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Tufts 79, Wheaton 71

At Medford, MA
Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Game Statistics

Kim Moynihan's 17 points and eight rebounds were a key to the win

MEDFORD -- Senior Katie Tausanovitch (Lyme, NH) poured in 23 points and grabbed 12 rebounds as the 11th ranked Tufts University women's basketball team improved to 12-1 overall with a 79-71 victory over Wheaton College in non-conference play at Cousens Gym on Tuesday night.

In a competitive game between teams that met in the first round of the NCAA Tournament last year, Tufts was able to take an eight-point halftime lead, built it to 15 early in the second half and then held off a late Wheaton run. The visiting Lyons were led by 26 points and nine rebounds from junior Jenny Champney (Bedford, MA). Wheaton (9-7) lost for the second time in three games.

The teams were tied 13-13 nine minutes into the game, with Champney scoring seven early points for the Lyons. Tufts would lose the services of starting point guard Colleen Hart (Needham, MA) after she took an inadvertent elbow halfway into the first period. Two baskets by senior co-captain Kim Moynihan (West Hartford, CT) helped Tufts to a 19-14 advantage at 8:35, but the Lyons scored 10 of the next 14 points (five by Champney) to go ahead 24-23 with 5:44 to go until intermission.

From there the Jumbos scored the next 10 points to lead by nine, 33-24, and they went to the locker room with a 34-26 lead. Tausanovitch had eight points and five rebounds at the break for Tufts, which won the battle of the boards 29-18 in the first 20 minutes. The Jumbos had 11 assists on their 15 first-half baskets, including four from junior Casey Sullivan (Berlin, CT). Wheaton shot just 26.7 percent in the half (8/30), but Champney's 14 points and seven rebounds had them well within range.

Three more points by Champney helped Wheaton cut the gap to five (36-31) early in the second half, but the Jumbos answered with a 14-4 stretch that opened up a 50-35 lead on a three-point play by junior Julia Baily (Farmington, CT) at the 15-minute mark. Tausanovitch, Moynihan and Bailey combined for the 14 points. Wheaton chipped away with a three by Champney at 11:51 and another by senior Bri Smith (Westford, MA) at 9:08 both cutting the margin down to 10 points. A pair of free throws by Tausanovitch had Tufts up 12 (63-51), but Wheaton initiated an 8-0 run, with four points from senior tri-captain Jennie Pleat (Nashua, NH), to get within 63-59 with 6:12 remaining.

At this critical juncture, Tufts used a 10-2 stretch to work their lead back up to 12 at 73-61 on a lay-up by Tausanovitch at 3:05. Wheaton twice got within seven before the final minute, and was down 76-69 after two Champney free throws with 22 seconds remaining, but two late free throws by Sullivan locked up the win for the Jumbos.

Moynihan added 17 points and eight rebounds and Bailey supplied 13 points, 10 rebounds and three blocks to the Tufts victory. Sullivan finished with nine points and seven assists. Tufts finished with a 50-35 advantage on the boards and had 20 assists on 30 baskets.

Wheaton, whose 71 points were the second-most against Tufts this season, got 12 points, eight rebounds and four assists from senior tri-captain Krystin Hickey (Manchester, NH). Junior Andrea Bailey (Needham, MA) was active for the Lyons with seven points, five rebounds, four steals and two assists. Smith added seven points and four assists. Wheaton finished at 34.4 percent (21/61) from the floor, including just two for 12 from three-point land (15.4 percent). They were a solid 27 of 31 from the line though (87.1 percent).