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Tufts 61, Wellesley 40

At Wellesley, MA
Saturday, December 8, 2007

Game Statistics

Julia Baily continued to make good contributions off the bench with seven points and seven rebounds

WELLESLEY -- The Tufts women's basketball team, ranked 24th in the nation this week in the USA Today/ESPN poll, are off to the best start in program history this season at 9-0 following a 61-40 victory over Wellesley College on Saturday afternoon. The 9-0 record surpasses an 8-0 start in 1990-91 as the best for the 36-year old Tufts program.

Host Wellesley opened the game with back-to-back jumpers from Jessica Duff and Courtney Richter to take an early 4-0 lead. The Jumbos closed the gap with four points from Jenna Gomez (Norfolk, MA), including two free throws and a 15-footer. The Blue kept the pressure on when Duff and Katie Martore sank two more jumpers for an 8-4 edge. After a Tufts timeout, the Jumbos increased their defensive pressure and tallied four straight points off Wellesley turnovers. The Blue regrouped and battled to a 13-10 lead, but a 14-1 run, led by co-captains Gomez and Khaliliah Ummah (Litchfield, ME) gave the Jumbos a 24-14 edge with 4:50 remaining in the half.

Tufts stretched the lead to 28-16 before Wellesley went on a run of its own, narrowing the gap to 28-21 on a three-pointer from Courtney Pelley. The Jumbos answered with a five consecutive points from first-year point guard Colleen Hart (Needham, MA) to stretch the lead back to 33-23 with 1:00 left on the clock. Wellesley responded with three unanswered points, including a Richter free throw with no time remaining, cutting the lead to seven at halftime, 33-26.

Wellesley opened the second half with four points, including a three-pointer from Laura Barrett, trimming the Jumbos' lead to 33-30. But that was as close as the Blue would get, as the Jumbos went on a 5-2 run to take a 38-32 lead at the 14:00 minute mark. After trading buckets, the Jumbos surged ahead for good as Hart sank consecutive three-pointers to give Tufts a 46-34 lead with 9:30 left. Two possessions later, first-year guard Lindsay Weiner (Rockville, MD) sank a 12-footer to stretch the lead to 14. The Tufts run continued and, as Hart drained her fourth trey, the Jumbos took a commanding 57-36 lead. The teams traded baskets in the final minutes, with Tufts earning the 61-40 win.

Hart led all scorers with 15 points, including a 4 for 7 performance from three-point range. Ummah and Gomez added eight points each, and sophomore forward Julia Bailey (Farmington, CT) chipped in seven. The Jumbos out-rebounded the Blue 37-21, with Bailey and junior center Katie Tausanovitch (Lyme, NH) grabbing seven boards a piece.

The Blue were led by Duff with 13 points, Pelley with 10, and Richter with seven. Martore added four points, five assists and three steals in the effort.

Tufts is off until resuming its season at Fitchburg State College on January 5. The Blue will return to action on Friday, December 28, when they travel to
Connecticut College for a 7:00 p.m. game.