6.
Assists (15): Mpuku 5, Smith 4.

Colby: David Forsyth 2-3, 0-0, 6; Brian Hansen 2-6, 0-0, 6; Joe Gutierrez 1-2, 0-0, 3; Dan Petroskey 0-0, 0-0, 0; Ken Allen 5-17, 7-7, 19; Pat Gallagher 7-15, 4-4, 18; Jake Civiello 0-1, 0-0, 0; Sam Clark 7-10, 4-8, 19; Dimitri Michaud 0-0, 2-2, 2; Totals 24-54, 17-21, 73.

Three-Pointers (8-17): Forsyth 2-3, Hansen 2-3, Allen 2-8, Clark 1-1, Gutierrez 1-2.
Rebounds (29): Clark 7, Hansen 5, Allen 5.
Assists (16): Hansen 4, Clark 4.

WATERVILLE, Me. -- The Tufts University Jumbos are the 2000 ECAC New England Division 3 Men's Basketball Champions after defeating the Colby College White Mules, 74-73 in overtime, in the title game on Sunday afternoon. It is the program's first ECAC Championship since 1982.

The game was tied at 64-64 heading into overtime following two free throws by Colby guard Ken Allen with 28.7 seconds remaining in regulation. Both teams missed potential game-winning shots near the end of the second half. The host White Mules took a five-point lead, 71-66, with 2:30 remaining in overtime on a three-pointer by Sam Clark. A lay-in by Jumbo junior Tom Bernier (West Roxbury, MA) closed the gap to 71-68, then tournament MVP Mike Andrews (East Falmouth, MA) stole the ball and layed it in to cut the margin to 71-70 at 1:45.

Nearing the final minute, Andrews stole the ball again to set up a Bernier basket that gave the Jumbos six straight points and a 72-71 lead. Colby answered with two free throws from Clark to regain the lead, 73-72, with 42.7 seconds left. Tufts ran down the shot clock and went inside to junior co-captain Dan Flaherty (Fairfield, CT), who scored with 17.8 seconds remaining to put Tufts up 74-73. Colby then missed two shots before time expired to give Tufts the victory.

The Jumbos shot 56 percent from the floor (14-25) in the first half, including six of eight from three-point land, on their way to a 38-29 lead at the break. Colby answered by out-playing the Jumbos in the second half, hitting 13 of 23 shots (56.5 percent) to ensure that the Championship would be decided in OT.

It was a fitting end to a thrilling season for the Jumbos, a team that made a habit of winning under pressure. The victory ran head coach Bob Sheldon's team's overtime record to a perfect 4-0 this winter. It also marked the eighth game this season which the Jumbos won by three or fewer points. Tufts, which finished 21-6 for the most wins in the 12 years Sheldon has coached the program, finished the season with a seven-game winning streak. Other superlatives are that it was the first time a Sheldon-coached Jumbo team has won in Waterville and it was the program's first road victory ever in the ECAC Playoffs after five losses.

Tufts, which entered the tournament as the fourth seed and beat fifth seed Worcester State and eighth seed Western Connecticut at home to reach the finals, got 14 points from Andrews and a clutch 13 from defensive tough guy Bernier. Allen and Clark had 19 apiece to lead Colby, the second seed who advanced past Wheaton and UMass-Dartmouth to host the final. Tufts, who was outscored 17-6 at the foul line, hit 10 of 19 three-pointers in the game.

The Championship also serves as a great springboard to next season, when the Jumbos will welcome back everyone except Andrews and Paul Smith (Decatur, GA).

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