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NCAA Div. III Tournament "Sweet 16"
Tufts 48, Mary Washington, 45

At Grantham, PA
Friday, March 14, 2008

Game Statistics

GRANTHAM, Pa. -- The Tufts University women's basketball team's NCAA Tournament run continued on Friday night when the Jumbos defeated the University of Mary Washington 48-45 in the "Sweet 16." Tufts, making its first-ever appearance in the NCAA Tournament, moves on to the "Elite Eight." They will play sectional site host Messiah College in the national quarterfinals on Saturday at 7:00. The winner of that game goes to the "Final Four."

The Jumbos (26-3) outlasted Mary Washington (28-3) in a close game that came down to the end. Sophomore guard Vanessa Miller (Cincinnati, OH) continued to show her skill in primetime, nailing a three-pointer with 1:31 left in regulation to give Tufts a 46-45 lead. After a missed free throw at the other end, Mary Washington got three offensive rebounds and missed three shots until Jumbo senior co-captain Khalilah Ummah (Litchfield, ME) blocked the ball off an Eagle and out of bounds.

Leading by one with the ball and 38 seconds left, Tufts turned it over to give UMW a final chance with 17 seconds on the clock. Tufts clamped down defensively and the Eagles could not find a shot, turning it over with a steal by Miller virtually sealing the win for Tufts. She connected on two free throws with one second left to cap the 48-45 win over Mary Washington, a "Final Four" team a year ago and the #5 squad in's last national poll of the season.

With NCAA top 20 marks defensively for scoring defense and field goal percentage defense, 18th ranked Tufts continued to get the job done on the defensive side of the ball. They held the Eagles to 29.6 percent shooting (16/54), including 5 for 21 (23.8 percent) in the first half. The 45 points scored was the lowest total of the season for the Eagles. Tufts was uncommonly out-rebounded 44-38, but UMW never seemed to get any rhythm offensively.

The Jumbos shot even worse against an equally strong defense, finishing at 28.8 percent (17/59). They won for the second straight NCAA game without a player scoring in double figures. Point guard Colleen Hart (Needham, MA), showing her poise as one of the best freshman court leaders in the country, led Tufts with eight points, six rebounds and six steals. Miller finished with seven points, four rebounds and three steals as the Tufts guard combo continued to be a big factor in their success. Ummah, with four games of 20 points or more in the last month, was shut down on 1 for 7 shooting with two points. Tufts got six points on two three-pointers by junior Kim Moynihan (West Hartford, CT).

Mary Washington's Liz Hickey (Virginia Beach, VA) was the game's highest scorer and rebounder with 14 and 9. She was supported by 12 points and seven rebounds from senior guard Lisa Tracy (Fredericksburg, VA). Junior Katy Larson (McGaheysville, VA) finished with nine points, five rebounds and four assists. The Eagles turned the ball over 24 times, compared to 19 by the Jumbos.

After an early 14-14 tie, Tufts spurted with five points capped by a three-pointer from junior Stacy Filocco (Olney, MD) to lead 19-14 at 3:47 until halftime. Four points by sophomore Casey Sullivan (Berlin, CT) down the stretch to halftime helped the Jumbos take a 25-19 advantage into the locker room.

Mary Washington used six straight points early in the second half to take a 33-31 advantage in the tightly contested game on a lay-up by Larson. Hart netted a three on Tufts' next possession to give the lead back to Tufts. A pair of free throws by Tracy put UMW ahead 37-36 at 9:52. Miller's lay-up at 4:45 put Tufts in the lead 40-39, but senior Leigh Kampman (Oakton, VA) answered with a lay-up for the Eagles. Another Kampman basket had UMW up 43-40 before Moynihan drained one of the biggest Jumbo shots of the game, a three, to tie it at 43-43 with 3:28 to play. Two free throws by Tracy put the Eagles in front 45-43 at 2:30, but Miller and the Jumbos would win out in the end.

Messiah defeated Rochester, 73-61, in the "Sweet 16" after the Tufts-Mary Washington game on Friday night.

NCAA Div. III Tournament Bracket