Strong Collegiate Debuts from Cohen, Aronson Help Men's Basketball Pick Up 88-83 Win

BRISTOL, R.I. - The Tufts men's basketball team overcame a 15-point second half deficit to pick up a 88-83 win over Saint Joseph's of Maine on Friday night at Roger Williams in the Courtyard by Marriott Tournament.  The Jumbos will now face off with host Roger Williams on Sunday in the tournament championship game. 

Carson Cohen led the Jumbos with 22 points in his collegiate debut 

The Jumbos (1-0) have now won their season-opener the last four seasons. St. Joseph's falls to 1-2 with the setback and will take on Anna Maria in the tournament consolation at 1 pm on Saturday. 

The two teams traded baskets and the lead for most of the first six minutes of the game.  With the score locked at 13 the Monks got two free throws from Jack Casale to take a 15-13 lead.  Up by four, 24-20, a layup from Monk David Keohan, a dunk from Casale and then a three from Nicholas Curtis put St. Joseph's ahead by 11, 31-20 about halfway through the first half.  

Down by 11 with just over five minutes left to play the Jumbos started to chip away at the Monk's lead.  Freshman Carson Cohen made three free throws, followed by a jumper from classmate Tyler Aronson and then four more points from Cohen brought the Jumbos within two, 37-35, with 3:02 left in the half.  

After a three from Ryan Lavallee put the Monks up by five, the two teams traded baskets and they went into the half with St. Joseph's ahead 44-37. 

The Monks came out of the half on fire and grew their lead to 15, as a Casale three about three and a half minutes into the second half gave St. Joseph's the 55-40 lead.  The Jumbos chipped away at that lead for the next couple of minutes, and a three from sophomore Brennan Morris brought them within eight.  

After a jumper from the Monk's Ian Mileikis increased their lead to ten, the Jumbos went on a nine-point unanswered streak to come within one.  Aronson started the scoring with a jumper, and then sophomore Will Brady turned in a three.  Cohen made two free throws, and then a layup from sophomore Justin Kouyoumdjian brought Tufts within one, 59-58 with just over ten minutes to play in the game. 

Following a free throw from Casale, the Jumbos took their first lead of the half when Cohen drained a three to put the Jumbos ahead, 61-60.  The two teams traded baskets and the lead as the lead changed five times and the game was tied four times over the next eight minutes.  With the score locked at 80 with 2:39 remaining in the game, the Jumbos got a layup from sophomore Luke Rogers and after a Monk free throw, a three from Aronson put the Jumbos ahead by four, 85-81 with just over a minute left to play.  Tufts held on for the 88-83 win. 

Cohen led the Jumbos with 22 points in his collegiate debut, and he added two rebounds and four assists to his night.  Morris helped with 18 points, three rebounds and two assists.  Aronson also had a strong collegiate debut, finishing with 15 points, eight rebounds and two assists.  Kouyoumdjian was the fourth Jumbo to put up double-digit points, finishing with 12 points and seven rebounds, along with three assists.  Rogers added eight points and four rebounds, along with two blocks. 

Casale was the point leader for the Monks finishing with 24 points and 13 rebounds.  Mileikis finished with 16 points and four boards and Marc Corey added 14 points and six rebounds.  Darian Berry also added ten points and five rebounds. 

The Jumbos take on Roger Williams on Sunday at 3 pm in the tournament championship.  St. Joseph's plays Anna Maria in the tournament consolation at 1 pm on Saturday.