BASKETBALL FINAL SCORE
Tufts 62 Amherst 41
Saturday, February 11, 2006
MEDFORD – The Tufts University women's basketball team built a 37-11 halftime lead and sailed to a 62-41 NESCAC victory against Amherst College on Saturday afternoon inside Cousens Gymnasium.
With the victory, the Jumbos (10-12, 3-6 NESCSAC) earned a berth into the conference tournament that starts next Saturday. Tufts will be the seventh seed and play at second-seed Bowdoin. Amherst finishes the regular-season at 9-14 and 4-5 and will be the fifth seed in the tournament. They will play at arch-rival Williams next Saturday in the NESCAC tournament.
Tufts did not trail against Amherst. They led by 10 points, 16-6, nine minutes into the game on a jumper by senior tri-captain Julia Verplank (Zeeland, MI). She joined classmates Jessica Powers (Massapequa, NY) and Kat Miller (Bangor, ME) in a Seniors' Day celebration at Tufts prior to the game.
A lay-up by Amherst sophomore Shaina Pollack (Great Neck, NY) to make it 24-11 Jumbos at 5:02 would be the last basket the Jeffs would score in the half. Tufts scored the final 13 points of the period, including six apiece by sophomore Jenna Gomez (Norfolk, MA) and junior Libby Park (Massena, NY). Park had nine points at intermission to lead all scorers. Pollack had four to lead Amherst.
During the first half, Tufts had a 24-12 lead in rebounds, held Amherst to 19 percent shooting (4/21) and benefited from 16 Jeff turnovers. It didn't get any better early in the second half for Amherst. The Jumbo lead reached 30 points, 43-13, on a jumper by junior Laura Jasinski (Leverett, MA) at 16:50. The margin climbed as high as 37 points, 54-17, after a three-pointer by Jumbo junior Valerie Krah (Mountain Lakes, NJ) at 10:22.
Amherst would out-score Tufts 24-8 in the final 10 minutes to make the game appear closer than it was. In fact, the Jeffs scored 59 percent of their points in the game in the last 10 minutes. In contrast to the first half, Amherst ended up shooting 60 percent (12/20) in the second half. Senior co-captain Katie Latham (Wakefield, MA) had seven of her nine points during the closing stretch for the Jeffs. She would finish with six rebounds and six assists as well.
The game did not feature one player who scored in double figures. Park led the Jumbos with nine points, while sophomore Khaliah Ummah (Litchfield, MA) added eight. Jasinski grabbed a game-high seven rebounds to go with seven points. Junior guard Taryn Miller-Stevens (Avon, CT) had six points, five rebounds and three assists.
On the Amherst side, senior Julie Smith (Villanova, PA) also scored nine points. Sophomore Stefanie Reiff (Hinsdale, IL) added seven points. The Jeffs turned the ball over 27 times in the game.