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NESCAC Tournament Semi-final
Tufts 52    Bates 39

At Brunswick, ME
Saturday, February 24, 2007

Game Statistics
Jenna Gomez scored 12 of her 14 points in the first half when Tufts built a 29-9 lead

BRUNSWICK, Me. -- The Tufts University women's basketball team will play in its first NESCAC championship game after earning a 52-39 victory over Bates College in the semi-final round of the conference tournament hosted by Bowdoin College on Saturday afternoon. The #2 seed Jumbos will play top seed Bowdoin, a 66-46 winner over Williams in the other semi-final, for the title on Sunday at 1:00.

Against third-seed Bates, Tufts (18-7) built a remarkable 29-9 halftime lead and then held off a comeback attempt by the Bobcats (15-10) in the second half.

The Jumbos led 9-5 at the 12-minute mark of the first half, then out-scored the Bobcats 20-4 over the remainder of the period. Junior guard Jenna Gomez (Norfolk, MA) had 12 points at the break, while Bates was shooting just 17.4 percent (4/23). From 11:24 to 1:04 of the first half, the Bobcats made only one of 13 shots and turned the ball over six times. Sophomore Kim Moynihan (West Hartford, CT) added six points and classmate Stacy Filocco (Olney, MD) had five to help Tufts build its big lead.

However, Bates scored the first nine points of the second half while Tufts went cold. The Bobcats were within 11 at 29-18 following a lay-up by Val Beckwith (Woburn, MA) at 15:21. The Jumbos missed their first seven shots of the second half and turned it over three times. They broke the Bates run with a free throw by senior Laura Jasinski (Leverett, MA) at 14:08 for their first points of the half.

Bates cut the margin to 10 points at 34-24 on a Lauren Yanofsky (Belmont, MA) lay-up at 9:27, but Tufts was able to keep its distance. A 10-2 spurt capped by a big three-pointer from Moynihan had the Tufts lead at 18 points, 44-26, with 6:23 to play in regulation. Junior Khalilah Ummah (Litchfield, ME) added two free throws to the Jumbo run and the margin was back at 20, 46-26, at 5:53.

The Bobcats kept fighting and managed to narrow the margin to nine points (48-39) with a 13-2 stretch that ended with a three-pointer by senior captain Katie Franklin (New Preston, CT) at 2:19 and a jumper by Yanofsky at 1:26. However, Tufts senior Taryn Miller-Stevens (Avon, CT) went 4 for 4 at the free throw line in the final 45 seconds to seal the victory.

The Jumbos were led by 14 points and eight rebounds from Gomez. Miller-Stevens finished with eight points, eight rebounds and five assists. Moynihan recorded nine points and nine rebounds. Tufts was 16 for 19 from the line in the game and scored12 of their 23-second half points there. With their 18th win of the season, the Jumbos matched the second-best total in their 35-year history.

Bates was paced by 14 points and nine rebounds by junior guard Sarah Barton (Portsmouth, NH). Yanofsky had 12 points and Beckwith added six points with seven rebounds, two steals and two assists. The 39 points scored was the lowest total of the season for the Bobcats.