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Fitchburg State 64 Tufts 59

At Medford
Saturday, January 6, 2007

Game Statistics

MEDFORD � The visiting Fitchburg State College women's basketball team pulled out a close 64-59 victory over Tufts University in an exciting non-conference game at Cousens Gymnasium on Saturday afternoon. The Falcons have now won nine straight since a season-opening loss. The Jumbos lost their third in a row.

Fitchburg opened up an 11-point halftime lead (36-25), but Tufts roared back in the opening minutes of the second half before the Falcons came together down the stretch to take the win. Senior co-captain D'yana Delpero (Peabody, MA) had 17 points to lead the Falcons in scoring, while classmate and fellow co-captain Jen Fontaine (Dracut, MA) was all over the stat sheet with nine points, 10 rebounds, six assists and five steals.

Jumbo senior Valerie Krah (Mountain Lakes, NJ) scored 15 of her team-high 17 points in the second half to help Tufts get back into the game. Classmate Taryn Miller-Stevens (Avon, CT) was active with 11 points, eight rebounds, seven assists and three steals.

The Falcons broke open a close game in the first half with a 14-3 run that gave them a 32-22 lead following Fontaine's lay-up with 3:30 on the clock. Six different Falcons contributed to the stretch. Sophomore Steph Payette (Townsend, MA) scored Fitchburg's final three baskets of the half to help give the visitors their 11-point margin at halftime.

The lead was gone after six minutes of play in the second half by virtue of a 14-4 Jumbo spurt. Krah led the way with eight points (two three-pointers), and when senior co-captain Libby Park (Massena, NY) scored on a lay-up at the 14:04 mark, Tufts led 41-40.

The teams would go back-and-forth for the next five minutes, but a quick 8-0 run would give Fitchburg the lead for good. Delpero's lay-up at 6:33 had the Falcons ahead 55-48. Krah stayed hot and landed two three-point bombs that pulled Tufts within two twice, 55-53 at 5:06 and 58-56 at 3:41. Delpero nailed a huge three of her own at 2:34 to give Fitchburg a 61-56 edge. A Jumbo three-pointer by Miller-Stevens at 1:11 put score at 61-58 Falcons heading into an exciting final minute.

The teams traded free throws to make it 62-59 with 52 seconds to play. After turnovers by both teams, Tufts would get a good opportunity to tie the score. However, Gomez's three-point attempt with eight seconds on the clock was just short. Fontaine grabbed the rebound, calmly hit two free throws at the other end, and the Falcons went home with a clutch victory.

The winners showed good ball movement, collecting 20 assists on 26 baskets. Junior Merry Donovan (Milton, MA) added five to go with 10 points and six rebounds.

Gomez added eight points and four rebounds for the Jumbos, who also got six points and seven rebounds off the bench from junior Khalilah Ummah (Litchfield, ME).