MEDFORD – Junior captain Eric Savage and sophomore Brennan Morris combined for 48 points and the Tufts men's basketball team used an explosive first half to pick up a 96-75 win over visiting UMass-Boston on Tuesday night.
|Luke Rogers collected his fifth double-double of the season|
The win helps the Jumbos improve to 7-8 overall this year, and they remain 1-1 in NESCAC play. With the setback the Beacons are 6-7 overall and 1-4 in LEC play this year.
The Jumbos jumped out to an early lead. Ahead by three they scored 11 unanswered points to take a 14-point lead about six minutes into play. Morris turned in six of those 11, with two from behind the arc. A Beacon jumper from Charles Mitchell broke up the streak, but Morris answered with a three for the Jumbos. After another layup from Mitchell, Morris turned in another three and then a layup from Morris put the Jumbos ahead 26-8 about halfway through the half.
Ahead by 14 with 3:25 remaining in the half the Jumbos got three free throws from Morris and then a dunk from junior Pat Racy gave the Jumbos their largest lead of the half, 19 points, with about two minutes left in the half. The Beacons answered with a layup from Javaris Hill and then a three from Mitchell. After two free throws from Jumbo freshman Carson Cohen, the Beacons got back-to-back layups from Hill to cut the Jumbo lead to 12 and the game was 42-30 in the Jumbos favor at the break.
The Beacons took advantage of a layup from Hill right out of the half to cut the lead to ten. But, that's as close as they would get. Ahead by ten about three minutes into the second half the Jumbos got a three from Savage and then the captain followed that with two layups to increase the lead to 17. With the Jumbos ahead 60-44 six minutes into the half the Beacons got two free throws from Michael Boyd and then a jumper from Alex Sanchez. After a Jumbo layup, the Beacons added a free throw from Dasan Cinelli, and then a three from Mitchell after a Jumbo layup. The two teams traded baskets, and two free throws from Boyd brought the Beacons within ten again, 66-56, with 9:15 left to go in the game.
Ahead by 11 with just over seven minutes remaining Morris made a layup and then sophomore Will Brady and Savage drained threes to increase the lead to 19, 80-61, with 5:22 left in the game. The Jumbos held on to that advantage and picked up the 96-75 win.
Savage finished with 24 points, seven rebounds and six assists, while Morris added 24 points and five rebounds. Rogers collected a double-double with 15 points, 16 rebounds and three blocks. Brady added 12 points off the bench for the Jumbos.
Hill was the offensive leader for the Beacons, finishing with 17 points and eight rebounds. Mitchell added 15 points and five rebounds. Boyd and Sanchez each added ten points and Sanchez also finished with five assists.
The Jumbos are back in action on Friday when they resume NESCAC play and take on No. 3 Williams at 7 pm. The Beacons host Plymouth State on Thursday with a 7:30 pm scheduled tip off.