Tufts Tops Women's Basketball

January 17, 2009

Tufts held Middlebury scoreless for over nine minutes in the second half as the 12th ranked Jumbo women's basketball team posted a 60-41 NESCAC victory over the Panthers on Saturday afternoon at Cousens Gym.

Casey Sullivan scored a career-high 15 points as Tufts won its eighth in a row to improve to 11-1 overall and 2-0 in the league. The hosts trailed just once, at 1-0, but they had to shake off a Middlebury squad that dropped to 6-8 overall and 0-2 in NESCAC.

Neither team distinguished itself in the first half. Middlebury shot just 20 percent (6/30) and turned the ball over 12 times in the period. Tufts shot 36.4 percent (12/33) and was out-rebounded 30-19 in the first half. The Jumbos were up 12-3 at the 15:40 mark, but the teams combined to score just 16 total points over the next 10+ minutes.

Leading 17-14 with five minutes to go until intermission, Tufts surged into a double-digit lead by closing the first half with a 13-5 run. Sullivan scored five of those points and the Jumbos led 30-19 at the break. Colleen Hart led Tufts with nine points at the half, while Brittany Perfetti had five for the Panthers.

An 8-0 run by Middlebury early in the second half erased Tufts' double-figure lead and pulled the visitors within five points at 36-31 with 14:42 on the clock. A Tufts jumper by sophomore Lindsay Weiner stopped the run, but Middlebury's Alison Wells scored the next four points and the Panthers were down just three points (38-35) at 11:52.

Middlebury scored just six points over the remainder of the game, shooting three for 16 and turning the ball over six times during that stretch. The Jumbos had a 16-0 run from 11:01 to 2:20 that gave them a 56-37 lead and put the game away. A jumper by Middlebury's Lauren Sanchez ended a 9:32 scoring drought for the Panthers.

Hart added 11 points and five assists in 36 minutes for Tufts, while Katie Tausanovitch finished with 10 points and 10 rebounds. Tufts rallied to out-rebound the Panthers 25-14 in the second half to tie the game totals at 44 apiece.

Allison Needham led the Panthers with eight points, while Wells finished with nine rebounds to lead the Middlebury side, along with six points. Emily Johnson handed out five assists to go with four points and four rebounds. Perfetti added seven points and four rebounds to the Middlebury effort. The Panthers shot 25.9 percent overall (15/58) and like the Jumbos were cold from long-distance at two for 11 (16.7 percent).