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NESCAC Tournament First Round
Tufts 71, Middlebury 60

At Medford, MA
Saturday, February 23, 2008

Game Statistics

Junior Kim Moynihan had 11 points and four assists to help the Jumbo cause

MEDFORD -- Senior co-captain Khalilah Ummah (Litchfield, ME) scored 22 points with seven rebounds, four assists and four blocks to lead #2 seed Tufts University to a 71-60 victory against #7 seed Middlebury College in the first round of the NESCAC women's basketball tournament on Saturday afternoon at Cousens Gym.

Tufts (22-2), ranked 15th nationally, moves on to the conference tournament semi-finals next Saturday against #3 seed Wesleyan. The Cardinals were a 68-49 winner over Williams in another first-round NESCAC game on Saturday. Host and top seed Amherst will play #4 seed Bowdoin in the other semi-final next Saturday.

The Jumbos never trailed in the game against the Panthers, but the visitors were persistent. Junior Emily Johnson (Lower Gwynedd, PA) shot the lights out, scoring a game-high 23 points for Middlebury. She knocked down 6 of 9 from three-point territory. Middlebury's season is over with a 13-12 record.

Tufts had an early 15-4 advantage, with seven of the points coming from junior Kim Moynihan (West Hartford, CT). The Panthers were able to narrow the Jumbo lead to six four times in the first half, including 24-18 after a three-pointer by Ashley Barron (Brockton, MA) at the 10-minute mark.

After a quick start offensively by both teams, they were less successful in the next 10 minutes of the first half. The Jumbos led 36-23 on a three-pointer by sophomore Vanessa Miller (Cincinatti, OH) with 2:56 to go until intermission. Johnson scored five points in the final two-and-a-half minutes to get the margin into single-digits, 36-28, by the half. She had 14 at the break, while Ummah had eight for the Jumbos.

Middlebury came out strong in the second half and tied the score at 38-38 when Johnson capped a 10-2 run with a three-pointer at 17:29. Ummah's lay-up at the other end gave the lead back to Tufts for good, but it was a tight ballgame until the Jumbos blew it open with a run. Leading 46-42 at 12:12, the Jumbos scored the next 17 points to go ahead 63-42 with 5:49 left in regulation. Seven points by first-year guard Colleen Hart (Needham, MA) spurred the stretch for the hosts.

The Panthers again showed some resilience by cutting the deficit to 11 points (67-56) with 90 seconds to go. However, the Jumbo lead was too big and the hosts advanced to the NESCAC semi-finals for the second straight year.

The Jumbos shot 60 percent in the second half (15/25) to finish at 53.6 for the game (30/56). Moynihan added 11 points and four assists to the winning effort, while Miller pitched in with a career-high 10 points. She hit on 4 of 5 shots, including two threes. Junior Katie Tausanovitch (Lyme, NH) finished with 10 rebounds.

Senior Lani Young (Concord, NH) was near a double-double for the Panthers with 12 points, nine rebounds and four steals. Senior Katie Fisher (Oakland, CA) also scored in double figures for Middlebury with 10 points. Middlebury shot 53.3 percent from long range (8/15) for the game.