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Women’ basketball beats New Jersey City and Bates

The Tufts Daily

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The Tufts women's basketball team defeated UMass Dartmouth 76-59 on Dec. 4, 2021.Courtesy Jared Marshall

By Emma Joyce

Even though the spring semester has just begun, the Tufts women’s basketball team and its season is already in full swing. On Saturday, Jan. 15, the Tufts Jumbos hosted the Amherst Mammoths for their third NESCAC conference matchup of the season, where they ultimately fell short 62–53.

Tufts had another opportunity to compete at home on Monday, Jan. 17, where they came out on top with a 65–61 win against New Jersey City University. Most recently, the Jumbos defeated the Bates Bobcats at home by a score of 63–52 on Saturday.

Tufts’ matchup against Amherst was a close-fought game. At the end of the first quarter, the Jumbos went on a 7–0 run, but the Mammoths kept it close and went into the second quarter with a two-point lead. Tufts found their groove in the second quarter, scoring 21 points compared to Amherst’s 10, entering the second half with a 31–22 lead.

In the third quarter, the Jumbos and the Mammoths went back and forth trading baskets, but Tufts maintained their lead by scoring 13 points in the quarter. Tufts was led by graduate student forward Angela Alibrandi, who accounted for 7 of the 13 points for the Jumbos in the quarter and finished with 16 points.

Amherst, who was down nine points going into the final quarter, came back to score 27 points to give the Mammoths the win. In the latest D3hoops.com poll, Amherst is ranked seventh nationally, while Tufts sits at 10th.

“It’s hard to lose to Amherst; they’re historically one of our biggest rivals and competitors both within the NESCAC league and on the national level,” Alibrandi said. “While it ultimately wasn’t the outcome we wanted, we had some great plays and a lot of our teammates stepped up when we needed them most.”

On Monday, Jan. 17, Tufts played in another close matchup against out-of-conference opponent New Jersey City, but pulled away with the win. The visiting Gothic Knights had a two-point lead at half and started off the third quarter ahead by seven points, but Tufts responded by going on a 11–3 run.

After Tufts graduate student Erin Poindexter McHan hit a 3-pointer near the end of the third quarter, the Jumbos would maintain their lead for the rest of the game.

The Jumbos scored nine unanswered points at the beginning of the fourth quarter, but New Jersey City kept things close and responded with nine unanswered points of their own.

Alibrandi put the Jumbos ahead with two free throws, and sophomore guard Callie O’Brien added a free throw to secure the win. The Jumbos were led by Alibrandi, who scored a game-high 21 points, and senior guard Molly Ryan with 19 points.

Alibrandi reflected on the importance of being able to play an out-of-conference team so soon after the loss against Amherst.

“It was great to have the opportunity to play another game so soon afterwards. NESCAC competition is intense and the game-to-game turnarounds are quick,” Alibrandi said. “Playing New Jersey City on Monday night after a full weekend was an excellent way to prepare us for both the physical and mental endurance that it takes to compete in back-to-back games against our NESCAC opponents.”

The Jumbos had another chance at home against a NESCAC opponent on Saturday, defeating Bates 63–52. The teams were tied 16–16 at the end of the first quarter, but once the second quarter began, Tufts built up a lead that they would not give up.

Tufts was up 33–23 at the half with sophomore forward Maggie Russell scoring 12 of Tufts’ points. Bates kept things close in the third quarter, but in the final quarter, Tufts built a lead to prevent Bates from mounting a comeback. Russell led Tufts with 23 points and 16 rebounds in the game, while Ryan had 18 points and nine rebounds.

Tufts now has a record of 13–2 overall and 3–1 in NESCAC play, and is set to play Bowdoin at home on Friday.

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The Tufts Daily is the entirely student-run newspaper of record at Tufts University in Medford, Mass. An editorially and financially independent organization, the Daily’s staff of more than 100 covers news, features, arts and sports on Tufts’ four campuses and in its host communities. The Daily’s editorial board and columnists provide opinions and commentary alongside op-eds submitted by readers and members of the Tufts community. In recent years, the Daily has also expanded into multimedia, including podcasts and videojournalism. Founded in 1980, the Daily publishes a print edition four days each week and a digital edition every weekday during the academic year. All of the Daily’s coverage can be found on its consistently updated website devoted to upholding its motto: “Where you read it first.”

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