This Week in Tufts Athletics: Nov. 28 - Dec. 4

MEDFORD – Another big week for the Jumbos!  Men’s soccer heads to Salem, Va. for the NCAA Final Four. Men’s basketball looks to win their second consecutive New England Big Four Challenge.  Women’s basketball heads to the Williams Tournament and men’s hockey will join them with a trip to Williams and then Middlebury.

Men’s and women’s swimming will compete in the MIT Invitational this weekend.  Men’s and women’s squash both have really busy weekends that wrap up their first semester schedules.  Women’s track will open their season at the BU Season Opener.

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Men's Basketball Heads to Big Four Challenge



The No. 3 men’s basketball team is off to their best start since the 1994-95 season, and will look to keep things rolling this week with some big games on the schedule.  The Jumbos are 4-0 this season, the best since they were 6-0 to start the season in 94-95.   After finding themselves at No. 5 in the preseason national poll, the Jumbos moved up to No. 3 this week, behind local-rivals No. 1 Amherst and No.2 Babson. It will be a big week for the Jumbos as they take on No. 23 WPI on Tuesday evening, and then play in the Big Four Challenge on Friday and Saturday with No. 2 Babson, Brandeis and Salem State.

First is WPI, as the Engineers pay a visit to Cousens Gym for a 7:30 pm start with the Jumbos on Tuesday. The Engineers are also off to a 4-0 start, but that includes a four-point win over Salve Regina and an overtime win over DeSales.  Senior Ian Converse is leading the Engineers offense with 15.5 points per game and sophomore Jamani Spencer is helping with 14.5 points per game.  The Jumbos fell last year when the two teams faced off, and the Engineers have the 3-0 advantage in the series, dating back to 1999.

On Friday the Jumbos open play in the Big Four Challenge at Brandeis. The Jumbos won the tournament last year, beating Salem State in the opening round of play and then edging Babson, 83-80, in overtime thanks to a three from graduated senior Ryan Spadaford with two seconds left on the clock.  The Jumbos will have to get through host Brandeis first this weekend.  The Judges have two games under their belts and are 1-1, having beaten Suffolk to open their season, but then falling to Rhode Island College this past Sunday.  The Jumbos and the Judges faced off in the opening round of tournament play back in 2014-15 but the Judges edged the Jumbos, 52-50.  But, the series is in the Jumbos favor, 10-5, dating back to 1999.

The winner of Friday’s games play on Saturday at 4 pm in the tournament championship.  The consolation game is at 2 pm on Saturday.  Salem State and Babson face of in the other game on Friday, and that will be played at 5:30.  The Vikings are 3-1 so far this season with wins over UMass-Dartmouth and The Sage Colleges, and a loss to Middlebury. Babson is currently 6-0, but that includes a close game against Bowdoin (78-74) recently.  Salem State will battle Rhode Island College and MIT before playing this weekend, while Babson has a duel with Bates before the weekend tournament. The Jumbos have a 9-5 advantage in the series against the Beavers, dating back to 1999.

Tufts at Brandeis: VIDEO | LIVE STATS
Tufts vs. Babson/Salem State: VIDEO | LIVE STATS

Men's Soccer Heads to Final Four


The men’s soccer team got to relax a bit over the Thanksgiving weekend.  But, not too much, because the Jumbos are still playing.  In NCAA Tournament action at Bello Field the Jumbos topped No. 15 UMass-Boston and then No. 5 Kenyon in double overtime to punch their ticket to the Final Four in Salem, Va. this weekend. It will be the second time in the last three years the Jumbos are playing in the Final Four, and the last time they did it all went their way as they won the program’s first ever National Championship back in 2014. Joining the Jumbos in Salem will be No. 8 St. Thomas, No. 16 Calvin and local-rival, Brandeis.  The Jumbos take on St. Thomas on Friday at 11 am while Brandeis and Calvin play on Friday at 1:30 pm.  The two winners of Friday’s games play for the national title on Saturday at 1:30.

First the Jumbos will concentrate on St. Thomas.  The Tommies are 20-1-3 this season, with that lone loss coming to Augsburg at the end of October.  It’s been quite a post-season run for the Tommies.  They needed overtime to beat Augsburg in the Minnesota Intercollegiate Athletic Conference Semifinals and then played a double overtime game with St. Scholastic in the NCAA First Round, another double overtime game with Benedictine in the Third Round and won in overtime against Redlands in the Elite Eight to punch their ticket to the Final Four.  Just like the Jumbos, it’s their defense that has gotten them this far.  The Tommies are third in the country with a 0.44 goals against average while the  Jumbos sit in eighth place with a 0.53 mark.  No Tommie has score more than seven goals this season, as senior Mark Heydt is the point leader with seven goals and ten assists this season.  Junior Shae Bottum has helped with six goals and three others have scored five times this season.

The other game on Friday features Brandeis and No. 16 Calvin.  The Jumbos and the Judges played earlier this year, and the Judges won, 1-0, in double overtime.  They own a 13-5-4 record this year, but after a rough September where they went 3-3-1, the Judges are 10-2-3 including NCAA Tournament wins over Western New England in overtime, St. Joseph’s, Amherst in double overtime and Rutgers-Newark.  The Judges also don’t have one offensive leader, as 15 different players have scored a goal this season and senior Josh Ocel is the leader with six goals and 15 assists this year.  Calvin owns a 22-2 record this season with losses to Ohio Wesleyan early in the season and Adrian at the beginning of October.  The Knights picked up NCAA Tournament wins over Ohio Northern, Carnegie Mellon, Messiah in double overtime, and Franklin & Marshall.

The Jumbos are the only one of the four teams to have not given up a goal in the NCAA Tournament this year.  Calvin has surrendered two goals in the postseason, Brandeis and St. Thomas have both given up four.  The Jumbos have scored the least in the postseason, with five goals.  Calvin has scored eight times, St. Thomas nine, and Brandeis has 10 goals in four NCAA Tournament games.


WBBALL: Friday vs. St. Lawrence at Williams Tournament at 8 pm and Saturday vs. Clarkson at Williams Tournament at 1 pm
What you need to know: The No. 1 women’s basketball team will travel to Williams with Clarkson and St. Lawrence for a two-day tournament.  The Jumbos will take on St. Lawrence on Friday night at 8 pm and then Clarkson on Saturday at 1 pm.  Host Williams will play Clarkson on Friday and St. Lawrence on Saturday.  It’s been a while since the Jumbos have faced off with St. Lawrence.  The last time the two teams played a was back during the 2012-13 season, when the Jumbos picked up a win over the Saints in the first round of the NCAA Tournament.  Prior to that, the only other time the two teams played was during the 2001-02 season when the Saints won, giving the series an even 1-1 standing, dating back to 1999.  The Saints are 0-2 so far this season, having fallen to Ithaca and SUNY Cortland and were 16-10 last season.  After the match up against the Saints the Jumbos will turn their attention to Clarkson, who comes to Williamstown this weekend with a 3-1 record so far this season.  The lone loss came to Oneonta State at the Hartwick College Tournament before Thanksgiving.  The Golden Knights were 22-6 last year, and were edged by Stockton, 60-59, in the first round of the NCAA Tournament.  The Jumbos and the Golden Knights have not played, dating back to 1999.

MICE: Friday at Williams at 7 pm and Saturday at Middlebury at 3 pm
What you need to know: The men’s hockey team hits the road this weekend for another important NESCAC weekend.  The Jumbos will take on Williams on Friday night at 7 pm before making a trip to Middlebury on Saturday with a 3 pm scheduled start with the Panthers.  The Jumbos are coming off a 2-1 week with wins over Becker and Brockport with a setback against Western New England.  First up for the Jumbos this week will be the Ephs.  The last time these two teams met, it went the Jumbos way, as they upset the top-ranked Ephs in the NESCAC Quarterfinals last year.  Prior to that, the Ephs won both times the two teams faced off in the regular season, and have an 18-4-0 advantage in the series, dating back to 1999.  But, they lost NESCAC Player of the Year Zander Masucci to graduation.  The Ephs return two second team All-NESCAC selections in senior Tyler Young and sophomore and Co-Rookie of the Year Michael Pinios.  But, they are off to a 1-2 start this season, having beaten Bowdoin to open their season but since then falling to Colby and Babson.  After the contest with the Ephs, the Jumbos will travel  up to Middlebury to face off with the Panthers on Saturday.  The Panthers will be looking for their first win of the season this weekend, as they are off to an 0-4 start.  With an 8-11-7 record last year, the Panthers fell to Amherst in the NESCAC Quarterfinals. Against the Jumbos they won once, and tied once, but they do hold the advantage in the series, 17-2-5, dating back to 1999.

WSWIM & MSWIM: Friday through Sunday at MIT Invitational
What you need to know: The men’s and women’s swimming and diving team will head to MIT this weekend for the three-day MIT Invitational.  Joining the Jumbos will be Keene State, NYU, Wheaton and Wellesley, in addition to the host Engineers. The events begin on Friday night and will conclude on Sunday evening.  Friday night features the 800 free relay and the 1650 free. On Saturday and Sunday the morning session will have the preliminaries and the afternoon session will have the finals.  Saturday features the 200 free relay, 200 fly, 200 free, 100 breast, 100 back, 400 IM and 50 free.  Sunday has the 200 medley relay, 500 free, 200 back, 100 fly, 200 breast, 100 free, and 200 IM. The Jumbos opened their season two weekends ago at home when they hosted Middlebury.  Both the men and the women picked up wins, with the women’s win coming down to the final relay.

MSQUASH: Saturday at Hamilton at 2 pm and vs. NYU at Hamilton at 4 pm and Sunday vs. Bard at Vassar at 12:30 pm and at Vassar at 2 pm
What you need to know: The No. 27 men’s squash team will wrap up their first semester schedule with a busy week on the road.  The Jumbos travel to Hamilton to take on the host Continentals and NYU on Saturday and then head to Vassar to face off with the host Brewers and Bard on Sunday.  Off to the best start since the 2012-13 season, the Jumbos are currently a perfect 4-0 and will look to remain perfect with four more wins this weekend. The Jumbos won four straight to open the 2012-13 season, so if the Jumbos can win a few more this weekend they could be off to the best start in more than 15 years. First up is Hamilton, who is currently ranked just below the Jumbos at No. 28 in the College Squash Association national rankings.  The Continentals and the Jumbos split last year, as the Jumbos won 6-3 during the first semester but fell 5-4 in second semester play.  Hamilton is off to a 0-2 start so far this season with setbacks to No. 19 Wesleyan and No. 18 Williams.  After the match with the Continentals the Jumbos will take on NYU.  The Violets and the Jumbos did not play last year, and the Violets are not ranked in the CSA rankings, but did finish 35th last year.  On Sunday the Jumbos take on Bard and Vassar.  The men beat Bard, 8-1, last year. The Raptors are off to a 6-0 start so far this season, but they haven’t played anyone in the top 33 of the CSA rankings.  The Jumbos will wrap up their weekend with a match up against Vassar. With a 4-2 record this season, the Brewers have fallen to No. 29 Connecticut College and No. 30 Haverford most recently.

WSQUASH: Tuesday at Mount Holyoke at 7 pm and Saturday at Hamilton at 2 pm and vs. St. Lawrence at Hamilton at 4 pm and Sunday vs. Bard at Vassar at 12:30 pm and at Vassar at 2 pm
What you need to know: The women’s squash team also has a busy week ahead, as they have five matches this week which wraps up their first semester schedule.  The No. 22 ranked women are off to a 2-0 start heading into their match against Mt. Holyoke on Tuesday.  The No. 28 Lyons are 2-5 this year, most recently having fallen to Bates, Wesleyan and Hamilton prior to Thanksgiving.  The Jumbos won, 6-3, when they faced off with the Lyons last year.  After the Tuesday match up the Jumbos will prepare for Saturday, when they take on No. 21 Hamilton and No. 20 St. Lawrence. Arguably their most important matches of the season as the Jumbos are ranked No. 22 and fell to Hamilton (8-1 and 7-2) and St. Lawrence (6-3) last year. Hamilton is off to a 2-1 start this year, having beaten Wesleyan and Mount Holyoke, but lost to Williams.  St. Lawrence has just an exhibition match against Queens University under their belts this season, and they lost that, 5-4.  The Jumbos wrap up the weekend with matches against Bard and Vassar.  The Jumbos beat Vassar 7-2 last year but did not play Bard.  Vassar is ranked No. 27 this year and has a 5-1 record so far this season.  Bard is not ranked and is 0-2 so far this year.

WTRACK: Saturday at BU Season Opener
What you need to know: Select members of the women’s track and field team will start their season this weekend when they head to Boston University for the BU Season Opener.  The meet will feature Division I, II and III schools and should provide great competition for the Jumbos.  Seniors Lindsay Atkeson and Kelly Fahey and junior Brittany Bowman will all run the 5000m while senior Samantha Cox will compete in the 3000m.  With the great competition that will be there, the Jumbos are looking to hit some qualifying times this weekend.










Michela North, Senior, Women’s Basketball

Senior Michela North helped the Jumbos pick up two wins this past week and also became the Jumbos’ all-time rebounding leader with 852 in her career.  North passed Paula Moss, who posted 848 boards in 70 games from 1978-82.  North finished with eight points and ten boards in the Jumbos 53-37 win over Brandeis on Sunday and she entered the game with 842 rebounds needing just six to tie the record.  On Tuesday, in a 73-39 win over Wheaton North added 13 points and five rebounds along with two blocks.  North is averaging 7.5 points per game and 8.5 rebounds per game for the Jumbos this season.





Tarik Smith, Senior, Men’s Basketball

Senior Tarik Smith turned in two solid performances this week, helping the No. 3 ranked men’s basketball team improve to 4-0 on the season.  On Tuesday in a 74-66 win over MIT Smith helped with 13 points, six rebounds and four assists.  Smith then turned in 15 points, three rebounds, seven assists and three steals in an 87-72 win over Emerson in the Jumbos home opener on Saturday afternoon.  Smith is averaging 13.5 points per game, 4.8 assists per game and 1.3 steals per game for the Jumbos so far this year.





Senior Annie Artz, juniors Ellexa Thomas and Mary Travers and sophomore Issy Del Priore were all named to the National Field Hockey Coaches Association All-New England West Region teams.  Artz, Thomas and Travers received first team nods, while Del Priore earned a spot on the second team.  Four total accolades matches the highest amount in the region.

The No. 1 women’s basketball team picked up two more wins this week to improve to 4-0 on the season.  The Jumbos started the week with a 73-39 win over Wheaton on Tuesday evening.  They then wrapped up the week with a 53-37 win over Brandeis, and senior Michela North became the program’s all-time leading rebounder.

The No. 3 men’s basketball team also remained perfect in this young season with two more wins this past week.  The Jumbos topped local-rival MIT, 74-66, on Tuesday night.  They then opened their home season on Saturday with an 87-72 win over Emerson.

It was a 2-1 week for the men’s hockey team.  The Jumbos topped Becker 3-0 on Tuesday night at home at the Malden Valley Forum.  They then headed to Rutland, Vt. for the Rutland Herald Invitational on Friday and Saturday. In the opening round the Jumbos picked up a 4-1 win over Brockport.  But, in the title game the Jumbos fell to Western New England, 3-1.

Nine members of the football team earned All-NESCAC honors, the most since nine players earned All-NESCAC honors in 2008. Senior running back Chance Brady was selected as the Offensive Player of the Year for the second straight year and freshman linebacker Greg Holt was picked as the conference’s Rookie of the Year.