MEDFORD, Mass. – #4 Tufts University (26-2) defeated Saint Joseph's College (24-5), 65-44, in the first round of the NCAA DIII Women's Basketball Tournament at Cousens Gymnasium on Friday evening.
HOW IT HAPPENED:
Facing the second-ranked defense in the country, Saint Joseph's struggled to hit shots early and, as a result, trailed 20-4 after the first frame. The Monks fared a bit better in the second stanza and faced a 35-12 deficit heading into intermission.
In the third quarter, the Monks outscored the Jumbos by a 16-13 margin and cut the hosts' advantage to 16 (43-27) after sophomore guard Hannah Marks (Waldoboro, Maine) hit a pair of freebies at the 2:18 mark, but ultimately the sluggish start proved to be too difficult to overcome.
LEADERS – SAINT JOSEPH'S:
- Sophomore guard Kelsi McNamara (West Newbury, Mass.) netted 17 points with three steals
- Marks scored 11 points with the help of an 8-10 free-throw shooting performance
- Junior forward Brianne Maloney (South Portland, Maine) was 6-6 from the FT line with eight points and four boards
- Junior forward Regan McFerran (Albany, N.Y.) pulled down a team-high six rebounds
LEADERS – TUFTS:
- Sophomore guard Jacqueline Knapp (Westfield, N.J.) led all players with 18 points and added five rebounds, four assists, and a pair of steals
- Junior forward Melissa Baptista (Somerville, Mass.) netted 13 with four boards and two steals
- Junior guard Jennie Mucciarone (North Reading, Mass.) came off the bench to score 11 points while pulling down six caroms
- Senior forward Michela North (Duxbury, Mass.) grabbed nine rebounds
Tonight's loss signals the end of NCAA hoops for the Monks' two seniors: Abbie Eastman (Norway, Maine) and Emily Kehoe (Perkinsville, Vt.). With this duo in the fold, Saint Joseph's posted an 86-24 (.782) overall record, including a 41-8 (.837) mark in conference play, with three Great Northeast Athletic Conference Championships and a trio of NCAA Tournament berths.
Saint Joseph's College is Maine's only Catholic liberal arts college, providing a supportive, personalized and career-focused education for more than 100 years. From its 474-acre campus on the shores of Sebago Lake, the College offers more than 40 undergraduate programs to a population of approximately 1,000 students. Saint Joseph's College Online provides certificates, undergraduate and advanced degrees for working adults through an online learning program. For more, visit www.sjcme.edu.