Men’s Basketball Pulls Away From Emerson in Second Half for 87-70 Victory

MEDFORD – Five Tufts University players scored in double figures as the Jumbo men's basketball earned an 87-70 non-conference victory over Emerson College at home in Cousens Gym on Wednesday night.

Justin Kouyoumdjian hit on three of his four three-point attempts

With the game tied 26-26 late in the first half, the Jumbos outscored the Lions 33-11 over the next 10 minutes of action to pull away. Tufts, who shot 50 percent in the second half (17-34), stopped a four-game losing streak and improved to 3-4.

Freshmen Tyler Aronson and Carson Cohen scored 13 points apiece to lead Tufts, who was 31 for 35 from the free throw line in the game (88.6 percent). Junior Eric Savage and sophomore Justin Kouyoumdjian both scored 12 points and sophomore Brennan Morris added 10.

Senior Geoffrey Gray tallied a game-high 23 points to lead Emerson (4-5). Junior Jack O'Connor totaled 14 points and seven rebounds.

After Emerson scored the first four points of the game, the Jumbos ran off the next 12 including seven from Aronson for a 12-4 advantage five minutes in. Both teams went into a cold freeze from there as only four points total were scored in the next five minutes of play.

The Jumbos opened a nine-point, 24-15 margin with a 7-2 spurt consisting of all free throws. The Lions turned it around with an 11-2 stretch that tied the game 26-26 with 1:41 remaining until intermission. Gray had nine of the points for the visitors. The Jumbos scored the final five points of the half – three by Cohen - to take a 31-26 lead into the locker room.

Tufts was 15 for 16 (93.8 percent) from the foul line in the first half. Aronson led the hosts with nine points while Gray had 15 for Emerson, making five of seven field goals and all four of his free throws.

A three-pointer by Morris opened up a 10-point lead for the Jumbos (38-28) at 17:58 of the second half. Over the next four minutes that would increase to a 17-point margin (49-32) as Tufts capped an 18-6 run to open the second half with a three by sophomore Will Brady.

Another Jumbo three by Cohen brought the Tufts advantage over 20 to 59-37 with 11:36 remaining in regulation. The Jumbos kept the margin around 20 for the next seven minutes, topping out at 23 (74-51) on a free throw by Kouyoumdjian at 6:46.

Emerson chipped away during the final four minutes as the Jumbos substituted. They got as close as 12 points (81-69) following Gray's two free throws with two minutes on the clock, but that was all.

Savage added 10 rebounds to double-double for Tufts, while also recording four assists. Brady had a solid 22 minutes off the bench with nine points, three steals and two's in rebounds and assists. The Jumbos out-rebounded the Lions 52-39.

Gray added six rebounds, four steals and two assists to a solid game for the visitors. Freshman Zach Waterhouse nailed four three-pointers and had 13 points.

Tufts takes the weekend off from games and will play at UMass-Dartmouth on Monday. Emerson hosts Curry on Saturday.