MEDFORD – The No. 8 Tufts men's basketball team built a sizable first half lead and used that advantage to pick up an 88-58 win over visiting Lesley on Wednesday evening in Cousens Gym. The contest was the first of the New Year for the Jumbos.
|Eric Savage helped the Jumbos with 15 points and eight rebounds.|
With the win the Jumbos are now 9-2 overall this season as they begin conference play on the road this weekend. The Lynx are now 7-4 this season after the loss.
The Jumbos were the first to score and would score six consecutive points before the Lynx were able to get on the board with a free throw from Pierre St. Simon. But, a few seconds later junior Vincent Pace sunk a three and gave the Jumbos the 9-1 advantage. Simon added two free throws a little over a minute later, but he would be the only Lynx to score for the first seven minutes of the game. Lamarr Mitchell made a free throw with 13:04 left in the half to move the score to 12-4.
Just under nine minutes into the first half Marquise Johnson made a jumper and less than a minute later Will Gibson added a layup to bring the Lynx within six, 14-8. Jumbo junior Stefan Duvivier added a lay-up to bring the advantage back to eight in the Jumbos favor. The Lynx's Xeo Golding turned in back-to-back threes to bring the visitors within two, 16-14, but that would be as close as they would get. Senior tri-captain Tarik Smith answered with a three of his own to move the Jumbos lead back to five, 19-14.
Ahead 19-16 the Jumbos got a three point play from senior tri-captain Tom Palleschi with a layup and a free throw, and sophomore Ethan Feldman added a three, followed by a made free throw from junior Ben Engvall to give the Jumbos the ten point advantage, 26-16. They would hold on to that lead, with the score in the Jumbos advantage, 37-24 at the half
It was the Jumbos that came out of the half on a roll. After Devon Mayo made two three throws about a minute and a half into the second half, the Jumbos scored 14 unanswered points over about five minutes to take a 55-27 lead. They would hold on to that lead for the duration of the second half, picking up the 88-58 win.
The Jumbos were led by 16 points from Smith, and he added four rebounds and three assists to his evening. Freshman Eric Savage scored 15 points and added eight boards off the bench for the Jumbos. Engvall helped with 12 points and five rebounds and KJ Garrett scored six points and added six rebounds. Freshman Patrick Racy finished with seven rebounds and a steal for the Jumbos.
For the Lynx, Simon, Marquise Johnson and Mayo all finished with ten points each. Golding added nine points. Gibson helped with five points and seven rebounds off the bench.
The Lynx shot just 14.7 percent from the field in the first half and finished the game at 26.5 percent, compared to the Jumbos 44.9 percent. The Jumbos were able to capitalize off 19 Lynx turnovers, scoring 15 points off those turnovers. Twelve different Jumbos scored in the contest, as they got 42 points off the bench.
The Jumbos open up NESCAC play this weekend with a trip to Bowdoin on Friday evening for a 7 pm start. Lesley will be back in action on Saturday when they host New England College with a 7:30 pm start.