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Tufts 66, Salem State 62

At Salem, MA
Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Game Statistics

Sophomore Lindsay Weiner made a big contribution off the bench

SALEM -- Sophomore Colleen Hart (Needham, MA) scored 19 points, and first-year Rachel Figaro (Windham, NH) came up big in the final minute, to lead the #20 Tufts University women's basketball team to a 66-62 victory at Salem State College on Tuesday night.

Coming off their first loss of the year at home to Brandeis on Sunday, the Jumbos opened up a 39-27 halftime advantage against the Vikings. They lost the lead early in the second half, built it back up to 13 points and then held on down the stretch to secure the victory. Tufts didn't have it in hand until Figaro scored on a lay-up, assisted by sophomore Lindsay Weiner (Rockville, MD), with 12 seconds to play.

The Jumbos (4-1) capitalized on 26 Salem State turnovers in the game and got 20 points off the bench. Weiner scored 10 of those bench points, all in the second half, while Figaro was productive again in a reserve role with six points and seven rebounds. Junior Julia Baily (Farmington, CT) finished with 10 points and seven rebounds. Salem State (1-3) was led by Danielle Jenkins' game-high 28 points. She also added six rebounds and five blocks. Katie Bielonko had 11 points and eight rebounds for the Vikings, who were just 1 for 9 from three-point range.

Tufts had 10 offensive rebounds in the first half, helping them build their lead. Up 11-4 early on a jumper by Hart seven minutes into the game, the Jumbos eventually took a 35-21 advantage on two free throws by junior Vanessa Miller (Cincinnati, OH) with 3:47 to go until halftime. They maintained the double-digit lead until the break, with Hart's 12 points leading the Jumbos at intermission. Jenkins had 14 for the Vikings.

The first five minutes of the second half was all Salem, as they used a 14-2 run to tie the score at 41-41 on a three-pointer by Bielenko. The Jumbos then rallied and scored the next 10 points, taking a 51-41 lead on a jumper by junior Casey Sullivan (Berlin, CT) at the 9:33 mark. Tufts would get the lead to 13 (58-45) on Weiner's lay-up.

Tufts still led by nine, 62-53, after Hart's jumper at 4:50, but Salem scored the next seven points and was within 62-60 after a three-point play by Jenkins with 1:18 on the clock. Figaro, the rookie, came up huge down the stretch for Tufts. Her lay-up with 45 seconds to go put the Jumbos up 64-60. After Jenkins scored for Salem to cut the Tufts lead to 64-62 with 33 seconds left, Figaro's lay-up with 12 seconds on the clock gave Tufts a 66-62 edge. Salem turned the ball over on its final possession.

The victory is the third straight for Tufts against Salem State.