BRIDGEWATER, Mass. – The No. 1 Tufts University women's basketball team improved to 7-0 on Tuesday evening, as the Jumbos utilized a 15-6 third-quarter advantage to defeat Bridgewater State, 51-36, in Bridgewater, Massachusetts.
|Jennie Mucciarone has scored 32 points in her last three games.|
Junior guard Jennie Mucciarone continues to be instant offense off the bench, as the North Reading, Massachusetts, native dropped a team-high 13 points, shooting 4-for-8 from the field, 3-for-6 from beyond the arc and 2-for-2 from the free-throw line. Junior captain and point guard Lauren Dillon filled up the stat sheet, as she posted a game-high six rebounds and a game-leading five assists, to go along with five points.
Junior forward Rhiana Page posted a game-high 14 points for the Bears (3-4), as she went 5-for-9 from the field and 4-for-5 from the charity stripe.
The Jumbos limited the Bears to single digits in three of four quarters, as the team has now held five out of seven opponents this season to under 40 points. The two teams battled on the glass, as the Jumbos held a small advantage, 27-23. The Jumbos received more than half of their points off the bench, as four reserves combined for 29 points. The Bears received 12 points off their bench.
The defensive efforts were solid from both squads, as the Jumbos shot 35.7 percent from the field and the Bears checked in at 31.7 percent. The Bears went 8-for-10 from the foul line and the Jumbos converted on 13 of 18 free-throw attempts. The Jumbos and Bears went deep into their benches, as 11 Jumbos received minutes and 10 Bears saw action.
Dillon opened the scoring with a 3-pointer, and then junior forward Melissa Baptista found the bottom of the net on a jumper, giving the visitors an early 5-0 advantage with 8:40 left in the first. Freshman guard/forward Erica DeCandido converted a layup with 1:10 left in the first, as the Jumbos claimed a 16-5 lead. The Bears ended the frame on a 4-0 run, as a layup by Page with 11 seconds remaining trimmed the Jumbos' lead to 16-9.
The Bears carried the momentum into the second frame, and cut the deficit to 16-12 with 9:33 left in the second on a 3-pointer by junior guard Jennifer Whyte. Sophomore guard Jacqueline Knapp responded with a made foul shot, and then Whyte cashed in from beyond the arc again, trimming the Jumbos' advantage to 17-15 with 8:44 left. A layup by Page with 8:06 left evened the score, 17-17.
The Jumbos took a timeout, and then freshman guard Cailin Harrington connected on a 3-pointer with 7:41 left. Page evened the score at 20-20 on an old-fashioned 3-point play with 6:31 left. The Jumbos ended the quarter on a 9-2 spurt, taking a 29-22 advantage into intermission.
The Bears kept the game close early in the third quarter, as a layup with 5:17 left by Page trimmed the Jumbos' lead to seven at 35-28. The Jumbos put the game out of reach, by embarking on a 9-0 run down the stretch of the third quarter. Mucciarone put an exclamation mark on the spurt, by finding the bottom of the net from beyond the arc, giving the Jumbos a 44-28 lead heading into the final quarter.
Neither team found a rhythm on the offensive end of the floor in the final period, as the Bears tallied eight points and the Jumbos were limited to seven points.
The Jumbos will look to continue their undefeated season on Saturday (Dec. 10), as the team will make the voyage to the University of New England in Biddeford, Maine, for a 1 p.m. matchup against the Nor'easters.