Cousens Gymnasium, College Avenue, Medford, MA 02155 | Phone: (617) 627-3232 | Contact Us
Tufts Jumbos
section photo

Athletics Home
Physical Education

Tufts Athletics

Donate to Tufts Athletics

Teams: Women's Basketball: Press Releases

Team Overview | Schedule & Results | Coach | Roster | Statistics
Archives | Records | Press Releases | Recruiting Form

Monday, February 18, 2008


MEDFORD -- After a weekend of inspired play against Bowdoin and Colby, the Tufts women's basketball team is ready for the post-season to begin. This is officially the best season in Tufts history after Coach Carla Berube's team finished the regular season with a 21-2 record. That surpassed the 1986-87 team's 19-3 mark as the best for a season in 36 years of Jumbo basketball.

Tufts is second in the nation in rebounding and senior co-captain Khalilah Ummah leads the conference with 10.3 per game

The 2007-08 Jumbos opened the season with a school-record 12 straight victories and became a fixture in the Top 20. They were stunned at home on a last-second basket by also-undefeated Amherst College for their first loss. Tufts stayed on course with seven consecutive wins after that until their only stinker of the season, a 63-46 loss at Williams. Again they responded to the loss, playing like a post-season ready team in the last two games of the regular-season against Bowdoin and Colby (Feb. 15-16).

On Friday night against Bowdoin, Tufts demolished the seven-time conference champions who came into the game first in the conference with a 6-1 league mark. Tufts scored an 83-56 victory to break the school record for wins with their 20th. The 27-point final margin was the biggest loss ever in NESCAC play for the visiting Polar Bears, and their worst loss overall since 1995. The win was Tufts' first over Bowdoin since December 1994. They had the best game shooting the ball of Coach Berube's six seasons with the team. The trio of senior co-captain Khalilah Ummah (Litchfield, ME), senior co-captain Jenna Gomez (Norfolk, MA) and junior Katie Tausanovitch (Lyme, NH) was unstoppable, combining to score on 25 of 36 shots (69.4 percent) for 55 points.

Then on Saturday against Colby, Tufts topped its single-season scoring high from the night before with an 84-60 win over Colby. Ummah owned the basket at both ends of the court. Her 19 rebounds against the Mules, 10 on the offensive end, were the most by a Tufts player since 1996 when Shelley Pedersen had 20. Ummah scored 17 points on 8 for 12 shooting and also blocked five shots. She finished the weekend averaging 18.5 points on 64.3 percent shooting (18/28) with 15.5 rebounds per game. She leads NESCAC with 10.3 rebounds per game and 52 blocks, and averages 12.1 points while shooting .510 (125/245).  The team's rebounding advantage was astronomical in both games, 43-19 over Bowdoin and 55-28 against Colby for a 98-47 total.

Senior co-captain Jenna Gomez scored a career-high 19 points against Bowdoin on February 15

Gomez joined Ummah in an outstanding display of leadership by the team's senior co-captains during the weekend. The team's emotional leader whose play does not always show up on the stat sheet, Gomez was a force to be reckoned with in both games. She scored a career-high 19 points against Bowdoin, making 8 of 12 shots including a three-pointer. She added 14 points on 7 for 11 shooting against Colby, and her five steals in that game were the most by a Jumbo this season.

"I can't say enough about K and Jenna's performances this weekend," Berube said. "They were focused and composed and put the team on their backs. Their leadership all season has been immeasurable. This team's chemistry, work ethic, resiliency and Jumbo pride has been amazing and it's a credit to K and Jenna's sound guidance. To watch them grow into strong leaders and see their individual basketball games flourish has been prideful."

Due to that last-second loss against Amherst, Tufts is the second seed behind the Lord Jeffs in the NESCAC Tournament that starts on Saturday (Feb. 23). The Jumbos host Middlebury College at 3:00 pm in the first round. Middlebury finished the regular-season seventh in NESCAC and has records of 13-11 overall and 4-5 in the league. Tufts defeated the Panthers 61-46 at Middlebury on February 8. Last season the Jumbos advanced to the NESCAC championship game and led Bowdoin at the half 22-21. The Polar Bears took over in the second half to win their seventh league title 64-48. Tufts enters this year's tournament as one of a few teams looking to knock Bowdoin from the throne. The Jumbos were ranked first in the NCAA's Northeast Regional poll last week, a strong sign for their NCAA Tournament hopes.

Tufts was 14-0 against its non-conference schedule, including double-figure wins against Salem State and Brandeis. The Jumbos are likely to move up from their #21 position in last week's national poll after the wins over the weekend. Though the offensive production against Bowdoin and Colby was exciting, the Jumbos are where they are because of the defense that they play. As of February 10, Tufts was ranked 10th nationally for field goal percentage defense (.323) and #13 in scoring defense (51.3). They are second behind only Kean in rebound margin with a 13.1 rebounds per game advantage over their opponents, a number that increased to 14.2 after the weekend.

Guard Colleen Hart is a contender for NESCAC Rookie of the Year

Tausanovitch, a transfer from William & Mary, and first-year Colleen Hart (Needham, MA) have been valuable additions to the team this season. Tausanovitch has teamed with Ummah to give the Jumbos a big advantage in the post. Her .535 shooting percentage (106/198) is third-best in NESCAC and 8.2 rebounds per game are top 10 to go with a 10.5 scoring average. Hart is a leading contender for NESCAC Rookie of the Year after leading the team with 33.7 minutes played per game in her first year. She's one of the league's top 15 scorers at 11.7 points per game, is third in the league with 44 three-pointers, shoots 89.8 percent from the line (53/59) and is averaging 3.8 assists.

Joining the starting line-up this season and playing a strong support role has been junior Kim Moynihan (West Hartford, CT). Undeterred by having to play with a facemask due to an injury, Moynihan is active all over the court with averages of 8 points and 4 rebounds per game, along with 42 assists, 30 steals and 24 three-pointers in 21 games. Sophomore Julia Baily (Farmington, CT) has made her presence known under the basket, coming off the bench for 8.1 points and 5.1 rebounds per game. She also gets to the free throw line and makes the shots (53/64, .828).

Sophomore guard Vanessa Miller (Cincinatti, OH) gave the team a jolt with her ability to lead the fast-break. She returned to the team after missing most of last season and nine games this year with a recurring knee injury. Sophomore Casey Sullivan (Berlin, CT) has played in every game and has 31 assists, while junior Stacy Filocco (Olney, MD), first-year Lindsay Weiner (Rockville, MD) and sophomore Katie Wholey (Marshfield, MA) were regulars off the bench for Tufts.

"I think we are feeling strong and confident going into the first round of the NESCAC tourney," said Berube, who has 98 career victories as the program enters the post-season. "We need to have another great week of practice going into Saturday's game with Middlebury.  There's still a lot of work to be done."