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Tufts 61    Middlebury 50

At Medford
Friday, February 2, 20078

Game Statistics
Valerie Krah is the new queen of three-pointers at Tufts after hitting her 127th against Middlebury

MEDFORD -- The Tufts University women's basketball team clinched a home berth in the upcoming NESCAC Tournament with a 61-50 victory over Middlebury College on Friday night at Cousens Gymnasium. Senior Valerie Krah (Mountain Lakes, NJ) scored 21 points for the Jumbos, breaking the team's career record for three-pointers in the process.

Tufts stormed to a 26-6 lead in the first half and withstood a Middlebury comeback attempt in the second half to record the win. The Jumbos improved their best-ever start in the conference to 6-0 and are now 14-6 overall. Middlebury lost its fourth straight and dropped to 10-10 overall and 2-4 in the league.

Krah hit a three-pointer at 9:31 of the first half to give the Jumbos a 22-6 lead. It was the 127th of her career, passing Carrie Hironaka (1995-99) in the Tufts record book. Krah's 21 points were a season-high. Junior Jenna Gomez (Norfolk, MA) added 14 points to the Jumbo attack, while senior co-captain Laura Jasinski (Leverett, MA) finished with eight points and 11 rebounds. Tufts had a big 54-39 advantage in rebounds, with senior co-captain Libby Park (Massena, NY) also grabbing 11.

Junior Lani Young (Concord, NH) had 12 points to lead the visitors. Classmate Katie Fisher (Oakland, CA) was the only other Panther in double figures with 10 points. Aylie Baker (Yarmouth, ME) had six points, seven rebounds and three blocks. Middlebury finished just 19 for 68 from the floor (27.9 percent) including 4 for 20 (20%) from three-point territory.

The Jumbos owned two 20-point leads in the first half. They sprinted to a 7-0 lead and then used a 19-4 stretch to go ahead 26-6 with 3:27 to play until halftime. They would lead 29-9 with 90 seconds until halftime and were up 31-15 at the break. Gomez had nine points at the half to lead Tufts. Middlebury sophomore Emily Johnson (Lower Gwynedd, PA) had five points.

Middlebury showed resiliency in the second half, coming out of the locker room with a 13-3 run that got them within six at 34-28 on a three-pointer by Johnson at 15:41. Five different Panthers contributed to the stretch. The Jumbos stopped the spurt with six straight points of their own to lead 40-28 at the 10-minute mark. Krah and Gomez had three points apiece.

Tufts pushed the margin to 16 points, 46-30, at 8:06 on a lay-up by Krah. However, the Panthers again hung tough and were within seven points, 51-44, with three minutes to go. Young had eight points during that 14-5 streak for the visitors. The Jumbos were able to keep Middlebury at bay with a five-point swing, and went on to the victory.

By virtue of its 6-0 record in NESCAC, Tufts has earned one of the four home-court berths into the conference tournament that starts on February 17. It marks just the second time in the seven-year history of the tournament that the Jumbos will host a first-round game.