MEDFORD, Mass. – The No. 1 Tufts University women's basketball team made a statement in its home opener on Tuesday night, as the Jumbos outscored Wheaton College by at least six points in every quarter en route to claiming a 73-39 victory at Cousens Gym in Medford, Massachusetts.
|Erica DeCandido posted 10 points off the bench on 5-for-9 shooting.|
The Jumbos (3-0), who relinquished the second-lowest amount of points per game in Division III last season, forced the Lyons (1-2) into 31 turnovers, while the visitors only shot 23.3 percent from the field and did not score more than 11 point in a quarter. Senior guard Josie Lee (eight points, four assists, four steals) and sophomore guard Jacqueline Knapp (eight points, four rebounds three steals) led the defensive effort.
The Jumbos starting five, featuring junior captain and point guard Lauren Dillon, Knapp, Lee, senior captain Michela North and junior forward Melissa Baptista, continues to show great chemistry, as the unit combined for 45 points. The first unit has excelled at sharing the ball, as each player scored at least seven points but no one scored more than 13. North posted a game-high 13 points and five rebounds, while Baptista shot 3-for-3 from beyond the arc in the first half en route to scoring nine points. Dillon chipped in with seven points, while running the show as the floor general.
The Jumbos showcased depth as well, as freshman guard/forward Erica DeCandido continues to impress. The North Wales Pennsylvania, native shot 5-for-9 from the field and posted 10 points. Sophomore Katie Martensen was a factor on the glass off the bench, as she corralled six rebounds to go along with a 3-pointer.
Freshman guard Natalie Wind led the way with a team-high 11 points for the Lyons, as she shot 3-for-5 from the field, 2-for-3 from 3-point range and 3-for-4 from the foul line. Junior forward Oppie Morris collected a game-high 11 boards for the visitors.
The Jumbos did not want to keep the hometown fans waiting, as they raced out to an early 15-4 lead on back-to-back made fields from Knapp. The Jumbos took a 22-11 lead at the end of the first quarter, as Dillon drilled a 3-pointer with 2:03 left and Knapp posted a made layup with 26 seconds remaining.
The Jumbos claimed a 17-point advantage with 6:59 left in the half, as DeCandido penetrated into the paint on back-to-back possessions and found the bottom of the net on a couple layups. The Lyons tried to prevent the Jumbos from running away with the game, as Wind and sophomore guard Abby Hamilton posted back-to-back made 3-pointers, trimming the hosts lead to 28-17 with 5:47 left in the half. The Jumbos responded, as the team embarked on a 10-3 spurt to close the half.
The Jumbos outscored the Lyons, 16-10, in the third quarter, as a layup by DeCandido gave the hosts a 50-34 advantage heading into the final quarter. The Jumbos held a 19-9 advantage in the fourth quarter, as a layup by Wind ended the scoring with 1:59 left in the game, giving the Jumbos a 73-39 victory.
The Jumbos will be back in action on Sunday (Nov. 27), when they compete against visiting Brandeis at 2 p.m. in Medford, Massachusetts.